How I began drawing and how I found my ‘style’

I thought it might be fun to set up a blog page so that you can find out a bit more about me and my artwork, so here it is! For the first post I thought I would provide a bit of background about my art journey to date.

I first remember being interested in drawing around the age of 14.  I went through a phase of trying to copy illustrations out of a children’s book and although they weren’t dreadful, they weren’t great either! At the time I believed that being any good at art was black and white – a person could either draw, or they couldn’t.  After a short time, I reached the conclusion that I couldn’t draw and so put my paper and pencils away.

It would be just over twenty years before I picked them up again.  I have been a keen writer since a young child and back in 2015 decided that a children’s book I was writing would be better with a few illustrations.  I didn’t want to pay somebody to illustrate it, so thought that I would have a go myself (click on the gallery image to show more detail)…

These first illustrations were the start of my art journey and as you can see, are quite a long way away from where I am today.  Although they weren’t anything brilliant, I was super chuffed that they were vaguely recognisable as the objects I was trying to draw and within a matter of days, I was totally hooked and wanted to see if I could get any better at it.

Over the next few months, I had fun experimenting with different styles.  I knew I was drawn to black and white artwork, but wasn’t sure whether I wanted to work with ink or pencil or both (click on the gallery image to show more detail).

Bit by bit, I started to add more detail to my drawings although I pretty much stayed with buildings and street scenes as subject matter. I went out and about taking lots of photos of villages around me and then shut myself away to spend hour after hour drawing what I had photographed.

I had a lot to learn about paper types, ink types, pencil types…for a long time I used a standard ink pen to draw with, not realising that the ink wasn’t light-fast and would fade over time.  I bought myself a few different pads of paper and experimented with them.

For a long time I used an off the shelf ink pen rather than one designed for use by artists.

Bit by bit, I became more confident with the materials I was using and began to introduce more detail to my drawings.

his culminated in my ‘Villages and Street Scenes’ artwork, which began to sell in shops around the Peak District. However, whilst I loved drawing this type of subject matter, I was still unsure of a style that felt 100% like ‘me’.

In January 2016, I attempted to draw an animal for the first time….pretty dreadful result!…

I decided to leave drawing animals and didn’t have another attempt until June 2016…

I was much happier with the result this time around and so began the start of really honing in on my style.

These days I have naturally settled into graphite drawings and have largely left the ink behind.  There is something special for me about creating an image using the most basic of tools and I love capturing the detail of animals and buildings as shown in my most recent drawings…

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