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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Girl on number 73 Bus

Girl on number 73 Bus
Originally uploaded by Peter Gander
No, it’s not painted from life (sorry, purists ;) - I’d spill my ink on the bus! No, it’s drawn from a photo. I never trace, of course, but draw freehand by eye, using the photo at arms length as a loose reference point. This stylish young woman had a very characterful face and a lovely-to-paint fake leopard print coat. Quink ink on Khadi handmade Indian paper.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Running rabbit (linocut) 091118

Still on the subject of English countryside fauna, here's a running rabbit linocut that I cut last night. The blue and green inks were blended on the roller, an effective technique behind the negative shape of the rabbit. In this particular artists' print, the ink was running low, but I do like the fatigued effect that comes with that. I also cut away the hard-lined edge of the block to soften the look. Oil-based ink on cartridge paper.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Black as the Night (crow) 091117

Black as the Night Crow © Peter Gander
Did this during lunchtime at work. Drawn in white Conté Pastel pencil, or rather, not drawn, as everything but the crow is drawn of course! On Daler-Rowney black sketchbook. The smaller crows were ticked in afterwards with a black Conté pastel pencil. With my new passion for relief printmaking, I see a strong future for this kind of image with its strong design and mono appeal.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Whitstable Fish Market Figure, hand-coloured

Not a great image quality as I had to shoot it behind glass now it's up in 'the exhibition (ends tomorrow). The colours here (for those local, 'in-the-know types) are the original colours he was painted in, not the current colour scheme of garish process yellow, etc. The original figure had nicer, egg-yolk yellow waterproofs and the cod was as shown, as opposed to the flat silver he's now rendered in.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Whitstable fishing boat 091102

One for my current exhibition, this is a tiny (8cm square) watercolour of a fishing boat at low tide. The gritty mussel-bed shore revealed in the foreground. In the distance is the Isle of Sheppey in the Thames estuary. The scan failed to pick up the subtleties of the pinks (rose madder) in the sky to the top left which you’d have to see in the flesh at the show to appreciate ;) Watercolour on Langton (NOT) rough paper. SOLD (Fri 6 Nov 09)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Maunsell Fort - ‘Standing Sentry’ watercolour

Whilst the former print (see previous post) was drying, I painted this version, based on the same sketch, but drawn ‘by eye’ rather than traced for a freer feeling. Drawn in fine waterproof pen first, it has my ‘trademark’ use of wax resist evident in the clouds/sky.

Maunsell Fort - foamboard print

An experiment in alternatives to lino, I made this print from what we call in the UK ‘Foamboard‘, otherwise known by brand names such Foamcore or Featherlite, which is (normally) used for mounting design work. The central area of the face of the fort has been stripped of its paper shell, leaviung the textured foam to create an uneven surface which I scratched to attain a fatigued, rusted effect which worked well. What didn't work well was the lifesapn of the medium as it soon compressed with the rollering and burnishing process. The russet colour only is printed in oil-based ink, the rest of the painting is hand-coloured with watercolour. SOLD (Dec 2010)

The Maunsell Forts

A bit of background to the two latest paintings first. The Maunsell Sea Forts in the Thames and Mersey estuary are a series of small fortified towers built a few miles from shore during World War II to help defend the UK and especially London, during The Blitz. The Thames estuary was seen as a chink in the British armoury as it provided a relatively smooth path to London for the German airforce to fly over, avoiding the anti-aircraft guns which proliferated on the terra firma of Kent and Essex. The individual anti-aircraft tower sets comprise seven interconnected steel platforms, five carried guns arranged in a semi-circle around the control centre and accommodation while the seventh, set further out than the gun towers, was the searchlight tower. The forts are named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. Two of Maunsell’s fortification 'pods', Red Sands and Shivering Sands, are visible on a clear day from both Whitstable and Herne Bay (North Kent) shorelines but also looking south from the North side of the Thames estuary (county of Essex). They were decommissioned in the late 1950s but were used by various pirate radio stations during the 60s and 70s. These days you can see them up close and personal by boat trip from Whitstable and Herne Bay harbours.