Howdy Folks! Dear Folks... It's been rather a while since I last posted any images...Sorry...circumstances haven't been favourable enough to do so. We have moved from the country to the city, Adelaide, yes, but once unpacked and comfortably ensconced in my work room - can't call it a studio, it's more of a box room come broom cupboard really, but a workable space none the less - I found that the PC had caught a virus of some sort; the flu probably...hence no postings. Another reason was the need to attend to some major and minor repairs to our new home. (It's new only in the sense that it's new to us - my wife, our dog Sam and me -- in European and British terms it's probably relatively new, having been built just prior to the Second World War, so not so ancient as Old World dwellings. I digress...Sorry.) So, having affected the repairs, I was able to begin preliminary work on the next 'Punk' painting - beginning with the figures.
The first preliminary I under-took being the one at left. The idea for this painting has been on my mind for a while and this figure in particular foremost in my mind's eye. The painting was planned to be titled, Walkies but as is usual, the concept grew from it's first conception to become something else entirely - a bit like Doctor Frankenstein's creature really; conceived in the dark of the brain and born in the light of day - but not quite what was anticipated. This figure was going to be walking something rather different from the animal that is now on the end of his heavy duty leash - smaller and rather less cute than that which I have now provided him....No more shall I say on the matter as I may still be able to bring that concept to fruition. I tend not to talk, or write, about a concept until it's on the easel. Superstition? No. I don't know about other artists, but for me, to speak about what's in my mind's eye tends to lessen my enthusiasm for a project. It's as if the thing has been done, I've already described and painted it in my mind so why bother to paint it in the flesh, so to speak.
Okay. Er... sorry for the waffle...on with the process. Having found the concept going off in unexpected directions - why I am always surprised by this, I don't know, it happens so frequently - I then set about creating some more figures to accompany our 'Walkies' gentleman. Originally there were to be only three figures; now we have seven plus our two 'cute' animals.(Cute was not what I had in mind initially but it works better this way...)
Next came the landscape that our little party would inhabit. This I drew out on a large sheet of cartridge paper which, as you can see, is quite large as the painting measures 60cms X 80cm s or approx, 23.5 inches X 31.5 inches. (Sounds bigger in metric doesn't it.) Because of the lack of space in the work room I had to use our kitchen table. See above photos. Yes, the kitchen is just bigger than my work room...it's a small house you see, we bought it from a Hobbit. Anyway, not happy with the first location, I drew another which satisfied me far more.
Lacking a light box - mine has had to go into storage, Hobbits don't tend to build with studio space in mind - I had to resort to juggling my figure composition on several sheets of tracing paper before I was happy with their placements. Normally, with the aid of a light box, I can overlay all the figures and see each with little trouble and so ensure it all works...because the house windows are segmented into small, rather than one or two large panes - like our previous house - I wasn't able to utilize a window and sunlight as a substitute. I got there in the end though. So, all traced off on to a large sheet of cold pressed Bainebridge Illustration Board, I inked the composition in with my usual golden brown pigment and then began to paint - watercolour and gouache being my mediums.
Before I sign off, a little tip. Being all too aware of the costs of art supplies I recommend trying to locate, in your local area, a book or commercial printer that uses rolls of paper rather than individual sheets as most small printers do. Those who use rolls tend to have what are termed, 'end of roll' oddments which are useless to them as there's not enough paper left on the roll to do a full print run. The 'ends' pile up and eventually the printer needs to dispose of them, here's where we creative types step in...you/we front up and ask nicely if you/we could possibly have three or four rolls - never be greedy, you want to establish friendly terms with your printer so that you can come back and renew your supplies another time. (I always carry a little bit of cash with me and offer to purchase but the printer is usually just glad to be rid of the ends. I've had to pay but once and then only a very small amount - $20 for three rolls.)
Make sure you take a car with a wide back seat or capacious boot as some of the rolls can be quite wide - a Mini just isn't up to the job. I have two rolls standing near the door of my work room as I write. One 52cms wide the other 1.3metres wide. Both were a couple of hundred metres in length and to give you some idea of how long the paper can last, three rolls of the narrower of the two I have just described, gave me almost six years of supply.The quality is also variable. The narrower of the two rolls is beautiful heavy cartridge and was used for printing posters and...yes...betting slips...I use it for pen and ink drawings that will be exhibited , the quality being that good. The second, wider roll, was from a book publisher quite near to where my parents once lived and is of the quality you find in hard-back trade novels...very suitable for preliminary drawings or doodling.
Cheers for now. R.W.S.