Monday, 13 October 2008

Exploring Mallorca: Agave


Agave (4B pencil, A5 sketchbook)

Structure. That's what I like to draw: things with structure. Nothing lost in the haze, nothing vague and indistinct. Something tangible, something I can feel my way around as I draw it.

Even though this is from a photograph, I could get a sense of its volume as I drew it. It's obvious I'll never settle for an arrangement of flat shapes on a flat surface. I am intensely interested in the shape the subject makes on the page, but not enough to want to lose the modeling, the shading that gives it form.

I think there'll be more of these plants. I like them a lot. How about you? Do they make you want to draw them, or are you more inclined to lose them in the mist?

7 comments:

vivien said...

architectural shapes like that are great - I got obsessed with artichoke flowers and cardoons a while ago - fabulous huge thistles with bright bright sky blue petals, absolutely gorgeous they were to draw.

But in landscape and lots of other stuff I do like lost edges and atmospher and yes .... mistiness :>)

vivien said...

oh I forgot to say - a strong sculptural shape you are creating there :>)

harrybell said...

Thanks, Vivien. It's not that I don't like mistiness - Turner is one of my favourite painters and no one comes mistier than Turner - it's just that it doesn't come naturally to me and I'm working on building up my personal sensibilities. Been too many distractions and sidetracks recently

Virtual Voyage said...

Makes me feel like going over to Kew where there are some big specimens. I've got quite a few photos of them - I've always liked the sculptural qualities as well. Make a good point to get started as I feel a bit stuck.

Good point about getting the volume even when the photos are flat. I'd been hesitating over using digitals to work from.

Enjoying your posts - the colour range on the bridge and buildings one is very satisfying.

harrybell said...

Thanks, V.V. -- I think the Tyne Bridge painting is going to turn out well.

To paraphrase something I've posted before, "When you can't draw, draw something else." If the aloe appeals, go for it.

Anonymous said...

strong use of line in aloe, takes me back to your early cartooning work. maybe you should take a look at some linearart nouveau?

--Brian

harrybell said...

I looked at Art Nouveau a long time ago - you'll find an example on the cover of my old fanzine, Grimwab 5, back in the 60s when it was in vogue.

Not really to my taste any more, although I often look at the history of line in English art.