I have now finished drawing 1 and have started a new Blog for Painting 1
I have now finished drawing 1 and have started a new Blog for Painting 1
Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness design and compositional skills.
Over the course I have no doubt all skills have improved. I am starting to manage to put what I am learning into practice. I still want to push my work to the more detailed stage and I lack speed in application. My visual skills are getting better and I am gaining an eye into being aware of shapes both positive and negative. My compositional skills feel better and I am trying to put into practice, what has been learnt through Drawing 1.
Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.
As with Part 4 I still feel quality is second to time, maybe as I become more confident with my work this will get better, but even as a child it was noticed I couldn’t work well at speed. With Assignment 5 I found it a little easier applying what I had learnt, maybe because I had to use this in developing my own ideas, rather than worrying about achieving a set criteria. Communicating my ideas is becoming second nature now, as is the ability to judge where I am going wrong, however I am sure there are areas I still need help with.
Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.
This is the fun part, only now am I beginning to feel I have gained enough knowledge of working to this level to now concentrate on being creative and using my imagination. I think the course can be overwhelming when you haven’t worked at this level before. You have to learn what is expected, how it’s applied and what to apply before you can actually begin to settle into what is expected from you. I have seen a difference looking at those who have done an art degree before, as they already know what is expected of them.
My personal voice is beginning but I have yet to get there, though I am now able to use artistic licence when needed in order to improve my picture. I have no doubts of the importance of drawing things in the field. It is so important in the process of being able to invent and use your imagination. To imagine you first need to know your image intimately.
Context reflection – research, critical thinking (learning log)
I love my learning log, and it really makes me think about what I am doing, why I am doing it, and what I want to achieve. It is hugely important to me and helps with my learning process. I always like to draw then put the drawing up so I can look at it for a day or two to see where it can be improved. Thinking what I have done well, or where I have gone wrong and the putting it up on the log, is so important, it gives me the ability not to make the same mistake again.
Writing down the research again makes me learn more about what I am reading, the act of writing it down means I have to have learnt about the subject in order to know what to write. Where I am falling down a little is my Gallery and Museum visits, I often don’t analyse pictures, I get caught up in the enjoyment of looking then describing what I have seen is difficult. So in future I will try and take notes at the time.
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.
I have drawn 5 rough positional sketches to decide on how I am going to draw the final piece. I needed to know which area I was going to sketch from. I decided on an area in the wood at Dunham Massey as this had larger gaps in order to place the Deer so they could be see withing the drawing. The final one is the one I think I will do, giving a little licence to the placement of the Deer. I think it looks more balanced, however both tree and front Deer needs moving to the left.
Three final pieces for Assignment 4
Figure study using line. Figure study using tone. Self Portrait using line and tone.
For this assignment I was to complete two large figure studies (A1 size) and a self-portrait (any size). I had to do 3 drawings in total, together with supporting studies experiments etc.
For each drawing consult my preliminary studies. Write notes on the artists that have inspired me to work in a certain way. Be inventive about work and materials and allow around two hours for each drawing.
1 Figure study using line (A1) Seated model in an upright chair.
This study was about drawing a three-dimensional form using line. Take note of the figure and the chair in relation to the whole scene, gradually describing details such as the hand etc using single line or combinations of narrow thick, curved and straight, fractured expressive, gestural, dynamic dramatic and so on.
I don’t like A1 it feels too big for me, in part probably because I haven’t got a drawing board that size, and can’t afford one. This means I have to work on a table and boy it gives me backache, this is especially difficult when using a model as the table needs to be at hand whilst drawing. I had gone back through my work within Part 4 and felt I had done a lot of pure fine line drawings, so decided I wanted to have a bit of fun and use various widths and lengths of media. Conte stick were something I have never used a lot of, but an artist by the name of Guy Denning who is inspirational with Conte and line makes fabulous drawings using Conte. I am not fond of his subject matter as his portraits are a bit depressing, but his application is so energised and he has some very expressive drawings, using newsprint and cardboard as well as paper. I thought I would have a go at cardboard and did a small drawing, I felt like I had lost control of my media, which I am guessing is part of the fun. I did in the end decide not to use it but liked the lined pattern it made and used it for part of the drawing underneath, to give some texture.
