Monday, October 8, 2012

S is for Study

I have had a love/ hate relationship with reading the treatise on designing acanthus leaves "Guide for Drawning the Acanthus and Every Description of Ornamental Foliage by James Page. Originally published in 1886, I was able to find a copy online to read but eventually purchased an excellent reproduction by Pravana Books. Unlike other print on demand books that I have purchased, this publisher has successfuly reproduced this out of print book in two beautiful volumes. There are 245 pages of analytical diagrams and endless descriptions of how to draw foliate forms. The author is very opinionated throughout the book and both insults and encourages the student in his instructions. As I continue to peruse the volumes I get more comfortable with designing foliate letters. This 1"x4" 23K flat gilded letter S is done on 140LB. Arches HP paper and painted with watercolour, gouache and then burnished with Diane Townsend Pastels. The browns of the acanthus are painted in three stages with Yellow Ochre, Brown Ochre and Burnt Sienna. The Blue acanthus leaveas are Prussian Blue and Payne's Grey. The book has made quite an impact on me as I return to its diagrams over and over again and try to really understand the acanthus form. The author keenly observes nature and I have been trying to be more aware of natural forms. "My eyes are on everthing that I pass or that passes me." James Page

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