Monday, 31 January 2011

Giving Instructions - Making a cup of tea

Surprised at how few references I found to help with this, but luckily I have plenty of references in my kitchen!

I did some sketchbook studies, then tried a layout I wanted to see the mug as a clock face and the tea getting darker as the invisible clock hands moved around but it hasn't really worked

It's simple but it lacks the liveliness of the sketches.

I liked the feel of the second sketch so I shuffled it around on the computer
I think this has some potential but I want colour so I tried adding it with pencil;
which was a bit weak so I painted a printout with acrylic
Then coloured the background with the computer
Maybe the black and white image was the best? They all float in space which was a valid criticism from Jo my tutor. Also my sons thought that the tea was being made in a bowl or bucket but the addition of a mug handle doesn't fit in the picture.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

George Gershwin (not abstract)

The brief for the last exercise was to create an abstract image but I have a clear view of Gershwin's music as a busy New York street with lots of traffic and people so I felt it was worth trying to draw my own view.

Abstract Illustration - George Gershwin

My music teacher was obsessed with Rhapsody in Blue and I was born on George Gershwin's birthday so he was a natural choice. His music makes me think of New York, tall buildings, traffic jams and men in 1930's gangster suits. My preferred illustration for this piece would be much more figurative, both because the music is so visual, and because I find abstract illustration incredibly difficult.
The colour scheme had to be red, amber & green, for the traffic lights. My mark making was very disappointing....
There are lots of pages of scribbles like this. It's not scanned in well but basically I've used crayon to make  lines & squiggles.

So I tried watercolour to be a bit less inhibited,

a bit splodgy and tending to go muddy at the edges

More controlled but not exciting

I created this with a wide brush, put a blob of each colour on it and swept it across wet paper
The last image is possibly going somewhere, I could crop it to a square but there's still a lack of interest and focus in the image. I've run out of decent watercolour paper (this project has not been environmentaly friendly) so I carried on experimenting with the wide brush on dry paper,
The music is swirly and jerky but it flows too
Maybe I could use a repeated pattern, I like tessilation and order, but the music isn't like that
This is closer to how I feel about the music and I had a happy accident at the end which gives it a bit of a tail which unfortunately doesn't show very well on this scan. It would have been nice to have a longer tail but although I tried I couldn't repeat it.
It works a bit better with colour added on the computer (and you can see the tail better here)

This feels better but the colours are wrong - it looks cheap
I think this looks more sophisticated and creates a more appropriate impression. The colours may still not be perfect but I'm a bit stuck with it now.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Image Development Part 2

I think I work better in dry media so here's a pastel and charcoal version

I think this has some value but not quite the "punch" I was looking for. I looked over my efforts so far and to be honest I think the original quick sketch has the greatest potential

So I printed it out and coloured it in.........

I think these are the best so with a title you get:

I think I prefer this one. It has a surprisingly Mediterranean feel

but this is more rainy, maybe it had something.......

and  then I accidentally made this with the fill tool which creates something quite different!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Image Development

This shot was grabbed hastily on my phone whilst walking through Covent Garden in the rain last "summer" with the idea that I would draw from it later (you can call me feeble but it was just too cold and wet to sit and draw there & then) There's lots happening so it seemed ideal for this project.


closing time







The final image is the one I like best although I think "Waiting" has potential.

I did some quick studies
This one in pencil in my sketchbook
This with some old felt tips and some touches of coloured pencil
When I look at the picture the canopy of the umbrella in the foreground grabs my attention but I am then lead to the bright blue umbrella being carried through the market and then striped canopies to the left of it. The pots and furniture in the foreground is important the lonely pedestrian behind them emphasizes the emptiness of the tables, but it is lighter above and I look upwards to the umbrellas, structures and plants on the roof terrace. I also like the chimneys with their bowler hats on top, very London!

The important colours of the picture are the warm red brown of the buildings and the blue of the carried umbrella which can be more muted to a bluey grey for the roofs and pavement and be mixed into a green for the foliage, oh and there's creamy white for the sky and parasols and very dark greeny blue for the shadows. Sounds simple, I wish it was so easy.....
First attempt

Please believe me when I say that it does look a bit better in real life than this smaller scanned version. As ever I have tidied up the image when I redrew it and it has lost something from the felt tip pen sketch. I think it needs to be further simplified to give it more punch though I suppose there are elements in the foreground which have a sort of naive charm maybe?

I did another quick study on coloured paper to remind myself where I'm going with this and I'm off to have another go.....................

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Reading an Image

I noted what I looked at in the order that I read the elements of the picture;

There is a large, sleeping, red dragon with some sort of orange/red background, is this supposed to be a cave? 2 figures have come upon the dragon, is it normal to be drawn to/look for, figures in a scene? Actually one figure is holding a torch which is the source of the orange area. The dragon is curled around a throne and has coins and treasure. There are discarded weapons, swords and shields - presumably from previous visitors who have either fled, or been eaten by the dragon. The image is about treasure hunters finding treasure guarded by a dragon.

The colour palette is predominantly red, and purple which fades to pale blue. There are touches of orangey yellow to create highlights and contrast with the red, and areas of green to complement the main colours. The whole image is bold and warm, but the green and darker purple areas feel cooler. There is some texture on the floor, walls and the treasure but most of the objects are smooth surfaced. The red dragon captures attention first because of the colour and because the wall (the other area of hot colour)  is clearly abstract and part of the background, then the reflected torchlight leads the eye to the cooler figures.

I don't think there is much tonal range in the image. The lighter tones to the left help to direct the eye away from the dragon to the small figures but the range is deliberately small to give a homogeneous picture.

The way that the image is composed and coloured encourages the reader to look at its components sequentially and then to read a story without words.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Illustrating Visual Space

The figure is dwarfed and dominated by the other elements when it is smaller

Angled elements suggest chaos and disorder

When lined up they are dull unremarkable and orderly there is a tendency for the image to lack punch

I like these 2 images best assuming that the brief is to include all 3 elements once.....
But if I can do anything I like with the images this is the one I like best