Firstly I was thinking of using different materials and ways of depicting the figures. This first study I wanted to use charcoal and rub back but unfortunately the paper was resistant and peeled away.
Then tried brown paper from shopping carrier bags with chalks and conte sticks. This is helpful in building up a better depiction of the figure.
Finally used a combination of both on a watercolour paper. Maybe would have worked better with a wet medium first and then working on top.
So for the final piece I went back to the carrier bag brown paper and different chalks and conte sticks. Partly successful in terms of depicting the weight of the figure on the floor. I think I am still hesitant in getting enough distinction with the tones across the figure.
Wanted to go for a completely different approach with this pose. Using the not looking blind drawing initially and then building up with different materials.
I like the initial image best. It has more character and its abstraction works for the pose.
In line with spending longer on the final image and using a different material I used red biro with a continuous drawing kind of technique. Very ambiguous about this. Not successful.
Went for the Auerbach technique. It is not that accurate but structurally it is more interesting than the biro drawing.
My final pose and technique was thinking about Degas and the drawing I had previously made of the standing figure. So this is water soluble crayons on pastel paper. I have endeavoured to be freer with the mark making. This is a bit of a hybrid in that the form is there, the pose is there but something is missing.
The anatomy studies are definitely adding to the drawings by my growing awareness of the structures beneath the form. However I am feeling driven by trying to achieve so much in such a short period of time.
I have been going to regular life classes but you can’t always get the poses and timings that suit the course exercises.
These first two sketches the model was clothed as the proper model failed to turn up. So our tutor sat for us. I really enjoyed depicting the clothes which helped to find the form and weight of the figure. These were 10 minute sketches.
Then one of the class agreed to sit for us in his underwear. He was a good model and I tried the technique of going as slowly as possible building the form and the tone simultaneously.
This last pose was longer – 40 minutes and I got a bit lost. Firstly the proportions got out of focus so that I felt I was too far on and did not adjust them sufficiently. However I did work more on building up the tonal areas in different ways and with different colours – all conte, chalk and pencil detail. The fact that the sofa is more there helps him look more seated. The study of the upper torso is pleasing. And the legs but somehow the middle is too extended.
Need to stand back and check proportions early in the pose. Different materials adds to the complexity of the image.
Initially I was trying to capture the shape and perspective of the view of Shoreham-by-Sea from the pedestrian bridge. The tide was quite hight and the rig on the right was reflected in the water. This reflection was what drew me to the scene much more than the buildings which do not interest me very much.
I then moved onto a more tonal approach which I is more successful in terms of showing the sober overcast winter day. The reflections and the foreshore come over stronger in this study. Little difficult trying to decide what to leave in and leave out. There were a lot of vehicles and men but these seemed only to confuse the composition.
Finally I drew s more detailed drawing from the other side which is the road bridge. Concentrating on the rig which was repairing the sea wall. Unfortunately I chose a pencil which is very faint.
- Buildings and their environment are not my most natural elements
- I am interested in the river its ebbs and flows and the reflection on the water.
- Also I like the long view better than the detail – see next exercise.
- It is important to make early compositional decisions about what to include and what to leave out otherwise the images can get very confusing.
Again I chose to develop one of the sketches which I had drawn in the 360 exercise at the top of Highdown Hill. Weather being what it was I couldn’t now draw outside so using sketches, photograph and grid I worked up the drawing to an A3 size on cartridge paper.
I am not sure now whether it was meant to be a black and white drawing but I used my water soluble coloured pencils throughout. This type of exercise is not something I have ever tried to do before taking something back to the studio to develop and expand.
In terms of a foreground, middle ground and background exercise it is not the best of subjects because the foreground is rough grass and indistinct paths. I think I stuck with it because I like the banks of trees and bushes and the tones still remaining from branches leaves and undergrowth.
I really like the structural elements of the middle ground and pulling out the shapes. I am disappointed by the background mostly because the paper I had used is not very good when water is applied and buckled. Did not allow me to blend the pencils and sort of gave up because I didn’t want it to deteriorate any further.
What I learned:-
- I learned about building up the layers
- I learned about picking the right materials – paper for the job in the first place
- I learned that I really liked doing this drawing which surprised me
- I learned that I need lots of practice to render the 3 areas of a landscape successfully
I decided that the composition was strong enough to use the preparatory work I had done on the 3 trees theme earlier in the course.
My aim was to build on the experimentation I had done with the different methods of depicting the trees and the environment. As the original sketches were done outdoors in October and it is now December I decided to work from the sketches and photographs which I had taken. The day I was working was something of an Indian Summer in October, the light and shadows were strong and the light piercing through from the sea.
This is the now remnant forest Goring Greensward which I often visit.
So I started with 350gm A3 watercolour paper and had a photograph and grid to scale up the work.