I did some preparatory drawings, to check I had the position correct and just to make sure I did want to go with the Conte, and not an alternative line, in the end I felt I would experiment with Black Conte, Grey and White Pastel, Rubber, Pencil, Willow Charcoal and a non-functioning Biro. The Biro was an after though I had placed the cardboard under my paper in order to get the ridged look and notice when making line using either Conte or the Pastel on their side, it would highlight my pencil marks, so to begin with I used and old Biro that hadn’t any ink, to put in some deeper lines. Now as I added the broader line I could see the finer indentations underneath. I also used a rubber to make short lines within the wider ones. I love the texture Conte sticks give when used on their side, it can be seen within the trouser, and just one application was enough in most areas. Pastel was a lot smoother and less dramatic. The line from the cardboard worked well in certain areas, like the top and lower leg but I worked with it a little too much and next time would be more selective where it was used.
I think I was enjoying the process much too much and went way too far with my line work, because although you can see the lines except for areas the fixative caused runs, it may of created more tone within the line than was being asked for. However in the end after my first concerns and even though the model isnt facially accurate, I enjoyed this drawing and felt I learnt a lot about line and how it can be used and how line forms tone. This drawing did go to the wire in time as I thought I had the legs too long, however after numerous measuring and a fed up model, I realised I was lower than the model lying on the ground drawing, which had given an element of foreshortening coupled witht he fact my model does have lovely long leg. Now there was a lesson learned. I would if I did this piece again and not on the constraints of having to show the background, try to do a similar drawing with a suggested background, rather than in full.
2 Figure study using tone (A1) Reclining model
I needed to plan this one carefully with my model dressed in reasonably fitted clothes. Contrasting tones would be a good idea. I was meant to use a strong light but living in a small very deep walled cottage, strong light is not possible, so I had to set up lamps to help. It was suggested I let the light filter across the area of the room in an interesting manner. For this I was to use tone only, and positive and negative spaces.
I wasn’t sure how to go about this one but liked the way Paul Hedley combines watercolour with pastel to create his tonal sketches/paintings. I love working mixed media and after preliminary sketches to determine position, colour and application I decided watercolour and pastel would work. I wanted to work this drawing partly in an impressionistic style and didn’t fully draw the surroundings, it worked to a point but would have worked better had I not felt the need to portray the contours and tonal changes on the bed linen.
As I was going to be using watercolour I needed a paper that would take it and to be honest I hadn’t money to buy anything posh, so used a sheet of Eco paper made from cloth. I hadn’t used it before and it turned out to take the toned washes well, but it didn’t take the pastel without furring. I must admit it give the picture a material feel and I would like to use it in future, as I am sure the fluffing could be used to advantage.
This time to spare me some back pain I used a piece of framing board to rest the drawing on my easel. I couldn’t stretch the paper, but it held the water well without too much buckle. The base tone was just a wash mainly pink/brown, but I added more orange to the top to show the tonal different. I had decided to do the picture in a limited colour wash first and then work into it using pastel over the top to enhance the tone. I also positioned the models legs in a way it enabled me to show perspective.
Drawing in this loose fashion doesn’t come easy for me and if there had not been time constraints on the drawing I would undoubtedly had to fight the desire to work this picture longer. If I was to take it further and develop the drawing towards a finished piece I would like to try putting less detail in the fore and maybe with a little artistic licence push the bed edge nearer the models rear and placing the model into the golden mean a little more. I enjoyed this piece and would like to take the method further maybe using coloured pencil. Pencil was my first choice but due to the time constraint and size of this drawing, it really didn’t make sense.
