Conclusions

What I think was successful:-

  • Bringing context to the drawing through the research and reading with historical references
  • Being challenged to stay with a piece until it is finished – this has been a problem for me as I have tended to work quickly and get bored of things – I realise this is because I have not been happy with something and have not had the staying power to work through the difficulties which I have encountered.
  • Working with thought and making decisions about what media to use where.  Some of the previous exercises have helped me to become more discerning about what I am trying to achieve.
  • Beginning to understand more about tone and how this can be rendered in a drawing.
  • Depicting different surfaces and expanding my repertoire of mark making
  • Bringing my learning from looking more closely at drawing from different artists, Van Gogh, Samuel Palmer and Odilon Redon into my consciousness
  • Enthusiasm for drawing generally.   I am feeling much more engaged in the process than I thought I would be and have joined a lifeclass as well as participating in a sketchcrawl locally.

What has been less successful:-

  • I think that my drafting skills need to be better.   I am not yet naturally checking the location of the objects, and the negative space accurately enough.   I need to remember to do this from the start so that I am not worrying about location later on in the drawing process.
  • I do not think that my understanding  of perspective is as honed as it should be.  I need to address this by looking at some drawing exercises which specifically address this.
  • Although I used a variety of media some of the objects are more successful than others.   At the earlier stage I was satisfied with the flowerpot but as I worked on this is less convincing.   I was afraid of making everything the same – tonally and did not want to overwork certain places.
  • When I got to the pause point I think I could have started again and been bolder in how I was depicting the objects especially the doll which seems to have retreated. In the future I need to do more exploratory sketches so that by the time I address the whole drawing I am clearer in my mind what I want to do where.
  • I worked object by object and not around the piece as a whole.   I think this is reflected in the fact that as a finished piece it does not “read” as a whole. In future I need to try to work round the drawing more objectively.
  • I was hesitant because I am not used to as much thinking about what I am doing. To some extent I think this has compromised my drawing style by making it tighter than I like.

Postscript

Cotan - Hockney

This is a page from an interesting book by David Hockney (Hockney, D. (2006) Secret Knowledge. 2nd edn. London: Thames & Hudson. ) in which he analyses the drawing styles of many of the old masters and has come to some very interesting conclusions.   He concludes that artists were using various optical devises in order to create their images and notably the camera lucida which I had never heard about.   In the illustration above he captures how but taking a photograph today with the fruit and vegetables in the same relationship as the painting depicts will achieve a very different outcome.   He believes that artists were using the camera lucida to plot the detail of each individual object separately and that is what has caused the painting to achieve its particular placements and proportions.

 

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