For our second 'lockdown zoom' demo Hannah Twine provided us with a delightful trio of delicate yet very technically accomplished exhibits.
An introductory look through her extensive back catalogue gave us a feel for the range of her subject matter [predominently low-key pictorial 'stories', landscapes, portraits of adults, children and pets, and wildlife]. (Click on web address above to see her work).
We were then talked through the development of
a charcoal and pencil drawing of a hare
a polychromos pencil rendition of the fur and eyes of a fluffy cat and
working in oils, a charming portrait of a young relative
Photos were taken using screengrabs, a selection of which are shown here. Since the camera angle rarely changed we present these screengrabs in a sort of stop- animation format, with one display for each of the three artworks.
For monochrome drawing Hannah may on occasion use Progresso graphite pencils, a 2B, an 8B, an H and HB,, a cotton bud, graphite powder, a sharp wooden point, a paper stump (for controlled smudging), and a propelling rubber which is like a propelling pencil for drawing fine erasures such as light hair marks.
The sharp point was used for scoring the paper prior to drawing, leaving behind e.g. light whisker lines.
To start she marks the placing of the top and bottom of the head, and considers the location of the main features such as eyes. Other positions may be judged in terms of 'How many eye widths?' etc.
After getting the 'big shapes' correct, she began with short sharp strokes to indicate the direction of fur and scored the 'whisker' lines. The paper stump then softened the coat and her 2B darkened some tones (which appears to lighten other parts).
Hannah then used the edge of the Progresso pencils to cover a large area scruffily (in a good way!) and quickly. 8B was used to fill undetailed dark areas including the very dark pupil area, while H was used to outline the eyes. The paper stump softened the edges of the eye, graphite powder was rubbed into a quick background with a tissue, and the propelling rubber came in to draw some fine white details.
A beautiful lively hare appeared before our eyes! Fabulous!
This was a demo with Polychromos pencils using burnt ochre, nougat [grey], sepia, white, and yellow ochre. Hannah prefers to work with one colour at a time and began by picking out a 'wash' of burnt ochre. She used longer strokes for the longer hairs, smoothed things with the stump, and added areas of light patterning in white.
The coat was smoothed out using the double-pointed paper stump. Hannah uses one end for light colours and the other separately for darker tones. These stumps are cheap and cannot be sharpened but they can be cleaned using fine sandpaper to extend their life.
The irises were coloured in a pale green and a 'scribbled' dark background was created using the crayon's edge, smoothed with the stump.
#3 Child Portrait
This was a portrait of a young relative done in oils, using a filbert, 2 sables, 2 rounds, low-odour solvent, quick-drying medium, and a palette of lead white [don't eat or use as toothpaste!], yellow ochre, cadmium red light, terra rosa, raw umber, cobalt blue, French ultramarine, burnt umber, and ivory black.
Hannah made a raw umber wash with burnt sienna up the arm. Starting with dark shadows she went on to build up the mid-tones ending up with the light accents.
Hannah noted the general point that if a colour comes out too yellow [say] then you moderate it with a touch of the complementary [purple, if yellow etc]. With practice this becomes second nature. She also observed thatlips and ears are a higher colour tone - hence the terra rosa and light red.
These pictures tell 1000 words each, so let's leave it there. :-) Another spirited and vivacious picture.
Finally some useful tips from Hannah:-