I did a demonstration and workshop at Horsforth Arts Society, in Leeds, in January 2015. It was a freezing evening and I parked outside in a narrow back street. This club is an end terrace house, extended into the next house I think, and they have sole use. No one had arrived, but I was encouraged by a notice in the window “Demonstration of Continuous Line Drawing by Mick Burton at 7.30pm”. Shirley, who arranged demonstrations, arrived but could not unlock the door. I managed to open it.
So we were in and I could cart all my kit and pictures up the stairs and decide on my set up. Joan came with me to help and the room soon filled up with friendly, expectant, members. Shirley had seen me demonstrate at another club and gave an encouraging introduction.
After showing several pictures of my animals, mentioning a bit about my past and going through the basics of how to do a continuous line animal, it was time to do my first drawing before the members had a go themselves.
Firstly I put my key marks on a sketched Rhinoceros, showed how to join up the marks in the main areas such as the head and legs and asked the members to start on their own subjects whilst I connected up more lines. I completed a rough and ready version of the Rhino, which a few weeks later I spruced up and added colours as above. It is in the Harrogate and Nidderdale Art Club spring exhibition this weekend.
The members of the club completed pictures of animals or people with lines, but with a great variety of styles. I did not insist on complete continuous lines, as the main idea was that their drawings could flow, and many good results emerged. Several coloured in their creations.
Whilst they continued with their pictures, or started new ones, in the second half I started an Ostrich. I did the head and neck and put some key marks elsewhere and invited members to come up and have a go at parts of the ostrich with my thick marker pen. Several did and we arrived at the result below. It has about three different lines going and a few dead ends. This is fine at an early stage of my continuous line drawings, before loose ends are then connected up and one continuous line arrived at along with modifications to pattern and smoothing.
I thanked them for their help and in later weeks produced the picture “Ostrich Egg” below. It has two continuous lines, one of which is the coloured Egg.
A black pen version of the Ostrich is currently in the Association of Animal Artists annual exhibition.
I quite like including eggs in pictures. “Harriet’s Busy Day”, which now resides in Worcestershire, was a finalist in Britain’s Got Artists in July 2012.
When I showed the Hen picture to my sister Wendy she said “Why have you stuck all those eggs to the ceiling”.