Bobby Britnell Workshop March 2016

A scary title but in fact a gentle, well worked out approach to a frightening subject. Bobby gave us a square of paper with a 6cm. square hole cut from the middle. All the exercises were done in this space. We had a larger sheet to work on and a small graphite stick. We found ourselves making a square as dark as we could, then as pale as possible and then grading a square from one to the other. A second piece of card was used to mask out part of the square as we used the dark to light to make voids and empty bright white spaces. We swapped to a fine black pen but followed the same challenges of making the square dark, then light and then masking different parts. Finally on the first day we brushed graphite gently across the square and then used pencil, pen and rubber, and masking tape to produce different effects. We were full of ideas and many people went home and worked on them. The second day saw us changing the surface of the paper with glued tissue, painted gesso, crumple machines, and much more. Finally we analysed what makes us like our own favourite artist and worked that knowledge into a final design.

Not so scary after all.

Toni Stanford

Photograph: Freehand drawing with a fine pen

Photographs: More of the workshop activities