Monday, 18 November 2019

Miss Penman - Needlework Teacher

(HB pencil on 107mm x 75mm card)
 
It's not often that memories are brought to the surface when doing dreamscape works, but it can sometimes happen, as it has done here.
 
When I started on this piece, the vague shape of the main subject became quickly apparent at the foundation stage. At first, I thought it might be some hooded figure on a smartphone but, as I focused on it more, it developed into someone surprisingly familiar to me. A distant memory from 1984 of a needlework teacher called Miss Penman, casting an expert eye over something I'd made in her class. It may not show her exactly how she was (it is a memory, after all), but there's no doubt that it's her. It dominated the rest of the image which became nothing more than dream construct around her, similar to The Wizard's Cloak piece that I did, but it's a good example of how memories and dreams can coincide.
 
And I wonder what happened to Miss Penman after she left Thornhill High School....

Saturday, 5 October 2019

The Proposition

(2B pencil on a 139mm x 87mm postcard)
 
A juxtapop piece, similar to the Cut-Price Holidays work that I did a few years ago. These juxtapops are meant to look like single comic-book frames with a completely unconnected common phrase in their speech bubbles. In this case, "I love you. Marry me." It was drawn on a blank postcard with the dimensions you see above, but the image itself measures 85mm x 48mm.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

His Parrot Wife Said Nothing

A6 booklet of Dreamscapes
 
I decided to use another of the small, 8 page, sketch booklets I'd made and filled it with dreamscape works using a HB pencil. As with all dreamscapes, they varied wildly in subject and size. One of the smallest was the one below, which I thought would also make a good title for this blog post:
 
"His Parrot Wife Said Nothing" (38mm x 20mm)
 
And yes, it really is that small, but a good little image. You tend not to question what's going on in them. You just bring the image out, whatever it ends up being. They can be surreal or abstract, mundane or insane. That's the beauty of doing them. I chose this second one from the booklet, because it was more stylised in its appearance, and I liked the resulting look of it. I did consider cutting it out from the booklet and finishing it off as a standalone work, but decided to leave it as it was:
 
"The Pickpocket" (53mm x 43mm)



Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Dreamscape Portrait: TRACEY ULLMAN

(ASPECT 1 : HB pencil 60mm x 40mm)
(ASPECT 2 : HB pencil 60mm x 40mm)
 
The third in this set of portraits seemed to be the most difficult to do for some reason. Even moreso than the Siouxsie Sioux one. I found it a struggle to lock onto the subject, dismissing numerous attempts before managing to complete the ones you see above. Strange, considering that I thought I knew a little more about her, from her time on Three of a Kind, her music career with Stiff Records, her success in the US, to her recent comedy sketch show on BBC1. I therefore assumed doing portraits of her would have been easy. How very wrong I was!
 
ASPECT 1 came about after quite a number of failures. The slight Picasso influence you see within it seemed to come out of nowhere, but I was happy that it did and quickly focussed on it, more out of relief than anything else. It resulted in quite a good piece in the end.
 
ASPECT 2 is more of the cluttered kind of dreamscape work. What I like about it, though, is that it does look like a head exploding. I put that down to the manic nature I perceived in the subject. Perhaps in herself, or in the effect she has on others, and considering the trouble I had doing these portraits, probably the latter!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Dreamscape Portrait: DANNY BAKER

(ASPECT 1 : HB pencil 60mm x 40mm)
(ASPECT 2 : HB pencil 60mm x 40mm)
 
I like Danny Baker, he seems to be a more down-to-earth sort of bloke. What I know of him is that he started out as a journalist for the NME and went on from there. He certainly has an impressive, encyclopedic knowledge of the music industry, and probably an impressive record collection to match. I thought it was unfair the way he was recently treated. All he did was tweet what he thought was a funny photograph which took the piss out of royalty and the upper class, without realising an element of it could be seen as racist. A misjudgement more than anything nasty. The BBC's knee-jerk response was certainly over the top. Surprising, considering what they've been happy to brush under the carpet in the past.
 
ASPECT 1 does look cluttered, and I would have normally dismissed it early on as a piece due to that, but I found that it flows quite well as an image. The highlighted parts helping with this, drawing the eye to the smiley face in the bottom-right corner.
 
ASPECT 2 The character you see in it began to form itself very late in the Rorschaching stage. I was pleasantly surprised that it did, as it does seem to look like someone sorting through a collection of albums, relating well to the subject himself.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Dreamscape Portrait : SIOUXSIE SIOUX

ASPECT 1 : HB pencil 60mm x 40mm
 
ASPECT 2 : HB pencil 60mm x 40mm
 
This was the project that went astray with the Night Terrors piece, but I've had a bit more luck with it this time. The idea behind it was to select well-known people, who I thought were decent sorts, not the usual crop of "slebs" and attempt to do dreamscape portraits of them.
 
