Part 1 – Line and Shape
For the first part of this assignment, assignment 4 we were to produce a final piece using line and shape. Instructed to take particular note of the proportions of the figure we were to describe details such as hands and facial features and find ways of describing the folds of the clothes with line rather than tone. As I have done in the other exercises for part 4 I asked my girlfriend to model for me and so I could get a good sense of form I asked her to wear shorts and a sleeveless white knitted top.
I started off by making sketches in line in my sketchbook. After the first sketch I realized that the face was going to be a problem, as I stated earlier I found it quite difficult to draw my girlfriend’s face and as this drawing was going to be in soft pencil, pen or some other permanent medium then I had to get it right the first time. The next drawing was of her face, not in line but in tone at first and from there I tried translating the key features of her face into a line drawing.
I asked her to change pose for the second drawing. This pose was very elegant, it made her neck longer and her legs more womanly, at this stage I thought it would be a pose I would come back to for the finished line drawing.
During changing poses for the next drawing her son called her, I thought was a pose I could use and so I asked her to stay in that position, with phone to her ear for the next two drawings in both conte pencil and charcoal pencil.
I decided that these two mediums (charcoal pencil and Conte pencil) were a bit too sloppy for my liking to be used in the final line drawing and so I decided on using either Drawing pen, ballpoint or soft pencil.
The next sketch put me off using pencil, it would be too easy to start hatching and messing the final drawing up, drawing pen or ballpoint would be much cleaner.
Going on the fact that ballpoint can look a bit too scratchy at times though and was probably ok for smaller drawings not at A2 size I journeyed over to Silapakorn University shop to buy a 0.3 and a 0.5 Rotring pen, both of which I would use for the final drawing.
The pose I chose for my final drawing was a fluke, she was trying to find the pose that I drew in the second preliminary sketch when this pose just jumped right out at me. It had everything, legs, arms, shoulders, elegant neck and goof hand positions.
Firstly I drew in the outline in an H2 pencil so I could erase it later, I was afraid that I would make too many mistakes drawing with pen first as I always seem to mess up [when the pressure’s on]. It turns out that this was a good decision, I had no problem drawing the legs, waist and hands but when I drew from her elbows up to her head everything was out of proportion and it made her look like she was leaning forward in the chair rather than sitting with her back against the back rest. I did take photos of the process to compare but sadly I deleted them by accident.
After I had corrected the proportions and completed her full outline, I quickly sketched in the door and shadows on the wall and floor, I really only had one shot at this great pose so tried to draw everything in to its proper place just in case she was getting uncomfortable or needed to go to the toilet.
From there I went over her whole figure in a 0.5 Rotring pen and then drew in her face in 0.3. With her face I kept it simple, initially in pencil I drew in a lot more details but when it came to going over her face in pen I just left in the key features. With her chin raised and slightly looking up I managed to capture the parts of her face in a way that created the best likeness, small nose almond shaped eyes and juicy top lip.
For the hair I used three pens, both Rotring pens and a fine marker to create a sense of depth.
In this pose the hands were at a great angle and very simple to draw, again, like the face I kept things nice and simple, drawing hands from the Bidgman’s Guide to Drawing from Life earlier in this part of the course was a great help. I used block shadow as well as some hatching on the hands to create a sense of three dimension.
Thinking of drawing techniques to describe the creases and folds in the clothes was a hard one and so I settled for block shadow and short pen strokes for the knitted top and block shadow and squiggly lines for the shorts. The shorts, however turned out looking like silk Thai boxing shorts instead of cotton, 70s style boxer shorts.
For me there could only be one type of background and it had to be detailed and either in charcoal or soft pencil. I went for 4B and 5B pencils. Charcoal may have been a better medium for adding depth to the drawing but to draw in the reflections and shadows on the floor that I had in mind it had to be done in pencil.
Things I am not (quite) happy with in this part of the assignment..
I probably could have done a lot more experimenting but with line and different backgrounds but a busy seven days a week schedule holds me back sometimes. Some of the exercises can be done on the go but this was something I wanted to do while the model was in front of me and not from a photo.
On the left arm (her right) I have taken the line too far over at the joint which has separated the forearm from the top of the arm, Because I am aware of it, it looks bad but I don’t know how others would see it.
