Biro Colour Palette and New Work in Progress…

Detail of colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

Detail photograph of colour Biro drawing by Jane Lee McCracken

The following photographic images detail small fragments of a new colour Biro drawing in progress.  The drawing is part of a new body of work exploring the meaning of the word ‘War’.  This particular piece has been months in the making.

Detail of white horse, new colour Biro drawing

Detail of white horse, new colour Biro drawing

The colours in my drawings are mixed one on top of the other using 8 – 10 different colour Biro’s from a pack of 20 pens, in order to create the exact colours required. When painting in the past I would create a spectrum of colours using Red, Yellow, Cobalt, White, Paynes Grey and Yellow Ochre but with the pack of colour Biros I use this is impossible as the colours are geared towards children and include fluorescent hues.  You have to be inventive when mixing the colours within the drawing!  However Biro ink is a beautiful gelatinous ink which when applied to a surface achieves a vibrancy and volume rather like print pigments – one of the reasons I love Biro!

Detail of Roxy, colour Biro drawing

Detail of Roxy, colour Biro drawing

When painting, colours can be ready mixed on the palette so they can be reused within the canvas.  When using colour Biro each colour has to be created or recreated within the drawing by layering different colour pens on top of one another.   It takes a day to achieve 1/2 – 1 inch of a colour composition because you are often quadrupling the amount of pen layers as opposed to the fewer layers required to create the shades of a one colour drawing.

'Pilgrim', small detail of colour Biro drawing

‘Pilgrim’, small detail of colour Biro drawing

Within my work I like to use images of people, animals and objects that play a part in my life and this particular drawing memorialises a yearling and a mare who belonged to friends and sadly are no longer with us.

Still some way to go…

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‘Pilgrim’, A Special Commission

'Pilgrim', 2015 colour Biro drawing

‘Pilgrim’, 2015 colour Biro drawing

‘Pilgrim’, 2015 colour Biro drawing.  Sadly Pilgrim is no longer with us, he passed away during a life-saving operation at just a year old.

His kind owner Heidi Carr had agreed to my photographing Pilgrim a few days after his birth and throughout his life in order to capture each stage of his journey and incorporate his image in a new body of work, continuing the exploration of War and its impact on people and animals.  Pilgrim was to feature in a drawing remembering the causatum for horses and livestock during war.  Between us we have many photographs of Pilgrim so he will continue to shine brightly in a future drawing ‘The Road Through France’.   Heidi wished for a drawing of Pilgrim as a yearling, as she remembered him.  I retained the flecks of hay sprinkled on Pilgrim’s forelock as they looked like little stars.  ‘Pilgrim’ attempts to capture the gentle, sweet-natured young horse who touched so many.

 

Pilgrim in a field of buttercups, 2012

Pilgrim in a field of buttercups, 2013

'Running Free', Pilgrim at a few weeks old, 2012

‘Running Free’, Pilgrim at a few weeks old, 2013