Expanse. Part 3. Project 5. Townscapes. Exercise 1 Sketchbook of townscape drawings. Exercise 2 Study of townscape using line. Exercise 3 Limited palette study

Exercise 1 Sketchbook of townscape drawings

During a day out in St Albans Market Place I made a variety of different sketches in pencil of buildings in the Market Place area. The Market Place area has a combination of Tudor buildings and modern day ones. I did focus on the Tudor building as it’s quite an interesting shape.

In my sketchbook I made some notes on colour, Market Place had blues, blacks, whites, reds, greys and greens. It was a clear sunny day, then became slightly overcast, Time about 11 am, a few people around, but otherwise quiet. One or two vehicles parked, but usually it’s a limited parking area. There were some deep shadows on one side of the street. The Gables building has a traditional black and white facade, with glass shop fronts and a door in the middle. Tiled roof with over hanging guttering painted black.

My final drawings I made on one sheet of paper, that can go inside a sketchbook.  I drew an old Tudor building called The Gables, now a shop called Jack Wills.

The picture below shows how I drew some details in squares and then made some further sketches of the building, including a side view.

The Gables in drawn squares
The Gables in pencil
Side view of The Gables

Exercise 2 Study of a townscape using line

In my sketchbook I drew a section from The Gables building going up the street in the Market Place, using my sketches and some photos as reference, I drew with a fine black pen. Whats nice about a fine pen is the detail you can get. So I added tiles and shading to create shadows. I also cropped the drawing, which I think is a better composition.

Market Place buildings
Market Place in black pen close up

Exercise 3 Limited palette study

I re-drew The Gables building in ink and painted it with three watercolour colours, Sepia, Ochre and Black, using the white of the paper for my lightest colour. I chose a side view as it showed more of the building’s windows and shape.

The Gables in three colours




Gouache and Ink Painting Resist Technique. Jug, Apples and Table.

Gouache and Ink Painting Resist Technique.

I have been experimenting with this technique to achieve an unusual surface that looks like it’s been printed. In fact it’s a resist method and it’s simple to do !!

Jug, Apples and Table on paper final outcome

Materials. Gouache tube paints, Black India ink, watercolour paper, watercolour brushes, water pot, palette, newspaper, pencil

Gouache paints and paper

Draw your image in pencil and paint with Gouache paints, leaving some areas blank as this is where the ink will fill in the spaces. Leave to dry.

Draw your image and paint with Gouache paints

Cover the whole paper in ink, paint gently as not to disturb the paint washes. Leave to dry.

Take the paper to the sink and run it under the tap and brush off the ink carefully. Leave to dry.

Leave to dry

Once dry, I outlined my objects with ink to create the form, but you don’t have to do this you can just add colour.

I outlined my objects with ink

Then I re-painted my picture with some colours

Finished painting

This technique gives the painting unusual tonal values, as the ink has resisted the Gouache paint. You can draw in just white paint and created different marks too.



Expanse. Part 3. Project 2. Artist Research. Landscape artists.

Drawing 1. Project 2. Expanse. Research Point page 66.
Research some historic and contemporary artists who work in series with the landscape. You may already be familiar with works my Monet, Cezanne and David Hockney. Look also at work by Peter Doig, John Virtue and other younger artists working today. For example Nicholas Herbert’s series of drawings of the Chiltern Hills at http://nicholasherbert.wordpress.com/tag/contemporary-landscape-drawing/
John Virtue (born 1947)
John Virtue is a British artist who paints landscapes in monochrome tones. He was born in Accrington, Lancashire and trained at The Slade School of Art from 1965 to 1969. He is well know for his ‘London Paintings’ which were displayed at The National Gallery. Virtue only uses black and white, he sees colour as a ‘distraction’. His materials are usually shellac black ink and white paint.
As he has moved from Britain to Italy, then Britain to North Norfolk, his work is in cycles. That means, his art at The National Gallery focused mainly on the London skyline. This included 360 mono types in 2006-07. His moved to Norfolk generated another cycle of paintings about shore and sea. In 1988 his ten year cycle of Lancashire paintings were exhibited in London, Manchester and Los Angeles. He exhibits regularly in Sydney, Australia. Virtue has expressed his admiration for the seventeen century Dutch landscape painters and those of J.M.W.Turner.


