I may have come late to painting, but I’ve drawn all my life. It’s the best feeling to be making marks. Of course drawing can be many things. Meticulously rendered or scribbled, made with pencils, waxy crayons, biros, fountain pens and mapping pens with scratchy, spluttering steel nibs. Stylographs. (A pen with a hollow needle like a hypodermic through which ink passes from a reservoir.) Chinese pens whittled from bamboo and calligraphic brushes from China for fat-bellied strokes of ink tapering to whippy flourishes. Sticks of smudgy charcoal and pigment-rich Conté pencil… a favourite of mine. Chalk. Pastels dry and crumbly that need fixing with aerosol or the marks fall off the paper, and the greasy variety with pigment held in hardened oil. Quills dipped in ink, but twigs dipped in ink will do and I have some much loved ones. Silverpoint pencils that make ravishing marks by depositing tiny amounts of metal onto the paper, the stuff of alchemy. (See HERE for more information on this most delicate of drawing tools.) Candy-coloured barley-twist blown-glass pens from Bohemia with ribbed points that hold the ink. Plain sticks with which to draw in sand or earth, etching needles through wax, penknives sliced through tree bark, scorch marks onto paper. Bradawls for making sgraffito lines through wet paint. Threads worked on textile. (The Bayeux tapestry is in effect a drawing made with coloured threads.) The man-made mark is endless in variety. Drawings can be vigourously worked with dense shading and tone or delicately conjured out of thin, fugitive lines.
Here are some pencil drawings from my archive. No dates or titles. Just working drawings, the kind I make as preparatory studies. No rubbing out. New marks made on top of old. All the lines showing, everything evolving and alive. This is to be an occasional series, so more later. (I apologise that these haven’t been posted at a higher definition.)