Started with the oil bars technique but this time using a number of colours of oil bar to lay down the main elements of the composition. Using turpentine I blended in some of this paint and then using conte black worked up the trees and their branches. Worked back in with oil pastels. Various stages of scraping with old credit card and craft knife. Continuing used coloured ink washes in various parts. When this dried used white goauche to pick up the highlights of the light coming through the trees. Finally using black indian ink and the side of the credit card built up the branches in the trees. Scrapped back again and added touches with 6B pencil to bring back the definition in the drawing.
What I like:-
- I still like the composition a great deal and can conceive that I will work on it again and again. Could imagine different seasons and lights and yet more techniques.
- I think that the heavy watercolour paper works for me and in some ways I would like to keep working on this pushing it out and pulling it in again.
- The variety of materials is good although I don’t think I am bringing enough finesse to their application in all cases – it is getting better.
- The drama and strength of the shapes appeals strongly – I have struggled with less explicit compositions.
What I don’t like:-
- If it had been bigger I think I would have worked in a more dynamic way – in some ways this size does not develop the theme much beyond the studies which I had previously prepared.
- Because the light was so intense I think that using the white gouache is too clumsy and will probably drop this down again.
- Working from the photograph there is not a lot of details of the trunks of the trees which is one of the most interesting part about them.
- I had thought about bringing another element into the composition but because I was not working live I thought I had better keep it simple.
- Go with the gut feeling – if it felt it should be bigger go bigger – unfortunately I didn’t have bigger 350 gm paper.
- Keep working on a piece go back to it when it feels right.
- Do more sketches in different conditions
- Bring in multi-directional viewpoints?
Drawing landscape is something I have literally never done so it was an adventure in itself. One of the places I walk my dog nearly daily is Worthing/Ferring beach. This first sketch was walking towards the West. It is December and not a very bright day. However having drawn the sketch above I decided not to dull down the sky and light effect as it is a reminder of sometimes how bright a lovely the light can be. So to that end it was a correct representation but not in colour.
I worked with water soluble crayons and charcoal. The weather is getting very cold and my hands are freezing. The murky colours and shades of the sky, sea and low-time beach are descriptive of the day. For a quick sketch I was surprised how much I was able to capture.
Being determined but freezing I turned towards the east and tried very quickly to bring out the characteristics of Goring Greensward – this is a forest remnant that comes almost down to the sea. I was able to capture the directional qualities of the scene but no detail or tone.
Even sketchier as my fingers were all but gone at this stage. Turned towards the north and Highdown Hill(see 360 exercise next). Proportionally this works but I was not able to capture any detail or tonal qualities.
Considering I have never tried this kind of work before and the conditions were not good for staying outside I was pleased with what I had managed to capture in 1 hour. Also it made me more aware of what variety there is to capture.
Demonstration of Technical & Visual Skills
I believe that my technical and visual skills are improving particularly if I look back at some of my first exercises. By slowing down and greater planning my accuracy has improved overall. There needs to be much more drawing generally and outside of the development of the exercises in the course.
As commented on various posts I still find composition a difficult concept and really cannot assess at this stage how I am doing in this area. Working through building a composition as in Assignment 2 by photographing different layouts helps me to move through the stages fairly quickly. And although it is suggested that we make sketches as we go along I am finding this rather inhibiting.
Looking at other artist’s work helps me to appreciate good composition and this does not yet allow me to analyse why certain layout’s work and other’s do not. The problem is that we tend to see the compositions which work and only with Guernica have I seen evidence of an artist working through their compositional challenges.
Quality of Outcome
The quality of the work which I have produced has become stronger and more defined as I have worked through this module. Doing lots of sketches and using different media sometimes in a fairly loose way has allowed my work to become more considered generally.
I am pleased with the outcome in terms of overall drafting and I have used mark-making in an expressive way. It is a challenge to find the skill to bring spontaneity into the work . In a way I have surprised myself by deciding to use the water soluble wax crayons for the final piece as they are not something I have used extensively before.
Demonstration of Creativity
Whilst I am aware that there is a creative voice struggling to get out this has not been achieved as yet. My reading, research and gallery visits have greatly enhanced my awareness of other artist’s personal voices though I am not sure how truly analytical I am being when writing about their work. Interestingly the exhibition which I went to where I was advised to see something that I would find challenging “Conceptual Art 1964 – 1979 – Tate Modern” was for me one of the most thought provoking.
I certainly made a great many judgement calls working towards the Assignment 2 composition. Again I am not sure yet whether this comes from the gut or are conscious responses to trying to gain balance, interest, content, context etc.
I think I have at times been near to overwhelm with what I would like to read and research and what it has been possible to fit into the time I have available. Certainly visiting Madrid just before I was ready to put my final Assignment 2 piece together has brought up many more questions than answers in relation to where I am intellectually in relation to understanding my own creative processes.
This time I have tried to keep more up to date with my learning log and completing each section as I have been going along – apart from the phase where I failed to take notes after a reading week! Big lesson learnt.
Overall – I would assess my position at the moment of being good/average