Activity 2: Less is More: Black, Brown and White!

Instructor: Delphine Priollaud-Stoclet (France)

Location: Queen Street Market


I believe that simplicity is the better way to capture life and to feel its energy and likeness.

I draw as quickly as possible, without heavy equipment, looking for a global vision and a pure design according to a personal interpretation.

I select what is really important for me to draw at the present time : it’s impossible to draw everything I see ! So I need to make choices. That’s a tough decision…
How simplify the subject with sensitivity and an expressive line ? I really don’t believe in perfection from simple imitation. The sketch can be unfinished and guessed for more sense, depending of a dynamic composition which plays with black, brown and white contrasts according to full and empty spaces in the drawing. Lightness invades the drawing : it makes it «breath» !

I don’t want to produce a realistic artwork : capturing the emotion and essence of the scene, with a global vision and a pure design is really more interesting.

The most important point is how we feel the atmosphere, and good vibes to draw without confusing speed with hurry using a creative approach.

I usually mix black, thin and fluid lines (pen) with values (Chinese ink and walnut , washed with some water) : fusion of black and brown is very expressive.

Dark shadows are true eye-catchers : they indicate volume, darker on the area of interest, lighter to the edges.

I will enjoy to make another demonstration with colors, using watercolor exactly in the same way : simplicity, lightness, brightness, globality.
Don’t get lost in the details, and lively scenes will really be easier to draw!


Activity schedule

The activity will begin with a short lesson : how to decide the main subject, how to focus on it, lines, composition, the importance of white margins.

Then, Delphine will make a demonstration, explaining the creative process.

After, participants will also have the opportunity to sketch with this method to explore a new drawing language.

At the end, we’ll have a short critique of the drawings.

I propose to use only black and white technic with a compact and portable equipment : white paper (medium sized sketchbook), a drawing pen (0.2 or 0.3), a calligraphic brush with black chinese ink cartridge (Pentel Art Brush is the best ) and a brush with a water reservoir.

Additional supplies you may prefer would include a dip pen or bamboo pen with a small bottle of ink and a brush (don’t forget water).

Bring a portable stool if you like to sit on while working.