Art Studio w.i.p.

I see the drawing course as a preparatory phase to getting everything ready for doing serious artwork. Proper working environment is really the alpha omega as one needs to have separate area that is no-go-area to anybody else. It allows me to leave my things untidy, use smelly substances with proper cross ventilation, work in proper daylight getting my daily d-vitamine dose to fight against my adult age diabetes and possible bonedeceise in old age and also for peace and quite as I like to do my artwork in silence and without any disturbance.

I built this summerhut already last year, but as I started designing a chicken coop I decided to update the summerhut as well toward more efficient working environent. Im not a builder or carpenter so Im learning as IM doing plus my physical restriction is making this a slow project however slowly but defenately its building up. This summer I have been testing this summer hut for drawing and when it starts raining it ruins everything, too many leakages in the roof because I used the nails provided to attach the see-through panels, I dont really know why they should provide them at all knowing that the tiny holes will cause leakage, it totally ruined the purpose of the roof. Im going to order a new one soon, this time polycarbonate and entire sheet because I have really enjoyed the sun coming in and the sense of openness when the roof is see-through.

Here is a video of how things look so far:


Art studio in the making…

Exercise: Line drawing detail /Exercise: Stipples and dots


Excercise Line drawing detail

Using black pen draw a natural object only using line, no shading – the drawing is about flow of line against space. One should also pay attention to filling the paper in interesting way.

I decided to look up few art genres that exemplifies this drawing style method, using only line effectively without shading.

This image has colour and some dark areas but its mainly about plain line and the importance of composition seems to be the most important carrying force.

There isn’t too much texture or anything fancy or decorative or lot of details and that makes this image look elegant, also the branches are closed up and cropped to leave less negative space. In the right corner a butterfly is placed to also reduce the negatives space however I feel like this image has efficiently filled the space even if the butterfly wasn’t there. (note the title is breeze and the butterflies wings are distorted against it accordingly)


Katsushika Hokusai

“Pink and red peonies blown to the left in a breeze and a butterfly”


Here is another example where black line can be studied ignoring the colours. Its meant to be 2d flat image what makes this image so interesting is the variety of lines and patterns, the spikes in the back next to round scales against a wavy rhythm of the belly. Lines are very randomly thick and thin at times even plots of inks. Even though this is a woodprint one could try to emulate this with ordinary black pens forexample fudebrush could be good here.

I wanted to use this image here because of the efficient composition and filling of space and even though this is a Japanese folklore creature one can study the interesting use of lines and the effect of juxtapositioning contrasting patterns.

Another reason to show japanese ink drawings is that the use of line is economical and never overdone which seems to be the esthetically pleasing elegance in japanese art, the economics of line usage.

Here my first attempt at dried rose flower, I really wanted the spiral center to be in the picture so I started drawing from that point on unfortunately leaving way too much space on the other side of the paper.


I started all over, this time taking note of the triangles on two oppose sides of furthest edge of spiral center. I used them as my measuring devise to make sure the rose will now fill the entire paper. This time I also turned the paper horizontally when drawing.

I started with the outer lines the line is more uncertain and shaky and looks more spontanious. I then looked for darker gradient areas and pointed them out by drawing closed area of them with thicker line, IM not sure if its effective. Finally I used very thin pen to draw the fine vains of the petals and this helped showing the nice curves and turnings giving it a bit more 3 dimensional look.



I had partially rotten very dark spotty banana. I struggled not to colour in the darks spots, they looked delicious and gave this banana so much character. I used thicker line on outer skin and ragged line on the inside openings of the skin to describe the stringy hair flesh. I have filled in negative space efficiently, the thick lines help define the skin and give a bit 3 dimensional feel. I really liked the wooden branch at the forefront of the banana, lot of texture and shape. I drew a clean even line to show where the shadow fell but not sure if it works here. Now looking at it again, I may have gone over board with the hairy marks I should have just suggested it a bit not cover the entire banana.



It has been raining quite a bit so there were two snails resting in open and I had an opportunity to investigate them as well. I tried not to go overboard with the textured “skin” but maybe its still too much.



This garlic is a very succesful drawing in my opinion, composition is nice, I like the zoom in or cropping effect and its nice angle with variety of textures and planes to play with.


Enthusiastic onion was also succesful image.


My definite favourite out of all these is the huge dragonfly I came accross on my yard, must have been the cats again. It lay paralised on the ground, it was still alive for many days but now it has “deceised” and has started to smell. (I still want to keep it, not sure what chemical  to use to keep it from smelling)


A weed plant that has started to grow by itself in one of my forgotten plant cups with still soil in it. Really like this image too, there is lot of going on but because we are restricted to use only line it really makes this flower very readable.




