Assignment 5, Option 4, Drawing Figures

18 - Assignment 5 Final Piece

Over the last two months I kept looking at the brief for this final assignment and I was wondering how I could demonstrate a significant amount of new skills I had learnt not just i this last part, part 5 but throughout the course.

My strongest idea was a full figure semi nude sitter in the shadows of a lamp lit apartment I did for a brief moment think about a self portrait stood in the kitchen with the sky and clouds behind me, but in the rainy season that wasn’t a good idea.

I was definitely including the background and I wanted to use the background to create a unique mood, to try and influence the drawing as much as possible. I imagined my subject sitting against a wall with long shadows depicting how small and insignificant she was to her surroundings, like Gerald Scarfe’s illustrations of the main character in Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

As this module was all about experimenting, what was I going to experiment with? What techniques was I going to use? And would I use experimental techniques in my final drawing?

I decided that I would try to experiment more with water soluble media, pencils, watercolour pencils, watercolour paint, and gouache and see where that took me, I bought the book ‘Drawing and Painting with Water Soluble Media by Fiona Peart’ just to give me some ideas.

Fiona Peart Drawing and Painting with Water Soluble Media
Fiona Peart Drawing and Painting with Water Soluble Media

I had plenty of low quality watercolour paper to mess around on and but not so many different types of water soluble media but I thought I’d have a go at some of the techniques in the book to see if I could use any in my final piece.

1 - Salt on Watered down Ecoline Wash
1 – Salt on Watered down Ecoline Wash

The first technique I tried was dropping salt granules on to a watercolour wash, see above. I had several bottles of Ecoline liquid watercolour so I dropped some in a jar and watered it down. I haven’t done much messing about or drawing with watercolour (probably haven’t been brave enough) so I still have a lot to learn about how much water to use in a wash etc. So I did a wash (the one on the right) in 30+ degrees heat and it seemed to start drying as soon as my brush left the paper, then i started to try and drop single granules of salt onto the wash. They didn’t do much and so I rubbed my hands and let the lot fall over the top of the wash. The result was a discoloured blotch effect that looked like fungus.

I decided to water the wash down some more and start again. this time I sed less salt and as you can see above the results are a bit better. However I wasn’t sure how I would use this technique in the finished piece.

2 - Dried Soap Suds on Watered Down Ecoline Wash
2 – Dried Soap Suds on Watered Down Ecoline Wash

The second technique  I used was soap suds. On the left I used a small amount of soap suds scooped up and placed on a watercolour wash, this time with more water added. The results were very different to what she had in the book where she had used them to depict pebbles on a beach, the patterns that mine made (after 2 hour of drying) resembled a cloudy sky.

3 - Soap and Suds on Ecoline Liquid Watercolour
3 – Soap and Suds on Ecoline Liquid Watercolour

I wasn’t sure whether it was the paper I had been using or whether my washes were too thin that made my experiments look nothing like anything in the book so I had another try with a thicker wash on a higher quality 200 g/m2 watercolour paper, the results were almost the same.

My girlfriend came round that evening so I decided to stop with the experimenting for the night to do a series of sketches of sketches in water soluble pencil to see which worked best.

4 - Soluble Pencil on 200 gm2 Paper
4 – Soluble Pencil on 200 gm2 Paper

My first sketch was a very sorry effort indeed, I did exactly what I’ve been trying to stop myself doing in this last section, misuse the paper. I wanted to use the background but the figure still had to be a good size on the paper.

5 - Another Try at First Pose Water Soluble Pencil
5 – Another Try at First Pose Water Soluble Pencil

The second sketch was better but was still not that great and by now I decided that her clothes would be replaced with the orange cloth. The third sketch was a lot better and probably one of the best so far over the last two modules and the face was almost spot on which was an added bonus. However, I really wanted the background to play a bigger role in the finished piece.

6 - Semi Nude with Monks Robe Cloth
6 – Semi Nude with Monks Robe Cloth

The next one was even better but I stopped at drawing the door, even though I knew this one would work it was a different mood to what i wanted to depict in the final piece. To me the pose in the drawing below was warm, welcoming, even romantic like she was waiting for her lover to come home, I wanted a totally different mood altogether for the final drawing.

