I came across Frank Brangwyn through my interest in William Morris and Brangwyn’s interest in Japanese art. Largely self-taught (though he was an apprentice to William Morris), he seemed to be able to turn his hand to anything, including design, printing, painting and drawing. I was particularly delighted to find a book of his drawings: Llewellyn, S and Liss, P (2015) Frank Brangwyn. Drawings from the Collection of Father Jerome Esser. Liss Fine Art, which contains a number of his drawings which he intended to be destroyed. Thankfully they were found and preserved.
His style is deceptively simple, yet sensitive, and effective in portraying the human figure. He drew constantly, even compulsively (ibid. 3). I have noted the range of drawing materials and surfaces he used: black and white chalk; pencil; black chalk and wash with red chalk highlights; charcoal and coloured chalks; red chalk only; pencil, black and beige chalk over lithograph; pencil on buff coloured tracing paper; black chalk on buff paper; The “red chalk” (and perhaps all the “chalk”) looks to be some sort of conte – red probably sanguine? I was particularly intrigued by his use of pen and ink with scratching out on card primed with gesso, and have been trying this out in my sketchbook. Also, some of his studies on draped clothing will be worth referring back to when I move on to Part Four of this course.