Norfolk No.2, 2009, Acrylic, black ink and shellac on canvas, 149.9 x 200.3 cm
From http://www.marlboroughlondon.com/artists/john-virtue/

Therese Oulton (born 1953)
I was looking for a female landscape artist and found Therese Oulton’s work, but not much information about the artist herself. But found this quote……
‘British painter and print maker, born in Shrewsbury. She originally studied anthropology, but she was so impressed by a chance visit to an exhibition of Morris Louis’s Veil paintings that she took up art, first studying at evening classes and then full-time at St Martin’s School of Art, London, 1975–9, and the Royal College of Art, 1980–83. In 1984 she had her first solo show, at Gimpel Fils Gallery, London, and she very quickly established a considerable reputation with her sombre, richly worked abstract or semi-abstract paintings. They are often seen as evoking landscape or architectural forms, and Oulton has even been discussed in terms of the British tradition of landscape painting. The paintings, however, also relate to the invocations of sublime landscape in Abstract Expressionists such as Rothko or later artists such as Per Kirkeby and Anselm Kiefer. Oulton has also produced lithographs and mono types.’
From http://oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100257223
Additional reading from; http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/feb/28/germaine-greer-therese-oulton-landscapes
In 2010 Oulton had an exhibition called ‘Territory’ in which she showed 24 small landscape format images, which was different from her usual very large works. These landscapes explore light, surface, texture, geography and landscape.


Untitled no. 19
Oil on aluminium
34.3 x 61 cm.

Tacita Dean OBE RA ( born 1965)
An English artist who works mainly in film. Nominated for the Turner Prize in 1998 and elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 2008. Beside film, she works in drawing, photography and sound. During the 1990’s the sea was her main theme and she explored the story of Donald Crowhurst and his tragic sailing voyage. Dean uses 16 mm film, she spent time living and filming in Germany. Recently Dean has been capturing famous thinkers and artists on film.
‘The Roaring Forties: Seven Boards in Seven Days’ is a series of chalk board by Dean. These have a sense of the black and white classic cinema scenes. The series, on Masonite panels painted with black paint, and drawn in white chalk are eight foot square size. Dean used old photographs as reference, and they show the southern Atlantic ocean between 40 and 50 degrees latitude, which has gale force winds. Dean gave herself seven days to draw seven boards, linking this to how films are made, and how the drawing process is edited like film is. Hence making a story board or narrative.

David Hockney OM CH RA (born 1937-)
David Hockney is an English painter, draftsman, print maker, stage designer and photographer. He is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.
Hockney is famous for his exhibition and work called The Bigger Picture, where he painted the East Yorkshire Wolds, the place where he was born and grew up. The exhibition at The Royal Academy showed oil paintings, iPad paintings, collages, charcoal drawings, digital videos and sketches all based on landscapes in Yorkshire.
During is vast career Hockney has made many series of works about swimming pools, animals, people, still life and landscapes in the UK and America.


From https://www.treehugger.com/culture/stunning-english-landscape-paintings-made-with-ipad-photos.html

Georgia O’Keeffe ( Born 1887 – 1986)
O’Keeffe was an American artist who was known for her large paintings of flowers, New York skyscrapers and New Mexico landscapes. Trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She felt constrained by her lessons that required her to copy rather than develop her own style. After many years of teaching, O’Keeffe met Arthur Wesley Dow who taught that copying does not develop personal style in design and art. This was a turning point for O’Keeffe and she started a series of watercolours and dramatic charcoal drawings, which led to her abstract style.
Meeting Alfred Stieglitz in 1918, who encouraged he to become a full time artist, she started a series of landscape paintings of New Mexico. Eventually moving full time to Santa Fe, O’Keeffe collected rocks and stones, which were incorporated into her landscapes.


Georgia O’Keeffe, Ram’s Head White Hollyhock and Little Hills, 1935, The Brooklyn Museum
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_O%27Keeffe

Peter Doig (Born 1959)
A Scottish painter who lives in Trinidad. Famous for his painting ‘White Canoe’ which sold for a record £5.7 million in 2007. Doig’s paintings are landscapes, but very abstract. He gets his inspiration from photographs, newspaper clippings, movie scenes, record album covers and works by Edvard Munch. His work is not realistic, but based in what he ‘takes’ from the photograph. In 1994 he created a series of urban structures based on derelict Le Cobrusier’s modernist living apartments called ‘Concrete Cabins’.


