Sheep jaw in oils

sheep jaw in oils v1

I finally cracked open my new oil paints today (they arrived last week).  This is the first ‘coat’ on an attempt to paint the sheep jaw that I found on the moors.  I’ll be doing more to this once the first coat has dried (however long that takes).  It’s very exciting – I haven’t painted with oils since I was a teenager (and then I only painted a couple of things).

It was surprisingly difficult to crack open the tubes and get painting.  There’s something about oils that make me feel I have to do a ‘proper’ painting i.e. ‘get it right’.  Whatever that means.

But I really enjoyed using them.  The feel is so different to acrylic.  And I can do sgraffito!  I’ve never been able to do that with acrylic – it dries too fast.

Chine Colle

chine colle print

Just towards the end of last term, I learned how to do a chine colle print i.e. incorporating fragments of paper into a print by carefully applying PVA and then putting them onto the printing plate just before running the print through the press.  This was the result.  I can see this having potential for ‘fractured landscape’.




Taken from a photo of hawthorne against a barbed wire fence.  I was intrigued by the barbed textures set against the soft landscape behind (which you can’t see well in this – it’s sketched in softly in pencil).  Preparatory research sketch for ‘fractured landscape’.  This was pretty fiddly to observe and draw.



Taken from a photo, using HB and 6B pencil.  Preliminary sketch for ‘fractured landscapes’ project.  I plan to try this using different media – possibly print.




Tree viewed through gate

tree through gateOur art project is ‘Fractured’ Landscape – in other words, the tutors don’t want a simple landscape painting or whatever; they want something where we have taken landscape as our starting point.  As part of our research, we are encouraged to fill our sketchbook with drawings from unusual viewpoints e.g. through doors, fences, etc.  This sketch of a tree viewed through a gate was taken from a photo.  I’ve gone back to ink simply to vary the medium I’m using.  If nothing else, it has given me some practice in drawing trees – something I find difficult to draw.  Betty Edwards in her book ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain‘ talks about how we learn a symbol system as a child, which can stop us from observing things as they really are.  I think trees are one of those areas where I have a symbol system – I mean, you just draw fractals, don’t you?  I need to learn to really observe how they grow.  My landscape sketches certainly are not great, but each one teaches me something new.

We also saw lambs today.  They are the best thing about spring.  I’ve tried to sketch this little one, but the sketches really are not fit to show, so here’s a picture instead.

lambHappy Easter!

Landscape vignettes


Karen suggested I try small vignettes of landscape.  I’ve drawn these from photos, as today has not been great for plein air sketching.  I’ve also tackled the EDM Fence challenge, trying to improve my mark making.  I’ve used a range of pencils for these sketches.grass and sheeptree roots