My first group of objects was an espresso cup and saucer and a silver coffee bean spoon. these are objects that to me are beautiful in their simplicity, I hankered after a set of Silver bean coffee spoons for quite a while, then received them as a family secret santa gift ( I asked for them). I love the weight and balance as well as the shiny surface which tints the reflective shapes because of the patina in the metal. Placing the cup and saucer below the eye-line produces the most noticeable shadows and I think the spoon on the table to the side is more indicative of the ritual that is a good cup of coffee, however I like the eye level view too, especially as it was drawn after the sun had gone down so the back light on the wall was much lower, it becomes a much more thoughtful piece. I would probably choose that over the other images, the misplaced saucer over cup whilst having a lighter attachment has too many comedic connotations I don’t want to associate with a well drawn still life at this time. I would aim at A3 and go with pencil crayon, I think that could accurately depict the delicacy of the porcelain.
I have also tried a second grouping with a mostly empty bottle of wine and an open box of Alker Seltzer. This seems much more cause and effect for a meaning, even if it is cliche´d. As its presenting the morning after I could aim at A1 for the final image, glaring light from the front and a harsher brighter medium, oil pastels, brighter soft pastels on a rough paper or marker pens.
Or maybe aim for a dirtier effect with a back wash of colour and fine-liner? its either the loud effect before the medication kicks in, or the story, that ‘Oh my god! What did I do?’ moment. If the latter, smaller size could work well. maybe down to A4, On the basis that the memory may be better forgotten?
Of the two group options, I prefer the wine bottle and the bottom left picture, some residual wine in the bottle, the lid on the table and the box open in front. It really could be drawn either way, hangover bright or remembering small. Or both and then decide after.
I read about the grid method in The new drawing on the right side of the brain by Betty Edwards (published by Harper Collins 2001) Its presented in early exercises while drawing the hand, and is effective for measuring out accurately. I’m not happy with drawing the lines on the paper though because I have then got to remove them. If I am using lines for measurements, (Jacksons art shop has a grid app that tells you what the measurements would be for the lines and overlays them on a photo that is customisable to the size of paper you are using, I have used it to get the general distances in the final assignment piece in part 1, however, I put the tool down to look at the still life in front of me as soon as I was happy it was mostly accurate because I wanted to work with what was in front of me instead of the photo, something I knew I would have to do when I started doing this course) I tend to mark off the edge of the paper and the crossing points only and lightly. It does give greater accuracy, which when working to a large size can be preferable, it depends on how accurate you like your work to be. I’m not a huge fan of hyper realistic work, Photography is a skill that you have to learn much the same as painting and drawing, observation in sketching and drawing and an accurate technique is mildly addictive, for the satisfaction you get at the end, however, I think it then lacks the thing that makes it recognisable as the work of someone specific, it can lack the potential voice a picture can have.
I picked an aubergine a marrow and a pepper as my natural objects as I liked the contrast in the colours. I expected my finished picture to have the pepper as the most prominent item due to the bright orange, however I’m not convinced the Aubergine didn’t become more focal.
I toyed with the base, just table, (I tried this sketch in my sketchbook, in a Henry Moore style as recommended by my tutor, I have now read Blitz and Blockade: Henry Moore at the Hermitage.Fontanka; 1st Edition edition 2011. Its a good start, but its unrefined and flat to me) glass cake stand then napkin on cake stand to separate the veg from the brown wood of the table this brings the strong colours of the veg out and the napkin complements the negative space of the wall almost making the veg float.
The light ended up coming from above as I could get a starker almost clinical feel to the objects in front of me, this has not come across in the final piece which is infinitely softer and underworked.
I tried to create a pencil watercolour sketch in the style of Cezanne and I think I achieved the pallet if not the post-impression perspective, however, I think the overall colour is more reminiscent of John Cotman without the almost paint by numbers effect I see in his work. I could have worked back through in pen and ink to attain a stronger sense of form, I don’t think the pepper has enough oomph to bring it forward or make it a believable, however, the aubergine a the focal works for me. I like the purples I think that the shape is both multidimensional and has an almost unreal shine to it that I like.
The man made objects are easier to create 3 dimensionally, mostly because of the uniform shape. I could have picked more difficult objects, like the perfume bottles from the last part, or a twisty vase I have that would have been more complex to render from the start. I also picked the veg based on colour, not texture. I have created a simple un-complex watercolour sketch that is pleasing on the eye but not challenging. I’ll have to make sure I don’t do that again, see if I can get the point just before a picture is ruined by doing too much to it. Mostly because I am not going to learn if I don’t start pushing the working in and studying to re-work to make a picture take longer to create.
changing the composition around created different pictures, formal versus natural, portrait, square and landscape, different shadows, as much as the aubergine is the star of the picture, it is the same size as the marrow and definitely takes away from it, the pepper only became potentially prominent by moving it away from the dark of the aubergine, this means more observable reflections between the two.
Interesting exercise and nice to draw on the research, however, in doing all the reading I am leaving myself less time to fit in the drawing. This week my plan is two exercises and a book called Looking at the Overlooked (Reaktion Books LTD reprinted 1995), as a suggested book by a fellow student. As its payday on Thursday I will be ordering up my tutors other suggested artist to study which is Picasso. I have however got my children and my schools summer fayre at the end of the week, so its dubious as to how much I will actually fit in…
Amendment. I went back into the veg and worked it with the pencil crayons which created a more pleasing 3d effect.