Roger H has spent many years taking photographs and his skills and knowledge in that field extend back to a pre-digital age, a time when you could spend many hours in the eerie red light of a wet darkroom delicately developing and printing black and white photographs. The skill at that time was to be able to judge tones accurately, a skill not easy to acquire in the subdued light of the darkroom, but gradually eyes adjusted and even within that strange environment you became adept at noticing even the most subtle of changes. With the advent of digital photography those hard won skills were redundant, darkrooms the length and breadth of the country all but disappeared overnight and with them went the skills. Wet Photography became the home of the artisan photographer and that ability to adjust and assess tones became the role of the computer, Photoshop in particular.
Roger has dug deep and revived those skills, I'm sure his ability to assess tones so accurately began in the darkroom hunched over a tray of developer, squinting at those emerging tones. I can see him coaxing those darks (bright white when the negative clamped into the enlarger was projected) and protecting those subtle but all important whites so the print retained contrast. In his drawing the same process is used, the tones are separated and each is delicately shifted and calibrated on a notional scale from light to dark with the overall purpose to accurately capture the form and ultimately create a credible likeness of the model. When done well, this jigsaw puzzle method of drawing is highly effective but to mangle a well known saying, the devil is both in the detail and the whole, one dependent on the other. You can have a lovely little detail but if it's not in it's correct position the accuracy of the drawing collapses.
So in theory you start big looking at the overall structure and end up small looking at details. But Roger works across both big and small trusting in his initial sketch to hold the ship on course and more often than not it does. Roger is onto something and I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops. Finally a quick mention of t'other Roger, Roger S, I suppose most of us have become blase about Roger's watercolours, they appear most weeks and are uniformly good so we stop really looking, I think I'm talking about myself here. But like the Prodigal Son, I'm returning to the fold of Roger admirers, the man is one heck of a watercolourist, have a good look at the latest head and shoulders, it's really, really good.
So finally, I say,'All hail the Two Rogers, the Twin Peaks of Redbrick Mill', ( by that I don't mean weird and compelling but heights of achievement ).
Paintings and drawings by Alex, Catherine, Dick, Ivan, Jane, Roger H, Roger S, Sue, Tom and Tony.