Friday, 25 November 2016

Access Art Developing Sketchbooks 3

For the next part of Access arts developing sketchbooks course I did 2 drawing exercises. I must admit when I first read these I wasn't enormously excited by them. One is to draw 8 objects in 10 minutes each, the second is to draw one object 8 times in different media and from different angles. However, I was surprised just how much these exercises loosened up my drawing and am really impressed with the outcomes. I guess I am still so outcome oriented that I wasn't excited by investing time in drawing simple objects, not being open to just seeing what happened. On the course there are loads of ideas for different ways to draw the objects and examples. 

I did this at the park as it is the best way to get some uninterrupted time while the kids are playing. My park is quite short of interesting objects, it is quite sterile really. I can really see why they tell you to do this all in one session, I really started to loosen up then had to go home and pick it up again. I drew these in pen, only because I forgot a pencil, had everything else with me, but no pencil. It was a good thing, forced me to be definite with my lines and marks.

I've started putting all my work from my sketchbook on the wall after seeing the local artist's open house where an artist always does this with her sketches. These sketches were all ok, I noticed while drawing a pine cone that as I drew each piece the pieces did not always line up, a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. I think my drawing is getting better and I definitely saw an improvement through the course of this task.
I learnt that there are interesting shapes and patterns in all things and that I need to be more open to seeing them. If I were to repeat this, and I think I will as a warm up task for my next sketch book, I would do it indoors and try using lighting for more clear shadows. I noticed that my knowledge of perspective influenced me in one of my drawings, I was drawing a lamp in what I realized half way through, was what i thought was the correct way, rather than what I was seeing as I was infact drawing it from the wrong angle. This was also occasionally true of shadows, my knowledge of drawing theory was telling me how to draw rather than observation. I wonder if I should draw some buildings and see if I can limit my knowledge driving these forms rather than observation. 

The next task was more challenging, I used a flower from my garden. It has very subtle shadows and highlights, perhaps I should have adjusted the lighting before starting. I used pen, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, watercolor, white pen on black paper, markers on yellow paper and charcoal and white pastel on yellow paper, blue drawing ink with graphite on yellow paper. 

I got a really solid understanding of the forms through this, but did not always manage to get it completely right on the paper, which in itself was interesting. Drawing is not necessarily about the finished drawing, it is about the process and the observation. I tried to stick to the 10 minutes each and although many of my drawings were not completely successful it has given me a resource of lines shapes and textures which will be really useful when developing my next designs. The shadows in this flower were very subtle and in all the different media I used I tried different ways of representing these shadows. In color media I tried using complementary colors, purple and yellow, analogous, yellow orange and red, as well as shades of yellow. The problem with the complementary colors was when using any media which is wet or not completely opaque is that these colors will inevitably mix and create shades of brown or grey. The flower itself had very subtle shadows and highlights and all of my drawings exaggerated these or it was just a continuous yellow mass. I wonder if that is just my lack of experience or patience representing such subtle differences, however, my different interpretations of these shadows was an interesting exploration of color. In particular, the drawing in blue ink on yellow paper, as I was effectively drawing in all the shadows in a color that was quite different to those I was observing. I am interested in using my collagraph block to create color variations of a subject through variable inking, these drawings were valuable practice in this.

I'm going to take this further by using one of these drawings as a practice print design. Now I know the shadows and highlights well I think I will be able to apply this to my printing. However, to do this effectively I will need to print without reversing the block, or I can't effectively add these highlights, so my print will be reversed. 

There are loads of these drawing prompts on access art and I think I will start each new assignment with an activity like this.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Bella for your comments and wonderful to see your work emerging from these tasks. stunning work and I love the way you describe your process! Wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Sheila (AccessArt)