Stretching and ‘Twingling’

Twingley Homework

A brand new kourse at Sketchbook Skool started a week and a half ago and it’s all about stretching – trying new methods, styles, materials in our sketchbooks.

The first teacher was Jonathan Twingley, an artist and illustrator from New York and his klass was brilliant. The main homework involved drawing without thinking, getting back to a playful way of making art, sort of how kids draw – without fear or over thinking.

Once we’d spent around 6 days drawing we then selected some of those drawings, cut them out and assembled them on the pages of our sketchbooks, adding more lines and colour to create a finished piece.

I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out – which was kind of the idea really – but once I got into the cutting and assembling stage I really started to enjoy myself – which was also kind of the idea!

Doing this work reminded me of some stuff I did when I last studied Art at school around the age or 17 or 18 and it was good to get back to a looser, freer way of making art. Because my sketchbook isn’t huge and I had quite a few drawings I’ve filled a couple more spreads in a similar kind of way, so I’ll probably share them at some point too.

The sketchbook I used here is a Daler Rowney watercolour sketchbook. I’m not sure of exact size but it’s bigger than A5 and slightly smaller than A4. Because of the size the whole thing wouldn’t fit on my scanner so the easiest thing to do here was photograph it. If you click on the image you can see a higher res version on Flickr.
These pages were put together using a Uniball Eye rollerball pen in black, some cartridge paper, glue, watercolour paints and a tiny bit of felt tip and ballpoint pen.

Creative Links #19: Sketching Small, New York Blossom and Having Fun Getting Things Done

Blossom tree

Every week I share a few links to things I’ve enjoyed online recently. Here’s this week’s selection – enjoy!

Drawing on Tinted Paper

Fressias on brown paper

A new semester at Sketchbook Skool started last Friday so I’m currently working on the assignment for Jonathan Twingley‘s klass, which is totally different from the kind of thing I normally do. The semester is all about ‘Stretching’ though so it seems appropriate.

I still have some of the weekly email assignments to work on, though, and this one was inspired by Brenda Swenson. She suggested using watercolour paints on different surfaces, specifically tinted papers. Because there’s no white paper to show through for highlights she wanted to see how we made use of white watercolour paint or gouache.

I’ve not used tinted papers before but bought an A5 kraft paper album from Paperchase to give myself lots of room to experiment. I haven’t got around to using watercolours in it yet but I did buy a Uniball Signo pigment pen in white and really like the effect of it against the brown background.

This drawing’s from a photograph of some freesias growing in our window boxes and the green and yellow (and a bit of grey) are just felt tip pens.

Creative Links #18: Tommy Kane in Hong Kong, Sketching People and Slowing Down

White freesia flower

Every week I share a few links to things I’ve enjoyed online. This week’s selection is mostly (although not entirely) about sketching people, which is something I had another go at the other day. Even if you’re not a sketcher I hope you enjoy these links:

Creating a Story on a Page

Sketches of peopl

I’m doing these interim Sketchbook Skool assignments in some sort of random order. This week the email prompt was from Veronica Lawlor who suggested a way to create a story on a sketchbook page.

Her idea was to spend around 2 hours in a busy place sketching all the little stories you see while you sit there. By stories, she means any event, no matter how tiny – in my case it included people taking photographs, a man waiting for someone with his arms folded, another man pushing a bicycle along beside him and kids playing around on some big stainless steel spheres.

People Sketches

Now I didn’t spend anywhere close to 2 hours on these sketches – more like 20 minutes, maybe 30 at the most. I always find the idea of drawing moving people very daunting because as soon as you start sketching they can have moved again or gone away. Which explains why one or two people on my pages have no head or legs.

It’s definitely a good way of loosening up my drawing though and avoiding any perfectionist tendencies that might naturally creep in.

Drawing in public places is starting to feel more comfortable too. I’m seeking out places where I feel happy to sit and draw and I’m slowly feeling more OK about people noticing that I’m drawing. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?