Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Keeper's Cottage

For about a month now I've been working on the biggest drawing I've attempted in a long time. I wanted it to reach to the very edges as if it was continuing on and today I finally completed it. It's been pretty tough going but I really wanted to challenge myself and try and include as much detail as possible. 

The drawing is of a cottage in Glencoe which I've loved since I was a little girl.  The mountains stretch up behind it creating a stunning, detailed backdrop of rocks and foliage.  There are many streams and waterfalls dotted across its surface along with old wooden fences trailing up and out of sight. I really wanted to capture all this on paper and I've wanted to draw this mountainside for a very long time. I'm glad I've finally done it. I did have a practice run a few months back so I knew that the task ahead was going to be massive but I'm incredibly pleased that I've accomplished it.

So this is how it all began and you can see the scale here next to my fingers.  A tiny little cottage. I think this part was the most nerve wracking as I knew that once I'd tackled the cottage and got it looking the way I wanted it to, the rest would flow from there.

The drawing itself is A3 in size so there was a lot of paper to cover compared to what I usually work on.  Most of my drawings float in the middle of the paper as well so it was new to me to keep drawing to the very edges.  It made it quite a daunting task at the beginning.

Progress was very slow and I had to keep pausing as my hand was seizing up. The mark making was so small that my hand was hardly moving so after a while it got a bit painful! It was best to draw for about twenty minutes and then rest.

It was exciting to see the sheer scale of the mountains take shape behind the small cottage. I tended to work on one area for a time and then jump across to another area.  It would get quite tiring on my eyes to concentrate on the same group of shapes so it helped to look at a completely different section and start afresh.

Falling ill for a week halted progress right at the end so this last corner stayed the same for about a week. That was pretty nerve-wracking when I needed to get it finished. Thankfully I was able to catch up and it is now the complete drawing that you can see at the top of the post.

I've entered it into the RSA Open Exhibition 2016 and I find out if it's made the next stage on June the 13th so we shall wait and see! Even if it doesn't I'm just really pleased to have completed this as it was a challenge that I set myself and I did it.

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