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Friday, May 25, 2007

A Work In Progress


Last year I visited Burghley House in Stamford, famous for it's annual horse trials and appearances in films such as Pride and Prejudice & The Da Vinci Code.

Burghley is a beautiful house, full to the brim of treasures such as the 'Heavenly Room & Hell Staircase' fresco's by Antonio Verrio. During my visit I purchased a nice glossy programme as a souvenir and on Wednesday evening, while browsing through it, I decided to sketch the marble statue of two boys with a dolphin.

I sketched with pigment liner direct, usually I would use a pencilled structure sketch for figure work but recently have been challenging myself to lose the safety net. My purpose for this challenge is to:

1. Gain confidence in my abilities & judge my development (Like a self assessment)
2. Detect my weaknesses so I may work on those areas more
3. Explore my creative side

...That is what a sketch is for after all right?

To totally beat myself up against a wall, I also added a time limit of 10 minutes (as you do!). My reasoning behind that little challenge was to keep me from becoming too picky, keeping the sketch fluid and lively - No time to think, just sketch!

It isn't perfect but I am quite pleased with it overall, I especially like the handling of the features on the right cherub and I am amazed at how much all my recent sketchbook work has improved my ability.

I promised myself a whole summer wondering around with my sketchbooks and I am loving every moment but, just now and then, I wonder if I should be doing something more productive with my work, then I browse through my (far too many) sketchbooks, see the images strengthen, the confidence build page by page and remind myself that I AM doing something productive, I am growing, learning, sharpening my vision and gradually gaining enough confidence to play with that vision and make it my own.

I am...as every artist should be...A work in progress!

16 comments:

Lin said...

Oh MY, Anita! To do such fantastic work in 10 minutes!! WOW! SOMEDAY I will be able to do that -- but meantime, like you, I'm a work in progress -- as is the improvement in my art -- and so, I keep filling skethbooks.....

Robyn said...

I'm impressed too! You are an inspiration, Anita.

Dave said...

I love the rather startled expression on the dolphin's face! Sounds like a very worthwhile challenge, and certainly very well executed. Did you outline the figures first?

Anita said...

"I sketched with pigment liner direct, usually I would use a pencilled structure sketch for figure work but recently have been challenging myself to lose the safety net."
LOL...Dave the whole point of this exercise was to sketch straight from the pen, no outline in pencil! ;)

Anita said...

Good for you Lin!
Thankyou for your lovely comments!

Anita said...

Bless you Robyn! :)

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Another great drawing.

Anita said...

Thankyou Andrea!

Dave said...

Yes, I noticed that! What I meant was, did you outline them in pen before hatching the background or did you define the forms by hatching the background? I only ask because I've been experimenting with negative drawing (as I believe it is called).

Anita said...

Oh I see...My apologies Dave.
For the most part, I did outline them first, the background hatching was added as I went along in sections.

laserone said...

This is really neat! Very unique! Oh, how I'd LOVE to see that house in real life!

Anita said...

Thankyou Laser. Burghley is just stunning, my favourite stately home so far I think.

Lynn said...

Wow, that's really great! You don't really need that safety net. Wonderful!

Anita said...

Thankyou Lynn, I'm flattered you think that.

phthaloblu said...

Awesome 10 minutes! Great job!

Anita said...

Thanx Phthaloblu!