I was lucky enough to take part in an OCA Big Draw event at Abney Park Cemetary in London, about halfway through this part of the course. I deliberately concentrated on getting some statue sketches and photos for this exercises.
Cemeteries are redolent with emotion and this one is filled with centuries of unkempt images and goodbyes. The angels struck me as good references, the age of them means many have lost hands, however the second angel in front of the cross was slightly further back from the path, and just above eyeline. I got my new smaller set of watercolours in time for this trip and I really like the blend they achieved across the wet paper. It brings the angel into a sharper focus in the foreground which makes this a pleasing image to me
John Paul Getty III was from the quick trip into the National Gallery I managed heading back through London to Waterloo. His bust is to the right of the main doors and seen head on, he is gazing pointedly towards the door with a strength and movement in his neck that is great to see in a statue.
Foreshortening is something I’m not scared of. Its a challenging way of making an image spring off the page I think I achieved the beak like nature of Mr Getty’s nose in the first, the darkness in his eye sockets helps bring his nose forward better than I managed in the second, however I like my use of colour with the lights of the gallery reflecting off the bronze.
I’m not happy with my response to this exercise.
Having been originally taken with the colours of the scene I think for the amount of time I gave to the piece, I would have been better going for a smaller sized piece of paper. I really prefer the line and wash version. and as for limited colour palette, I started out with the charcoal orange pastel and blue pastel, and had to add white to take some of the spookyness out of the picture.
However, I have a strong understanding that I am not going to like every thing I ever create. So. Which bits worked?
I like the tree with the effect of light and maybe by cropping the duff bit on the left of the terraced houses I would get a picture I liked.
I am aware that having used soft pastel, my pastel pencils won’t gain enough purchase to leave a mark, so working in would be pretty impossible and my pastels are too crumbly to retain a sharp point. So maybe I needed to do this piece smaller, in pastel pencils with soft pastel over for strongest areas?
I’m going to apologise again for the overly positive feeling I have for this city.
This exercise was based around a walk at the Croft area of Salisbury, its an open green area banded by the ring-road, terraced houses and council buildings. I did my sketching as it got dark on a crisp clear evening in December. This kind of trapped me into the colours because the clash between the amazing fading blue sky and the oranges of the lights split with dark silhouettes of the buildings is always a pretty amazing sight, and the cafe on the corner had blue fading LED lights up for Christmas which added another element of blue lower down the picture.
The sketch was done for line placement under a streetlamp and I took photos to get the colours accurate, but used them for further sketching at home due to the light.
The sketch I did in situ wasn’t enough information to complete a finished piece. The further information sketch was completed of a photo. I liked the effect of the bank on newspaper (project 4) and this is another corner building stretching away in two directions, even if one side is blocked by the tree my eye level is below the top of the cafe window but raised from the pavement.
My final response is a line and wash piece completed with ink and dip pen over newspaper and I am happy with it. I’m learning to accept the imperfect elements
I have dealt with depth through concentrated focus, the mid level I want the viewer to look at has the most detail which fades out in the back level and we don’t even see in the foreground.
I’ve worked off 2 sketchbooks for this part of the course, there has been less experimentation with mediums as I’ve been playing specificly with ones I know the effects of. I’ve bought more watercolour paints, the colour charts are in the book as well as the effects of conte crayons against white and black. I’m only pointing this out as I’ve been drawing aspects of my city in both books throughout this section.
Yes they are all in pitt brush pens.I just prefer the lack of mess on my hands when I’m out and about as well as the fact I don’t then have to layer my books with glassene just to keep them looking reasonably recognisable. Also, I can wash over with watercolour for both subtle and stronger colouring and they are dark enough to see what I’ve drawn when I’m drawing as the light goes. (which accounts for 2 out of the 4 above).
The buildings in this city are fairly individualy unique so relationships between buildings I think can take away from the quirky nature of each building in its own right.
For this exercise, I initially tried to work in pastel on black for 2 reasons. 1 it was dark and therefore the quickest way was to draw the light instead of the dark. 2, I forgot to pack a pencil.
I also started with a view that the finished piece would have the bright colours from the lights which adorn the trees around the market square, and the white of the branches against the night sky, however, I ended up attracted to the distances between the trees and the buildings into the corner and the lone figure (a bit Hopper-esque). to the point that the branches above I felt were superfluous. and the emphasis on the mid section of the picture has enough to keep your concentration. If I was going to develop this on further, I would be interested to see how a larger version (this is A3) could work, however I like the loose feel this has with the ambiguous emotion of the 1 person.
