Sunday, 8 May 2011

Trois Crayon and Papers

More on the use of Trois Crayon as I said in the earlier post the paper used can be a mid-tone grey, blue, or tan. The paper can either be purchased, most paper companies produce toned papers such as Fabriano Tiziano or Ingres Paper. Canson Mi-teintes is another range of suitable paper.

It is also possible to use a watercolour wash applied to any good quality drawing paper.

Yet another ploy is to use Acrylic Colours to tone Acrylic Gesso which can then be used to paint over old drawings you are not happy with, this gives you a new drawing surface that takes charcoal and chalk well and you are not restricted to the colours the manufacturers supply.

This is a drawing done from life at the Tenby portrait group using a watercolour wash on cheep drawing paper, charcoal, white chalk and lump Sanguine.

There is so much to learn from any Hans Holbein drawing so here is Sir Thomas Elyot for you to peruse.
Sir Thomas was a supporter of the education of women, a radical humanists idea in sixteenth century England.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Thoughts with the blood one.

Recently I posted a Trois Crayon drawing of Helen of Wales, Trois Crayon is a traditional drawing technique using three coloured chalks: red (sanguine), black, and white. The paper used is a mid-tone and can be grey, blue, or tan. The temperature of the sanguine is very important and must be matched to the cool or warm colour of the paper. Conte make three distinct sanguine’s so you can match them to the plethora of papers available. Also Cornelissen sell genuine lump sanguine.
When trois crayon is mentioned usually the French painter Antoine Watteau comes to mind. He loved drawing with sanguine thinking of his drawings as “pensees a la sanguine” = thoughts with the blood one.

Open sessions painting from the life

Helen again this time in oil. We are very lucky to have a choice of both portrait and life drawing groups locally. This is from the Narberth portrait group. The sessions are run as open sessions and only charge enough to cover expenses of model and venue hire.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Helen of Wales.

Jumping forward to the present, here is my current effort which shows my understanding at the moment.

Helen of Wales.

This was done from life with the Tenby portrait group and is my exploration of Trois Crayon using sanguine, white and sepia Conte crayons on a blue gray paper. The big problem with the drawing is the perspective of the face which I didn’t notice until it was to late. A blank piece of paper is always so exciting as there is always the possibility that things will turn out well!

The Venus of Willendorf

Since the discovery of the Altamira Caves in 1880, older art has been found. I believe the oldest recorded art at present is a cupule in the Auditorium Cave at Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh, India. It dates from (290,000-700,000 BCE).

The Venus of Willendorf is the oldest example of the human form and dates from 24,000-22,000 BCE. She was found in 1908 above the Danube river near the town of Willendorf in Austria by archaeologist Josef Szombathy.

Only 43/8" high. she rivals anything in modern art.

In our age when images of art are so readily available in galleries, museums, books and the Internet, it’s hard for us to imagine how these earliest artists thought and worked to produced the first art with no precedence.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Altamira Caves

A Journey into Art so where should I begin with this first post?
The Art of Prehistoric Man seems like a good starting place, it might even give us some idea of why we make art and what it’s all about.
The creation of things for use is easy to understand: tools, clothing, shelter and weapons all had a utilitarian purpose for early man as they still do today. But why would we decorate things? Amazingly early in history we find decoration: pattern being added to pots and weapons and clothes, and later to shelters. This decoration seems to serve no material or biological purpose. It does not make the shelter more secure or keep the body warmer or safe from harm. Its actual creation means effort and patience for a postponed mental pleasure. Is that pleasure anticipated while the work is in progress? Or is the pleasure in the process of making? It's a strange and apparently meaningless undertaking that throws a spotlight on the nature of Man.

The illustrations I have chosen for this first post are from the Altamira Caves near Santander in Northern Spain.
These caves were discovered in the late nineteenth century by a huntsman or perhaps it would be more correct to say that the fox he was chasing did by taking refuge there, and that the huntsman's dog had followed the fox, and the huntsman had followed the dog! He in turn told Santavola, a local archaeologist who went to the cave to look for any clues of occupation by prehistoric Man. Suddenly his daughter, going deeper into the cave, pointed to the flattish ceiling of the great cavern and cried :
" Look, father ; bulls ! "

Dating from 15,000 BCE (the Upper Palaeolithic period) they were the first prehistoric cave paintings to be discovered. Since then much older paintings and art have been discovered.
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