Assignment 1 was about drawing a still life using objects that have meaning to myself. The drawing was to reflect all that had been learnt so far and hopefully show my feeling for the objects chosen. I was to use various media and chose Graphite, Water soluble Graphite, Willow Charcoal, Compressed Charcoal and Pastel.
The items I chose to draw were Cherry Tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, Rosemary and two pots, one was for Olive oil, the smaller I use for salt or herbs. The pots were bought in Greece many years ago, and are a reminder of some fantastic times spent with family in a country I adore. The Rosemary is from my garden as is the Garlic and although the seeds and tomatoes are not my own, they represent my love for vegetable growing. The wooden cutting board a treasure from the Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight where I first got my Garlic bulbs.
I started my drawing by taking a photograph and making several very quick sketches, but decided the still life was not balanced enough. The second small photo is the nearest to the finished drawing. I liked the salt pot better on the cutting board because it gave the whole display more balance. I was unable to draw the still life in daylight hours so used a daylight bulb. To begin with I placed the light to the left side but the shadow was too heavy and affected the whole composition, so I placed the light to the front left which caused the shadow to fall on the wall to the back right of the still life, which gave the composition more balance and the pots a more delicate look. I liked the way the light made the objects softer as the pots are very delicate in nature, their imperfections in shape gives an almost organic feel to them, which is enhanced by the wood grain in the cutting board. I didn’t like using various media and would rather have stuck to Willow Charcoal and/or Graphite, as I didn’t feel the mixed media added to the drawing, but did understand why I was to use them, and although the Water Soluble Graphite went well I was worried when fixing the picture it would run. I did have trouble with composing the objects on paper, but placed a series of lines on the drawing to help guide me. I still think I need more experience at working on placement and composition as I found this difficult. Having said that I felt my depiction of the still life was pleasing, it was very close to the actual still life and I managed to portray the pots in a way that showed their delicate nature, something I felt was lost in the dark shadow of the photographs. I had trouble with the Rosemary on the other hand and haven’t drawn it as accurate as I would like, it dried out over the period I was drawing and I had to use some artistic licence when completing the picture. The other thing I wasn’t pleased with was a couple of soft lines on the back wall, which were from the application of Willow Charcoal direct, I found applying it with a soft cloth worked better. Unfortunately I could not remove the lines totally with an eraser and as the background was pale I couldn’t totally hide them. Overall I did enjoy this still life, as it evoked the feelings and memories within me associated with my chosen objects.