View Full Version : Gate House

Payne's Grey
01-22-2019, 02:26 PM
Davis and Elkins College "Gate House" to the campus.
11x11 in. with Uni-ball pens on Strathmore 400 Not.


Scene Chaser
01-22-2019, 11:24 PM
Nice one, John. Great perspective! Love how you did the stone.

01-23-2019, 01:06 AM
I agree. Lovely job on this.👍🏻🙂

Charlie's Mum
01-23-2019, 05:49 AM
Interesting building and a really lovely portrayal of it - I like this ( and I know I have a beady eye for minor perspective errors but they're not taking away any pleasure in viewing this!;))

Lovely work!

Payne's Grey
01-23-2019, 09:05 AM
Thanks for the good words, Bill, Christine and Maureen.

As for those little perspective errors that also nag me, it's odd when I would rough in some lines with pencil to get them looking right, then notice how wonky they were once inked! I probably should be using a ruler, definite vanishing points, and a bit more care to draft an architectural subject like this, but that really slows down the sketching and isn't a lot of fun for me. Also, the building is tonally very dark which I would have problems conveying in line.
I may decide to ink wash it, but my wife likes it as it is, so I have to think about that.
All in all, it's a pretty little fairy-tale kind of building and probably deserves a re-draw one of these days - maybe in pencil.

01-23-2019, 01:57 PM
Well John, I always like hand drawn slightly imperfect lines instead of a ruler. In my work, I have noticed the look of a ruler being used a lot kills a drawing. I have noticed it too in othersí work if it is used a lot. Your work looks lovely the way it is. And oh boy, it is tricky drawing longer lines in ink! Or circles for that matter.
I think an ink wash could take this piece to the next level. It can be a learning experience too. Sometimes I have to decide if I want to play safe and keep the piece the way it is, and when itís looking good so it is a temptation.... or push a bit more. My work has improved and surprised me by doing so! Just stop before going to far. Half the trick in art is knowing when to push further and knowing when to stop! The other is knowing how to control your medium/tools to make it do what you want it to do! But I think adding in some tones is the next step, if you donít mind my 2 cents.

Payne's Grey
01-23-2019, 03:43 PM
Christine, thanks for the pep talk! Your 'two cents' are valuable to me, and I believe you're right about ink washes.

Charlie's Mum
01-23-2019, 05:23 PM
The 'wonkiness' of lines seldom puts me off a drawing - buildings are seldom ruler-straight anyway, and especially as they age, the settle and 'give' ....... no, angles are more important, so just establishing the VP and guiding the angles to that makes the difference!:)

I like this drawing without much tonal blocking I think but if you wanted to try it, make a print and cover that first then you'll have a fair idea of strength of wash - or even if it would work!:)

pedlars pen
01-23-2019, 06:37 PM
In this digital drawing age , has 'wonkiness' of lines become a virtue rather than a vice ? - a human touch has been applied here !
I certainly think so & have increasingly loosed up as the years pass.
For me Johns drawing is not half enough wonky !

Payne's Grey
01-23-2019, 07:47 PM
Maureen: Yes, I will do a bit of work on a Xerox copy before I go any farther.
Mike: Thank you, Sir! I value your judgement! It could have easily been a lot more wonky, as I was starting to stress out over some of the angles and textures. :eek:

After studying it for awhile, I am going to do a minor bit of work on it, starting with darkening the hedge a bit.

