Thursday 4 February 2010

Sculpting a Drawing

This red chalk drawing, measuring 48 x 48 in., shows the view north over the Kennet Valley in Wiltshire towards the village of Minal from Chopping Knife Lane. In the foreground is Black Field, the site of the old Roman town of Cunetio, and in the top left hand corner can be seen the old Roman road which leads from Cunetio to Cirencester in Gloucestershire. The cattle were grazing down in the water meadow and you can see the houses and the old school along the river before the fields rise on the other side of the valley towards South Leaze Field and beyond.

At the time when I drew the original sketches it was October 2009 and all the crops were in, leaving just stubble, save for a one field of maize towards the top right. The trees still had their leaves but were changing colour and the vegetation all around the field edges; thistles, nettles and cow parsley, was beginning to die back.

The work started off life as a series of quick sketches, the main one of which from my moleskine sketchbook is seen below, drawn while I was out for a walk one late afternoon.

From the sketches I developed the drawing in my studio in red chalk pastel. Perhaps it is my background as a sculptor but I like to draw on heavyweight papers which I can work back into to almost carve the drawing out of the paper. As well as rubber erasers, I use knifes, wire brushes and even power tools such as a Dremel and a Black & Decker Mouse orbital sander. To stop myself from getting into detail too soon I use fat sticks of Sennelier chalk pastel which are at least an inch in diameter for laying down broad areas of colour and flakes for more fine work.

The original 122 x 122 cm. drawing been digitally captured by specialists and is now available as a signed limited edition giclée print in three image sizes; 30 x 30 cm., 50 x 50 cm. and 90 x 90 cm

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