Dear Cleo 17 04 13


Dearest Cleo

Well I know you are in Dorset now and I hope you spent the day on the beach at Weymouth I remember it well from when I was a boy and I was there more recently with your Mum and Aunty Loz. Enjoy it well and I know you won’t forget to send me a postcard.

Me, I have had a traumatic but enjoyable few days mostly centred around my Google hangout with my tutor, it involved a lot of writing and much thinking but tonight I have relaxed and created the final drawing for project one of part two of the course.

Figure 1 (17 04 12) Elvis has left the Apollo, Charcoal on A2 200lb hot pressed watercolour paper

The Apollo was a good well behaved and very still model and surprisingly easy to draw, the watercolour paper was a good choice, it was robust and had a wonderful textural quality when combined with the charcoal. I went with a mid grey charcoal ground adding the darks after sculpting the piece with the putty rubber. It was good to work on a larger scale drawing and I am pleased that the drawing has a variety of mark making and texture and I think it has a sense of energy and vibration.

Consciously working without line with a classical sculpture is difficult, especially as the original artist has accentuated the linear forms in the hair and clothing to contrast with the organic rounded flesh forms. The drawing took maybe two and a half hours; I shudder to think how long it took the original artist to sculpt this.

The objectives? There is a definite sense of space between the figure and the ground, it is kept shallow by the cast shadow to the right of the head. Depth is most obvious in the sculpted forms of the head and clothing and there is a definite sense of volume in the form.

I think I have also added a fourth dimension, time. Drawing from the cast is an age old artistic technique with a timeless quality. I have pinned it to the wall next to the print of Raphael’s apostles that I got from the Ashmolean and to be honest it doesn’t sit too bad. But I can remember seeing Raphael’s original while I was at the Ashmolean so I know how deficient my drawing is.

Well girl, that is it for this week, I am going to see mum and dad for the long weekend and I look forward to seeing you when you return from Dorset.


Mickos x

PS in case you missed it earlier

Dearest Cleo

I hope you are well, I will not get to see you until Sunday this week but I am quite looking forward to our trip to the woods now that spring is in the air.

I have carried on with my experiment this time using hot pressed watercolour paper it is easier to use than the Canson and solid enough to take quite a bit of a battering with my fingers and the rubber and the charcoal seems to stick to it better. I created this which is named after that old country song, My Apollo Belvedere looks like Elvis.

Figure 1 (17 04 07) My Apollo Belvedere looks like Elvis Charcoal on A5 Hot pressed watercolour paper

I varied the technique a bit and went for a grey tone first that I carved into with the putty rubber before adding the darks at the end. I was much more comfortable with this way of working and it felt easier to judge the tones. Looking at it on screen now it feels like a lively drawing with lots of energy and a variety of mark making techniques. I think I have found my paper of choice and I think working on a bigger scale will be very beneficial to the graduations I should be able to achieve.

Looking forward to seeing you at the weekend and I will post this week’s sketches before then.

Lots of Love


Dear Cleo 17 04 04

Dear Cleo

I hope you are well and enjoying your Easter holidays and that you are looking forward to your trip to Dorset to see your Granny C.

Today I started Part 2 of my course, it’s a new technique drawing into a charcoal ground with a putty rubber. I did this piece as a test piece to see how things went with the technique.

Figure 1 (17 04 04) Charcoal erased with putty rubber on A5 China white Canson

I just used what was on the coffee table as a motif but I needed to try out some types of paper to see how they adapted to this technique and to see how to use the putty rubber. It was not the best choice of subject because the reflections in the glass are by their nature quite linear, and tend to prevent an overall smoky effect that I think the technique is intended for. I am thinking a portrait or a figure, something along the lines of the Burlington House cartoon, with softer transitions from highlight to shadow. it was a useful experiment with the technique though, the Canson suited the medium quite well but I will try a few other types of paper before I commit to the final piece, I managed to get a very dark black and I got used to using the putty rubber as a drawing tool. The only thing wrong with the final result was I forgot to use composition, as I was concentrating more on the technique, I sorted this by flipping the final image in Photoshop. I don’t think it’s a bad first attempt and I am looking forward to trying it out again.

All my love as always

Mickos x