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Meet Brian Partridge :iconmaryanne42: Artist and Illustrator.  His intricate drawings and artworks are simply amazing and full of depth, with more and more to see in them the more you spend time looking!  In short, if there were any artist's style I wish I could emulate, it would be his!


Early Discoveries and Lasting Influences

I have always drawn ... one of my earliest memories is sitting up in bed with a drawing book and pencils ( I would have been 4 or thereabouts) ... but nothing special. I started taking it seriously in the early seventies and went full time in 1983 or thereabouts.

A big push for me was discovering pen and ink .. a dip pen first then a Rotring. I saw the large pen and ink drawings Burne-Jones did as a student and never looked back.  My influences were mainly Victorian illustrators, The Pre-Raphaelites, Indian miniatures ... how long a list I could give!

I have never had any formal art training.

Personal Preferences for Artwork

I am not sure what type of pictures I do create.  The ideas come and I draw them and that's more or less it.

I like "still Life" .. good relaxing concentration but there is more value in the doing than in the end product. At the moment I want to do some drawings of the human figure in a landscape but haven't found the time. The current project is a set of drawings for Alice Through The Looking-glass which has taken a year so far and only half way through!

To explain my personal preferences would be easier answered by saying what I don't do .. such as military stuff, muscle bound nuts with swords and guns, abstract nonsense, gloom and doom horror stuff, obvious social comment,  and so on...

Techniques Used

I try and keep my technique as simple as possible. I make very rough notes when I first get an idea .. something between hieroglyphics and scribbles.  When I think I have the idea straight in my head I rough it out in pencil (very rough, just outlines or vague markers across the paper) and then I start to draw with ink.

I use a Rotring pen with the smallest size nib and mostly everything is done with the same size nib even the black skies and such. Occasionally I will use a brush and ink for some bits but very rarely. I start inking somewhere around the middle of the drawing and work out and around until its finished.

Although I know what the main bits of the drawing are going to be most of the details are made up as I go along and sometimes ... quite often really .. the drawing changes as it goes. For example, I often plan the background to be woods but when I come to it the trees disappear and a distant view or ruins or something else turns up in their place.

To get my art onto the internet I scan drawings in on a little HP scanjet 2400 (It says on the lid) but that's about as technical as i get. I recently sent work to publishers on a disc instead of "in the flesh" and that seemed to work ok so maybe I will make an effort to become more proficient.

Sources of Inspiration

Everything feeds into my work - everything in my life from memories to day to day nonsense. A walk in the park might throw up a view of a tree or something that will get used sometimes years later.  It is a process of fermentation as much as inspiration. Music and poetry also contribute their share of ideas.

Three  Favourite Images From My Gallery

no title by maryanne42  No title.  after putting this up I realised it's title was "another time, another place"  This is the umpteenth version of what was, I suppose, one of my first successes, one of the first drawings that, when it was finished, gave me the excitement to start another drawing and to do better (whatever "better" means). This comes from my drawing book which is a book I drew in for over ten years. There are several similar books now which represent a lot of time and effort. I have never really been sure what the drawing is all about.  The first versions had the part over the bridge in night time whilst the rest was day. It is a sort of illustration in search of a story.

domino girl by maryanne42  Domino Girl.  I don't know where this idea came from but it suprised me at the time and still does.  The girl is from a couple of photos I took of a friend's daughter.  She had made the mask at school and was particularly proud of it. Where the swallow came from I don't know.  This is one of several drawings I published in a little book.  I sent the drawings to a poet friend and she wrote haiku about them, reversing the usual procedure. That is where the title comes from.

how would you like to live ... by maryanne42  How Would You Like to Live.  I have chosen this as it is a very recent drawing and one for my "Looking-glass" book.   Again it came out far better than I had thought it would and has the effect of being a drawing done by someone else not me. I can't remember half of it!!  The girl was drawn from three different photos and the cat from five or six.  I only hope I can get the other drawings to come out half as well as this one.

A Frequently Asked Question!

One question that turns up over and over in the comments under my various pictures is,  "how long did it take?".   So I thought I'd try to give some kind of an answer here...

Working out how long each drawing takes is always a problem. The actual time taken with pen in hand, from start to finish is fairly consistent at about half an hour for a square inch! That means an A4 sized drawing is usually finished over two days. However, most of the time involved is taken up with thinking the drawing through and that can take a couple of days - or a couple of years! Sometimes I do the same drawing over several times and still don't manage to get it quite right .... whatever "right" is.

