Wednesday 9 March 2011

Attack Of The Sharpie Marker

Hail and Thunder storms last night and sub-zero temperatures the norm; winter seemingly setting back in again. Needing a springtime shot in the arm I flicked through a few sketchbooks from last year and happened upon a few of my usual suspects. I’ve been involved in various discussions on techniques with other artists and this had me looking back at the work I did last year using a ‘Sharpie’ marker pen and additional watercolour and I thought it about time to revisit this technique.

The use of a marker pen as the preliminary drafting tool immediately sets the tone for the work, creating (as it does) a mark quite unlike anything which occurs in nature, any aspiration one may have to render a ‘naturalistic’ image can be put firmly to one side. Closing this door, however, flings open many alternate possibilities. I find that sketching with the ‘Sharpie’ pen is a liberating process – my usual ambitions displaced temporarily, the drawings are, paradoxically, much more akin to the sketchbook work. In fact it occurs to me that, notwithstanding the medium, there seems to be a very direct link to the field drawings and the ‘finished’ work also echoes the philosophy embedded in the sketchbook; investigation and composition - a sense of time and place. The application of watercolour alters the perception again. Colour unites the composition and also harks back to the original observation – the interpretation of which finds solice in the hues.

“Divers, Hovers, Damsels and Midges", "Spring Eiders" and "Skua Family". . .

. . . Sharpie marker on mount board with watercolour applied: