Using tone studying texture, depth of field, and applying learnt skills.
I have learnt a lot in this course, and wanted to put what I had learnt into practice with my final piece. I love the outdoors and animals and worked as an animal nurse for year, but have until now drawn still life, flowers and individual animals, backgrounds and landscapes have never figured in my artwork outside of my course work.
Texture is something I have become interested in after seeing tactile artwork within the Care Home my mother lives. I had obviously come across texture in contemporary art but hadn’t realised how much it had been used throughout history. The two pictures I have chosen to show of John Constable inspired me the most. His painting The Cenotaph is full of drama and draws the viewer in, the texture adding another dimension to the piece. One thing I notice when studying Deer for Assignment 5 was they blend into their surroundings. He achieved this so well within this work of art. I also liked the very fine branches which can be seen and I tried to add this to my own work.
His other piece that I was inspired by was Hadleigh Castle, wow the depth of field in that painting is amazing. Not only does the texture or Impasto effect cause the Castle to be dominant, but he also manage to get such depth to the picture. I have never painted landscape, but it really made me want to have a go, and played a great part in my decision to draw a landscape and look at depth of field.
I wanted to add an animal of some kind to my drawing as I feel it was the weaker part of my course. After looking at various animals I decided Deer suited the time of year and the ability to help portray distance. After a visit to Dunham Massey I was convinced it was the way to go, having originally thought I would draw closer to home, my mind was made up, the scenery and deer were just what I was looking for. It is an area where I could practice my looser background with a more detailed fore as discussed earlier in the course with my tutor.
I went back to Dunham Massey a few times to collect sketches, photos and get the atmosphere of the area. It was one of peace, there was the odd clash of antlers in fun, but the Deer went about their day behaving as if the public were not there. Some of the trees were enormous, dwarfing the Deer dominating the scene, acting almost like their guardians. I practiced drawing the Deer and found the comment from my feedback really helpful, concentrating getting a part of the animal correct works a lot better. I have always tried to get down as much of the subject as I could before they moved, but somehow, drawing in part, seems to make the brain remember the subject clearer.
After drawing the scene and animals I decided to make the trees my main subject, as they seemed to be the most dominant part of the scene and their size gave them majesty. This inspired me to make them the main part of my picture, not the Deer.
Putting texture to a drawing is not something I have done in the past, but I had read about Gesso and tissue applied to support material and I decided on using them together. I did attempt to cover the whole application with silverpoint ground for added grain but found rubbing down the Gesso to be more successful. I tried various experiments with the Gesso and media until I finally decided on pencil, carbon, and polychromo. I applied the Gesso in several layers and rubbed them down gently with sand paper. Next time I will try to experiment with adding sand or something like marble dust to improve application of media. In the last layer of Gesso I applied it thick enough to add textured lines, indicating bark on the tree. Sadly there is a time limit when doing work for the course so I could not apply the layers a slowly as I would have liked, which led to a slightly untidy look.
I have found it interesting reading of the layers of Gesso and grounds added by Fine Artist to their pictures and how they went about applying texture. In the future I would like to carry on looking at texture and its application, as it seems a most interesting path of study.