The jumble of inspiration images on my studio wall – photographs and graphite studies from the woodland

I am still going back in time with these posts – recording the journey of this work in a way that makes sense after beginning these studio notes again. Whenever I start a new series of work, I always go back to the most simple of materials. Often it is charcoal, but here, I used graphite. No particular reason really, just a material that felt connected to the simple pencil sketches I had been creating out in the landscape. 

The in-progress drawings taped to my board

Pared-back materials enable me to concentrate on the elements that I feel most drawn to in my work. I am always trying to push value, line, gesture, movement and atmosphere. Whilst the subject may change, these are the things that are always central in my drawings and paintings. 

Graphite sketches on my wall

A selection of the drawings taped to my wall for inspiration for paintings

Here, I am using my pencil sketches and photographs to observe the main contrasts in value, shapes and movement. Simplifying and editing to lose a lot of the detail. I have several pieces of drawing paper on my board in various proportions and orientations and use graphite powder and odourless mineral spirits to lay down some gestural layers before adding some detail and line with graphite sticks. This allows me to work quickly and really play with tightening the composition which I will then use to inspire larger works. So working quite quickly, I soon built up quite a collection of these studies. They are also something I can go back to whenever I feel stuck in the process of painting to create more variations and ideas. It is all a step-by-step process which I love!

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