Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Part 2 Project 1: Space, depth and volume

This exercise involves covering paper with charcoal and using a rubber to draw. It seems very well suited to drawing in a dark room which is a great project for a February evening.
As usual I practiced with a drawing of my dog!
 Then vase of daffodils with the dark window behind. There were some interesting shadows which I haven't quite captured. The  thin scribbly line on the right was made when I applied the charcoal. Although it isn't part of the design it doesn't detract from it. It's a very flat drawing so it doesn't fulfil the project requirements.
 and this view of the light over my bed. I have lain in bed in the morning and studied the shadows of the lampshade when I should be getting up for work. I looked at a variety of views but none fully captures the play of light and shade. Still very flat and with more lines that I want. This needs to be viewed obliquely.
I wonder how much studying Patrick Caulfield in Drawing 1 has lead me to notice the play of the light on the shade.
In search of a better subject I drew candles and a bottle. The composition was too dull and I couldn't persuade the paper to take enough charcoal to make the darks black enough. I returned to my most successful composition, the daffodils. This time I painted the paper yellow before applying the charcoal. I drew larger (A3) and zoned in on the flowers.
Two different compositions. This works best cropped
And this which is my best drawing so far
However I had planned to use the technique on a life drawing. The hall I draw in has very flat light and the model is a bit far away. I started with a full length figure.
Then, inspired by Part 1 Project 4 I zoned in a bit. This wasn't a very inspiring pose but it's a group session and I have no control of the model.
There is too much line where I have drawn back into the rubbed out charcoal so although this was good practice it doesn't fulfil the brief.
The large daffodil drawing is the strongest because of the balance of tone and the layout of the flowers. It's also the only drawing that gives any sense of depth and volume.
I found this project technically difficult because whichever paper I used didn't hold the charcoal very well and normal rubbers became immediately clogged with charcoal, I got by with a putty rubber and plenty of kneading. I do like working from dark to light but spent too much energy fighting with my tools and not enough on the actual drawing. The flowers were ok, but I'm not happy that I really found a suitable subject to draw with this technique.


My tutor agreed that the daffodil picture was the strongest but suggested that I darken the darks with black conte and add white highlights. I find it difficult to get back into the same frame of mind when I return to a drawing which can be a good thing as I see it afresh but often means that I am a bit heavy handed in my approach.
The black works but I was a bit too generous with the white conte though it shows up more on the scan than in real life. I debated which way up it should be and accidentally came to this.
Which might make a border for a notebook.
But I digress........     

Monday, 1 February 2016

Part 1 - Reflection

This is my first level two course and I knew that there was much more freedom of subject matter at this level. Subject matter is something I struggle with, some things just ask to be drawn but this can be just an interesting technical exercise for me, it's difficult to also keep things interesting for the viewer. I have drawn pretty much everything I own so the challenge was to get a fresh view.

For project one I wasn't sure that my final drawing was what was called for in the brief, have I been imaginative enough? Is it art or is it too graphical? Previous tutors have commented that my work is too illustrative, should I have pushed the drawing further? It might be more arresting if it was simplified? It is quite stiff and self conscious because it was the first project in the course.

In project two I was much happier with my interpretation of the brief. 
I liked the big double page spread drawing of the Christmas tree but it doesn't represent as well in digital form.
The drawings on black paper work much better on line. 

Whilst I liked the slightly cartoon like effect of the second drawings I don't think they are as influenced by Mattise as they should be. All the drawings are representative and recognisable as decorations on a tree. I haven’t been able to move into any sort of abstraction from these images.

For project three the composition was a challenge, although it works ok I don't think it's exciting or challenging enough. I like working on paper with a medium tone which lets me work in light and dark tones. This is a recurrent theme in work that I am reasonably happy with. I don't feel that I can take this project any further at this stage.

I like drawing living things so I enjoyed project 4. I have never drawn just a portion of the body and I think the results were lively and interesting. Being my own model was liberating, my constraints were the pose I could hold, see and draw rather than a pose chosen for me at a session with a life model. Maybe the final drawings could be simplified but it is a fine line between a very simple drawing and a cartoon.

For the assignment I wanted to build on the work I did in project four with part of a figure. I have drawn my dog hundreds of times but I was aiming for a different view which explored him in a novel way. I focussed on drawing the shapes created by his muscles rather than drawing him as a dog. Working in the way that Leonardo Da Vinci drew to explore shape and form.I'm reasonably happy with the final drawing at this stage. For me the project has run out of steam at the moment and I need a break but I would like to further explore different poses and media.

Assessment Criteria
Technical and Visual skills. I'm quite good at observation and drawing but I find design and composition difficult.
Quality of Outcome. For the drawings not too bad but my work is ok rather than outstanding. I think my written work can be quite boring.
Creativity. Average. I'm not experimental or inventive enough.
Context. I'm working on this... I'm very good at being self critical but I find it difficult to be critical about work that is considered to be good by people who know what they're talking about. This makes my blog shallow as I'm just saying nice things about work I like.