Peter Doig
The Architects Home In The Ravine
Oil on Canvas
200 x 275cm
From https://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/artpages/doig_the_architects_home_in_the_ravine.htm

Claude Monet (1840- 1926)

Monet the most famous French Impressionist painter and prolific artist of his time. The term ‘impressionism’ is derived from the title of one of his oil paintings, ‘Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise) of 1874. Monet spent his life painting the French countryside, by painting the same scene many times to capture the light changes and the seasons. In 1883 Monet moved to Giverny, where he became famous for painting his water lilies and Japanese bridge, which appeared in his large paintings. This subject occupied him for over twenty years of his life.


Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), 1872; the painting that gave its name to the style and artistic movement. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Monet

Paul Cezanne ( 1839-1906)
Cezanne was a Post-Impressionist painter, much admired by Matisse and Picasso, making him the ‘father of us all’. Cezanne painted few subjects, those being landscape, still life and bathers. He was interested in ‘simplifying’ the subject into cone, cylinder or cone shapes. He painted with careful, repetitive and exploratory brushstrokes. He studied subjects closely using planes of colour to build up the picture plane.
Cezanne is to have formed a bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and early 20th century ‘Cubism’.
Even though Cezanne exhibited, he was not well received in France. So Cezanne chose to work in increasing artistic isolation, usually painting in the south of France, in his beloved Provence, far from Paris.
In 1897 he climbed Montagne Sainte-Victoire, there he stayed in a cabin and painted extensively the landscape. It is understood that’s how his ‘Cubist’ style started.
Cezanne immortalized the Provençal countryside with his broad, panoramic views. Often these are framed in branches, sometimes with architectural elements, but seldom with human activity. These too are still life. Cezanne’s landscapes were not painted in the open air, as were those of the Impressionists, nor were they captured first with a camera. He composed the pictures the way he wanted them — arranging the trees and the houses, probably gleaned from his sketchbooks, on the canvas in the configurations he decided upon.’
From https://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/cezanne/land/


Bords d’une rivière (Riverbanks)
1904-05 (180 Kb); Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm (25 1/4 x 31 7/8 in); Private collection, Switzerland; Venturi no. 771
From https://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/cezanne/land/


Intimacy. Part Two. ‘Miniature Still Life in Boxes’ additional experimental work.’Spellbound’ Exhibition, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. 6/9/18.

For an experiment and fun, I made some miniature boxes from white card and drew in pencil some small still life items. Cut them out and glued them inside the open box. The items inside the boxes, are placed at different depths to give an idea of perspective. Each box is approximately 5 x 5 x 2 cm in size. I have chosen items, such as shell, bottles and a jug which I have used in some of my work for Part two. I am not sure why I chose to work so small, it was a very much a spontaneous act. But I do enjoy small models and how they are made. Except for the lock and keys, which I made as a symbol of love.

Miniature Still Life in a box
Miniature Bottles Still Life in a box

My inspiration came from, when I went to The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, to see their exhibition  called ‘Spellbound’ Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft, which is running till January 2019. In the exhibition was a piece about pad locks and love. ‘Love Lock’ is an installation I saw of 1500 pad locks that were removed from the Leeds Century Bridge in October 2016. Historically we have used objects as symbols of love for centuries. In the 12 and 13th centuries men and women relied on magic spells and objects to make them ‘fall in love’, it was seen as a way to a successful marriage !!  For those who put a pad lock on the Leeds Bridge felt that, the pad lock stood for the couple and their relationship. The lock being a romantic symbol, and the key that locks the pad lock is thrown away, is a symbol of the longevity of love. Many of the pad locks were inscribed with names, initials or messages.

My pad lock say’s ‘Ann loves Chris’ a symbol of my love and marriage.


Lock and Keys Miniature in a box

Intimacy. Part 2. Artist Research Positive and Negative Spaces. Gary Hume, Sir Michael Craig-Martin,Tang Yau Hoong

Sir Michael Craig-Martin CBE RA (Born 1941)

Sir Michael Craig-Martin is an Irish-born contemporary conceptual artist and painter. He is known for developing the Young British Artists, many of whom he taught, and for his conceptual artwork, An Oak Tree. He is Emeritus Professor of Fine Art at Goldsmiths.

