Here I have been asked to reflect on what I have achieved with my work done on the last 2 exercises.
How did you simplify and select? Were you able to focus on simple shapes and patterns amid all the visual information available to you?
I find it hard to simplify as I am used to drawing things in great detail. It is choosing which mark to use and how to go about using it. Although I do feel I am getting better at doing this. In the first exercise I removed a lamp and a bin to simplify the scene and I decided on the lifting technique. I don’t have trouble too often with shapes and patterns unless it is very busy, then I lose perspective. I don’t use a grid but would consider doing so if it was a busy scene.
In the second exercise I removed a tree branch as it didn’t fit the composition. I simplified the detail in the foreground and didn’t put in every stone, and I also took out some of the detail in the rear view just giving an impression of the bushes and trees.
How did you create a sense of distance and form?
On exercise one I reduced the detail in the background and the pattern of the cobbled edging drew the eye in decreasing circles which gave the foreground depth. The cobbles grew smaller and less defined the further back they went. Also the size of the bench against the wooden posts was defining.
On exercise two this was similar in that I had put in less details and gave the mountains a blue hue to show visual atmospheric interference. There wasnt a great deal within the middle ground to show depth except for wave size and colour, there were three rocks which got smaller the further they were from the eye, however they could just have been smaller rocks. So if I develop this picture in the future I will add the odd boat in the middle.
Were you able to use light and shade successfully?
Not in the first one as it was so dull and under trees shadow was difficult to get. On the second picture of the lake I felt the shadow worked, but it would have been good to have had some larger areas of shadow to give the picture a little interest.
What additional preliminary work would have been helpful towards the larger study?
For the first exercise I did more preliminary work, as I live nearby, which meant I could go and see it in the flesh so to speak, I think you get better detail when you have a location sketch to work with. I also spent time on drawing the bushes in colour, but I would have liked to have tried with just charcoal and have spent more time getting the circles better.
The second exercise I would have like to have been on location to do another sketch to get the position of my drawing better. I have done one ages ago but it was only small. I would also like to have had some sketches of boats to refer to so I could have used one in the middle ground.
From these exercises I have learned that taking preliminary sketches from location give a better understanding of your subject thus giving you a better idea of composition and how to apply your media.