To start with I was always hand drawing anything and everything because it is so important. Can drawing help you sleep? It certainly relaxes you and calms you down so I would say it does. So the first medium of me has got to be a range of pencils of various thicknesses to shade with and charcoal has a very interesting quality to it as well. I especially enjoy drawing people and figure compositions especially if I am in a local pub. Then I follow this up with a series of photographs. It is important to get the drawing right and keep practicing until you get it right.
I am always influenced by the Impressionists style of painting and the way they have used colour. Impressionists do paint using light in their work. I was always an oil painter and still love the smell of the turps and linseed oil. However, recently I have found acrylic to be a superb medium because It dries quickly, has a range of bright colours and is water-based. I try to sketch from life wherever possible but in the case of crowd scenes, this is not always possible. So I use photographs of the or sometimes a scene and then put people into it. It is usually a challenge for me to paint a lot of people in a crowd but because I love people in a scene it is exciting. I also try to paint an interesting scene where the eye is lead into the picture, for instance diagonally or in a sort of shape. I sometimes use a palette knife especially in the cases of skies and when I am painting textures i.e. trees and also I will use sponges or other things to create textures. Textures are great! When I look at the scene I try to remember what it was really like but remember the Impressionist technique of using complementary colours and try to capture light.
I have also enjoyed using pastels because they are so easy to use, although messy (I don't mind getting messy!). When to use pastels? Usually on a tinted paper, which come in different colours. I usually use a darker background and whatever subject I am drawing I try to create a whole picture rather than the subject in isolation. For instance in the case of a vase of flowers on a table, I paint the flowers, table and what or who is around the table at the time. As well as this I have tried to be experimental by using encaustic techniques using crayons and an iron (its really great fun and fast!) and like scraperboard. At the moment I have not got any photographs of these but watch this space. I like to use a variety of mediums in the same picture as well e.g. collage, pastel and paint.