Art, reviews and thoughts from a young artist in Plymouth, UK.

Archive for July, 2016

Plymouth Young Contemporary Open

'GrowClan Cats Animation' by Antonia Parkyn for the Plymouth Young Contemporary Open 2016

‘GrowClan Cats Animation’ by Antonia Parkyn for the Plymouth Young Contemporary Open 2016

On the 8th of July I went to the Plymouth Young Contemporary Open (PYCO) at the Peninsula Arts Gallery and the Radiant Gallery.  The PYCO is a bi-annual event for young people aged between 4 to 30 and this year’s theme was GROW.

I started at the Roland Levinsky Building with my brother where we met with friends who were also interested in the art which the local young people had made.  We headed straight into the exhibition at Peninsula Arts.  The gallery was full of works in different styles and media, including animation, film, painting, sculpture and drawings.  I had seen a couple of pieces before in the Graduate Show at PCA.

One of my favourite pieces here was an ink drawing, ‘Origin’ by Rachel Card (in the 19-23 age category), which showed a woman reading from a book The Origins Of Life and her hair above her was filled with flowers and life under a night sky.  Close by was a photography project ‘Growth Of Us’ by Ben Churchill (16-18) a collection of four portraits representing four decades of cultural history.  In each portrait the model (I assume it was Ben himself?) is holding a camera from that era and across his t-shirt are photographs of human rights activists of that decade.  I also liked the photograph ‘Cranes’ by Ryan Trower of a city skyline filled with cranes, showing how the city is growing upwards to the clouds.

Another ink drawing which I was captivated by was ‘Metropolis’ by George Davies (Winner of the 12-15 category), an extremely intricate illustration of a city.  Finally, we all loved ‘Groa’ by Amelia Goodman (12-15), who combined pen, pencil, watercolour, ink and gouache to portray a dragon from a story she wrote herself.

We left the gallery and had our lunch by the Kilkenny limestone sculptures which have been loaned to Plymouth University by Peter Randall-Page.  The sculptures are huge and when you touch them they are completely smooth.  They made me think about how each block must have started out looking the same but the artist has made them all look unique.

Sculptures by Peter Randall-Page on Plymouth University campus

Sculptures by Peter Randall-Page on Plymouth University campus

After lunch we made our way across town to the Radiant Gallery.  It was my first time visiting and the gallery is attached to the pretty Rumpus Cosy cafe which I would like to visit again for cake sometime!  Radiant is a smaller gallery than Peninsula and feels more intimate.  I thought that ‘Box 1-3’ by Jessica Owen (16-18) was the most meaningful and emotive piece in the exhibition.  It was a mixed media piece of three glass cubes which each contained a different subject.  In the first was a curled up baby, the second contained warped Dali-esque clocks, and the third was overflowing with flowers.  The label read that the piece was “a personal response to my father leaving the family, my sadness and depression that resulted.”

One of my brother’s favourite pieces was ‘GrowClan Cats Animation’ by Antonia Parkyn (8-11).  This was an animation made using Scratch and inspired by the Warrior Cats books by Erin Hunter.  I am a fan of the books myself and enjoy making in Scratch so this piece reminded me how young people in 2016 are constantly expressing themselves in creative and unexpected ways using modern technology.

I didn’t enter the PYCO this year but I really enjoyed the exhibition and seeing what other young people in Plymouth are creating, so I’m hoping to take part next time in 2018.

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Art Cards

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Midnakit’s hand drawn art cards

Forgot to add these to my last post.  More of my hand drawn art cards that I hand out to interesting people I meet.  The top two are card designs I’ve used before, the bottom is new – Ive drawn her before in a different pose and called her Candy Girl then, but only as a temporary name, I’m still learning who she really is!  All characters are my own, coloured with ProMarkers.

Sketches from the past fortnight..

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View from Bigbury Beach, Sakura Koi Watercolour

I’ve had a really busy couple of weeks.  I’ve been to the beach twice, done Laser Tag, caught up with friends who have finished school for the year, gone to a Minecraft LAN day at ThinqTanq, applied for a place on the National Art & Design Saturday Club at PCA, read Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne, went to a ‘Titanic’ workshop at the STEM centre at City College Plymouth, went to the Plymouth Young Contemporary Open at Radiant and Peninsula galleries, had my second skateboarding lesson at Prime (and met Stefani Nurding!), took part in the most recent (and final!) Splatfest (Team Callie!), and I went to see Ghostbusters at the Reel!

