Shoot it, Sketch it: Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders #1, Koekohe Beach, 2013
Moeraki Boulders #1, Koekohe Beach, 2013
Moeraki Boulders – ink and watercolour sketch, 135 x 210 mm, 2014
Moeraki Boulders – ink and watercolour sketch, 135 x 210 mm, 2014

A little ink and watercolour study…

In the style of… Louis Rhead

Rendezvous – acrylic and white gel pen, 280 x400 mm, 2013.
Rendezvous – acrylic and pigment gel ink, 280 x 400 mm, 2013.
Rendezvous – detail
Rendezvous – detail
Akaroa Harbour beachfront, 2012.
Akaroa Harbour beachfront, 2012.

I had something specific in mind when I started painting the Akaroa Harbour beachfront photo… and this painting isn’t it. Initially I was going to create a highly stylised image using simple shapes and patterns and fairly flat colours ― but sometimes I just can’t help myself… the temptation to layer colours and add texture is just too great. With Louis Rhead’s turn-of-the-century posters in mind (see below), I exaggerated the shape of the trees and the curve of the shoreline. He has also influenced the overall composition, my choice of colours and the romantic styling of the women in the foreground (although mine look more medieval than Art Nouveau).

I may have another go at painting this scene for next week’s Shoot it, Sketch it

Louis Rhead

Images from http://commons.wikimedia.org
Images from http://commons.wikimedia.org

English-born artist Louis Rhead (1857-1926) made a career out of poster design and book illustration in the USA. I love the Art Nouveau influence in these posters dated 1896-1900. The sweeping curves and stylised trees are beautiful. The colours are fantastic too.

In the style of… appears occasionally instead of my regular Shoot it, Sketch it posts. Using my own photographs as a starting point, I’m drawing inspiration from some of the world’s greatest illustrators. It’s not about slavishly copying someone else’s art; it’s an experiment in seeing things differently.

In the style of… A. B. Frost

Welcome to my first ever In the style of… which will be appearing occasionally instead of the regular Shoot it, Sketch it posts on Mondays. I plan to draw inspiration from some of the world’s greatest illustrators. It’s really Shoot it, Sketch it with a twist ― I’ll still be using my photographs as a starting point but I’ll be drawing/painting them with a particular style in mind. It’s not about slavishly copying someone else’s art; it’s an experiment in seeing things differently. My hope is that it will take my own art in different directions.

At the beach – ink on paper, 140 x 240 mm, 2013.
At the beach – ink on paper, 140 x 240 mm, 2013.
At the beach – Nelson, 2011.
At the beach – Nelson, 2011.

Drawing this week’s photograph was a bit of a challenge. The rocks and stones were straightforward enough (believe it or not) but it took several attempts before I was happy with the driftwood. And if you’re wondering who A. B. Frost is…

A. B. Frost

A. B. Frost – illustrations from Lewis Carroll’s A Tangled Tale, 1886 Images from http://www.gutenberg.org
A. B. Frost – illustrations from Lewis Carroll’s A Tangled Tale, 1886
Images from http://www.gutenberg.org

American artist Arthur Burdett Frost (1851–1928) is famous for illustrating  Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn characters as well as Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit stories but it’s these two illustrations from A Tangled Tale that inspired this week’s sketch. Frost’s compositions and linework are simply brilliant.

Spheres one and two

Nelson beach sphere one, 2012.
Nelson beach sphere two, 2012.

I’ve been messing about with the polar coordinates filter in Photoshop and getting some nice results. Some photos definitely work better than others but even the ‘failures’ are interesting. Quite a few people (and I’m one of them) use the filter to create weird little planets but I’m interested in seeing what else I can do with it.

This is the original photo before it was duplicated, flipped horizontally to create a mirror image, resized into a distorted square and transformed into spheres.

My thanks to Leanne Cole for posting a tutorial on the polar coordinates distortion filter.