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Gail Reid
Camel Study

Brush pen on paper
16″ x 23″


Lauryn Welch, Painter & Performance Artist

Lauryn Welch
Teaching Assistant
Painter & Performance Artist

Artist Statement
“I am a British artist living in Dubai. My daily practice is observational drawing. I have a ‘warts and all’ appreciation of the city, landscape, flora and fauna around me. I draw mostly from life, mostly graphite pencil, but also pen and ink, watercolour, and linocut. I visit a local camel farm to sketch and take reference photos.

This was a quick (40 minute) study from reference photos, to explore the potential of the brush pen, which I thought could capture the texture of the juvenile camel’s fur.”

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7 responses on "Gail Reid"

  1. Profile photo of Jeffrey Katz

    I’ve got to agree with everyone on the skill, confidence, and diversity of your marks — they do a fantastic job of conveying the different textures of the camels, especially on the large head, where the waves and swirls of hair are really well-executed.

    One thing I’d suggest when making pages like these is really considering composition beforehand. Even though they’re just studies, planned placement of the drawings can really elevate the quality of the piece. For example, if the large hoof were a little farther down, it might give the beautiful ruffles on the neck of the big head more room to breathe, like the sketches in the upper left-hand corner have. Alternately, overlapping the drawings could be visually exciting!

    Overall, these are great. The personality and confidence in your drawings is very impressive!

  2. Profile photo of Casey Roonan

    I honestly can’t believe you got such an excellent range of marks from a single brush pen! Lauryn already mentions in her critique that you should try using different sized pens together, but I would also suggest using different colors! You include such lovely hatching in the portrait of the camel that I would think you could do a lot by layering different colors.

  3. Profile photo of Gail Reid

    Thank you so much Lauryn for your insightful and helpful crit. This has really got me thinking about using different tools, and levels of abstraction – Hokusai is fantastic, and absolutely resonates with me – I also work in relief reduction printmaking, but there is a big capability gap to cross!.Thank you for the pointer.

    Clara and Deepti thank you so much for your additional help, I sketch camels from life occasionally when possible, and completely agree with you,..I have just had my first solo show here, featuring portraits, shrimps and cockroaches all observed from life. That is absolutely the best, freshest, and most sincere way to connect with your subject. Sadly, it’s 40+ degrees here now, which is fine for camels, but not so fine for my English Lightweight constitution! We are leaving Dubai soon, so I will shortly substitute camels for UK native creatures – all your sterling advice and suggestions hold, regardless of subject.

    Chuffed to have my work featured on Artprof, thank you all for your time and interest.
    I hope not too creepy to say I absolutely love artprof, and have recommended it to friends – such a great idea, and a genuine, generous contribution to art education.

    • Profile photo of Clara Lieu

      Glad to hear the feedback was helpful Gail! We love your work and are so pleased to feature your sketch here. Thanks so much for your support and enthusiasm for Art Prof, you totally made my day! Keep us posted on your progress!!

    • Profile photo of Lauryn Welch

      You’re so sweet Gail! Thank you for your comment, I was so happy I was the one that got to review your piece. :] I’m glad you’re already so familiar with Hokusai, and also work with printmaking. Have you tried doing a linocut or stamp from one of your brush drawings? I’ve done a few and I’m so in love with the combination of the free flowing brush translated into the exactitude of a carved out image.

  4. Profile photo of Clara Lieu

    It’s so great to hear that you are creating these drawings based on your visits to local camel farm. So often I see people finding photos of animals online to draw from, which just cannot compare to actually seeing animals in real life and getting the full sensory experience!

    You’ve got a great command of marks, I like that in some areas you layer your marks quite densely, and then in other areas, the marks are quite sparse and transform into more abstract marks. I would love to see you push that contrast even further; maybe you could experiment with deliberately letting yourself get lost in the marks and let the image of the camel become less and less recognizable. That area that Lauryn pointed out in the video where the marks break down into abstract strokes is really exciting!

    Keep going, these are fantastic sketches!

  5. Profile photo of Deepti Menon

    The energy and variety of your mark making is wonderful! It works really well with the medium and subject matter you’ve chosen.

    Lauren’s suggestion of trying out various pens and using them together is great! I’d love to see what you could do combining a really fine tip pen with the technique you already have going on here. That might be a great way to add on some really precise details in some areas!

    It would be great to see you continue to work with camels, and sketch them from life! Especially since you do a lot of observational drawing as it is, I would love to see how you interpret camels while having a live one in front of you. The way the wind effects their fur and eyelashes, how their mouth moves while they eat, or a closer look at their funky proportions could all be really inspirational!

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