Drawing with Kate Boucher

Posted by on Jun 11, 2017 in News, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Wrabness in Spring

Back to the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at West Dean College – fantastic teaching in a beautiful setting. 

Today we were discovering how to use charcoal to draw landscapes – and also thinking about how we discover new ideas. 

Kate Boucher is a QEST scholar and has thought deeply about how we have creative ideas (i.e. what sparks them in the first place) and how we develop them, as well as being a fine artist in textiles, forged steel and charcoal. She is also a wonderful teacher and full of ideas as well as practical ways to approach creating a piece of art. 

Today was incredibly useful –  we used one photograph over and over again as an inspiration for charcoal drawings, sometimes combined with watercolour and /or graphite

We learned:

  • not to use the charcoal like a pencil but to use it on its side, or held loosely at the end of piece exploiting its natural properties rather than trying to make it work like something it is not. It is a an organic material, essentially a twig. 
  • the difference between conte and willow charcoal, the former being compressed with a binder and less likely to splinter or crumble
  • to use our fingers to apply watercolours (not to apply charcoal or to smear charcoal as the sweat and proteins shed by our fingers makes the charcoal less amenable to being rubbed away)
  • to use cotton cloths to both remove or attenuate or  spread charcoal out on the page in a thin almost luminous layer
  • to use rubber erasers to remove charcoal – both putty rubbers and hard rubbers.  There are even subdivisions of rubber erasers within these subdivisions – they make very different ‘marks’ 
  • to time ourselves to take actions and experiment within limited parameters and with limited equipment so that we explore the idea to its limits 
  • to spend 1- 5 minutes only on each sketch 
  • to deckle our paper with a wooden knife (very effective)
  • to organise ourselves so there is minimum time between having an idea and finding the equipment to execute it! (note to self, get organised)

    charcoal Wrabness

    another one minute charcoal sketch

All in all a wonderfully useful day – and the idea of exploring how we come to a creative idea and then do we begin to understand how we want to use it that idea. 

I will certainly use what I learned today in my textile work …a few images below. 

charcoal sketch

Charcoal in a minute


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