Still chewing over the words…

A follow on from yesterday’s ‘Biting off more words that I can spell‘ – I finally got out my Indian ink and drawing pens and drew the Spelling People. My rationale for using Indian ink is that it is very, very black and I needed something that would dominate the vast expanse of white paper. Previous Spelling Animals have been quite delicately done, in pencil and watercolour, but since this picture is going to be submitted to a drawing exhibition I wanted to leave out the watercolour. So, bring on the Indian Ink.
The trouble is now I have done it I have the problem that I feared I would have: the people are not really weighty enough to ‘read’ properly, even with the thick black ink. I went over my test sample with biro to give the figures more weight – this helped but it gives me a further problem which is that if I am not sticking to just Indian ink, I would rather like to use something – biro or just pencil – that will give me a more sensitive, controlled drawing, something I can get more expression into.
So, I am thinking I shall leave this drawing as it stands, and do another one for the moment. It’s not too disastrous: more than half the work I do not need to do again!
Back to the drawing board….
Oh yes, the quote: ‘Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed’… It’s from William Blake, as it happens one of my favourite artists. I am sure he didn’t imagine quite such literal rendering of ‘naked’, however his drawings abound with naked, or very sparingly clad people, so I think it fits. Plus, it’s also about art. Winner all round.

Spelling people, first attempt
Spelling people, first attempt
With biro added.
With biro added.


  1. It’s tricky, innit? I think the verticals should be absolutely, rigorously vertical, and although it’s not the convention necessarily, all the sticking up letters (t, h, d etc) ought to be the same height.. Great drawings. It’s nice if the word recognition comes just the right amountof time before you realise they’re figures.

    1. Oh the verticals are pretty vertical – it’s the photo that is a bit distorted! I did correct it, but not perfectly. Not worried about slight differences in letter heights – it works, when you can see it without camera distortion – it’s the actual rendering that is the tricky one.

  2. Mgon β™₯

    Loving it. So fun! πŸ˜€ ❀

    1. thanks! it’s got better now – half way through version 2!

  3. Just recommended your ‘how to…’ guide on stretching paper to Kez . Re-read it myself – brilliant!

  4. This is a really great idea – I’m sure you’ll work out the finer details πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you! …second version is looking better so far… πŸ™‚

  5. This is wonderful, a real tour de force

    1. Thank you Rosie! : )
      Just finished the second attempt in biro, much more pleased, works a lot better, less clumsy. Can’t show it to you yet as I need daylight to get a proper photo…

  6. […] « Previous / Next » By Nancy Farmer / January 24, 2015 / Drawing, The Spelling Animals, The Spelling People, Uncategorized / Leave a comment […]

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