7 - Semi Nude with Bent Knee
7 – Semi Nude with Bent Knee

By now I was working towards the pose that I had my mind set on and the next pose below was pretty close but still it looked like she was waiting for someone rather than hiding from someone which is what I really wanted to show in the ideal pose. Because this was a 100% perfect in looks, proportion, the long shadows and everything else I nearly went with this but I decided to squeeze just 1 more sketch out.

8 - WaterSoluble Pencil Sketch with Door Handle
8 – WaterSoluble Pencil Sketch with Door Handle

In this last sketch I decided I had got the pose that I wanted, it still looked like she was waiting for someone to come through the door rather than hiding behind it but I decided to go with it in the hope that the medium and technique that I chose to complete the assignment piece would help me to depict the mood that I wanted.

9 - WaterSoluble Pencil Looking at Door Handle
9 – WaterSoluble Pencil Looking at Door Handle

To give my girlfriend a break I decided to do some colour drawings working from the sketch above, the first one was a total abomination. Until now, apart from the Fish on a Plate exercise I had used my watercolour pencils dry, as a substitute to my Derwent colour pencils which I wasn’t keen on the waxy feel of, the awful attempt at being artistic below was a very tired try at sketching with wet watercolour pencils. I decided that was it for one day.

10 - Sad attempt in watercolour pencil
10 – Sad attempt in watercolour pencil

At this stage I wanted to have ago at painting this in watercolour but basically I wasn’t ready for drawing in a painting medium and so I had another go at watercolour pencil to get myself ready for a more permanent medium, this was drawn from the water soluble sketch.

11 - Watercolour Pencil Drawing from Sketch
11 – Watercolour Pencil Drawing from Sketch

That afternoon I went and bought some Louvre watercolour paints, a jar of white Gouache and some brushes. I still really didn’t have a clue what I was doing with the paints which were in tubes and so I decided to take minimum risks and draw the figure in watercolour pencil  and use the watercolour paint for the floor and walls.

After completing the figure with watercolour pencil and wet brush I painted the shadows on the floor with watercolour paint using a brush and then dragged the paint off with the paper with a tissue, I’m not sure if there’s a special name for that technique. I painted the rest of the floor and the walls with a brush but I needed to show the light reflecting off both and so when the watercolour paint was dry I stippled the gouache paint over the top with the same brush. From there I finished the door off hatching with watercolour pencils then going over them with a wet brush.

I wasn’t worried that I hadn’t used any of the experimental techniques that I played around with earlier as this was an experiment just on its own but I wasn’t satisfied with how this turned out, it was stagnant there was no mood to it and I decided to change to a different type of painting medium.

12 - Watercolour Pencil, Watercolour Paint and Gouache
12 – Watercolour Pencil, Watercolour Paint and Gouache

I wanted to make a bigger connection between the door handle and the figure and i wanted to do it with a visible energy field and swirling hatching came to mind and the perfect medium for this would be oil pastel. And so I went from water soluble mediums to oil pastel.

I knew I would need a lot of white oil pastel as I planned to draw it on an A2 size paper and so this was my first experiment at trying to get the lines that I needed without using the valuable white. I really don’t know what I was doing here and it started to look more like a kids drawing from an horror movie.

13 - Oil pastel - Too dark - Trying not to Use White
13 – Oil pastel – Too dark – Trying not to Use White

The second experiment was with much lighter colours using more of the white and trying as many different techniques together to see which one worked. From this it was obvious that the only one that was going to work and join everything together was circular hatching, or at least that’s what I call it, like a vortex drawing, spiraling out from the door handle connecting everything, or spiraling in.

14 - Trying a Few Different Techniques
14 – Trying a Few Different Techniques Together

I bought some dark grey Ingres paper and taped it to my largest drawing board with masking tape at the corners. I was still drawing from previous sketches including the latest watercolour/watercolour pencil drawing.

Two hours in and  something was beginning to form but it was more like the blurred image in a dream than anything else. I started with black for the hair plus pinks and various oranges for the skin, cloth and skirting board then white circular swirls for the walls and floor, with the white lines further apart for the darker shaded areas to let the grey show through. I wasn’t hatching in the same circular motion for everything but I kept going over the top with white to give the impression of doing so and only two hours in I was already on my second stick of white oil pastel.

