Final drawing for Assignment 2.
This assignment is designed to pull together the fine observation and practice done on this part of the course. I could choose my own subject taking into account these factors;
:the use of colour in the drawing.
:the most appropriate medium for the subject.
:composition and context.
:mark making and contrasts of line and tone.
:accurate and expressive depiction of form.
:experimentation with idea and material and method.
I started with an idea that I wanted to draw the resident Jackdaws in the manner of Isobel Rae, I really lover her simplicity but ability to project emotion within her pictures. Unfortunately the minute I wanted to do a study, they were nowhere to be seen and I was left with the two preliminary sketches done. I could have waited and within a fortnight they were back feeding outside, but I was short of time. Having decided to do birds I stuck with that idea and whilst at a Craft Show did a study of a Dove, I wasn’t sure on the first background and changed it which can be seen if you look closely at the picture, I felt the rays of light falling on the bird gave it a majestic glow and was a good idea, but it lacked colour. One thing needed for this Assignment was colour so I decided not to go further with the Doves.
I felt a little disheartened and thought a still life may be a better idea, and did a quick sketch of a semi-ripe Pumpkin and Nasturtiums. I tried the design on another piece of Fisher 400 paper, using Faber and Castell, and Derwent Coloursoft pencils. Two types of background were tried on a couple of strips, one in Chalk Pastel the other using the above pencils. Surprisingly the Chalk worked better, giving me the smooth gradation of colour I was looking for. I was going to do 3 different sized Pumpkins with a thread of Nasturtium running through, but felt doing another still life didn’t stretch me, I wanted to move away from my realism and try something a little less precise. The bird idea had capture my imagination so I sat on the idea for a couple of days.
Drawing Ducks was a decision made out of access really I knew where they were and could study them with ease. I did think about drawing just the females, but when I got to Brockholes there was a cheeky pair, with the most amazing facial expressions. I must say having said they would be easy to study, these were the only two near enough, all the others had gone onto the river and were too far to be useful. Drawing the Drake was a worry because the colour, but I think he came out well. I spent some time when home running through my sketches and pictures deciding on composition, paper and media. In the end deciding on 3 Ducks drawn on Fisher 400 paper. I had tried graphite, charcoal, Conte, Chalk Pastel, Faber and Castel, and Derwent Coloursoft. I ended up using Chalk Pastel, Conte, and Graphite. After trying several Pastel Papers I chose Fisher 400, it was quick to cover and gave great clarity of colour. I had never tried this particular paper until doing the room sketches, surprisingly it really is a good paper to apply mark and detail, as can be seen in the sketch of the pumpkin. It’s not good for the fingertips however. I drew the water with far more colour than I intended but I think it suited the subjects well, complimenting their own colouring. The drawing was made with free strokes of colour using various marks, and although not as loose as intended, the detail was created with more suggestive marks than the fine line work I usually do.
I was pleased with my drawing and felt I covered all the above points except composition, here I felt I could do better, I had thought the strong colour of the drake would outweigh the two brown hens, even though he was placed further back, but it didn’t and I had to add stronger colour to the water in front for balance. If I was to do this picture again I would probably move the drake forward and make him the same size as the hen. I think the birds were too close for the size difference and it didn’t add to the depth of the picture. I was pleased with the expression on the faces of the birds which I was aiming for, also the fact I had a reasonable picture of an upturned hen, which was done from my sketches of a distant bird on the river.
Overall I think this Assignment went relatively well, however given the chance again I would still choose to draw the Jackdaws rather than the ducks.
Pictures and sketches relating to this Assignment