Edward Seago: Sketchbook Drawings
The heart of Seago’s art lies in his sketchbooks. His draftsmanship and economy of line were remarkable and with direct marks of the pencil, he would rapidly capture the scene. All the work had been done in these 4 1/2 x 7 inch sketches, the composition, the tone and the focal point, all that was now needed was to decide on the colour palette for the painting.
He would often do multiple sketches of a single motif until he’d arrived at the optimal composition. Often he would sketch many sail boats on one page, not as a complete drawing but as small studies, searching for the shapes and shadows of the fast moving sails.
Some of these sketches would merit more detail, deeper tones and a darker line to create dramatic light effects. Successful drawings would then be used for both his water colours and oil paintings back in his studio at The Dutch House. Seago had an incredible recall of images, I am certain his discipline of filling many sketchbooks aided this ability. Having studied his subjects intently by rendering these drawings, he would have locked these images to memory.
The sketchbooks of Hong Kong, Morocco and Istanbul are filled with exotic images from foreign lands. Heat, bustling crowds and sunlight, you can almost see the colour in these black and white drawings, he captures the atmosphere so deftly. From his beloved East Anglia to London, France and Italy he would capture each place with a simple pencil sketch. Cows in a Norfolk field, majestic Thames Barges at rest or in their annual race, his entire oeuvre is rendered on these small, beautiful pages.
Aside from being an expert on the life and work of Edward Seago, Paul Rafferty is a very accomplished artist who has exhibited with Portland Gallery for many years. His next solo exhibition will be held in the Spring of 2023.