15 - Drawing after First Two Hour
15 – Drawing after First Two Hour

The next day and a few hours in and the picture was looking a bit too light as I added more and more colours to the vortex including pinks, yellows, greens and blues, I liked where it was taking me as long as i could darken it eventually. The figure looked unnatural and out of proportion and also two far away from the door but I wasn’t worried, I knew eventually she would be right where I wanted her. The most worrying thing at this point was that the door handle was too low and had to be lifted up and that was the starting pint of my vortex so everything had to be reworked.

16 - Fnal Piece Second Stage
16 – Final Piece Second Stage

After about a good few hours it was proving to be a very long process but  knew the end results would be worth it. by now I had got everything marked out and re-positioned the door knob and I was starting to draw in the shadows which would tell me if the figure was too far to the right or not on the paper…It was. What was niggling me at this stage though was if I should draw the face or leave it blur as at this stage it reminded me a bit of Francis Bancon’s work, still blurred between the point where the face was and where I had moved it to.

17 -After about ten hours
17 -After a good few hours

It took me a few hours longer to finish the drawing and as you can see between the drawing above and the drawing below a lot more work went into this piece, moving her even more so she was in a more natural position against the door but that’s not where all the work went. No longer is there any grey from the paper showing through the oil pastel, the darker parts are darker layers of oil pastel on top of the lighter ones and the shadows took at least two hours to correct.

I would say in all this piece took me the best part of twenty hours to complete. No sure if it was all drawing though, there was a lot of thinking during the process, as with any lengthy process like this I tend to get lost in my thoughts as I step back and look at the drawing from different angles.

18 - Assignment 5 Final Piece
18 – Assignment 5 Final Piece

I chose to do something completely different with her face, so far I’ve only managed to get my girlfriend’s face right with a pencil or water soluble pencil, I wasn’t taking any chances and used the face to help me create the vortex effect, instead of just circular hatching, all the way to the door handle.

Things I’m Happy with

I like the way it turned out.

Things I’m not happy with

It didn’t turn out the way I expected it to.

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Study of a Townscape Using Line

2 Study of Landscape Using Line 2nd Attempt

When I first started this course I went upstairs to the third floor of my school for a bit of sketching practise and did a couple of drawings of the outside of the school building from the balcony. When this exercise came up it was a good excuse to get back up there as the school has a great view of the temple next door.

I actually completed this exercise well over a month ago but for the last couple of months I have been concentrating on drawing rather than my online log as Townscapes as been quite a long project for me with the irregular shapes of Thai architecture making this part of the course quite difficult but also very interesting.

So anyway it was the start of the cool season and clouds were getting less and less in the sky and the only chance I got to go out on the balcony was 1:30 pm and the sun was beating almost straight down.

Study of Townscape Using Line first Drawing
Study of Townscape Using Line first Drawing

The first preliminary drawing took me a little over 25 minutes with a Rotring Tikky Graphic 0.3 and even though it was quite messy I felt that that could have been the final drawing for this study. And reminded me of a couple of the pen drawings in the Urban Sketching Handbook, particularly Singapore by Kampong Glam by Paul Heaston and Nanjing Fuzimiao by Frank Ching, the latter drawn in 30 minutes roughly about the same time as my drawing.

2 Study of Landscape Using Line 2nd Attempt
2 Study of Landscape Using Line 2nd Attempt

The second drawing took me from a flowing line drawing to something a bit more technical, with the first drawing everything flowed, I didn’t worry about the marks I was making and I wasn’t trying at all, with the second drawing I started to think about perspective the marks I was making the shapes I was drawing, negative space and everything went wrong. Instead of drawing objects I was familiar with I started to draw them like I was seeing them for the first time and everything went wrong. One of the biggest notable errors is the spire of the temple in the second drawing making it look like a Tibetan temple rather than a Thai temple.

Study of Landscape Using Line - Final Study
Study of Landscape Using Line – Final Study

The final study was drawn from both of the preliminary drawings, using the temple from the first drawing and the school building from the second drawing every thing else was a mixture of both.

I never had any doubts about what I would use for the  fore, middle and background but what lines and marks to use was always going to stress me out. This is the second time I have had to do line drawings in an exercise and the second time I have found it hard not to hatch and even though I know a degree of hatching was needed I know I went over the top with it.

