The devil in the detail

Today I took a shot at a few different media, or different applications of media, with a black spoon, a fish bottle opener, and a pine cone on a plate with a black rim. As you do.


First up, Sharpies. While the lines are clean they also leak through and of course they’re permanent which means that’s it, no erasing, no smudging, no change so it better be right first time.  I’m not sure I’m enough of an accurate first service hitter yet so I wasn’t happy with the result.  The charcoal made a difference for me; taking the images out of the diagrammatic and further into something a bit more to do with the essence of the items. I see now from the photo that the fish has a very disgruntled eye which I wasn’t aware of making! The cone looks like the tree it came from more than it looks like a cone, and let’s not mention the spoon.


I don’t know how long baby oil takes to dry out so this could be here a long time. I brushed that on over the whole page then used oil crayons to make the fish. I rather liked the fluidity of it and also that I could make fine lines in the wet combined medium with a tiny screwdriver to define scales and swirls and channels in the metal.


Negative space achieved by sandpapering a stick of charcoal over the bottle opener on the page. Interesting that it looks more symmetrical in silhouette than it does when I’m distracted by the surface detail of the item itself. I’ve applied fixative to this to keep as much of the granularity of the medium in place. I’m thinking this might be a way for me to develop better composition skills where negative space is important.


This was an attempt to draw the pine cone as an actual cone, first looking down on it, and then, with more abstract lines, side on. The first drawing made me realise just how angular the scales are, which is what led to the second image. There’s quite an architectural feel to a cone once you’ve seen all those triangles and rhomboids.


More tomorrow.


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