Thursday, 11 December 2008

Studying lines and squiggles

Kew Watermarks #1 - a study
coloured pencils on Arches HP
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I've always liked the sort of squiggly lines you get with reflections of straight lines in water which has air movement across its surface.

I started the above drawing about two years ago after a visit to the Kew Gardens. I found some water which was obviously designed to pick up reflections from the glass house - which it did beautifully - and I was transfixed. It became almost meditative to watch how they changed with very slight changes in the airflow across the otherwise still water.

I tried to do a picture afterwards but couldn't get anywhere with it.

After nine days of watching eight other people talk about water and show me water I picked up my pencils yesterday and finished it. I'm calling it a study as I want do more and to try and improve it!

Maybe in pastels?


Jeanette Jobson said...

You really have an abstract feel going on with this Katherine. Its quite intriguing. I think it would lend itself to pretty much any medium.

Gesa said...

I like this a lot - as I do those lines and reflections irl. As Jeanette says: probably any medium, but one which makes lights easy may be better.
Only on second reading I realised the bit how you left it maturing for such a long time. But I sympathise with that: I've tried lines of ink for some of the wave patters, watermarks on the shoreline earlier in autumn but didn't feel I was getting there, so I switched to pastel for the time being. Am curious to see where you'll take this next.

Lindsay said...

Katherine, this is really lovely. The movement and color are very lively. Have you seen the work of Brice Marden? I'm thinking of his later stage work that used a kind of calligraphy line.

Tina Mammoser said...

Great study Katherine and really highlights one of the main problems new artists have with water - it isn't actually lines. In your experience you've captured how some 'lines' are dark while others are light, some edges are sharp and some blue, and that even the blue of the water changes and shifts around the area.

Studies of simple squiggles in water (done simply or with much finished care!) are so much fun aren't they?

Laura Frankstone said...

Love the simplicity and abstraction of these lines and shapes.

te said...

I love the lines and movement! This technique works well in wax! Here's a couple paintings I did this year, called, Flow and Delta.

Link to view at
(slideshow format - click into slide #11 and #14)

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

A great study and me too, I enjoy its abstract feel. Would love to see it in pastels, oil pastels would be great too.

Making A Mark said...

Thanks for all the comments - It was a bit different for me!

I think it'll be interesting to maybe have a go with pastel as it'll work well (hopefully) with that slight glazed/scumbling look. Alternatively maybe a watercolour or gouache underpainting and coloured pencil on top/

Tina - These are not ripple lines as such. The water is at the back of the Princess of Wales Glasshouse and the lines relate to reflections of proper lines. My recollection is that the colour difference and edges you can see is entirely about the perspective on and difference of colour in the lines. The slight changes in colours are reflections of the ambient colours in that area on a sunny day.