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Graham Scandrett: Pen, Wash and Watercolour, 12 & 19 Oct 2012

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or Graham's other years:1999 - 2001 - 2003 - 2004 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016

Week 1 - Week 2
Brief for Week 1 (12 October 2012)
Pen and Inkwash (single colour)
Subject: Buildings and details of buildings
Equipment: Cartridge paper
Pen with waterproof ink (either dip or art pen)
One colour watercolour
Photographs:. Buildings (groups) details of buildings,
i.e. doorways, windows, mouldings


Graham preparing
Graham's briefing is most easily described in separate bullets of advice:
Don't do your drawing in pencil first - it's very hard to keep any spontaneity if you trace ink over existing work. It's OK to make a few pencil marks to fix the positions of major features, but that's all
Rötring ink is recommended - if you use Indian, only distilled water should be used to thin it
As well as art pens, you can use all sorts of dip pen:
* ordinary metal nib
* reservoir nib (although if you dip it you're likely to get a blob - fill it with a brush)
* bamboo
* porcupine quill (needs no sharpening)
* venetian glass
Normally he would work with the board almost flat
Start with thin lines - don't do everything with the same amount of detail, leading the eye to the most important area(s)
Use thicker lines in the foreground and thinner ones in the distance
Start adding shading as early as you like (cross-hatching or following the contours)
You can ink in lots of texture (trees for example)
Finally put in washes, using tonight's single colour of watercolour - very thin and each one allowed to become totally dry before adding the next.

He also warned about trying to darken something in monochrome work by adding more paint - you can just make it brighter.
Then came the time to put this advice into practice.
As we were working, Graham circulated around, giving helpful comments and advice.

Samples of members' work from Week 1

Brief for Week 2 (19 October 2012)
Pen, Ink and Watercolour
Subject: Landscape, harbour, animal
Equipment: Heavy grade cartridge paper
Pen with waterproof ink (either dip or art pen)
Watercolours
Photograph: Bring photograph of your choice from above
This second week was in one sense the reverse of the first: putting pen over watercolour instead of watercolour over pen.

Several members had not been here last week's briefing so Graham summarised much of it.

He stressed the need for at least two thicknesses of line (needing two art pens or one nib). For that reason he wasn't too keen on pencil for anything more than very light guidelines - and pencils can dent the paper too much.
Graham was inspired by an earlier sketchbook scene done in the same way.

For tonight's briefing he dampened his sheet of heavyweight cartridge paper and then put in very thin patches of colour. Dabs of cerulean, cobalt and purple in the sky, viridian and purple for the grey mid-distance and the same colours with lemon yellow and touches of red for the foreground meadow.

Thin paint on damp paper tends to run as well as spread, but "who cares?" But if you want sharp lines it is vital that these washes dry completely before the pen is added.

To make the point that the artist has much more freedom than the photographer he produced a sketch of a "more interesting" tree, saying that he thought he would use that instead of the one in his original.
He recommended starting with the thinnest lines (top back) and working forward into thicker ones (bottom front), adding shading with the pen as you go. He didn't get very far before announcing that we were there to work and so we'd better get on with it!

I was obviously not a good pupil. I realised when I started this write-up that I had put too much water on at the beginning (so that my whole brand-new pad of paper dried wrinkled) and that being obsessed with the centre of interest I had started down there, with the thicker lines!

I thoroughly enjoyed these two sessions, Graham. Thank you, again. I wonder if others are like me: enjoying being told the same thing repeatedly by tutors and demonstrators, forgetting much of it and going ahead and doing my own thing?

Sam Dauncey
Samples of members' efforts this week.

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or Graham's other years:1999 - 2001 - 2003 - 2004 - 2007 - 2008 - 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016

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