If you’re having to self -isolate and as we have all been advised to stay away from all things fun (!) like eating out, bars, pubs, theatres and large gatherings, you may begin to go slightly doolally.
If you’re in need of something relaxing to do at home apart from the usual suspects of TV and reading books then here’s a suggestion. Get a sheet of paper and a pencil and SKETCH SOMETHING. Something from your fruit bowl, the view from your window, an image from a book or draw your pet or your partner. It is SO relaxing, it’s cheap (just paper and pencil that’s it) it’s easy to find an image to draw and it’s a brilliant distraction from all the shite that’s going on in the world with Covid-19.
I believed that I was so poor at drawing when I was at school I just gave up on it. I imagine many other kids and young people do the same and then it feels so alien later in life that we never pick up a crayon, pencil or paintbrush again. But it’s not about recreating an exact replica of something; it’s about having fun and it’s about your interpretation. It doesn’t matter what the result is, it’s probably not going to end up in Tate Modern. One thing I found really useful was flipping an image of something you want to draw upside down (!) and it’s remarkable how much less daunting it then seems to draw a face or a body.
Below is the original drawing of Raphael’s David, underneath it is the one I tried to draw. Ok it’s not great at all, but I had such fun giving it a go. What have you got to lose! Enjoy and stay safe. Love Nicole
My new illustration/photograph is an original collage of Brighton’s stunning Golden Spiral which stands next to the i360 on the seafront. It is a stunning circular sculpture created with the remains of the West Pier. The Victorian Pier tragically burned down in a fire over 30 years ago.
This is part of my landmark series available to buy via my online Brighton Gallery.
Buy a print or canvas here
The beautiful Royal Pavilion in Brighton is one of my favourite landmarks. This is a drawing I created simply with pencil and paper. I painted and coloured in layers to give more texture. I then washed over in blues, pinks and purple hues in a screen print style. It is available to buy in my online gallery.
The Royal Pavilion is an exotic palace in the centre of Brighton with a colourful history. Built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV in 1815, this historic house mixes Regency grandeur with the visual style of India and China. It has also served as a civic building, First World War hospital, and has become a true icon of Brighton.
The Royal Pavilion is my favourite building in Brighton. I love the shape, based on the Taj Mahal in India and the intricate detail. This artwork is my pencil drawing which I then washed over in blues and added some pink and purple hues as well as some seagulls!
The Brighton Royal Pavilion is available to buy in my online shop framed/unframed or canvas. All my works are created using the best quality inks and are signed.
Passacaglia and West Pier Brighton Murmuration
The Brighton Passacaglia is a huge curved abstract sculpture that sits on Brighton seafront and I love seeing the old West Pier behind it. I created this piece mixing up 2 of my photographs and collages with some drawing. It’s available as a Gicleé Print or a Canvas using the highest quality inks. For prices and available sizes please visit my Brighton and Hove Photos shop where you can buy it online.
Created by Charles Hadcock, the Passacaglia is constructed from recycled cast iron, weighs 20 tonnes and is five meters high. This lovely sculpture is made from tiles in the form of a tile tessellation, inspired by the limestone terraces at Black Head, County Clare in Ireland.
Some tiles are flat, others curved and all have textured surfaces that resemble Yorkstone paving. The reverse side of each tile reveals the nuts and bolts of the construction. The title of the sculpture comes from an Italian musical description. Hadcock wanted to describe the physicality of the sea and the expanse of the horizon.
My thanks to Public Sculptures of Sussex website.
I went to a Girls Grammar school and Art was pretty low down on the curriculum after Latin and other useful subjects – so I never “learned’ to draw. To be honest I went from loving to paint and draw and make things as a child, to pretty much never picking up a pencil or paintbrush once I turned 11. Art at secondary school consisted of making collages with dried pasta and cornflakes (mine sometimes grew mold as I would experiment with leftover breakfast) or really crap clay pots that my dear mother would lovingly keep in her kitchen even though the lids didn’t fit, they wobbled about and were only big enough to hold two large olives. I just accepted that I was rubbish at art, and that was that………..until last autumn when I spotted a class at my local College in Brighton called “Drawing for the Terrified!”:
I rang up just to make sure it wouldn’t be full of talented folk in need of a bit of ego stroking – and when I was reassured it was for the “stick men only” type of artist – I signed up.
Amy Dury – my tutor for the 10 week course – was fantastic. She expelled the big myths “people who can draw are just born with a gift” and “drawing can’t really be taught” and made us begin to look at drawing in a different way. In our very first lesson she gave us “upside down drawings”. We couldn’t make sense of what we were copying so had to just focus on lines and shapes instead. Many of us fear not being able to reproduce what’s in front of us. We look at the person or object that we’re attempting to draw and and we become paralysed. We don’t know where to begin and our minds fill up with the things we associate with that object or person, rather than really noticing the shapes, tones, shadows and lines. Basically we dwell too much on WHAT we are drawing and not how it’s made up. I drew the upside down body of a man – which turned out to be a Raphael drawing – here is the original:
My jaw literally dropped when I turned both of the above the right way up .. he looked human!! (well, apart from the mutant hand) and not a matchstick in sight – and I did it all by myself with just a pencil and a bit of paper – .. it was a real epiphany.. and I URGE all of you with a fear of drawing to have a go.
Coming next – Celebrating negative space..