It was really windy yesterday, so windy, we gave up righting the recycling bin and left it down with the lid pinned in place. However, it being a Saturday, I had to get the kids out the house so I promised them edible tat if they would let me achieve the sketchwork required to get this exercise done.
The multi storey car park on Crane street offers a view from the top deck of the city stretching out to the hills that wrap round the back of Harnam, down to Wilton. this encompasses the city centre which due to planning laws has remained below a certain height (like Paris) to feature its major historical building, for us, the cathedral. This imeans, that when driving into the city, the cathedral is the welcoming site that greets you before entering the city and as a local, says home to me very strongly.
The wind up on the carpark was interesting and biting and as I had to be at the edge of the building overlooking the side for the view I wanted, I couldn’t draw from inside the car.So I’ll admit that the lines went down quickly, I took photos to document what I needed to complete the image and we drove home. I prefer not to have the cathedral centred in the picture, partially because of the weight in tone bottom left, but it means that I’ve drawn it different to how it is. Which is annoying because the eye gets drawn straight up the right and in actuallity its more of an easy S shape. So I’m going to stop writing and go do it again from photos. We had frost this morning and I value my fingers staying attached.
Mk II This isn’t as spontaneous and it loses something because of it, however, the fading is better, I had more time to think through the pen choice for major lines and the buildings are correct and I like the way the gap isn’t on the same line as the cathedral. I was happy with the fading in the first, although acknowledge the fading in the mid section needed beefing up. I might revisit this and big up the blue sky a bit more too…
This Thursday evening, Salisbury had its annual Christmas Lights turn on. So the kids and I went into the centre amid the thousands of other locals and visitors alike to watch. After, having removed ourselves from the slow moving scrum that is the narrow exits from the market square onto Butchers Walk and greeting friends also about for the event, we meandered into Neros for a drink. I like Neros, partially for the coffee, and partially because the 2 glass sides of the listed building afford the insides with a lot of light and a great view of the town going about its business. In fact, if you get the table at the end, the view leads down through the pedestrianised bit and on through the cathedral gate. Also from this table, you get a view of the Barclays building in all its banking old school splendar. Built on the corner of Bridge Street and High Street it fit the bill for this exercise quite nicely.
With the lights on outside and the dark settled I wondered how to draw it. My handbag sketchbook is a bit small for exercises so I bought a newspaper with the drinks and worked on a page of that. I think my sketch shows two point perspective well, I’ve made errors and the lines don’t meet up perfectly and there is an odd curve to the other shops next to it which I’ve also shown. We were sitting low in bucket chairs which means my eye line is below halfway up the door to the building, this is visible in the meeting points to the lines either side
After we got home, I glued it into my sketchbook and drew in the perspective lines and added the watercolour wash. I’m using a set of 12 Rembrandts at the moment and whilst the paints work nicely, for a large wash, I’d much prefer to move onto whole pans (which I’m hopeful I can achieve after payday) So the picture isn’t as ‘night’ as I’d like, but I am happier with the picture with the suggestion of colour I have achieved. If I wanted to work into this image further, I would complete more of the streets out beyond the newspaper with a fineliner, sort of proving the focus is in the middle of the paper and the rest is peripheral, but still there to finish it off as a work of art.
Knowing my workspace as I do, I am aware of the distances I didn’t get right in this sketch. I can see where its out of kilter. I generally can, but I’m not trying to achieve photo realism.
The issues I am having with this exercise is that I realised -quite some number of years ago- that every object has its own angle of lines, and curtesy of human error, they will never all line up at the same point. I made errors on where the lines went, (its recognisably the place its meant to be, its longer in the corridor and I admit, I ended up having quite a few conversations whilst drawing at the end of the day) but you also have to account for the builder not matching up to the architect 100% and then they themselves having an off day. I’m fairly sure it would be a better sketch if I had used a ruler, or had measured more accurately, I’m also fairly sure I could have covered up the mistakes if I had added tone into the line sketch, but this is bare-bones draftsmanship trying to achieve something specific. I’m going to have another look at it tomorrow, because even though I dragged a rug from another door to this one, I didn’t feel my original lines where that far out., the doors weren’tallel.
This is another exercise that I’m not sure of the value of, single point perspective doesn’t take into account that on the top of a hill, the line of sight is only straight ahead till the drop gets you.