Saturday, September 09, 2006

“This guy can draw anything.”

In Ludlow we were entertained by John Palmer who gave a presentation to Art Society members at our September social meeting. John sprouts up almost like a hardy annual in Ludlow, it was his third visit and judging by the large attendance he came by popular request.

John is based in Bristol and has worked all his life as a graphic designer producing advertising art work and magazine illustrations. He always brings a huge portfolio of his graphic work in watercolour, gouache and acrylic and is happy to have this passed around. The range of style and subject matter is staggering. “This guy can draw anything.” said one of our young members as she looked at the next piece of art work that came to hand.

For his demonstrations John brings three or four large watercolours at various stages of finish and works on each in turn – sometimes adding more drawing as well as new washes. It’s an interesting way to work; it emphasises that sound draughtsmanship lies at the heart of good watercolour and forms an integral part of the finished work.

I first got to know John’s work from a book he wrote back in 1993. The title was ‘Drawing and Sketching’ and was published as a title in the Ron Ranson’s Painting School series. The series has long since been out of print and I picked up my copy at a bargain price in a publishers remaindered bookshop. I always intend to get him to autograph my copy perhaps on a future visit I will remember
to ask him.

Incidentally I was surprised to find copies of the book are still available via Amazon.

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