Green Men in coloured pencil (3)


Staying with the A3 size, I moved on to white paper for the next set of green men. I decided to name this group more consistently. They became the Vikings, all with Scandinavian names and with decorative elements similar to the sort of designs that the Vikings (and the Celts) were fond of.

Leif is drawn in Derwent Graphitint, a watersoluble medium. Much like the Drawing range, the colour palette is limited, but it tends towards wintry cool colours (grey, blue and olive green) in comparison to Drawing’s autumnal warmth. I resisted the temptation to wet all of the colour so thsat I could make use of a scribe tool to indent the paper and create a latent white line: dry pencil rubbed over such lines will reveal them, but the wet colour sinks into the indentation and hides it.

I had a bit of fun with Leif’s moustache, a theme that continues throughout this set.

Olaf the multicioloured oak personification is set in a stone background that includes carved birds. Whoever carved them didn’t have a bird in view at the time, so they aren’t entirely true to form.

Sigurd is even more colourful than Olaf, but he is affilated to beech – a tree that excels at autumn colour. He looks a little bit put out thar his moustache has got caught up in the acanthus stems he is disgorging. This term, disgorge, is used to decribe green men with vegetation coming out of their mouths, and this main thing that I was exploring with Sigurd.

Sven is a disgorger, too, but in a more modest (and less traditional) way. His three rather stylish acanthus leaves are borrowed from a William Morris wallpaper design. His moustache, however, is all his own.

Knut‘s name means (unsurprisingly) “knot”. So it seemed entirely appropriate to give him some carved knotwork to play with. The four corner pieces were worked out once, then traced and transferred to the other three corners.

Sten means “stone”. It felt like a good name to return to the original intention with: a stone carving, and so end the series. I gave him a hint of colour (is he waking up or going to sleep?) and went a bit crazy with those acanthus leaves.

All of these drawings are 29.7 x 29.7 cm before framing.

Left to right: Leif, Olaf, Sigurd, Sven, Knut, Sten