360 Degree Studies

Exercise 360 Degree Studies: North

For this exercise I was to choose an expansive landscape where I had an open view in all directions, then using my viewfinder to find a focal point and to frame my view I was to complete a fifteen-minute drawing.

From there I was to turn my stool on the same spot to face West, South and East, each time repeating the process of finding a focal point and completing another fifteen-minute drawing.

With not much choice of expansive Landscapes in Bangkok I knew I would be going back to the park where I did the sketches for the last exercise ‘A Sketchbook Walk‘ but I wasn’t sure when I would get the chance to go back. Then with a stroke of luck the Thai government tried bringing an ‘Amnesty Bill’ in so exiled former president Thaksin Shinawatra could come back Thailand without being strung up, so the protesters hit the streets again and I got three days off.

Well to start with I didn’t have a stool and I would have looked a bit silly getting in the taxi with a buffet but it hadn’t rained for 2 days so I decided I would sit on the floor, so armed with my artist’s wrap, my A4 sketchbook, my small viewfinder and my small drawing board I headed to Suan Rot Fai again. I’d already decided where I was going to sit and I started drawing what I thought was North and what happened next was a series of accidents.

It was pretty clouded and I was pretty positive the direction I was looking was south and there was no need to look at the GPS on my phone so I pulled out my charcoal pencil from my artist’s wrap and started drawing, two trees in I realised I had forgot my cutter and a pencil sharpener was just not going to do the job so I finished the drawing in compressed charcoal hence the two bushes in front of the trees in the background came out looking more like coal slacks than bushes.

Exercise 360 Degree Studies: South
Exercise 360 Degree Studies: South

This first drawing did take me spot on 15 minutes and although I am not happy with the finished drawing as it looks more like Autumn in England than Rainy season in Thailand I thought I did quite well drawing the landscape with this medium for the first time.

Exercise 360 Degree Studies: East
Exercise 360 Degree Studies: East

As I turned 90 degrees anti-clockwise to draw what I thought was West I realised that the Sun had come out from the clouds behind me and it was nearly three in the afternoon so I was actually facing East, I’m usually great at guessing where North is…however I decided to carry on. East was very tricky it was the first time I had drawn water and I was facing a lake so I chose not to carry on in Charcoal but to switch to a 4B pencil, a decision I now regret.

Focusing on the tree directly in front of me, that looked like it was bending towards the water to get a drink, I began to draw. The whole process from beginning to end was a rush trying to finish in the 15 minute time frame and I was very lucky that it came out looking anything near the view I was drawing, I was going to leave the buildings in the background out but then decided to add them at the end. I wasn’t looking at the time but I reckon the drawing took me about ten minutes over the 15 minute time frame, the problem…too many trees!

Exercise 360 Degree Studies: North
Exercise 360 Degree Studies: North

As I turned North to face more trees, I decided to switch mediums again and this time began to draw in my trusty ball point pen, even though the sun was shining by now and I think I depicted this quite well in the sketch, it probably does look more like an Autumn Scene. It took no time at all to sketch everything out but then another 15 minutes to get the trees looking anything like trees. I feel now that a fine marker would have been a better choice of Medium.

Exercise 360 Degree Studies: West
Exercise 360 Degree Studies: West

The fourth and final drawing, which I thought would be the easiest was left incomplete dead on 15 minutes and after going over it about three times in charcoal, the medium that I thought was the safest for this type of landscape given the 15 minute time frame.

I am not impressed with my performance on this exercise, However I do feel that I have learnt something very important from it and that is choosing the right medium for the right job…the job being a 15 minute sketch in this type of environment.

What I did like about this exercise though were the notable changes in the landscape just by shifting my view a little, I could have got many great and very different drawings just by sitting in the same spot. I took advantage of this by finding the focal points that I thought would be best to start from given the 15 minute time frames.

 

Detailed Observation – Check and Log

Exercise - Stipples and Dots, Finished Drawing

Which drawing media did you find most effective to use, for which effects?

