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The Innovative Artist


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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Materials and tools 8
Expressive drawing 24
'The exhilaration of the summits' 26
Working en plein air
Drawing with graphite 30
Landscapes in graphite 42
Drawing with charcoal 52
Landscapes in charcoal 60
Developing your personal language 66
Inspiration 68
Order from chaos 70
Expressive drawing with liquid graphite and pastels
Fast foundations 80
Expressive drawing with liquid graphite and ink
Breathing space 82
Developing confidence and vision
Set in Stone 84
Step-by-step project
Resolving your drawings 94
Proper preparation 96
Developing work in the studio
Instant atmospherics 98
Expressive drawing media in harmony
Heading Out to Sea 100
Step-by-step project
Strength in Flexibility 106
Using liquid charcoal, graphite and pastel
Trust the process 108
Working in charcoal, pastel and inks
The freedom of ink 114
Autumn Sun and Shadows 116
Step-by-step project
calculated risks 122
Charcoal, pastel, inks and paints
A celebration of nature 126
Mixed media and pastel paper
On the edge 132
Creating sharpness
Showers, Sun and Shadow 138
Step-by-step project
Towards abstraction 146
Changing direction 148
Revisiting a composition
Surface and light 150
Textured drawing
Next steps 168

Index 160

About the Author

Robert Dutton is one of the UK's best-known and respected contemporary fine artists. He has a 30-year track record in the creative industries, including an extensive career as a professional graphic designer and illustrator.

Robert now works as a self-employed fine artist and tutor and wins regular awards in numerous international competitions for his distinctive and expressive style of work. He also acts as a training partner for several leading art businesses and art holiday companies, which have a strong student following.

As a leading Canson ambassador in the UK, Robert regularly teaches workshops at several leading art events such as Patchings Festival near Nottingham and the Ilkley Art Show in West Yorkshire, among others. He is also an ardent ambassador for Nitram charcoal products.

Robert exhibits in a wide range of prestigious galleries including Mall Galleries. His work can also be found in numerous public and private collections throughout the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Robert also makes regular contributions to The Artist magazine.

This is Robert's first book for Search Press.


This book is an inspiration for people that would like to loosen up and be creative. Each chapter goes into details of the medium used. It gives information about all the different papers, primers used on the surface and of course the all important mediums used. Robert Dutton goes into detail of the different types of graphite, whether it is water soluble coloured graphite or liquid or powdered graphite. Then there are the charcoals, pastels and metallic inks. He uses diluted white acrylic inks on top of his dried work for highlighting. I love the impressionistic style of Robert's work. It has certainly inspired me to get creative and loosen up using all sorts of mediums.

I would definitely recommend this book to those that would like to be creative with their drawing and of course, to loosen up!

-- Carol Archdale * Amazon *

Delayed by the events of 2020, this is the first in a series from Search Press that looks at new and innovative techniques. Robert's 30 years' experience in the creative industries now sees him working as a fine artist, tutor and regular contributor to The Artist, but he also has a background in graphic design and illustration. This mixture of skills makes for exciting, but well-explained work - perfect for a book of this kind.

Subject-specific books on drawing are fairly thin in the ground, so this comes with a lot of expectations, but should certainly not disappoint. The only reservation would be that, if you're looking for a gentler, more placid approach ... well, the title gives it away. Materials include graphite, charcoal, acrylics, inks and pastel and subjects range from rocks and mountains to water, trees and structures. This is an exciting book creatively and technically.

-- Henry Malt * The Artist *

Part of The Innovative Artist series that gives insights into the working methods of leading contemporary artists who are pushing the boundaries of art, Drawing Dramatic Landscapes by Robert Dutton, regular contributor to our sister publication The Artist, looks at ways of using graphite, charcoal and mixed media to create dramatic landscape drawings. Aimed at more experienced artists who are keen to explore materials and methods, Robert shows you how to combine media, such as liquid graphite and metallic inks with pastels and collage, working predominantly in black and white and, from life, outdoors for much of the time. Numerous exercises are included alongside examples of Robert's work, which he has annotated with descriptions of the methods he has used to obtain such dramatic results.

-- Leisure Painter

The Innovative Artist: Drawing Dramatic Landscapes is aimed at artists who wish to explore new ways of using a variety of drawing media to create striking, dramatic landscapes.

Author-artist Robert Dutton uses his expressive, loose style of drawing and painting to capture, with great emotion, the power and drama of the landscape. Robert combines media such as liquid graphite, inks, metallic inks, charcoal and water-soluble painting and drawing pastels, and also experiments with collage work.

Predominantly focusing on working in black and white, this book is a highly-instructive guide to the techniques Robert himself uses, with numerous exercises and larger step-by-step projects throughout the book showing how he works. Alongside these are numerous examples of the author's finished artworks accompanied by informative captions explaining the methods used to create them, thereby providing both instruction and inspiration.

Of his work Robert says, 'Primarily my work is focused on landscape and my beloved northern wild open vistas, dramatic mountain peaks and and intimate hidden corners of moor and dale.

'Landscape is the great escape, a place where my creative vision is thoroughly released with a direct engagement and expressive response to my subject. I immerse myself in the landscape and allow the interplay between what I see but more importantly what I 'feel' to create each and every individual piece of work.

'More often than not everything is started on location. It has to - the physical engagement with the sublime landscape is so important. I plan for the weather but if it rains, so be it - it goes into the work as its all part of the process.'

* Painters Online *

Very inspiring and dramatic illustrations.

I can highly recommend this book for beginners and experienced artists alike as there is so much to learn from it, it's very interesting and covers using lots of different media and techniques with some very creative and expressive illustrations. The artist covers how to use different types of graphite including water soluble and liquid graphite, pastels, charcoal, paint and ink. He covers the use of different papers such as cartridge, watercolour paper and pastel paper. His work is very inspirational and there are lots of step-by-step tutorials. There are some amazingly dramatic illustrations of his work throughout the book.

-- Jill Birks * Amazon *

It is to be hoped that this new series from Search Press will be expanded in the not too distant future. The idea of featuring work by artists who explore and expand the horizons of their medium is an attractive one and there are enough around that it shouldn't be necessary to stretch the criteria just for the sake of it.

Robert Dutton works mostly in graphite media - pencils, sticks, powder and liquid - but also charcoal, acrylics, inks and pastels. These latter for the most part provide accents and colour, but what he can do with straightforward monochrome will take your breath away. That's what makes this such an exciting book.

Search Press are, of course, mainly publishers of instructional books rather than monographs, so there has to be a strong how-to element as well as the valuable featured work. They are well-practised, both in content and layout as well as selection of authors. It should come as no surprise therefore that this works as inspiration and creative encouragement just as well as straightforward technical lessons and demonstrations. The approach and style, however, make it less of a course and more of an exploratory tour in the company of an informed and competent guide. Robert has a teaching background and it shows - he is excellent at explaining what he has done, but why it was achieved that way.

Not everything in the book will be to everyone's taste - you may prefer the sometimes dark graphite drawing, I may feel happier with coloured pencils and inked highlights. For all that, Robert's explanations have a superb clarity and are always interesting - whatever your preferences, there's nothing here you'd want to skip.

-- Henry Malt * Artbookreview.net *

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