Advice and Suggestions for Aspiring Artists

Advice for aspiring artists ... depends on whether they want to try and do some good work or become a Turner prize winning celebrity!  

If it is the latter I am so not the right person to ask but I suggest getting known at all the right galleries by the right people and extensive networking is necessary.  

If it is the former then there is only one piece of advice ... work, work and work some more. Draw from life whenever you get the chance and even copying the odd old master can be surprisingly useful.

Final Words

I don't tend to plan very far ahead. who knows what will turn up tomorrow or next week. At the moment I am busy on my Alice drawings and another book project which is a book of my drawings ... a sort of "Best of" affair.  I am also working on a photographic project and making several boxes which is a sort of sideline of mine.

I have also just discovered that I have a whole page to myself at Amazon!!

Some Images from Brian's Gallery

artists' studio by maryanne42   fairy tale by maryanne42   mad tea party by maryanne42  :thumb60091732:   Dancing Through Eden by maryanne42   Moonrise by maryanne42   Moonrise by maryanne42   a large blue caterpillar by maryanne42   Alice at the Tea-table by maryanne42   Old Garden by maryanne42   'up lazy thing ...' by maryanne42   Mr A's big green hat by maryanne42  

Mature Content

the somnumbalist by maryanne42
  :thumb62661583:   lightning by maryanne42   wonderland by maryanne42   alice in the white rabbits hou by maryanne42

(I could go on and on adding to this selection and end up filling it with Brian's whole gallery - each picture just fascinates me so! - AK)

I have carried out a series of interviews, and hope to continue to do so. If you have never seen any of the previous ones, please click HERE and you will see links to all of them listed in my journal. (Some were carried out with DWALKER1047 also before she became unwell).

Here is a stamp for anyone who has been interviewed by me to use on their journal or shoutboard if desired (this will help spread the word that you have been interviewed here at dA)...

Interviewed Stamp by AnnaKirsten

Or if interviewed by both of us...


One last message from AnnaKirsten...  Please, if you haven't already read about the plight of Maria Kisilenko (featured on my journal), could I ask that you take a look at LuvEnder's journal to see how you might be able to help?  She is auctioning some of her pictures in support of Maria's badly needed costs for treatment to save her from an otherwise inevitable, very painful, death.  There are other ways in which help can be given too - ask LuvEnder and she will tell you what you could do if you'd like to take part in some other way.
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girlsingerfan Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012
I had the great pleasure of meeting Brian back in 1992 when I was visiting in Britain. It was more than just meeting I guess, as I spent a good amount of time around him for almost a week. We visited a family he knew on the coast of Cornwall near Penzance,as well as a fairly famous artist friend of his. He was such a mellow, peaceful and completely pleasant fellow. I would have liked to consider him a friend, but I live in the U.S. so I have not seen him since. It is so nice to see how he is still going strong. I watched him at work and it is in my memory how he could be so good at it while just sitting around with us and sometimes staying involved in the conversation and yet creating this wondrous images. He seemed so relaxed and and happy creating his art at his own speed. In other words, he did not need to shut himself away and forget the world to be the artist he is. I traveled around Europe for three months and one month of it was in Britain. When I think of those times, Brian is the main person I remember. Great guy. Thanks Brian for the nice time I had in Cornwall.
AnnaKirsten Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012   General Artist
Gosh it's 5 years since I wrote this article (did the interview), and I've just looked at Brian's gallery and he doesn't appear to have uploaded anything since August 2011 :( How interesting to have spent time with him and seen how he works though! I can imagine that. I come from a family of artists and musicians myself, and I know first-hand how what may start out as a doodle can soon become an A4 (or larger) sized picture, very detailed and intricate. In the past I was able to do this myself too - to a certain extent, but since having chronic disability I have somehow been unable to work with a blank canvass any more. Give me something with a texture though, and I see so much in them!!! Anyway, back to Brian: I wonder where he is or what he is doing now...

Thanks for this enlightenment about him, it was most interesting to read :)
WildWoodArtsCo Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2007   Traditional Artist
Brian's working is absolutely mesmerising. I'm so glad you chose him to interview Anna.
tsims533 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanx for sharing this! His work is truly amazing! :nod:
Lynne-Abley-Burton Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2007
Great interview and the gallery is amazing too x
bakkeby Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2007
As always a very nice interview, thank you :D
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