Excercise Stipples and dots

I found this piece of driftwood that had a lot of interesting marks and textures on it. What made it look so nice was the strong contrast of very dark brown with hint of blue  and the yellow flesh peaking in between and from the edges. The problem I had now is that because it is so weathered even the flesh is relatively dark and the difference is only obvious in colour. When I squinted my eyes, the tonal values were actually not so far away from each other after all. When I was really spending time trying to capture or the fine details and textures of the wood I suddenly looked back and realised the entire piece of wood looks like tonally same, the marks were almost disappearing into this uniformly toned mass.

I really wanted to achieve the tonal difference of the bark and the flesh which made this piece of wood so interesting looking so I decided to continue adding straight lines to depict tonal value making sure its different from previously made marks. I tried to create optical illusion by drawing a ragged stitched edge to the dark bark.  When I started texturing the flesh it seemed like Im taking my pen for a jumpy forest walk, jumping over changing the way I draw the line constantly.  If I were to depict more texture the flesh would have turned too dark again and would have not left any contrast at all.

I was still not happy with the contrast so I whipped out my fudebrush and started outlining or highlighting the bark even more, it really helped to give this driftwood more weight and stand out more from the paper.

I managed to fill the paper efficiently and over all it is quite good image, however Im not so happy about the flesh it doesnt really look like that in real life.




Throughout this excercise I was constantly drawn back to the statement “flow of line against space” it sounded like something I should tap my energies on. Something that I should really try to understand in practise. It could mean that I don’t need to be afraid to exaggarate a little that I should realise how delicate is the relationship between line and the background and how ultimately this is what drawing is all about, playing with the relationship that the line has against the background creating a tension when done correctly.

I continued to look for more images where only line is used and which drew my attention and were appealing to me. in Combricht Story of Art book page 299 there is an illustration by callot: Two Italian Clowns 1622. I was instantly attracted to this image, now I tried to understand    the appeal by realising the relationship the line has against background.

There is considerable amount of negative space in this image but it still works, it makes me to rethink again, what is the secret formula, is there any or it all relies on spontanious intuition that is stripped off of all knowledge as if one was a child. I was mostly attracted to the exaggarated masks facial expressions and thus I liked to think the entire image was build around those masks as the focal point. The entire layout is symmetrical and the mirroring poses of the jokesters form a negative space of almost perfect square to added interest at their feet shows miniscule size people in far distance. Their multitude and vagueness pushes our attention back to the faces of the clowns. Another appealing feature in this image are their slender stick like bodies.

Funnily when thinking of sinuous lines elegantly occupying blanc paper making a statement the last example where mere line is used efficiently that comes to mind is egyptian art. These organised drawings seems so far away from Matisse, yet these drawings were done with mere lines  mostly and tho there is colour, it will be enough to use mere pen to replicate some egyptian art -the colour is not necessary to capture the essence of egyptian art that relies on the clarity of lines. What makes Egyptian art different to previous examples  is the purpose or intension of the drawings. The distortion and unrealistic clarity and symmetry in depicting things of nature forexample serve the purpose of transferring as much information in its truest form possible and thus bird can be drawn head profile but wings are unnaturally spread open to see them accurately in full glory. For the sake of informing anything unnecessary is emitted, the drawings are almost like a list of things. 

Once I realised the purpose of egyptian art it suddenly opened a different way of seeing illustration and I began to play with the idea, how it could change my way of drawing if I were to omit anything less important and merely “inform” something in its truest form. This approach combined with Leonardo Da Vinci’s curiosity of things might deliver interesting results !


Out of all these exercises I enjoyed the mere line drawings, even so much that I bundled A4 printing paper and started sketching around anything and everything and put those on a seperate folder. There is something liberating in the “flow of line in space” its like re-seeing things around you with your pen, re-observing them and its quick too.

Also in our course material page 47 Mark Adlington’s Standing Hen is defenately a very good example of “flow of line in space” I find myself pondering again about the childlike spontainity  that gives the best results but the secret to aspiring artist may be having done 100 drawings of the same subject and find the spontainity among those works (?)


(For my own reference,with  the following search results I came accross images that resampled mere  use of line:)


-Hokusai Katsushika! 1814

-Hakaba No Kitaro (Graveyard Kitaro) by Shigeru Mizuki (Japan’s rich folklore)

-Kyoko Ariyoshi’s Swan Girls’ Weekly Margaret 1976-1981

-“The Animal Scrolls” Chojugiga 12th century owned by Kozanji, a buddhist temple outside Kyoto

-Edo period illustrations

-Medusa by Ryoko Yamagishi

-Miyako Maki’s Mahiru Lullaby (adult monthly big comic for lady)

-Yu Nakang’s TAnetsuke Kozo (“the stud kid”)

-Shigeru Mizuki The Bizarre Warpzone GeGeGe