I don’t get many days off in fact the only day I do get off is the only day I get to see my kids, Saturday but luckily for me my kids love drawing and looking at art so we went for a day out to the Thai National Art Gallery near the Khaosan Road area of Bangkok.
It was my first visit to the National Art gallery, I didn’t even know where it was which was a bit embarrassing as I used to cycle past it everyday to the last school I used to work at. With it being my first visit to the National Art gallery I didn’t know what to expect, I actually thought it would be a bit disorganized.
The price for the ticket for the gallery was 250 baht for foreigners but only 30 baht if you speak Thai, the kids were free so it only cost us 30 baht to enter. On entering my first impression was that it was all a bit too royalist and I with photos of the Royal family from different generations, traditional Thai drawings, which I am quite fond of and even an abstract painting by the king (which I think is a self portrait).
As I made my way round into the temporary gallery section I decided that my money was well spent and was amazed at some of the work on display, so much so that I forgot to get the name of the artist who created this piece which I believe is of a Muslim girl, knowing what is going on in the south of Thailand.
At a first glance of the painting it looked to be made up of Thai alphabetical characters but I think most probably just squiggles influenced by both Thai and Islamic characters.
It wasn’t long before I came across the next exhibition, Crossing over by Chile born artist Marco Evaristti. Crossing over displays several drawings and paintings of dismembered suicide bombers and victims, although they were very beautifully drawn my kids were terrified so I only managed to stick around long enough to get some photos and managed to get the details on line from the Bangkok post.
The brief of the first part of this exercise was to draw four 5 cm squares in my sketchbook using 4 different drawing tools such as a pencil, drawing pen, nib pen and black ink and a ballpoint pen. Try to make 4 distinctive grades of hatching with each square without paying too much attention to detail, suggesting that we have close our eyes as this will help eliminate most of the detail.
I totally read this wrong, drawing the squares in pencil and then hatching within the square using the 4 drawing tools that it gave as examples as above. I tried different types of hatching to do this including, cross hatching at an angle as well as using horizontal and vertical lines to give a much denser tone. The nip pen was probably the most difficult for me and couldn’t quite graduate the tones.
The second part of the exercise was to arrange 4 objects such as an apple, orange, ball, cup or other kitchen utensils, draw the objects then use a hatching technique to technique to add tonal shadow patterns to these objects. The 4 objects I initially chose were a mug, a small bowl an apple and a pong pong ball and chose to have a go at cross hatching with a Faber Castelle Ballpoint pen.
I failed miserably in my first attempt, I even forgot I was hatching with a pen at one stage and went to smooth the pen and smudged the ink across the paper having to fill in the background to cover it up. However it did give me some well needed practise.and confidence towards the end to have another go with the ballpoint pen.
My second attempt was much better, this time I swapped the bowl for a tupperware container turned on its side and I could clearly make out what each of the objects were in my finished drawing, well…apart from the ping pong ball that is.
For my third attempt I went back to a 2B graphite pencil, the tool I feel most comfortable with and successfully cross hatched the whole drawing without smoothing any lines with my finger and this time even the ping pong ball was clear enough to make out in my finished drawing,. I think deciding to start off the exercise with a ballpoint pen was a very wise idea and may have even helped to improve my cross hatching technique.