The Nature of Drawing with Laurie Steen May 2015

This residential 5 day course at Coombe Farm Studios, Dittisham, Devon was run by the energetic and inspirational Laurie Steen whose beautiful drawings of trees appear mystical and etherial. We spent a busy week experimenting with materials and techniques, drawing without looking, shadow drawing, and observational drawing. I produced a scroll in charcoal based on the shadows, textures and objects I found under the cherry tree in the courtyard which I hope expresses the movement and transience of the imagery.

Working in the studio

Working in the studio

Laurie starting a shadow drawing

Laurie starting a shadow drawing

My shadow drawing of ivy, repeated as the sun moved across the sky (charcoal)

My shadow drawing of ivy, repeated as the sun moved across the sky (charcoal)

Drawing with my eyes shut - a broken shell was placed in my left hand,  and drawn with my right without looking...

Drawing with my eyes shut – a broken shell was placed in my left hand, and drawn with my right without looking… (graphite)

My left hand drawn without looking!  (soft pencil)

My left hand drawn without looking!
(9B pencil)

Drawing whilst looking at the object but not at the paper... (you need to sit sideways on to the paper or you will cheat!)

Drawing whilst looking at the object (in this case ivy) but not at the paper… (you need to sit sideways on to the paper or you will cheat!)

Lichen (charcoal)

Lichen  on the cherry (charcoal and pencil)

Teasels.  Observational drawing in pencil.

Teasels.
Observational drawing in pencil.

Shadows in the courtyard

Shadows in the courtyard

Me drawing on the ground in the courtyard

Me drawing on the ground in the courtyard

Line drawing of shadows from the cherry tree moving in the wind...

Line drawing of shadows from the cherry tree moving in the wind…

Charcoal drawing of moving shadows. The negative spaces are light holes between the leaves...

Charcoal drawing of moving shadows.
The negative spaces are light holes between the leaves…

More shadows...

More moving shadows in my sketchbook…

The Cherry Tree. (charcoal and pencil on gesso coated paper)

The Cherry Tree.
(charcoal and pencil on gesso coated paper)

Sections from my scroll: 'Under the Cherry Tree' (charcoal on paper)

Sections from my scroll:
‘Under the Cherry Tree’
(charcoal on paper)

Part of 'Under the Cherry Tree' (cont.)

Further section from ‘Under the Cherry Tree’ (cont.)

Section of 'Under the Cherry Tree' (cont.)

Further section from ‘Under the Cherry Tree’ (cont.)

Section of 'Under the Cherry Tree' (cont.)

Further section from ‘Under the Cherry Tree’ (cont.)

Section of 'Under the Cherry Tree' (cont.)

Further section from ‘Under the Cherry Tree’ (cont.)

Back in the studio making a collaborative line drawing

Back in the studio making a collaborative line drawing resembling a contour map, or the bark on a sectioned tree trunk…

A small portion of the collaborative work

A small portion of the collaborative work

A mixed media observational drawing of a log of wood that I made before the collaborative exercise...

A mixed media observational drawing of a log of wood that I made before the collaborative exercise…

Lovely artist friends with examples of their work...

Lovely artist friends with examples of their work…  Bob

Lovely artist friends with examples of their work...

Anna

Lesley

Lesley

...and the delightful Laurie demonstrating drawing with a stick!

…and the delightful Laurie demonstrating drawing with a stick!

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