Accurate drawing and understanding tonal values: Killeenaran Quay, Co. Galway

 

This lesson is aimed at my class of students, who know this quay well and will have a chance to draw it from the very same angle as I’ve chosen here, should they so wish.

In this lesson I aim to illustrate how using the elements in your scene as grid points can help you make an accurate drawing. Of course in order to do this you must be able to “see” well; you must also obey a few rules, such as not making up any lines! Only draw what you see.

After showing you how to get a proportionally accurate drawing, I’m going to finish off by colouring the drawing with one colour only, in order to get you thinking about using different strengths of the same colour to suggest all kinds of subtleties of light. I’ve chosen Payne’s Grey for the simple reason that I love its quiet softness, even when it’s ladelled on (I actually used Mountain Blue in the sky, as it just felt wrong to paint such a beautiful blue sky in Payne’s Grey!)

Here is the final sketch I did of the quay at Killeenaran.

 

How did I turn a blank page into a drawing?

 

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Art Materials I Use and Can Recommend

My favourite watercolours are made by Schmincke. I use a very small set when I am on the move, or this set of 24, which is available to buy here from Utrecht Art Supplies (in the US):-


Set of 24

Set of 24

or in the UK and EU :-

Jackson’s Art Supplies
Schmincke : Horadam Watercolour : Metal Set : 12 Half Pans

I also use Escoda Versatil brushes (available from Dick Blick in the US) :-


Escoda Versatil Brushes

Escoda Versatil Brushes

or from Jackson’s in the UK and EU :-

Escoda : VERSATIL Kolinsky Synthetic : Series 1540 : # 8

There are three pens I always use. The first is the Platinum Carbon pen, which can be used with cartridges or a converter. A converter is useful when you are choosing your own ink. The Platinum has never let me down: they tell you to use it every couple of days to avoid clogging, but I have left it longer than that and I have never had a problem in many years of use. It is also very reasonably priced and is available to buy from Amazon :-

The second pen I am never without is the Kuretake Brush Pen. I always use waterproof Platinum Carbon ink cartridges in my brush pen. This is available to buy here from Dick Blick in the US :-


Kuretake Brush Pen

Kuretake Brush Pen

or from Jackson’s in the UK and EU :-

Kuretake : Bimoji Fude Pen : Black Medium BRUSH : Maroon pack XT5-10

The third pen I really enjoy using is more expensive, but I chose it for its flexible steel nib, which gives a lovely variable line thickness. It’s the Namiki Falcon and is available here from Amazon :-

I find that grey ink gives a softer line than black – it’s more like a pencil line – and I always make sure at least one of my fountain pens contains grey ink. I use Lexington Gray by Noodler’s, which is waterproof when dry, also from Amazon :-

 

1 Comment

  1. jeans ralph lauren homme

    April 28, 2015 at 1:45 am

    Light, reflect light, or even block it and cause shadows. This will cause some things to appear brighter than others. This is what we call contrast. For example, imagine a person standing on a sandy beach. The water will be one level of brightness, the sand will be brighter, and the sky will be even brighter. The shadow from the person will be darker. This represents a higher than normal contrast scene. There is a common standard we use to measure.

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