Thanks again to all for the great comments.

pedlars pen
01-24-2019, 06:27 AM
Just to talk about this wonkiness point a bit further beceause I think it is of crucial importance.
As long as you can draw even a little- it can be both liberating & a much more exciting approach to pen & ink NOT to use a pencil at all !
THAT is a sure way to inject life & real personality to your pen drawings.
OK it's a seat of the pants approach & you may fail(& lose a sheet of paper) :eek: but if it does work the resulting drawing will be much more alive & that point on the end of the pen will faithfully reflect your every emotion that occurred as you made that line. Boldness or timidity, light hearted or passionate wild abandon & a whole lot more, will all be there to be felt & seen.
The reason expression is so apparent in a pen drawing done without using a pencil underdrawing is that it is done in the moment without an exact paved path laid to follow - just as a surfer cannot predict his exact course though the waves & must live in the moment subtly reacting to what is happening as it happens .
Even if you are a pretty mediocre draughtsman (like me) you will find that your drawings will be so much more lively & expressionate if you discard the safety net of using a pencil underdrawing , when you draw with a pen - just go for it !

Charlie's Mum
01-24-2019, 07:57 AM
Drawing like this (as Mike is discussing) portrays our personality and is as individual to us as our handwriting - my opinion anyway!;) :) - long may it rule!

Watercolour lover
01-27-2019, 02:00 PM
Nicely done indeed. You certainly nailed the difficult perspective on those turrets.

Payne's Grey
01-27-2019, 04:02 PM
Thank you, John!

01-27-2019, 04:25 PM
I really like and agree with everything Mike is saying.
Do you mind if I show you an example of free hand and pushing myself? I donít tend to do much pen and wash. So this is the one I have on hand.One night I could not sleep, and decided I would try and just go for it. Even if I risked ruining it. I wanted to see what I could do if I pushed a bit further. Itís not perfect, but I am pleased with it. Now this is too much colour to normally be in shown this forum. But it is my example to you. It shows no straight lines...the liveliness of ďwonky linesĒ folks been discussing, and taking a chance. Doing the same with some ink washes (with no to little colour) could accomplish the same result. More 3D. Shadow, tones, contrasting the lighter areas.
I didnít know I could even do this...so nothing ventured, nothing gained!🙂The more you do, the less disasters you will have too. It is part of learning.
I look forward to seeing your experimenting with tones/ values! The trying it on a copy is a great idea.:) :thumbsup:


Payne's Grey
01-27-2019, 06:34 PM
Great example, Christine.

I believe this drawing was enhanced with the colors although it would probably have stood well on its own as pure line. The trees, though nicely toned in ink, look great with the green tint. The shading of the monument is more natural looking to me than if they were just hatched shadows. And, the people are easily picked out because of color, where a few of them may have been lost in the original inking. I also downloaded it into GIMP and knocked it back to grey tones resembling ink washes which resulted in a nice picture too.

I've already done a ink wash on a Xerox copy of the Gate House and was happy with it but not impressed enough to modify the original. My next trial, once I'm done with a few odds and ends, will be to watercolor a copy and make a decision then. If I do decide to paint it, I'll post it over in Watermedia and reference it here.

Thanks, Christine & all!

01-27-2019, 06:56 PM
It is good to experiment!

01-27-2019, 07:01 PM
That is cool that you changed it to the grey scale. I find it helpful too sometimes. I hadnít done it with my piece here, but have with others. Sometimes it helps to see where I am off to the eye. Great thought!
I like your original, make no mistake. You did a lovely job on it. It is fun to experiment and I think doing those alternative pieces will provide a lot of insight.

Payne's Grey
02-27-2019, 07:46 PM
Well, I finally decided to ink wash the Gate House. Here's the result, and I'm convinced it's better off for it.

03-02-2019, 04:13 PM
Lovely piece!!!

I like to do my pencil sketch with a ruler, but freehand the ink. I've found that the longer I draw and paint, though, the more straight I can do it, sometimes I've gone back and added some curve!

I also agree that seeing the "hand" makes for a much more interesting piece.

03-02-2019, 05:48 PM
John, it looks fabulous! The grey wash really rounded out this piece. You did a great job with it and handling the variations of grey with lighter and darker area. I am so glad you decided to go for it. Paid off big time!

Payne's Grey
03-02-2019, 06:53 PM
Thanks Robin & Christine. I'm pretty happy with it.