Tag Archives: creative process

Sketchbook Adventures

To be truthfully I was debating right up to the moment I logged on to my blog whether or not to right about this or not, only because I thought that you might not find my first adventure in to the world of pen and ink drawing interesting. Then I thought, well why not it’s creative!  Plus it would be good to get some feedback.

So here’s a little background. Ever since I could hold a pen I have doodled. Even as a child, my mother thought it best to buy rolls of lining paper instead of sketchpads as I went through so much paper (sorry rainforests!) all through school and on to art school and even now art and design has been my life, I would go as far to say as I am obsessed!

Since school I have always sketched in my sketchbook practically on a daily basis, some days offerings are better than others. Sketching is a fundamental part of a creative persons life, it is where explore new ideas, capture moments, reflect of our techniques, try new things etc. It is a sandbox for my creative mind.

I have always loved the work of Aubrey Beardsley and M.S. Escher, and have been fascinated by the way they master the power of the line and tone in monochrome.

Art, creativity, sketchbook, drawing, design, illustration, creativity, creative,
New sketchbook

So taking a brand new Sketchbook out of its clear plastic wrapping, I opened it and look at the crisp clean blank page and pondered for a few seconds of what to do with it. The truth was, I had no idea. I started to sketch the works ink drawing right in the centre of the page and then let my mind wander allowing my pencil to create lines and shapes in a free flowing and spontaneous manner. Any one knowing me this approach is very unlike me, normally I liked a meticulous planned approach where I know exactly what I am going to go before my pencil hits the paper. Not only was this my first attempt at a ink pen drawing, it was the first time I worked totally spontaneously.

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Sketchbook with chosen drawing items

In hindsight I should have took pictures of the different stages of the drawing, so I’m afraid I will just have to jump right to the end and show you the finished result.

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Finished Drawing

What do you think? As a first attempt I’m quite pleased with the result. I would really love to hear what you think. In fact if you have any tips I would love to hear about them too!

Drawing Close-up.
Close-up of the finished drawing

I know that it is far from perfect, there are a few stray-lines, mistakes and a little irregular spacing of some of the elements, But hey, it’s only my first attempt and I’m not going to beat myself up too much. The only way to progress is to make mistakes and learn from them. The main objective in creating  this title page was write a descriptive title in order to differentiate this particular sketchbook from the many others that I have. So whether I have been successful or just carried away with myself, I will let you make your own mind up about it.

So what’s next? Honestly, I don’t know. But what I can tell you is that I am going to continue on this pen and ink adventure and I will see where it takes me. What I would like to see happen is for me to become more confident in the medium and be able to produce works for you to be able to buy, as well as create elements which I can combine with my photography and Photoshop skills to create unique mixed media digital art works for you to buy. So I hope you will join me on this journey. At the moment it appears to be a little of a magical mystery tour but please hang on in there!

When I manage to create something new in my sketchbook I will share it with you, please let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.

 

Lytham St Annes: The Quest for the Perfect Shot.

Whilst in Lancaster on holiday a couple of months ago I visited Lytham St Annes for the first time in many years. It was a glorious day, the sun was shining and it looked as though people had ventured there from far and wide to enjoy the beach and take a leisurely stroll along its beautiful pier.

With my sunglasses on, cool drink at hand, a fully charged battery and a spare SD card, I spent a lovely afternoon taking pictures of everything I could.

As much as light is at the very heart of photography, sometimes the type and strength of it can make, or break a great image. When working outside light conditions can change within seconds, so we must always be ready, with our finger on the shutter release button, waiting to capture the best image we can. This can be rather frustrating at times because you can’t force the sun to come out from behind a cloud, or stop a shower of rain just for you to take a photograph. Mostly it isn’t until I am back at home and I can see the images I have took that day on my larger computer screen that I can see if I have had a successful day. When you do find the one image that you are delighted with, you sit back and take pride in the work that you had done, and forget about what you had to go through in order to get it.

Personally, when I take my camera outside I believe the final result is only achieved when I can find that slot of time where mother nature and I can work in coalition with one another. It is almost like every relationship we have in life;  work with one an other then good things will happen, but fight against one another then it can be miserable!

Now on to the elusive perfect shot, how many photos did it take before I got it? In truth, a lot! would you like to see it?

Lancashire England UK Victorian seaside ornate ironwork garden plants foliage holiday nature
Seating shelter at Lytham St. Annes.

I stood at the very same spot for around 5 minutes taking many photographs of this view. This was due to the clouds moving quite quickly across the sky, the light was hitting the sourrounding area in many different ways. The trouble was that with each of the images had their merits, with different qualities. I have chose this image as my best shot, but I’m sure if you seen the others then you might pick different one as the best shot. That is the most interesting thing about art, it is completely subjective. I choose this one as it truly represents the atmosphere of the day, everything was bathed in beautiful light. Everything from the plants to the finials of the ornate ironwork of the shelter seemed to  glisten and radiate in the early afternoon sun.

The only post-shoot work I carried out was that I decided to apply a slight vignetting around the image, and to increase the vibrancy ever so slightly – it didn’t need any more!

Like nearly everything to do with photography, it is important to be prepared. Here is a my own personal check-list I have before heading out for a day with my camera.

  1. Ensure battery is fully charged, and SD cards have been cleared and ready to go. ( I also have a spare battery which I charge and have at hand just in case!)
  2. Make sure everything is packed and ready to go in my camera bag, batteries, SD cards, lenses, tripod etc. (preferably done the night before.
  3. The night before make a plan. Decide location in advance and check what the weather is going to be like (this can help with knowing what to wear and help determine what equipment you need to take).
  4. If your chosen location is an extremely rural one, make sure you prepare a packed lunch, maybe a flask for a hot drink if its cold. Pack a map and make sure mobile phone is fully charged (Getting lost is easier that you think!).
  5. Make sure to pack a lightweight water-proof jacket in my rucksack. (Especially if like me, you live in Scotland!)
  6. Take a book with me, to pass some time between bouts of not ideal weather conditions.

Sadly sometimes there are days when, it doesn’t matter how many photos you take, the perfect shot is just out of reach. There are many times where I have had to revisit a location in order to get what I want. The main lesson is, don’t give up. It just means that when you finally capture that perfect image then the victory is twice as sweet!

If you like this image featured in today’s post then please visit my 500px profile at https://500px.com/reclickphoto where you even purchase it for re-use (terms and conditions apply).

For more information about ReClick Photo and the work that I do please visit my website at http://www.reclickphoto.co.uk.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.