Part 3, Project 3 Composition, Exercise 1 Developing your studies




For this exercise I was to review my preparatory drawing from Project 2 and select the elements I would like to include in a larger drawing. I chose one of a bench I had drawn but wanted to enlarge the scene. I really like the drawing done by artists which have subtle colour within their tone and wanted to try and do something similar. I love Rubens and Isobel Rae.


I have drawn various rough sketches  my first in graphite which was difficult to do, once again it was pouring down with rain and sketching on a pavement in the pouring rain with cars splashing through puddles as you draw is not fun. I am seriously thinking of investing in weather proof paper and a shield. I took various photos on separate days but couldn’t get the shadow I wanted as it was so dull.


bench qs1035



I followed the initial sketch with several, starting with Charcoal and then using various techniques at applying colour under the charcoal. The sketches were done from memory so are not accurate. I tried applying the pastel adding water then covering in charcoal it was too dark, so I tried applying pastel on top of the charcoal, and applying the pastel under without any water, rubbing it well into the paper without fixing.  I liked the effect where the pastel was rubbed without fixing best, charcoal was then applied over the top then as with all the sketches I lifted the leaf shapes out with putty rubber.

The final sketch shows development from the the first drawing I did a few weeks ago which was quick and more of a line drawing with minimal tone and no colour. I practiced various marks and laid down quick blocks of pastel and charcoal lifting the lighter tones and adding the darker. I feel the bushes at the very back behind the bare branches are successful, giving depth to the picture. Also I tried to keep the bench within the Golden Mean and I find its position pleasing, a focal point from which the eye can move around the picture, helped by the circular rows of stone which lead the eye through the composition. I applied tone using charcoal along the edge of the leaves to make them stand out, but if I was to develop this sketch more, I may try to draw in some leaf shapes instead of just using the lifting technique. Also I feel the colour of the leaves  of the bushes just behind the chair are too dark still and if the posts were not in the foreground, it would not be as well balanced. I think the slight touches of colour worked well in the rest of the picture as it added interest. Also the lifting of charcoal and edging in a darker tone worked well in showing the twigs that are coming off the tree on the right, it gives the area an interesting texture.

As can be seen from the above photograph of the area, I omitted to draw the bin and a lamppost in order for it to look more picturesque.

I have enjoyed and feel I have learnt a lot with my sketching in this project, my mark has become loser and more confident. Its difficult for me to explain, but I feel a greater freedom in my work and less pressure on myself to make every drawing look perfect, allowing a freedom in my application to develop more speed in my work and allow me to explore my subject and technique, not just copy it.

bench qs2036

bench qs4038

bench qs3037


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