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Visiting Artist Ian Murphy Shares his Drawing Techniques

Published on 11/01/24

Year 12 student Lola tells us all about the visit from Artist Ian Murphy.

Ian Murphy is a fine artist who uses a mixture of different mediums to create textured and visually interesting pieces of work. Murphy brought many of his sketches and paintings that we were able to look through and be inspired by. Much of Murphy’s work is based around architecture, particularly in Asia, and in the workshop Murphy explained his artistic method and taught us how to use them.

When creating a piece Murphy will often create the rough sketch and if he likes it he will then create it on a larger scale - possibly using other materials such as ink - and then if he wants to enhance it further he will create an oil painting of the same image. These stages of production allow him to make the piece more unique as he focuses on what he wants to portray. Creating the initial idea sketches in this workshop allowed us to then upscale it if we would like after as we had been given the skills needed.

Murphy likes to focus on light in his work and to emulate this he had us draw quickly and focus on drawing in the shade of an object, rather than outlining the shape of the object. We prepared paper to work on by using glue to stick down strips of newspaper and then crinkled tissue paper and then used sandpaper to remove part of it and create texture - after this we applied graphite powder with a paper towel to emphasise the texture. This process made it easier to start a drawing as we weren’t faced with a completely blank piece to start with. We continued to do drawings led by Murphy using pen, pencil, ink and bleach, graphite powder, and rubbers to create different effects and experiment with new mediums.

The workshop led by Ian Murphy helped improve our understanding of how to create form in different ways and with different effects and how we could extend our ways of recording things we see in interesting ways.