Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Progress of a big group caricature

I thought it would be of interest to show the stages of the method I used for doing a very complicated
multiple caricature for an army regiment I did recently. ( watercolour 24x20 inches)

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Teach Yourself to Draw 5

To tackle any drawing the 1st move is to simplify the scene you are faced with.
Look past the surface and see the basic form. The details can wait till the drawing is just about done, then the details effortlessly fall into place like the icing on the cake.
This is why, practising the basic forms - Cube, sphere, cylinder, cone and gesture drawing helps to acheive
this ability to see beyond the superficial.
It is THE beginners mistake, focusing on the details and not seeing the true forms.
Turn your drawings from 2D to 3D. Get that 3rd Dimension,that is what makes drawings stand out and
gives them life.These preliminary sketches by an Italian master Luca Cambiaso were his way of working out the forms that were to make up complicated paintings.


Monday, 12 November 2018

Teach Yourself to Draw 4

Gesture Drawing has been a very important technique for me.I like to see spontaneity and life in the work I admire. Gesture drawing has helped me to develop a fearless approach to drawing. Looking for the essential gesture of the subject, be it animal, vegetable or mineral. Going for the essence as fast as possible is exhilirating. Sitting in airports waiting for a flight is a perfect place to draw people on the move, even those sitting reading change position very quickly. So the rapid continuous line is the only way to grab that movement, that pose. All those quick sketches build up a great memory bank of images.Here are some from one of my sketch books that I always have with me wherever I go.
The very rapid sketches by Rodin of Cambodian dancers are typical gesture drawings.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Teach Yourself to Draw 3

These are the key techniques that have been the biggest help in enabling me to learn to draw -
Simple Forms -Cubes, Spheres, Cylinders, Cones.
Briefly - Practising these forms till you begin to see them everywhere, you begin to simplify and see these forms, usually a combination of, in every object, in a face, in a forest, in a street.
Gesture Drawing
- Or fast sketching. Drawing the `gesture` of an object, a person, whatever is in front at any time.
Always  carry a sketchbook and quickly sketch the scene in seconds, waiting for a plane, train, etc.. great fun. No fussing, get it down, take a snapshot with the eye and don`t worry what the drawing will look like.
Negative & Postive Spaces
- Seeing & Drawing the spaces in between things.`Negative` spaces are as important as the `Positive ` forms. You must get both right to draw convincingly.
Artistic Anatomy
- Learning the human form,  with endless practise, becoming familiar with the most complicated entity in the universe! The great masters studied the human form rigorously, with a sound
3D knowledgeof the human form everything else becomes easier.
Buy - `Drawing on the Right-Side of the Brain` by Betty Edwards.THE best drawing techniques book of all time.
See - `Proko` on YouTube. Definitely the best drawing techniques on youtube - and great fun!
Awesome, brilliant work from 2 of my favourite American illustrators - Bernie Fuchs & Noel Sickles - look at those negative/positive spaces! All hand drawn & painted in the 50,s, 60`s.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Teach Yourself to Draw 2

Learning to draw is a long, steady process. In fact it never ends!  People ask me - `How long would it take me to learn to draw?` I say -` A lifetime`. Even after nearly 40 years I still feel like a beginner, especially when I see the work of the really great masters - which I did a few weeks ago at Kenwood House in Hampstead, London - Rembrandt & my big hero Frans Hals.
I`ve seen many keen beginners give up after a short time. Its that first big hurdle of self-doubt that stops them.
I can remember giving up several times at the beginning. Throwing my art materials on the floor in an angry fit of frustration.
It took me years to be able to sit at my easel and draw or paint for a whole day. What some call the`muse` comes to help. The ability to concentrate, to be in the `zone`, when time passes & one is lost in a deep,
focussed, concentrated state of being, similar to meditation. I don`t have to be in the right mood to draw,
as soon as I sit at my easel and start to draw I am off and don`t want to be interrupted for the rest of the day.
As in learning to play a musical instrument , it is best to do a bit every day, it could be a session of 2 hours or just 10 minutes sketching on a park bench. 15 minutes per day is better than 3 hours once a week. The mind will give up protesting that this a waste of time and start to enjoy this pleasant unusual daily habit.
I love drawing & thank God that I have an occupation that I never tire of doing, so don`t give up!

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Teach Yourself to Draw No1.

How do artists manage to draw such complicated scenes, objects, people etc.?
By simplifying. Learn the basic forms - Cube, Cylinder, Sphere, Cone. Then you will be able to see through the surfaces and draw the underlying forms. It was a revelation to me, With practise (daily if possible) you
can see these forms everywhere you look and draw even complicated things by simlpifying them down to their basic shapes, their real 3D forms.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Teach Yourself to Draw

I`m coming up to 40 years as a professional artist. I have no degree, I am self-taught, or rather, I have learnt from the thousands of artists who have gone before me.
So now I feel it is time to pass on what I have learnt and how I learnt and how I ended up busy doing portraits, caricatures, illustrations - 99% on command and rarely without a project on the go.
This blog will be dedicated to helping people to learn how to teach themselves to draw, which is easier now than when I first started, now online there are so many learning resources-but how to proceed?
My goal is to lead the beginner through the confusing mass of drawing techniques.
40 years ago,desperate for guidance, I went to public librairies for books on drawing techniques, luckily,
as I was living in New Zealand at the time, they had access to American books and one of them was a revelation  to me, it explained one the `secrets` I could not understand - how did artists create drawings that
looked 3D?
These are the actual words that, as Americans say, knocked my socks right off! -