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Sketchbook pages

February 24, 2015

Here are a couple of photographs of my sketchbook pages recently. Firstly a page I’ve been filling with drawings made whilst watching ‘Wolf Hall’, a drama based around the Tudor court. Due to the nature of having to work quickly when drawing from TV this page is rather rough, with fast loose drawings. The programme has been a good opportunity for some quick sketches of costumes, particularly for headwear!

Sketching from Wolf Hall

And a page of drawings of one of the cats! Much easier to draw when they’re sleeping, but you still have to be quick.

Sketchbook cats

All drawings shown here made with assorted graphite pencils on paper.


Museum drawings

December 29, 2014

At the end of October I went on a day out to The Imperial War Museum London, a really interesting place to look round. Visitors are allowed to take photographs in many areas of the museum, which makes it a great place to get reference pictures for drawing!

Here are a couple of drawings I made from some of the photographs I took.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

Drawing from Perceived Inaccuracies

October 30, 2014

I’ve started to work on brainstorming some of the comments people make about portrayals of history in media such as film and television. Sometimes the makers get details wrong, but sometimes viewers are mistaken and perceived inaccuracies aren’t actually there. It is often hard to tell fact from fiction and artistic license is often used when portraying history for entertainment. Some of these comments/questions have led to monoprint drawings, with little sketches and quotes.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

I think that in some cases, objects may appear which aren’t strictly accurate for the exact year, but they set the scene for the viewer and can help tell a story. The example below is from Downton Abbey, the episode was set in 1924 and it was questioned whether or not the character visiting London would actually have seen red double decker buses at that time. Research online seems to suggest that they would have been made a year or two after it was set, so not far off. I would imagine that finding old vehicles in good working order for strict historical continuity is quite difficult!

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Drawing from TV

September 30, 2014

So I began to watch the new season of ‘Downton Abbey’ (a drama set in the eary twentieth century, shown in the UK on ITV) and decided to do some sketches from it whilst watching. I hadn’t drawn from TV before, you have to be really quick and hope that it’s a scene (and camera angle) that focuses on someone you want to draw! The resulting double page sketchbook spread is from the first two episodes of this new season.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

Here’s a closer look at the sketch of Cora, from the opening episode of the season.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

I enjoyed drawing Lady Mary the most, here’s the sketch I did of her from the opening episode.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

And the next one is Mary again, this time from the second episode. Spent a little longer on this, more shading from memory as the scene had ended and I wanted more contrast and shadows. So this is the drawing I spend the most time on, but was still a fairly quick sketch. The focus was on speed, rather than perfect accuracy.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

It was fun to try out drawing from moving images. Fortunately Downton Abbey is a show that does pause on character’s faces in some slower scenes and isn’t packed with action and movement all the time. Whilst I can’t vouch for the show’s historical accuracy I enjoy the costumes and feel strangely compelled to watch it.

All the drawings are graphite pencil (B, 2B & 4B) on paper.

Sketchbook Drawing

August 28, 2014

Here’s a recent drawing from my sketchbook, based on a photo of ‘Coco’ Chanel, made before doing my latest portrait performance photography piece.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

Not strictly realistic, it was a fairly quick study, a bit of an exercise in speed drawing and trying not to erase mistakes. Pencil on paper.

Breton Pearls

July 25, 2014

This is my most recent photographic portrait performance piece, ‘Breton Pearls’, part of my early 20th century series.

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‘Breton Pearls’, 2014.

This piece is loosely gathered from photographs of women in the 1920s and 1930s wearing big strings of pearls and Breton stripes. It has a hint of Chanel about it and is a more natural, less high contrast image than other pieces I have made based on this period of time.

Envelope as surface

June 17, 2014

Here’s a little drawing I made a couple of months ago using a technique often referred to as ‘blind contour drawing’, where you draw without looking down at the pencil and paper (or chosen media). In this case I used a 2B pencil to draw on the inside of an old envelope, reusing a material that is often discarded without much thought. The patterns inside envelopes can be quite interesting but they are often ignored, so I sometimes like to draw on them to give them a second life. Occasionally they end up being glued into the sketchbook.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

This particular drawing is of the Imperial State Crown, an image which has become iconic and easily recognisable in the UK. Introducing ambiguity into this image through the blind contour drawing technique adds a certain level of interest, I want to use this technique more frequently. I also enjoy the whimsical contrast created by drawing an image of a high-value object on such a low-value recycled material.

Travel Sketchbook

May 20, 2014

I went to Devon for a lovely break recently, here’s some drawings from the sketchbook I took with me!

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We were staying on a working farm and these are some of the birds that were visible from the windows, two ducks and one of the chickens. Pencil on paper.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

In Salcombe, sitting on the edge of the harbour crab fishing. Pencil on paper.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

Looking off the edge at a boat moored. Watercolour and pencil on paper. My little set of compact watercolours and a water brush came in very handy!


April 11, 2014

Here’s a new series of drawings, ‘Illusions’. All are mixed media (white acrylic paint on magazine paper). All the drawings are based on layering different articles of historical attire over models wearing contemporary 21st century garments.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

The contrast between the original image and the way the image has been altered through drawing pokes fun at the way fashions change and are later sometimes viewed as ridiculous. This also raises feminist issues around the judgment placed on women because of what they wear, as well as questioning the ethics of advertisements in the form of logos worn on people’s bodies. There is a playful juxtaposition between the cheeky poses of the model and the historical items of clothing drawn over them, which appear more serious and formal to the contemporary viewer.

Otter Linocut Printing

March 7, 2014

Recently I made some linocut prints of otters, based on photographs I took of otters in Devon last year which then got made into a drawing. They’re such adorable, charismatic little creatures.

Lino printing plate

This is the lino printing plate during the process of cutting out the design, resting on a bench hook to hold it in place for safety.

Copyright Tansy Hutcheson-Lovett

This was my favourite of the resulting prints, it came out very bold and clear. This print was made by mixing black and dark brown ink, printed on white paper. What a charming little otter!