Saturday, 31 January 2015

Exercise 5 - Mixed Media (Shelf life)

What worked best so far? I like the busy shelf drawings

and the loose ink drawings
So I tried to combine the two working from my studies but also from imagination which I find tricky
 This is drawn with acrylic ink using the bottle dropper and a stick
This is the stick dragged and rolled on it's side. They're both too stiff and regular. I went back to redraw the shelves in the sitting room to remind myself how irregular they are

 Whilst looking for inspiration for this I came across the work of Andrew H Brown who uses lovely colours to create his mixed media interiors. Then went back upstairs to draw the shelves from life.
For this I used acrylic ink with dip pen and wash, felt tip and Aquarelle sticks. It's not very abstract  but it is mixing media and techniques I wouldn't normally try and I like it even if it is a bit dull. Armed with the information I gained from these drawings I returned to the imaginary shelves and added oil pastel and conte crayon.

 The toy moose is too central and too unusual to make sense to a casual viewer. I tried cropping him to move him to one side but the drawing isn't big enough
For the second drawing I added watercolour wash and strngthened the lines with sepia ink
 I think further working will  just wreck this. It has abstract elements but I bet everyone will read it as shelves of books.
 Better cropped?
 Or with a bit of digital manipulation a longer line of books.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Exercise 4 - Line and wash

Warm up exercises. Continuous line drawing without looking at the page using charcoal, pencil, oil pastel and ink pens
I went back to the slightly promising view out of the kitchen (to do this one I sit on the draining board) This is fountain pen, Tombow marker, Aquarelle stick and water. I like the jars on the shelf and the mugs but not much else.
I have some acrylic ink which I thought was waterproof. It has dried out a bit so it doesn't work with my dip pen so I drew with a stick which I find frustrating as I had to load the stick for every line, sometimes for every half line. I added french ultramarine and raw sienna watercolour and found that the ink ran a bit. Again the jars and bottles were the most successful bit
I tried a more continuous line drawing with a waterproof fineliner and added a wash of french ultramarine

then some raw umber too. Better but a bit cartoony. There is more sense of depth and looking into the next room
 I'm not good with watercolour used in the traditional way. I find liquid media hard to handle but I really like the effects other people get when they're being very loose with watercolour. In the past I've found that working into a failed drawing can produce some interesting results.
This is my first attempt, worked into with Tombow markers, graphite stick, felt tip, coloured pencil, watercolour, white conte and water to move the felt tip ink around. I struggled to unify the view through into the dining room whilst making it seem darker and further away. The jars and mugs seem a bit dull now but I'm pleased with the microwave, its not great but it's so much more interesting than my earlier attempts.
 This is my second attempt with added coloured pencil and diluted acrylic ink for the shadows. More interesting than the original but not as good as the picture above. Once I'd added it to the blog it became blindingly obvious that it needed lines to show the edge of the walls (below)

The instructions say "work on creating different tones using just one or two colours mixed as a wash" so I diluted my dried up acrylic ink and worked on the opposite view sitting by the door and looking back into the kitchen.
This is more wash and line than line and wash as I put in the tones first then drew over them with ink. I find this technique difficult as I struggle to remember what the blobs of shade were supposed to be. I guess that requires more practice. Can you tell that its looking down into the room? I turned the kitchen light off and left the lobby light on to increase the tonal values. Sorry it's a bit on a slope....

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Exercise 3 - Tonal study

With my research in mind I decided the way to make my interior interesting was to exaggerate the perspective a bit. I practiced in my sketchbook at A4 size.

and tried to add some more tone. I have to draw in the evening and as it's January it's dark. Artificial light indoors in a domestic kitchen is not designed to give much tone. I did try changing the light by moving my desk lamp around but I didn't like the effects it gave.

This is my final drawing. I had to photograph it as its A2 sized so the image quality isn't fantastic I tried to stick to the real tones whilst bending the items in the picture to make it dynamic. This gives it a bit of a cartoon feel which I'm  not entirely pleased with. I used a chunky graphite stick on good quality paper but I can't get any of my rubbers to remove the graphite, even a decent putty rubber. The central bit is the blind over the window   In hindsight I'm wondering if it's a bit confusing

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Research point

The brief asks me to consider contemporary artists who focus on domestic interiors and unusual or multiple viewpoints. It is illustrated with a study by Anthony Green. I looked at some of his other work, (is it wrong that he reminds me of Beryl Cook?) however I do like the way his picture seem to explode across the canvas. My favourite discovery is Rorik Smith draws public areas but with a unique viewpoint which bends space to fit onto the page, hard to describe but please follow the link. Although his drawings are impossible perspectives they give a more accurate view of what we actually see of the world around us. I also like Douglas Coopers multiple viewpoint charcoal drawing of bridges in Seattle but that is definitely not an interior. Mike Daikubara draws the hotel rooms he stays in looking from above and measuring the rooms but using ink and watercolour to create surprisingly attractive pictures. Rob Pointon did a painting in Edgemond house and one inside a narrow boat both of which bend perspective to improve the view - you have to scroll down his website a bit to see the picture but it's worth it. Paul Heaston draws in pen and ink as though he is looking through a fish eyed lens and unusually draws his own hands and legs into the picture which somehow works for me. Also worth a look is Mickalene Thomas's work which looks like collage, multicoloured multiperspective interiors

Friday, 16 January 2015

Exercise 2 - Composition - an interior

I was interested in the view through the kitchen into the dining room

 These are a bit dull
 but I quite like this one, it seems dynamic and draws me in
 Dull again
 better, but with less floor it doesn't draw me in as much
 sitting on the floor looking up, this has some potential
 and this is quite lively too. I tried to analyse what attracted me to some angles more than others and I decided I like detail and slightly exaggerated perspective which lead me to move around slightly and draw this

Monday, 12 January 2015

Exercise 1 - Quick sketches around the house

I'm glad I've only got a small house. I draw quite quickly and this has taken me ages. I started in the spare bedroom using a fineliner. Its full of my grown up kids stuff....
This is 2 views, one per page

They were quite quick sketches but maybe there is too much detail? When I progressed to my bedroom I switched to Tombow pens in light blue and fawn. This first picture is a very quick sketch but doesn't tell you much about the layout of the room.

Using 2 colours makes things clearer but maybe lets me get into too much detail
I'm sure this is far too detailed but I do like this drawing.
I moved on to the bathroom. The blue doesn't show up as well on the web as it does in real life or when scanned

 In the sitting room we still had the tree up when I started, this is fineliner and coloured pencil

The fireplace
Back to blue and fawn Tombow markers. (The blue blob is a beanbag)
Felt tip pen and coloured pencil, again the blue blob is a beanbag
In the kitchen I sat on the worktop and used Tombow markers in dark grey. Some were drying up a bit so the tone is a bit varied

I've done this view before

Trying to be very simple in the dining room. This is a view I have drawn on many occasions

I was surprised that when I was trying to be loose and spontaneous with my drawings the perspectives were reasonably accurate. The drawings that I liked best were of areas where there is a lot of detail, the shelves in the bedrooms and the kitchen cupboards. I like found arrangements. I've drawn most of the areas on many occasions but I've never drawn in the bedrooms at this house or in the bathroom anywhere! The markers work well for me as long as they're not too strong colours. I don't use a rubber when I'm drawing in pencil and I couldn't understand why I often find black ink so daunting but I think it is because I like to start with feint lines and then strengthen them when I know where the drawing is going. This has been a useful exercise because I've only just discovered that.