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Friday, 13 September 2013

Planted by the Rivers of Water

My first inspiration from Psalms...

The book of Psalms has been a close friend to me over the years, rich in nuggets of encouragement, personal emotional conflicts experienced by the great psalmist himself and how these matters tied in with his spiritual journey. In some way it deals with issues on  a very fine level and just unravels a knot in one's heart with a single breathtaking line or shared experience.

Planted by the Rivers
"He" (the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord) "shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper." Ps. 1:3

As you can see, this man is bearing a variety of fruits in different parts of himself. Some of us specialize in one kind of fruit of the Lord. This is treasured just as much! I think even wanting to bear fruit is the beginning of having "life more abundantly".

I used my INKTENSE pencils (and water for blending) to create this image, first sketching the outlines in pencil, and then gradually building up the colour. I laid down very soft general washes or each colour region, ie. shades of green and yellow over the river banks, blue and indigo in the river (leaving lots of white areas), and of course various browns for the tree bark.

Once the first layer had dried, I detailed the leaves, fruit, grasses, exposed earth and water using the same pencils. I enjoyed experimenting with different colours to create shadows and nuances and even used some Fuschia in the tree trunk! And Peacock Blue in the shady grass... Sometimes such splashes help bring a picture more to life, just using an unexpected colour where most people would agree they are seeing, say, brown only.

More to follow soon...!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Dots and crosses...

I have been thoroughly inspired by Albrecht Durer's works, after a friend mentioned his sketching style to me. What an engaging pen technique! I wanted to try my hand at it immediately after scanning through rows and rows of these masterpieces.

I know this particular artwork has been prolifically reproduced into countless forms since its creation, and might perhaps best be given a breather to simply be appreciated in its original loveliness. But what can I say - I fell into the same temptation of so many before me, eagerly reached for my Superfine Faber Castell and 4B Staedtler, and before I knew it, the lines were weaving together on my page... and yet another rendition of this work was born. All I can say is, it was a wonderful experience, and I was a little sad when I had to persuade myself it was actually done, any more might spoil it... 

A study of Albrecht Durer's "Praying Hands"
Superfine Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen on 120gsm sketch paper

Original by Durer - thank you Wikipedia!

Those hands really speak to me of the person they belong to - something tender and simple in his heart intermingled with the weathering and humility brought by hardship. Well-used hands too I would say, judging from the "milking muscle" next to his thumb! I'm sure he was a vegetable gardener too...

There are a few more artworks lined up for sharing, so have a peek again tomorrow!