For me I love pencils I’ve been developing my pencil skills more and more on this course and I have got to the stage where I am doing less and less smudging and more and more hatching using my pencil at different angles with different holding techniques. I really think I did well depicting the tone of the wood and especially the bark in the ‘Getting Tone and Depth in Detail‘ exercise. However I was very happy with my stippling with the Rotring drawing pen on the ‘Stipples and Dots’ exercise, not only being able to depict the tone of the leaf but also it’s texture.

What sort of Marks work well to create tone and texture?

I used a variety of hatching to depict the texture of the tree branch with sporadic hatching to depict the bark and fluid lines and hatching to show the stripped wood all these marks worked really well. I thought I had chosen the wrong type of subject for the stipples and dots exercise but I think I showed the texture of the object really well with dots and patterns of stipples to show creases in the dying leaf.

Did you enjoy capturing details or are you more at home creating big broad brush sketches?

I must admit that capturing details with stipples and dots was a bit tedious but I am delighted with the finished drawing and I really enjoyed working on the tree branch in the first exercise so I can probably say that I am more at home capturing details.

Look at the composition of the drawings you have done in this project. Make some sketches and notes about how you could improve your composition.

The composition and the angles of the subjects that I chose were thought about long and hard before embarking on these exercises, I feel I chose the best compositions that I could to not only capture the full beauty of the objects but to fill the paper.

Masters of Detailed Drawing 1, 19th Century, Thomas Hartley Cromek

Study of Plants, Ariccia Watercolour, over traces of a pencil underdrawing.

For this research point I was asked to find two artists who exemplify mastery of detailed drawing.

I used to have a reproduction painting site and am familiar with the works and lives of quite a few but since starting this course I’ve been introduced to new artists and new techniques so I thought I’d carry that on by typing in a few keywords on Google to see where they took me.

The first artist I found was a 19th century artist called Thomas Hartley Cromek and after seeing that his place of death was Wakefield, my home town, I made the decision to research this artist a little more.

Born in London in 1809 Thomas Hartley Cromek was the son of Robert Hartley Cromek the  engraver and art dealer who allegedly cheated William Blake out of potential profits. In his childhood he moved from school to school starting off his education at Enoch Harrison’s school in Wakefield and then onto the Moravian School in Fulneck. He then moved back to Wakefield to study at the grammar school there before returning to Harrison’s.

Thomas Hartley Cromek received his first art lessons from a Wakefield based portrait painter, James Hunter but then in 1826 he moved to Leeds study landscape painting under Joseph Rhodes, while studying in Leeds Thomas also taught himself anatomical drawing.

He travelled to Italy in 1830 to study the old masters and spent most of the next 20 years within the country mainly in Florence eventually reaching Rome where he attracted much attention for his ‘excellence in drawing and his careful colouring’ – Wikipedia. While in Rome he gave drawing lessons to several distinguished visitors including the British artist and poet, Edward Lear.

Between 1831 and 1849 Thomas Cromek spent most of his time drawing the major buildings in Rome as well as Greece but then was forced to leave Rome with the outbreak of the first Italian War of Independence.

There’s not much information about Thomas Hartley Cromek online about techniques, ideas, influences etc but I did find quite a few images.

Study of Plants, Ariccia Watercolour, over traces of a pencil underdrawing.
Study of Plants, Ariccia
Watercolour, over traces of a pencil underdrawing.

I found many of his works online but it was the drawing above that caught my eye and I thought it was quite relevant to this module. The drawing itself is only 7 1/4 x 8 1/8 in in size and yet his brilliant use of shadow amplifies the detail of the drawing. I enlarged this image on my computer to the size he would have worked at and was amazed how much detail he has got into such a small drawing with what I still regard to be a messy medium, for me that is anyway. He has managed to depict some very thin leaves and blades of grass and makes this picture seem a lot bigger than what it is.

THE TEMPLE OF ANTONINUS AND FAUSTINA, FORUM, ROME - WATERCOLOUR 18 1/4 X 13 INCHES
THE TEMPLE OF ANTONINUS AND FAUSTINA, FORUM, ROME – WATERCOLOUR 18 1/4 X 13 INCHES

 Just like his drawing of plants and flowers his watercolour paintings of buildings such as the Temple of Antoninus above shows brilliant detail and colour as well as amazing shadows which really amplify the bulkiness of the stone structure.

