I have always drawn with regular graphite pencils. They’ve been a constant – regardless of whether I happen to be into oils, pastels, coloured pencils at any particular time. These days I carry “clutch” pencils in different widths with me at all times in my pockets or shoulder bag. They don’t require a sharpener and are just very convenient.
For a long time, I’ve been using Conté or pastel pencils on toned pastel paper for life drawing. However, over the last few months, I’ve been enjoying going back to basics and using an HB or 2B graphite pencil on regular white cartridge paper. Rarely are these drawings done over more than 40 minutes. The majority will be done in far shorter time and the sketchbooks I’m using are either A3 or A4 in size. My principle concern is to get the overall “gesture” of the pose down together with a sense of the main shadow areas. I try not to allow myself to get drawn into too much detail and prefer to work standing with my pencil at almost arm’s length – which certainly helps!
This gallery also includes a few graphite drawings of buildings. These are mostly commissions or otherwise done for special purposes. I try for a sufficient degree of accuracy without the drawings becoming “architectural” examples. Recently, being back close to Norwich Castle Museum again, I have been very impressed with the drawings of Henry Bright (b. Saxmundham, Suffolk 1810/14 – 1873). Bright is not so well known now – but was a member of the “Norwich” School better known through artists such as Cotman, Chrome and others. He did some fantastic sketches of rural buildings and I strive to get something of his economy, tonal accuracy and sense of “place” in my own drawings – but there’s a long way to go!