In the 1960’s he made box-like constructions. Later he moved to the use of ordinary household objects. In the late 1970’s he began to make line drawings of ordinary objects, creating over the years an ever-expanding vocabulary of images which form the basis of his work to this day. During the 1990’s the focus of his work shifted over to painting, with the same range of boldly outlined motifs and vivid color schemes applied both to works on canvas, and to increasingly complex installations of wall paintings. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Craig-Martin


From https://www.myinterestingfacts.com/michael-craig-martin-facts/

Gary Hume RA (born 9 May 1962) 

Gary Hume is an English artist. Hume’s work is strongly identified with the Young British Artists who came to the front in the early 1990’s. Nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996. Hume lives and works in London and New York. Hume has become known for depicting everyday subjects using high-gloss industrial paints. His earliest notable works are his ‘door paintings’ which are life-size representations of hospital doors.

Hume abandoned doors in the mid-1990’s, turning to paintings in household gloss paint on aluminium panel, for these he often used appropriated images, including pictures of celebrities and animals. Their forms and colours were dramatically simplified, with people being reduced to just two or three colours. Snowman in 1996 is made up of three shades of red, showing a circle on top of a larger circle against a lighter background. At first, Hume used mainly bright colours, but later pieces have used more muted tones.

In 1999 at the Venice Biennale he exhibited his ‘Water’ series these were line drawings of women painted with gloss paint on aluminium panels.


Water Painting, 1999, Tate Collection. Part of Hume’s “Water” Series of paintings.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Hume

Tang Yau Hoong

I chose this young artist, who I found online, his work in mainly based in positive and negative drawings. Tang Yau Hoong is an artist, illustrator, graphic designer living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He creates art that is conceptual, surreal and fun in a simplistic and unique way. He works with various clients for advertising, editorial, and many other design projects.

His art is very playful and he uses perspective to describe his work too. I love this image below as he uses the negative space to make the sky look like a face.


From https://www.boredpanda.com/negative-space-art-tang-yau-hoong/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic


Expanse. Part 3. Project 4. Perspective. Exercise 1 Parallel perspective-an interior view. Exercise 2 Angular perspective. Exercise 3 Aerial or atmospheric perspective.

Exercise 1 Parallel perspective- an interior view

In my sketch book  I drew these exercises on-one point perspective and two point perspective. This is a view through a doorway with a mat showing lines lead off to a ‘vanishing point’ in the distance

Interior view

Below are three sketches showing one point perspective drawn on squared paper. All lines should ‘recede’ into the distance, hence making the items larger in the foreground and smaller in the distance.

one point perspective
Looking up one point perspective
Looking down one point perspective

The page below is from my sketch book showing that Lowry used one point perspective in is paintings.

Lowry and one point perspective


Exercise 2 Angular perspective

Not an easy one to draw, so I drew a building on squared paper to demonstrate two point perspective.

St Albans Town Hall side view perspective
A building showing two point perspective

Here are some additional three point and fish eye perspective drawings.

Exercise 3 Aerial or atmospheric perspective

Atmospheric perspective is when the natural weather elements effect the appearance of the view, i.e. when mountains at different planes look further away due to light and dark contrasts. Blues recede. Same goes for a sunset when the colours scatter and shift them forward. Reds and oranges are foreground colours.

Here are some excerpts from my sketch book.

J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) was brilliant at painting ‘atmospheric’ land and seascapes. I have painted some atmospheric images on A 3 sized watercolour paper, with loose watercolour washes and a big brush, to demonstrate how abstract the land and seascape can become. My technique for watercolour painting is ‘wet in wet’, which is a very loose and difficult to control, but makes wonderful painterly effects.

Blue Dramatic sky in loose watercolour washes


Sunset in loose watercolour washes


I fully understand the principles of landscape perspective and really enjoyed drawing the instructional sketches and painting the loose atmospheric images..

Expanse. Part 3. Project 3. Composition. Exercise 1 Developing your studies. Exercise 2 Foreground, middle ground, background.

Exercise 2 Foreground, middle ground, background

Here is my sketch from my woodland walk. This shows is a simple way how the picture plane is divided up into a foreground with trees and grasses, a middle ground with a field and a background of sky with clouds.

Over the fields in pencil

I drew this picture again but just added words to describe the divisions of the picture plane. I think my quick sketch is better than my new drawing.

View towards Sandridge Village