Artwork of the Week

“Glen Rosa Drawing Project – Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine – 27th November 2014 – 9th January 2015″

The first week!

Well then, yesterday saw me reach the end of day 7 on this huge drawing. As you can see, we didn’t get video of the first 3 days but in all honesty, it was pretty tedious! I have, as you know, been working on a whole series of test drawings in which I’ve tried to experiment with both the way I use the graphite and the overall composition. I have then a reasonable idea of the very basic composition and the type of image I want the finished piece to be, but of course, as soon as you increase the scale…everything is different. As such the first day was spent tediously measuring out the drawing area into rough blocks 0.75m x 0.75m and then very vaguely marking in a few of the main elements of the drawing.

Days 2 and 3 were pretty daunting as I wanted to cover the entire area of the drawing with finely scribbled line. The purpose of this is to give me something to start working in to and on to. This entire drawing is going to be created using different types of scribbled line; some thin and feint, some broad and dark, using 9B graphite pencils. As I said, putting in the first layer of fine marks seemed never ending. I started at the right hand side and worked my way left, but just like climbing a steep hill, where the summit never seems to get any closer, here the left hand edge of the drawing always seemed out of reach!… perhaps if I hadn’t spent so much time talking, drinking coffee and going for lunch, I may have reached the end of the first layer sooner!

From this point onwards I have been trying to create the basic structure of the drawing. My viewpoint is up at the head of Glen Rosa on the Isle of Arran, where the mountains curve around in a great arc. In this drawing I have, to start with, tried to indicate the shapes of the principal peaks and ridges. As with all my work, I’m not trying to produce an accurate record of the view or skyline, but merely create something that gives the feel of the place. Interestingly, I’ve had a number of people come up to me who’ve seen the drawing at this stage and who have immediately said that it looked like Glen Rosa.

I’ve almost completed this second stage of the drawing and have about another hours’ work to do…then things start becoming more interesting. In the next few days, I’ll be starting to increase the tones and scale of marks and will be starting to use erasers to rub back through the different layers. It’s very exciting and I’m thoroughly enjoying doing this piece. The Harbour Arts Centre is a great location for such a project and it is already generating a lot of interest, as visitors to the centre find this strange artist madly scribbling away. If you live in the area, do pop in at some stage. It would be great to see you. If I’m running out of time to get the drawing completed, I may just give you a pencil and tell you to get scribbling!

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