As a bookseller one aspect of my job is reading. Another aspect of bookselling, something I started doing in my family’s bookshops when I was quite young is that you see and talk to a lot of people. Whether it’s because of this or just because of the toys that were already loose in my attic, I don’t know, but for many years now I terrible difficulty recognising people.
Now on the whole when I paint I paint from life, but today I have been pencil sketching and painting from photographs. This is a bit of a mixed issue, as I said in yesterday’s post I had some problems with my watercolour painting in Canterbury Cathedral crypt. The upshot of this is I have decided to break the artistic rules and guidelines I made for myself a while ago – these were only to paint directly from life and to do the whole painting in watercolour without any pencil guidelines. I suppose the sketches in Turner Contemporary also partly figure here as sketching in the galleries I had to do as pen and wash.
I set myself different rules today, which was to make pencil sketches from Wikipedia of the two authors I am reading at the moment, the pictures on the wikipedia page are very small so I sketched very small. After this the rule was to turn them into watercolour sketches using an eraser and a brush. Then after having done all this to click on the photo so it expanded and see where I had gone wrong.
Anyway my children’s fiction reading at the moment is Garth Nix “The Keys to the Kingdom” series, so partly as and aid to my memory here is the sketch.
If you haven’t investigated this area then it is worth pointing out that fantasy fiction aimed at the 12 to 18 age group is particularly good at the moment and Garth Nix is one of the best of a very good bunch. The whole field which has its roots in the fairy tail is very significant in the area of the development of the story and from that fiction as a whole.
The main error in this sketch for me was misjudging the darkening between the subjects teeth which looked black in the small picture, probably because of the contrast.
The adult fiction book I am reading at the moment is John Banville’s The Revolutions Trilogy about Copernicus, Kepler and Newton. Once again a very good writer and if you are interested in science, which I am, a must read.
So here is the watercolour sketch of John Banville.
In terms of likenesses, working at this sort of size I am not sure if they will improve much, I hope they will as I do a lot of my sketches of real people in cafés and so on and getting the small faces in the background of an A4 watercolour to look like the people is very difficult. I also suppose that drawing authors that I am reading at the moment must have some sort of influence on what the pictures look like.
Of course this is a local blog and I am pretty sure that what most readers want is local content particularly from a local history publisher, so today it’s pictures of local charabancs.
Says on the back of photo Excursion at Minster 1926 27
Notice Pneumatic tyres on front only the first charabanc round these parts to have them
Location Thanet Road Ramsgate Redboure's staff outing 1926 driver Cyril George Crow Girl Mr Redboure's daughter.
And finally the pictures of the books that went away on the shelves of my bookshop today, here is the link http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/this-changes-everything-in-bookshop.html