3. A portrait or self-portrait combining line and tone
Here I was to create a portrait with believable features in proportion. I was to work with line and tone.
For this I wanted to do a sketch similar in fashion to the old masters, silverpoint was too slow, and has to be done over time, though I did look at sketching with this media and did a quick drawing. I decided to colour the paper to give it a more aged look and after looking at media decided to use coloured pencil and restricted the colours to a white, sanguine, brown and black. I absolutely love the drawings by Rubens and it was some of his drawings that inspired me to have a go. Unfortunately the paper didn’t take the watercolour well, it was meant to be mixed media paper, but it took the pigment in patchy pools, sadly I didn’t have any other paper more suitable, so continued. For the most part it worked well. The shading was light and I kept the tonal contrast as delicate as I could. I would like to carry this style on to a finished piece at some stage. I think there is a need to experiment with the background colour and tweak it as its colour tone was slightly wrong and needed to lean more to the brown than the red. The background being patchy wasn’t as big a problem as I thought and in places added to the picture, and distracted in others. However it does look like me and made me realise how big my jowls had become. Oh dear, there again I did leave out the wrinkles as I wanted to keep the portrait soft, the shoulders and upper chest faded into the background colour.
I have included the preliminary sketches below, and some are interrelated, I tried media out within the 3 assignment pieces and if it didn’t suit one drawing I thought about how it would work with another, so my preliminary work was looked at both individually and also as a whole.
Various drawing specific sketches were done but techniques medias and method were sometimes intermingled.
For this i was to create two interesting images of my own face, I wasn’t to worry about producing an attractive or accurate likeness the aim is to create a believable face with the features in more or less the right place. I did 3 very quick sketches which were not the best likeness then moved onto the first sketch. I cant say it is very interesting, in fact I look terrified. In reality it was more to do with me looking intently in the mirror, so much so I forgot to do the interest thing. I hate looking at me at the best of times, so not exactly my favourite exercise this. My second drawing I did from a photograph hoping I could get a better view and remove the look of terror from my eyes. Err no, that one was even worse. The second picture I did in oil crayons and I am just not used to using pastels oil or chalk. They are very thick to use and I am used to drawing fine detail. The pencil drawing was much easier to do and is a slightly better picture of me. When my daughter stopped laughing at my minute sketches, she felt the pencil drawing was the better likeness. I think in part it was because I am used to the medium and also I found the features were easier to measure correct when working from life. I feel drawing individual parts of the face is easier for me as I am a slow drawer possibly due to my dyslexia, and although my drawing will no doubt always be slow, with all the quick sketching in Part 4 it has built up my speed and I would like to continue drawing like this as I believe it has improved my work.
For this exercise I had to do a standing, seated and lounging figure. The aim is to practise making interesting studies of the figure to show I have understood the basic structural principles and my ability to incorporate them using whichever style or approach for my subject. I took time as requested, sorting out a position and viewpoint, walking around my subject also making a few quick sketches, these were quick. I also used exaggerated foreshortening in one picture as I quiet enjoy the almost comedic look of a person when foreshortened. It can be seen used in this way by Jenny Savage and although I dont like the look of all the flesh on display, I do like the concept. I achieved this exaggeration because of the viewing angle. It was impossible to draw this without a photo because of the position I would be in to get the view. I think the least interesting one was the seated figure which was drawn using graphite. This for me was the hardest drawing as I find the seated figure difficult to do and for the life of me I couldnt get the proportions correct, I went wrong and could not redeem the picture with the trousers being too narrow, and the face incorrect. I moved onto the pastel picture which I think is accurate, my subject is only short and was stood slightly angled to the side , this gave a foreshortened effect on the shoulder and leg to the right of the body. I was pleased with this sketch and liked the energy in the picture even the the figure was still.
