Figure with Pen and Watercolour

Ten participants joined me yesterday for a full day of exploring the costume figure in pen and watercolour. The workshop introduced several approaches that can be applied when sketching on site.  Each participant created three drawings. Our reference material was taken from Master paintings, which I scanned and copied. I used a photo from a past workshop for my final demo of the day.

My first demos were of figures from my experience and imagination. I used basic shapes, such as triangles and ovals, much as cartoonists do in order to build the figure to the left. Many of the Old Masters were able to create figures on paper or canvas without always looking at a model and used a similar process. I did the preliminary drawing with pencil and applied a sepia watercolour wash before using the pen. The pen added detail and definition. This drawing and the one below were made on hot press watercolour paper.

The sequence above shows my demo of a gleaner by Millet. I employed the value/glazing process that has been shown in earlier posts from our winter term. In Step Three I work pen into the entire drawing with hatching, parallel strokes of the pen. I save the darkest darks for Step Four and develop them with cross-hatching. Attention is paid to line weight, as well. Some areas show darker, heavier lines. I don’t use a consistent outline anywhere but allow gaps along edges of the figure.

My final demo of the day was from a photo taken during my 2008 workshop in Syracuse, Sicily. I’ve used considerable artistic license with the painting gear at his feet. Pencil, quickly brushed watercolour leaving lots of untouched paper-white  and pen. This was done on cold press watercolour paper. I hope you like it, Don.


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6 Responses to “Figure with Pen and Watercolour”

  1. Leslie Says:

    Did he like it? Thanks for a great day.


  2. Erin Hill Says:

    Yes I do like them. I really like the last one. You get the personality of the chap so well. The technique is just right. It’s not too overcooked.

  3. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    Thank you for sharing these. We are all students aren’t we?

  4. Lois Says:

    Thank you for sharing these Great Lessons!!

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