Life-drawing workshop

Following on from the Creative Journal courses I have been attending at Metal in Southend, I was given the opportunity to attend a one day life-drawing workshop, also at Metal, and I took the challenge. The last time I did life-drawing was during my Art Foundation course (which was a good few years ago), so I was definitely overdue.

The workshop was led by Heidi Wigmore and combined life-drawing with the theme of theatrical/props/masks.

During the morning we had a female model and we began by doing a few quick one-minute sketches to warm-up.

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This was followed by several longer poses where the model wore various props and theatrical accessories including a tutu, feather boa and mask.

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After lunch we had a male model and again began the session with a number of one-minute poses to warm-up.

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This was followed by longer poses using more theatrical props and a mirror.

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The day was a lot of fun and I’ve really got the bug for life-drawing again. The next workshop I’ll be attending is at the English National Ballet in London, where we’ll be drawing the dancers during their rehearsal – very excited!

Creative journal course – autumn

I’ve now completed my third six-week creative journal course, which are held at Metal in Southend. As this session began in autumn, our work was very much inspired by the vibrant seasonal changes in the natural environment.

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Some of the themes we covered were decay, colour, form and repetition; developing our ideas with a range of mixed media including bleach, ink, pencil collaged with scrap paper…

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…mixing natural and unnatural colours with leaf rubbings…

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…making observational drawings with pen and ink.

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I particularly liked the skeletal form of the hydrangea petal and the shadows I created with the leaves…

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Creative journal course

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For the past six weeks I’ve been attending a creative journalling/sketchbook course at Metal in Southend. Having completed an art foundation course and a degree in textile design, over 20 years ago (gulp!), I haven’t really kept a sketchbook since then and I really wanted to reconnect with the process.

The course was run by Heidi Wigmore, a local artist and fine art lecturer. With 18 people attending this was a large course and the students demonstrated a wide variety of styles and abilities.

Each week we explored a different approach including repetition, absence and sensory deprivation. The purpose of the course was to help develop your own personal style using the methods suggested and to be as free as possible  i.e. not over-thinking or planning the outcome but allowing it to happen. All in all a liberating experience and I immediately connected back to my previous studies but with a fresh approach.

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These are some examples of the work I produced, which demonstrates a strong pattern, collage and mixed-media style.

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Examples of all of the work produced will be exhibited at Metal @ Chalkwell Park from Easter 2015. There is also another six week course starting 14 April 2015. You can read further details on this Journal series 2 flyer.

Lino printing

lino-cutting1Over the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with lino printing. I dabbled with this at college on my art foundation course (which feels like a lifetime ago) and remember it being quite fun to do.

I’m always taking photos of flowers and plants, so this seemed like a natural place to start. These are a few photos I took during the summer:berries

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I wanted to keep the design simple but interesting. I really like 50’s textile designs and the outline style of the images in ‘The Secret Garden’ book by Johanna Basford.

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I started by doodling some simple flowers in my sketchbook before drawing up a design approx 10cm square.flower-doodles
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I drew the final design onto tracing paper, then traced this onto the piece of lino (remembering that the finished design would be in reverse). I bought a selection of lino cutters and set to work cutting around the design. Its very easy to slip and cut through a bit of lino that you wanted to keep but thankfully this didn’t happen too often. I also made myself a small wooden cutting frame that mean’t I was guaranteed to keep my hand BEHIND the lino cutter!

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Using a black, water-based, block printing ink and rubber rollers this is one of my first prints…

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…which I then added a few hand-painted colours to…

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As I remembered, this was a lot of fun to do 🙂