- the use of colour in drawing
- the most appropriate medium for the subject
- composition and context
- mark-making and contrasts of line and tone
- accurate and expressive depiction of form
- experimentation with idea, material and method.
Looking through my sketchbooks for this part, I had a great deal of fun with different mediums, some I had not touched for a long time (oil pastels and pencil crayons). others that where new (permanent markers).
It is an eclectic mix of exercises making up the projects so picking one is a bit like a minefield. Interiors was initially a definite no, mostly based on the message in a picture potentially being quite bland.
I will spend more time drawing horses, mostly as at least one of the major pictures I offer up for this part will be heading in the direction of the models owner after assessment and partially as I haven’t drawn horses enough to say I understand the way they are made up, to be able to instinctively understand the shape of a movement yet.
Still life as a section was huge, I enjoyed most of it, I believe I achieved a range of final images that complete the exercises with imagination and life and with pictures like the mackeral I can envisage a series of pictures rather than the one I completed.
My chosen subject was to be my Grandads toolbench, recent family happenings (at 93 he tried to do some DIY mis-judged a situation with a table saw and is now banned from electronic power tools and his garage is going to be cleaned out, partially to dissuade him of the notion of trying again. Its OK, the bandages will come off eventually) Making some sort of record of a place and series of things that have defined him so long spoke to me as something I could achieve.
I had two long sessions of sketching in the garage and after the first line study realised that there is just too much going on on the bench to do a wide-angled interior shot, it would take a piece of paper the same size of the desk to catalogue most of the items and the set-up he has created, having a hint of Heath Robinson about the space.
So I sketched some specific items and angles to view them at. I also took photos to help with the time in the space. I chose to go with the light through the door rather than putting the overhead or spot light on, I preferred the lower light and softer shadows of the space now unused.
I wanted a surface that was already used so lay down written sections of newsprint onto an A1 heavyweight watercolour sheet, I then sat back and looked at my sketches and the photos and the one that struck me was the can in a can. Its just a random thing on the table but it shone out and even my Grandad can’t explain or remember why he put it in there which sort of sat well in the clutter for me.
I’ve had good success over this part of the course with line over colour, I wanted this to be another multimedia piece, but wanted to stay away from loose washes of colour. Also, as much as the sketchbook pictures were mostly coloured fine tipped pens, they were only from WH Smiths and have an unknown reaction to prolonged light which is a shame as I was happy with the colour and strength of the pictures, I wanted to represent the untidiness by covering the paper with its shapes and angles, and after initially doing a pencil outline of the can in the centre and gesso-ing it, I made it larger, I realise this makes the objects around even more indistinct and a jumble, but I really wanted the focus to be this can.
The picture was completed with permanent markers and fine-liners and for its size is a strong image, the colours ping out and I am really happy with it. I am slowly learning to develop the finished story through the work behind in the sketchbook
I think this assignment shows progress from my initial piece, I am experimenting with materials and learning which ones work for me. I don’t think I have achieved as much benefit from the research points as I have from reading books externally to these,
A Closer look Still Life Erika Languir, 2010, National Gallery Company Limited.
Looking at the overlooked four essays on still life painting by Norman Bryson, 1995 Reaktion books LTD
Viewing Renaissance Art, arranged by Kim Woods 2007 Open University press
Cezanne, (this was a cheap little book that gives a thin account of his life and practise as well as a good range of his pictures over the time, it also does not list the author or arranger of the work) 2005 Grange books (good catalogue of images though)
sections of 2 open university books kindly lent by a friend, Reputations, edited by Elaine Moohan 2008 (section on Cezanne)
and Art & Visual Culture 1850-2010, Modernity to Globalisation, edited by Steven Edwards & Paul Wood 2013 reprint by Tate publishing for Open University. Parts 1=3, detailing a view on the move from impressionists onwards through Japanese prints (which definitely had an impact on Picasso)
Blitz and Blockade: Henry Moore at the Hermitage.Fontanka; 1st Edition edition 2011
Picasso’s Drawings 1890-1921 (Yale University Press 2011)
I’ve also now got Betty Edwards Colour book on the go (2004 Tarcher/Penguin), as much as this is going to be an excellent book for the painting course, and its giving me an awareness of tone and chroma, I’m not sure where its going to lead me in D1.
Growing up The young British Artists at 50, Jeremy Cooper 2012 Prestel Verlag. as an introduction I understand to some people I didn’t think I did.
I am also about halfway through Writing on Drawing series editor John Steers published by Intellect Books, which is a mind bending little read. I am beginning to appreciate alternatives I would have dismissed like Armando and Picasso because of the understanding I am reaching through all the reading.
I’ve also got the catalogue for the Great British Drawings exhibition at the Ashmolean, its a tome. printed by the Ashmolean mostly written by Colin Harrison and was an exhibition I went to as an OCA trip. I haven’t written it up and there wasn’t time whilst walking around with the other students to sketch but between the Ashmolean and the exhibition at MOMA that day it was an eye opening experience around the variety of art this country has created at an amazing skill level. We were advised to look at pictures and work out if they were finished pieces or supporting sketches. Fascinating!