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The Cambridge Art Academy Blog: Fairhaven Singers practice Queens' College Chapel, Cambridge - 2  | View All Blogs | Back



Fairhaven Singers practice Queens' College Chapel, Cambridge - 2

Posted On: Saturday 26th February 2011
Summary: The second pastel and chalk drawing I did at the practice of the Fairhaven Singers last week, including a sample of their sound at the practice

Blog Tags: Sketching   Painting in Cambridge   Pastels painting   

Fairhaven singers practice
There's something about having a completely new and unusual subject in front of you that brings out the best in you as an artist. I can summarise it in one word - CHALLENGE. I love being slightly out of my depth. In this particular case I had all around me a lot of rather artist people - OK a different sort of art - but nonetheless very creative people. I felt I HAD to do well! 

I had permission to take in oils or watercolours, but I'm glad I restricted myself to monochrome. When I was a kid and we had our first (black and white!) TV there was a guy called Adrian Hill who used to do sketches like this live on the box. I was entranced - maybe it was he who first started me off. He would take a mid-toned pastel paper like I have used here and then start outlining and shading in black pastel or charcoal. His drawing skill was excellent, but what produced "sparkle" was his restrained use of white chalk or pastel to put in the highlights.

This is the same technique I used here, using the paper for the mid-tones and just touching in a small amount of white to show the white keyboard on the piano, where some of the downlighters were striking the heads and shoulders of some of the choir members, the tops of the pews, and the pale upper wall which was being illuminated by up-lighters. I am really pleased with the result, and not so modestly left my drawings where I thought choir members might see them as they left the practice!  You can get more information about the Fairhaven Singers on this link

Whilst I was doing this I set my hand recorder going, and I have included a sample of the sound of the practice as I sketched. Click below to hear it



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