The lounging figure was the one I exaggerated the foreshortening on, it was easier to do as when low to the ground the foot became enormous. I used a pencil as a measure and the foot appeared to be half the size of the person, giving this over exaggerated size effect. My subject was twisted to one side which did give the whole picture a distorted view. Possibly it would have looked lest contorted and abnormal if I had positioned my model facing me. I do think this came out well though and enjoyed the process. This was done in pen and wash using Paynes Grey watercolour.
Overall I think I did relatively well, but I do still have a lot to learn in regards to the accurate portrayal of a human. To make sure I was within the size and proportion, I did draw out the figures in heads before I started as I had seen done in a book written by Andrew Looomis, Figure Drawing For All Its Worth. It is without a doubt easier to draw a figure with a mental vision of the naked body shape. It helps with the hang of clothes and the proportions of their body. I also find the position more achievable if I draw a stick figure first. I am getting better and more accurate as can be seen throughout Part 4, as I have a much better grasp of the size and proportion of a human. However it can take various attempts to get these proportions correct on paper, as can be seen above with the seated figure and the trouser legs and feet which are both sized incorrect, being too small.
This time I was to draw a sequence of six different poses lasting ten minutes each
Adjust the light so that it hits just one side of the model, to emphasise the three dimensional form. Take time to look at the model and identify the darkest and lightest areas. Remember the basic shapes and begin to shade in the darkest tones.Build up the different tonal values with loose hatching and or broad sweeps of dark tone. Leave the white paper without marks for the lightest tones.
I was to draw the whole figure but nor worry about the detail.
First of all it was a lot to ask of someone as slow as myself, as it happens I dont think I did to badly. My model was unavailable so I used a site called New Masters Academy. They do times sessions of live models. I chose six different ones all showed movement, and gesture from the central axis, except from my downward lying lady. I actually surprised myself with this, maybe it was because they were still also they hadnt got clothing to distort the shapes. For me I think this is a personal best as I did get closer to the correct proportions. My shading was relatively accurate, I used a water soluble pencil for all sketches using line and hatching, then with a water brush I laid over a wash to grade the shading. If I was to do them again I would try ink and wash but I wasnt confident going into this Exercise so played safe. I think I managed to show movement within my drawings, maybe the were not as detailed as I could have drawn but all in all I think I didnt do too bad.
For this Research I was to try lounging on a couch with a mirror facing me from the foot end, then draw my body as I saw it in the mirror. My feet should be huge in comparison with the rest of my body. This effect is called foreshortening I then had to find any images were an artist has used foreshortening to create a particular effect.
Jenny Saville is a good one for this as she uses foreshortening in her figure drawing which accentuates the flesh. This can be seen well in this painting called Plan.
Also there is the Grid reference illustration published by Albrecht Durer where he depicts someone looking through a string grid and transferring what they see to a drawing surface which had a grid on.
For this exercise I had to sketch a seated figure wearing a plain and pale coloured shawl, baggy jumper or soft dressing gown. I had to use light marks sketch the overall shape of the seated figure, remembering to fit it interestingly withing the borders of the support. I am not sure I managed that. However I think I managed to disregard detail an concentrate on drawing the body and fabric. I actually enjoyed this doing this drawing, I didnt think I would as drawing people is something I have never really concentrated on.
As it happened I couldn’t find a plain pale shawl, so I had to go with a beach wrap and ignore the pattern. My model sat patiently whilst I drew, but the first drawing was almost head on and really didnt look right the model was incorrectly positioned on the chair and looked awkward. The light was bad in my cottage and it didnt highlight the light and darks as I wanted, but I think I managed to capture the folds and contours of the material and shape of the model so I was glad that part went well. The second drawing is better, I drew my model for the side and although the light was still very flat even with a daylight bulb, it was far more accurate.
If I was to do it again I would try a draw in daylight to get the tone better, unfortunately my personal life dictated evening was the only time I could draw on this occasion.
Both drawings were drawn with a 2B Graphite pencil.