Old Wood

I don’t know how much, if any, of Troserch Woodland is ancient but it is a beautiful place to walk and the cycle of growth and decay is inevitable in all woodland let alone anywhere else.

Below are two more images that didn’t make it into the StillWalks video below – “Troserch Woodland Walk”

old wood

Woodland Fence

All StillWalks videos are available to buy as High Definition (HD) downloads. Just click on the Shop drop down menu button. Or you can pay what you like for this video (normal price £3.00) with the donate button below and I will send you a link to download this featured video in HD. Please allow up to 24 hours for delivery of the download link.

Why pay for a StillWalks video? See five good reasons below.

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Five good reasons to buy a StillWalks video:

  • High Quality Videos 
  • Anytime, anywhere
  • Therapy at your fingertips
  • Watching, Walking and Listening 
  • Health and wellbeing

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Woodland Walk Video

“Troserch Woodland Walk” is a StillWalks video I produced one early morning last Summer.  I was looking through the images from this production recently and found a number that I like but that did not make it into the video. I thought I would showcase them this week, so watch this space!

All StillWalks videos are available to buy as High Definition (HD) downloads. Just click on the Shop drop down menu button. Or you can pay what you like for this video (normal price £3.00) with the donate button below and I will send you a link to download this featured video in HD. Please allow up to 24 hours for delivery of the download link.

Why pay for a StillWalks video? See five good reasons below.

btn_donateCC_LG

Five good reasons to buy a StillWalks video:

  • High Quality Videos 
  • Anytime, anywhere
  • Therapy at your fingertips
  • Watching, Walking and Listening 
  • Health and wellbeing

Continue reading

Slow Shutter Effects – iPhonography

My day to day photography is often done using my iPhone and lately I have been experimenting with one or two different camera apps. The set of images below were taken using Slow Shutter Cam which, if you can be sure to keep the phone steady is nifty little app.

Fountains

The problem with long exposures being used to achieve that misty / ghostly effect or smoothness in flowing water, is that everything else gets the same length of exposure. There are various ways of dealing with this but the Slow Shutter app simply uses thevideo setting on the phone camera rather than the stills setting. It is, however, a still image that is saved.

It is a clever answer to the exposure issue and there are options to take images up to the full resolution of the camera (8 megapixels). I have had a few issues with the handling of colour which can be seen above but I suspect this is something that I will be able to manage better with time and practice. These images have had some post production adjustments applied but the main issue in taking them was that I did not have a tripod with me and had to rely on keeping the camera steady with the aid of the railings round the fountains.

The fountains are in the centre of Middlesbrough in the NE of England which is, according to some, one of the ugliest towns in Britain – I disagree and suggest they take another look, this time with their eyes open and no prejudicial blinkers!

 

Drawing and the iPad – Conclusions

I was in the shade of Cwn Nash woods when I did the last of my iPad drawings on the Walk and Draw day on the South Wales coast and so it was done in more comfort than the previous ones.

My conclusions, for now, regarding the iPad as a tool for drawing are that I will not be splashing out on one just yet. I prefer using pencil or charcoal on paper. However, if I were to get one, it would be with the purpose of finding other approaches to drawing with it. I have no interest in trying to produce a “watercolour” or “pastel” drawing with the iPad, but as David Hockney showed, it can be used very effectively as a medium in itself and not as a means to imitate others.

Round Stones and Flat Rocks

The pattern created by these smooth round stones was the second thing that interested me about this small area at the foot of the cliffs near Monknash on the South Wales coast.

I took a closer look and, on my iPad, I started a couple of sketches of the the harsh light and shade.

This revealed the disadvantage of recording observations with this method – namely heat! The sun was shining and it was a blistering day. Although I started my drawing from a vantage point in the shade, the sun soon moved round and I found that the glass of the iPad got extremely hot to the touch quite quickly. Had I been using a stylus, I might not have realised what was happening which may well have done some lasting harm to the iPad.

Click below to view the iPad animation of one of my attempts at drawing these stones on the iPad using SketchBook Pro.

Monknash stones

flat rocks

Flat Rocks

Rockpool

Layers and Layers – Recording Observations 2

I took a small sketchbook with me on our walk and draw day on the cliff lined shore near Monknash on the South Wales coast – and I found it much easier to work with traditional drawing media than with the iPad. However, I have not had much practice with the iPad in this way.

One of the reasons for bringing the iPad was to get a bit more experience and make a better assessment of it when using it with a traditional approach to drawing – i.e. the SketchBook Pro program I used was set to use a “pencil” at 50% opacity. It would have been easier if I’d had a stylus! I found the strata of the rocks quite a difficult subject but that may have been my lack of practice!

I first used the iPad for drawing when preparing for the Josef Herman Art Foundation Schools Award 2014 project. My first attempts were tentative, but practice obviously helps. Restricting myself (and the children) to using the “pencil” tool was intended to help us learn the basics and become familiar with working in this way. One thing I thought might be useful was the ability to record the process of drawing as an animation.

Below are two of my earliest drawings on the iPad. I hope the viewpoint of the first is clear and the second is of one of the Rosa Mundi flowers in our garden. The flower is the one that would make attempt using colour on the iPad!

iPad drawing of my foot

Rosa Mundi iPad drawing

Breakers Walk – A New StillWalks Video

This past week I have been showing a taster of this new StillWalks video. Now, here is the video itself. Please watch and if you can, use the expand button in the corner of the video to watch it full screen.

The video is nine minutes long, which is longer than many other StillWalks videos, but I hope that you will appreciate the reasoning for this and enjoy its full length. Comments are welcome.

The video was produced as part of a research project with Dr Cathy Treadaway for CARIAD at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Looking Seeing Drawing

I am currently working on two drawing based projects. The first is the Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru Schools Award Project 2014. The focus of my part in this project, apart from Josef Herman, is drawing – more specifically, drawing and digital media (iPads). See below for examples on video from this project.

The second is a research project run by Cathy Treadaway with CARIAD at Cardiff Metroplitan University – Centre for Applied Research in Inclusive Arts and Design.

Both projects fit well with my approach to drawing. Drawing is about looking and understanding. By observing the things around us (or within ourselves) and transferring that observation to the drawing medium, we can understand and appreciate more of what we observe. For this to happen we must look, look and see. The more we look, the more we see, the better we understand. The deeper our understanding of the world around us, in my view, the closer we come to balance within that world.

Our understanding of drawing has widened in recent decades. The traditional techniques of pencil or charcoal on paper (amongst others) have been augmented. My own drawing used often to be charcoal on paper (a medium I love). These days I think of some of the work I do with wire and weave, as drawing – it is a way of working out ideas in my head that need a means of expression. The full expression, however, does not appear until a finished piece is produced. The “sketchbook” I took with me recently to Crickhowell, to show my tapestry workshop participants, was a table full of bits of weaving and wire, three dimensional trials and experiments – there was no paper.

When producing my StillWalks videos, the first step (most of the time) is to carry out a recce walk. I don’t take my cameras and only take photos on my iPhone. I think of this as drawing. It is my first sketch of the environment where, on production day, I will gather the content for the finished StillWalks video.

The digital medium element of the Josef Herman project is the iPad. All of the schools I am working with use iPads in their classrooms and so were familiar with them. They were less familiar with using them for drawing. However, David Hockney, through the use of his iPad, has shown the world a good example of the widening array of methods to record our observations and express our imagination and understanding.

Below are some examples of drawing by 9 and 10 year old children based on Josef Herman’s work. The children modelled as figures from Herman’s works and drew each other on both paper and iPads.