The next in a continuing series – this drawing began from a small image I have of a flower head which is a mass of tiny flowers, with long stamens appearing irregularly outside the flower head. The mandala shape appealed to me, with its regularity of form. As usual, the original image was left a long way behind as this drawing developed and took on a life of its own. The forms within it could be floral, but they could also be reminiscent of small animals or insects – a life form from another world. The drawing is quite large, 64 cm square.
I always work with a limited palette of colours, this time essentially blues, half a dozen or so different pencils, but then with greens and reds breaking through. Gradually developing the image is quite meditative, surprises appearing all the time.
This is the starting point, loosely painted with blue-tinted Liquid Pencil on to yupo synthetic paper. Getting the composition right at this stage is essential, if the balance is wrong, it can’t be rescued with later work.
A detail showing the drawing-in work beginning. None of those shapes are finalised at this stage, more work is needed to balance the colours and link the forms. As the drawing progresses, I add or remove colour as the imagery demands. On my desk beside the drawing I have a strip of waste yupo that I test the colours on, which belong with which, so I can build the collection of pencils that I will use for each drawing.
Detail of the centre of the drawing.