One of the first ones that I chose to do was Siouxsie Sioux. Now, I know very little about her, except the music she created with The Banshees and that she was stood in the background of the, now infamous, Bill Grundy interview, where Grundy's response to her ignited the reaction by Steve Jones. I could have found out more about her, but that's not the point of these works (and besides, anything else is none of my business). If I had researched her more, it would have risked these pieces being nothing more than mere fan art, and I didn't want that.
 
ASPECT 1 began to go a little wayward, even when the profile of the woman in it became apparant in the Rorschaching stage. This is probably the reason it became this mish-mash of shapes as I continued to do it. I attempted to sustain the thought of the subject whilst drawing it, but the mind does wander, especially when you zone-out as you work on it.
 
ASPECT 2 clicked almost instantly at the Rorschaching stage and I was able to develop it just like a photo. The only problem I encountered with it was the streak of hair over the ear. It was either going to be that or the character's hand brushing her hair back. I chose the former one and it doesn't look too bad. I actually like the way it hints at the character's hand, as if it's morphed into what it is.
 
These images aren't supposed to look like her. They're meant to be "aspects" of her based on a fixed thought which dominates the works. Sort of like a portrait of an idea of someone. How this will evolve as I attempt others, is yet to be seen.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Dreamscape : NIGHT TERRORS

(HB pencil on card - 60mm x 40mm)
 
This was something of an unusual piece. I started on a project that, like the tutorial video, had a specific set frame to it, but it didn't seem to go the way I thought it would. The problem there was that I was attempting to sustain a thought as I was doing the piece, but kept on being distracted, so it went off on a tangent into something else. I'd destroyed a couple of previous attempts at this method, but decided to keep this one.
 
I'm still pleased with the work itself but, as for the project intended, I think I might need a bit more practice on that one, with fewer distractions.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Dreamscape Tutorial Video


 
 
Well, the Dreamscape Tutorial video is complete, as you can see above. I've also placed it in a full, written tutorial on its own page on this blog. I'm sure those that have a go at this form of Skav Art might just enjoy it, even if they do feel they have limited drawing skills. I also decided to finish the artwork I did in the tutorial, as you see below:
 
(HB pencil on 63mm x 35mm card)


Thursday, 31 January 2019

Dreamscape - Speed Tests

"Sleeping Beauty" (HB pencil on 63mm x 35mm card)
 
For the past few weeks, I've been working towards producing a short video on the Dreamscaping technique of automatic drawing (surrealist automatism). I realised that I couldn't do these at the current scale that I usually do them, which is near postcard size, as that would take far too long. So I needed a more acceptable size that I could view with the limited videoing equipment that I have, which is just the video function on my compact camera. In the end, I opted for 63mm x 35mm. The reason it's so specific is because I simply used a piece of off-cut card which looked the right size and drew around it as a template.
 
Before any video could be made, I had to time myself doing a piece this size. The first one was "Sleeping Beauty" shown above, but even at that size, I found myself getting carried away with it and forgetting the time limitations I needed for it. In the end, it took 1 hour, ten minutes to do. It's a good little piece, showing the remnants of a broken-down android forever staring at another amongst all the other refuse, but the time it took was way over the 30 minute limit I had in mind for them, so the work had to be more sketchy.
 
Now, a quick sketch is easy to do. A few minutes is all it would take. The internet is filled with videos of people doing just that, but the Dreamscape technique I use takes just a little more time.
 
"Elven Harassment" (HB pencil on 63mm x 35mm card)
 
"Elven Harassment" is more of a sketch in quality, but does its job, as it took 28 minutes to do. I've no idea what's going on in that image, but I do like the fact that the elf looks as if she's about to punch him. The final video I'll be making, obviously, won't be around that timeframe. It will be sped-up to around 3 minutes, but should clearly show the techniques used and the randomness of the image produced.
 
It's still a work in progress....
 

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Merry Christmas 2018 : The Last Nativity

The Last Nativity - "Starboy" (HB pencil on 110mm x 90mm paper)

This "starboy" character depicts a child in a nativity play costume. He's a secondary character in the accompanying story that I used as a Christmas card. That's not surprising, as I usually draw the picture first before I write the story, as I have done with previous Christmas cards. It's a simple image, but it does pretty much sum up the story that I wrote for it. So, sit back and enjoy a night at the St. Mary's Primary School nativity play....
 

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