Part 2 – Tone and Form
For this part of the assignment I had to pose my model in a reclining position, such as lying back in an arm chair or with feet up extended on the sofa. That’s about all you can do really living in a one bedroom condominium with not much furniture you can lay down on, the choice was either bed, lay-z-boy or sofa, I went for the recliner.
We were instructed to dress the model in contrasting clothes,light top, dark pants etc. she wore the same white top as in the first part of this assignment but this time put on a pair of dark blue stretched pants.
My first quick sketch was in marker pens, using the same Chisel tipped marker pens that I used for both the using Markers and Dip Pens exercise and the Patrick Caulfield Research point. Even though they are nice and vibrant I decided against using them for this part of the assignment after just a quick study of her face and upper body.
I liked my self portrait in Conte Pencils on blue ingres paper so much that I thought it would be a great medium to have a go with for this part of the assignment. But after a small 30 minute sketch with these on a A4 size sheet of the same blue ingres I decided they weren’t blending well enough for my liking. Also the pose that I chose for the drawing which was looking at her from the front and just slightly to the side didn’t show her form off as much as I should be doing in this part of the assignment.
The next drawing was in compressed charcoal on A3 paper this time I sat on a chair almost to the side of her with my light source (my bendy lamp) placed on the floor and facing her from an angle slightly to her left.
Although I was happier with both the medium and the angle, I wasn’t happy with not being able to hatch over small areas with a clumsy medium, she needed to be bigger or at a more ‘full on’ angle so I could see more of her.
The next study was in my A4 sketchbook with fine nib marker pens, although her face turned into some kind of cat woman the four colours that I chose worked well together although I did mess up on the arm of the chair but this was about describing tone and form and I still wasn’t satisfied that reclining poses in this chair was were allowing me to do that.
I gave up on it for a couple of days so I could think things through, my bed was against a plain white wall so I didn’t think the background would be interesting enough in there so I thought it might be worth drawing some poses on the sofa, However I had already used the sofa twice already in the three drawings exercise and essential elements and I needed a pose that would fill more of the paper.
Two days later I was washing the covers of the sofa when my girlfriend came to visit again. As the sofa covers were in the wash I had a yellow quilt over the white cushion, my girlfriend was wearing a blue striped shirt with white collars and pink trousers and the three colours looked great together.
I placed the light sauce on the glass table in front of the sofa so I could create some nice shadows behind her and did a quick 20+ minute drawing in ballpoint pen. After a bit of tampering with Tipex I was satisfied that this was the perfect pose for this assignment.
For this drawing I wanted to use a medium that I had only experimented with before, soft pastel. I chose a dark green ingres paper but I didn’t think it would make a difference to how the picture looked as I thought I would be covering every bit of the paper with pastel, this changed as I started hatching realizing that the green of the paper still showed through the pastel strokes which changed the mood of the drawing to how actually imagined it.
I completed the whole drawing using hatching and soft pastel except for on the hands and face which I left to last and completed the details in pastel paper.
Things I am not happy with…
Well I completed this drawing at the end of the month and with hardly any money left I chose to use hair spray as my fixative. I would rather have just framed it behind glass as I thought it was very vibrant before I started spraying away. Nonetheless, it had to be fixed as I presume they have to be sent to England for formal assessment. For now it looks good, the hairspray has aged the drawing and added some character but can it be preserved like it is.
Assessment of Criteria Points
Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills
As with earlier assignment my observational skills are continuing to develop as I think shows in this assignment, assignment 4. As with other assignments, I have continued to try out different mediums, ensuring that I have used the right materials for the job and demonstrated techniques and observational skills that I have developed since the beginning of this course.
Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas
I personally think that I have produced two good quality pieces for this assignment, (although I may have ruined one with cheap fixatives). I have applied the knowledge that I have acquired during this course to every step that brought me to the two final drawings and communicated my ideas in a way that others would understand.
Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice
In both the Tone and Form and Line and Shape parts of assignment 4 I have demonstrated imagination, experimentation and invention as of yet though I am not sure whether I have developed a personal voice
Context – reflection, research, and critical thinking (i.e. learning blog)
Unfortunately I haven’t had time to visit an art gallery during this part of the course but I have spent more time on my research points. My learning blog has continued to improve and I believe I am thinking more critically and being more descriptive in my entries.