Mes: diciembre 2017

Visit to Bogota Colombia

Visit to Bogota Colombia

During my recent business trip to Bogota Colombia, I was able to take time out to sketch a small part of the City and to visit two excellent Art Museums:

Art Museum of the Banco de la Republica and the Botero Museum:

I was fortunate to see an excellent collection of Latin America art and Colonial art as well as European Art.

Among the artworks my highlights were as follows:

Guillermo Wiedemann, Retrato fondo rojo, 1950, Oil on cardboard

In this painting, I sensed a sadness in this portrait of a Mulato native of Colombia. I was also intriqued by the effects of the apparently simple line on a multicoloured background. The uncovering of the breast and phallic simbols on the RH side –  to me suggest rape or submission, even persecution.

Fernando Botero, Venus, 1932 Coloured pencil on paper

This is perhaps a lovely portrayal of a volumptuous figure using coloured pencil on paper – that may help me in Part 4. Very light shading – modelling the figure to give a wonderful 3D effect. I also noted that there are no heavy lines in the figure – just enough to assist the shading/modelling.

Alberto Giacommetti, Carolina with white background, 1961 (Detail), Oil on canvas

This drawing in oil could easily be a line drawing in ink – this is an artist that provides a constant source of inspiration for Part 4 of the course.

Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot, The small valley, 1871, Oil on Canvas

Whilst studying in Part 4, I was impressed by the wonderful pencil sketches made by Corot – This a good example of foreground, middleground and background.

Fernando Botero, Still life with basket of fruit, 1990, Pencil on paper

In this drawing I appreciated the modelling and textures in this drawing after my studies in Part 2. Botero’s skill at still life is also reflected in the modelling of his figures (and other subjects – such as trees). There is a deeper meaning within this drawing with the use of many symbols – such as the cross represented by the stalk of the apple, the peeled orange, the knife and the hammerhead of the bananas.

Frank Auerbach, Mornington Crescent towards the South, 1996/7, Oil on canvas

After reading about Auerbach and his work, it was a treat to see a work up close.  Not a large painting. You can see eveidence of his technique of scraping off paint, repainting, struggling to find the a solution to the modelling, movement and atmostphere of the scene – a scene literally outside of his studio – a scene he walked past every day and made many studies of – both in oils and pencil.  This is particularly relevant to my current work on Townscapes.

Marc Chagall, The flying clown, 1981, Oil on canvas

This painting was the most moving for me – I visited Chagall’s immense retrospective at the Royal Academy, London just before he died with my late father. This was a very special memory for me and I have never ceased to be amazed by the imagination, vibrant use of colour and sheer emotion within Chagalls paintings.  This painting made a few years before his death when he was a staggering 94 years old includes all the memories and motifs from his life and work – a self portrait? An inspration for me for Part 4 and the next course of POP.

Alejandro Obregon, Violence, 1962, Oil on canvas

This is a key work by a Spanish artist who settled in Colombia and worked with other artists interested in figuration/abstraction  – using the nude, landscape and historical issues as a subject for their works. In this painting Obregon’s work is a visual metaphor linking  the nation in conflict with a pregnant woman, whose figure blends into the mountainous landscape. A relevant work to my current studies in Part 3 Expanse.


Unfortunately I do not have details of this installation/sculpture – but it reminded me of the work of Julie Mehrethu in its explosive nature and effective use of pieces strategically placed to exagerrate the feeling of space and depth. An awesome piece of work and I am sure a Curators nightmare to install!

Part 3 Expanse

Project 4 Perspective – Exercise 1 Parallel perspective


At first I thought that I did not have a suitable subject for this exercise and I made too many excuses and avoided it for quite some time – even though I was confident that I knew sufficient to make a reasonable drawing with parallel perspective.

It was interesting that although the drawing was successful, I did not exagerrate the angles enough – particularly regarding the flooring/skirting boards and the mirror. Whilst drawing the tiled floor I was aware that there were not sufficient tiles and that they appeared too wide. Analysing afterwoods with the red lines my errors were clear to me.


I modified some of the parts of the drawing with red pencil – the step was too large and the tiles need to be modified but overall my hand drawn version was on the whole accurate.

Exercise 2 Angular perspective

For this exercise I used a recent photo that I took whilst out sketching in my local town. It is of an abandoned petrol station which I am attracted to as a subject.

I made the drawing by first making construction lines in pencil without using a ruler or any other guides – just careful measurements by relating elements in the photo. I then used some new art markers that I bought to finish complete the drawing:


The photo was taken mid morning with the sun rising on a very clear hot day – there were therefore many strong shadows and varios rectangular/cubelar forms to draw nearly all angle on to my camera.

After completing the drawing I drew in an eyeline where I guessed it would be (in fact I think it should have been a little higher). Then drew in the parallel lines from each edges of the forms:

_20171202_232529 Most of the red lines appear to converge on an eyeline a little higher than I have drawn in – indicating that my construction was very good with few mistakes. As in Exercise 1, in the foreground of the image I need to exaggerate the perspective more to achieve the correct result.

An interesting final check of the eyeline and other perspective elements of my drawing was made using the original photo – I drew the converging lines on the drawing mounted on a newspaper sheet. Then drew in the eyeline – in fact the eyeline was lower, not higher! It was evident that the angles I drewof the roof of the washing and lubricating shed of the garage were drawn incorrectly. How can I avoid this in the future? – I need to think first of the eyeline and drawn in some prelimenary contruction lines as a guide for my measurements.


Using a ruler whilst drawing would help – in particular drawing in an eyeline to measure more accurately the converging lines.

The drawing made by Sir Muirhead Bone in the course text was incredibly accurate in that all the lines converge and even measuring the height of the people in the street – they all have a height that corresponds with their position in the drawing. I feel sure that he constructed the drawing using a ruler in his early construction.


Exercise 3 Aerial or atmostpheric perspective

Whilst making the three following drawings, I was also looking at Turner’s Lake of Lucerne; The Bay of Uri from above Brunnen, 1841-2 which he made in watercolour and gouache. He clearly used the foregound, middleground, background technique with a gradation of tones to increase the sense of perspective:

Lake Lucerne: The Bay of Uri from above Brunnen: Sample Study circa 1841-2 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

My copy from a book was actually much darker in tones however you can still see the use of atmospheric perspective.

The most succesful of my studies was the one in indian ink where my range of tones was greatest. Turner made many studies of the Lake of Lucerne/Uri from many different angles and times of day. They can be found in the Tate online gallery.

I need to make more use of these type of small studies in my work – in my sketchbook!


9B Graphite block and 9B graphite pencil 
Indian ink and 2B pencil
Watercolour and 2B pencil