All that on top of my usual weekly activities.. so I haven’t had time to update my blog with daily sketches or anything else!  This post is a giant catch up of all my favourite sketches that I’ve done in the past fortnight.

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Fanart inspired by The Colour Catchers, Gutsie by Emma Baker, Attack on Titan, The Last of Us, My Hero Academia, and One Punch Man

 This page is full of fanart, apart from the character in the welder’s mask which is my own.  As well as anime and manga inspired fanart, I’ve done my own versions of Alice Kensington’s “Colour Catchers” (Rainbowjam patreon) and Emma Baker’s “Gutsie” (Ghoulkiss patreon).  Both of these amazing artists recently graduated from Plymouth College of Art so please support them and share their work if you can!

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Along the top, My Hero Academia and One Punch Man fanart. At the bottom, another invention of mine, I was trying out a sideview.

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My Hero Academia fanart

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Undertale and Gravity Falls fanart.

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Adventure Time fanart

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View from Wembury Beach 

Yes it is a lot of fanart but I enjoy it!  I plan to do a couple of posts this week on local events Ive been to recently so check back later!

My PlymouthCubed art inside PlymouthCubed!

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The man behind PlymouthCubed (Plymouth in Minecraft!), Neil, liked my watercolour inspired by his project so much he took this excellent screenshot of my art inside his!  That’s Minecraft Neil in the cool t-shirt stood by my painting on Minecraft Plymouth Hoe!  Don’t know who that is in the distance, staring dramatically out to sea.. I can’t wait to walk around inside this myself!

Keys to Drawing Chapter 2

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Practicing copying and emulating master artists (Matisse and Rembrandt)

Chapter 2 of Keys to Drawing (link to my post on Chapter 1) is about the Artist’s Handwriting, which is the personal style an artist draws in.

Bert Dodson suggests there are two handwritings: A loose, fast and sketchy one and a slow, careful and precise one.  The first, loose handwriting captures the spirit of the subject, and the second focused handwriting creates areas of sharper detail.

The next part of the chapter is an analysis of the drawings of several master artists, the ones I found most interesting were Matisse, Rembrandt, and Kollwitz.  Dodson talks about the different handwritings of these artists and encourages you to try their techniques.  The projects here are to closely copy these sketches “to experience the hand of the master” and then to emulate “the stroke and character” of the artist in your own original drawings of a similar subject.  Dodson says that copying and emulating master artists is a “key to learning” to draw.

Practicing copying and emulating master artists (Kollwitz)

Practicing copying and emulating master artists (Kollwitz)

The next section involves practicing some “free handwriting” exercises including gesture drawing using a distant grip (holding the pencil loosely) and connected line drawing (keeping your pencil moving without lifting the entire time following the curves and lines of the subject).  There is also the “five-minute burn”, when you draw exactly what you see in front of you for five minutes without stopping.  I found connected line drawing useful to simplify a subject to it’s basic form.  The five-minute burn is much more complicated because you’re trying to capture as much information as possible. 20160713_151143

The chapter moves on to practice a close grip on the pencil and “control handwriting”.  The projects here were to build tonal bars using pressure strokes and hatching strokes and to match the tones of a black and white photograph.  There is then a project where you alternate between free and control handwriting within the same drawing.

The rest of the chapter is an introduction to using different types of media and also using erasing and rubbing (with tissue, fingers or paper stumps) in order to pick out lights, create sharp edges, reduce tone and soften details.

This chapter was more difficult than the first but I really enjoyed learning about the different artists and testing out different media.  I particularly liked using pen and ink and I use it quite a lot now.  I feel my skills really improved from working through this chapter.

The Keys covered in Chapter 2 are:

  • Separate your ‘two handwritings’
  • Free your hand
  • Control your hand
  • Copy
  • Emulate
  • Experiment with media and techniques
  • Use your eraser and your bare hand as drawing tools

Today’s Sketch

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This is a sketch of a character I designed today.

Her name is Berry and she is 17 years old.  She loves to fix, mess around with and make mechanical objects, and wants to be a mechanic when she’s older.  She loves fruit and her favourite are apples.

Today’s Sketch

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Tsukema Tsukeru

I finished this a few days ago. I used my Sakura Koi watercolour set and Kuretake Zig Mangaka fineliners in my Seawhite sketchbook.  It’s Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in her second outfit for Tsukema Tsukeru.  It was fun doing all the individual food packets on her skirt.

I also want to share my uncoloured PlymouthCubed sketch.  It’s zombies on Plymouth Hoe!

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