Part 2, Project 4, Exercise 3, Experiment with mixed media

This exercise is about experimenting with using both traditional art tools and ‘non-art’ media. I was to use various media such as wax crayons, ballpoints, highlighters and fat marker pens together with pencils, dipping pens  etc. I was to think about the use of a coloured wash and /or collage, textured surface. I was to make notes on how the drawing style, visual effect and conceptual possibilities change or emerge with using different media. For this drawing I chose to do the whole thing on brown paper, it was a whim of an idea as its colour and surface went well with the subject matter, it is not the easiest to work on with some of the media I was going to use, but I wanted to try something different. The media I chose were water-soluble oil pastels, gold and silver fat markers, graphite pencil, coloured pencils of various types, chalk pastel pencils, line markers and a grey charcoal. I placed the objects on a piece of brown paper to photograph, and by accident the sun shone through the window projecting bright shapes on the paper and objects as they passed through the branches of a tree. I was pleased with the play of light and shadow and wanted to include it into my still life. I did a few sketches first to try out the different media and what worked best with my objects, I thought pastel would be my main media to achieve my chosen subject matter. The sun highlights worked well with pastel as a base to give the subtle light play, to get the intense white though it didn’t work, not even with layering, so had to be adapted on the actual drawing. I found whilst making a sketch of the petals a covering of oil pastel over the chalk pastel worked so I used this on the final drawing. I tried this method for the highlights on the pearls and glass but found it was too thick to make a fine mark bright enough and lacked the sparkle I wanted, so I tried using a white fine liner. I found this worked well. I then roughly sketched my still life and found it to be an agreeable setup so left it to this one sketch. I started with the background and after trying chalk pastel and coloured pencil I decided to use grey charcoal, it covered the paper better and gave the subtle shadow and tone I was trying to achieve, however, I found the dark area of shadow made by the light shining through the glass difficult to achieve without the use of coloured pencils on top. The glass was achieved with a mix of media the fine lines with crayons and the background pretty much as I had already described. The flower was more difficult than I imagined, as the paper lacked grain to grasp the media, the oil pastel didn’t work well with the depth of white or smoothness of colour I wanted and I found I needed to add water. Unfortunately water made the paper buckle so it wasn’t as well executed as I wanted. The pearls were drawn using the chalk pastel as a base to give the subtle tone then the shadow and light drawn from coloured pencil and white fine liner for the highlight. I left these until last so adopted the technique I had used throughout the picture. The chalk pastel was always put down first it gave the tone and a surface for the crayons to attach to. Gold and silver fat markerswere used very much as intended, the silver for the clasp and gold portraying the pattern of leaves on the glass. Altogether this was an interesting exercise, and to achieve the look I wanted I had to be flexible with my decision of media as my original plan of use didn’t always achieve the visual effect I desired. uni pearls

Below sketches and photograph.

Pearl sketches and photo_edited-1

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