Architectural Elements in Pen and W/C

I had originally offered this workshop for Saturday, the 19th of February. Due to demand, I ran it on Sunday as well. Both groups were very enthusiastic and worked hard on some challenging exercises.

Our first drawing was based on a photo taken on the island of Rhodes when I led a painting holiday there a few years ago. We tried to understand the subject in terms of basic forms and volumes, mainly cylinders in this case.

Step one is an atmospheric wash over the pencil drawing. The next step shows the gradual development of values with cross-hatching. The final step shows more attention to darks, detail and texture. The fourth image is the demonstration from Sunday.

Our second exercise was a belfry done with a sepia wash and pen. I provided photo reference. We discussed concepts such as placing an arch in the centre of a wall in perspective. I’ll let the students show you their first two drawings.

Saturday Critique

Sunday Critique

Our third and last drawing (busy day, eh?) was based on a watercolour demonstration that I often do in Mexico.

I paint the interior area of an arch with a fairly dark blue-grey wash. I add a few more values to define the space. When these washes are dry, I paint the potted plants directly over the dark wash. The colours  of the potted plants inside the arch are muted by the blue-grey wash underneath but it seems to work. They appear to be back in the shadows. Placing another plant in the sunshine really emphasizes the difference. We did a simplified version of this using pen and wash. The two steps below are from different days.

Time flew by and another hour might have been useful if we hadn’t all been exhausted. Some of the drawings will be finished at home. The real goal of the workshop was to explore concepts about drawing and painting architectural subjects; ideas that can be put into practice on your next plein air painting holiday.


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5 Responses to “Architectural Elements in Pen and W/C”

  1. ButterflyHands Says:

    Lovely sketches Barry. I am going to do this too. Add a wash to my pen sketches.

  2. patleary Says:

    Barry, this day was the most productive 6 hours I’ve spent in a long time. As usual, your organization was flawless. A great, practical review of perspective ended with a fun exercise – objects in the shade! … Highly recommended!!

  3. Carol King Says:

    I really enjoyed reading about the architectural elements and I especially enjoyed your archway demo. Thanks.

  4. Barry Coombs Says:

    Pen is great on it’s own but adding a wash can give it a whole other dimension.

    Pat: Thanks for the testimonial. Can I use it? I’m glad you enjoyed the day.

    Carol: That archway seemed to be a real eyeopener for all of the participants. I can’t wait to do it again on location in Mexico.

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