Bibliography

Wikipedia

Stephen Ongpin Fine Art

Research – Antonio López García

Antonio López Torres’ House, 1972-75

My tutor suggested that I should look at the works of Antonio López García a Spanish painter and sculptor known for his realistic style. As usual I started my research by popping onto Wikipedia to see if I could find some valuable keywords that could take me elsewhere and seeing that he is still alive I looked on YouTube to see if I could find a documentary or interview and i found a small part of an interview here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2rXX2FhUeI

It’s not only good to hear the artists voice but it’s also good to check any contradictions.

Antonio López García was born into a farming family in Tomelloso 1936 and was probably expected to carry on the family tradition as a farmer until his uncle, Antonio Lopez Torres a local landscape painter took an interest in his drawing when he was 13 years old.

As he says in his interview “…at 12 and 13 he didn’t pay much notice of me, I did the kind of drawings that all children do and he didn’t pay much attention to me…at 13 he saw something that made him intervene. He told me not to copy illustrations, that this was not good and I should do things directly from nature”

Antonio moved to the Spanish capital in 1949 to study so that he could qualify for entrance to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, which he did and won a number of prizes while studying at the school from 1950-1955. While attending the school he met his future wife and several friends who would later form a realist group together in Madrid. In 1955 he won a scholarship which enabled him to travel to Italy where he studied paintings from the Renaissance.

From the moment i saw the examples of his works that my tutor sent me I realised why my tutor suggested that I look at this artist. Facebook can be a bit of a demon sometimes and since I started this course I’ve been receiving regular posts from various hyperrealism pages which I think have had a big influence on my finished pieces. As a painter I seem to follow a more surrealistic path but this course has taken me in a very different direction. However the negative side of this like my tutor says is that I tighten up while working on the finished pieces.

Antonio López García was regarded by the critic Robert Hughes to be ‘the Greatest Realist alive’ with his style sometimes deemed hyperrealistic and yet his works are still very fluid, something that my drawings lack at this time.

López García has devoted himself to creating images of everyday subjects such as buildings, plants, his bathroom and even the red brick wall in his backyard but then he expresses them in such away that make them both beautiful and captivating.

As the artist explains, “the pictorial nucleus begins to grow and you work until the whole surface has an expressive intensity equivalent to what you have before you, converted into a pictorial reality.“-Wikipedia

At this time I can genuinely say that I can see this artist having an influence on my future work especially now i have discovered new mediums and I  am beginning to develop my drawing skills. I have had very similar ideas from time to time but lack of skills and knowledge of mediums have prevented me from putting my ideas on canvas or paper. Two of his works that particularly stand out to me at this time are ‘Antonio López Torres’ House, 1972-75’ which my tutor sent to me in the sample of his works and ‘Sink and Mirror, 1967’.

Antonio López Torres’ House, 1972-75
Antonio López Torres’ House, 1972-75
Sink and Mirror, 1967
Sink and Mirror, 1967

Assignment 1 – Made Objects

Assignment 1 - Made Objects - finished A2

I originally had the idea to to use traditional Buddhist items for this part of the assignment such as yellow cloth, a candlestick, temple type money box and did go out and purchase them. The medium I chose for the original composition was coloured pencil, but as I laid down watching the girlfriend iron in front of the electric fan with the white wall of my apartment I had a better idea.

Assignment 1 - Made Objects - finished A2
Assignment 1 – Made Objects – finished A2

I wanted to show something about my life in Thailand and I felt that the new objects set out in the right composition would describe my life perfectly, a normal working-class life in a tropical country. With 13 years in the country and the last few years living alone I knew these objects intimately but the fan would prove to be something of a challenge..

Assignment 1 - Made Objects - composition studies
Assignment 1 – Made Objects – composition studies

I began with composition studies in my A3 sketchbook, I found it difficult to come up with more than two variations as I was locked into how i felt the objects should be presented from the start. How every I did vary the composition slightly with the iron laying down in the first composition which I think was actually my first idea and then the iron stood up proudly in the second. The ironing board was lifted up on the table and I was almost laid down drawing the second composition sketch which I liked so much that I decided this would be the one to develop and decided that I would be there for a while so raised the ironing board higher with the ironing board on top of a table on top of another table. We had to do without a place to eat for the next few days.

Assignment 1 - Made Objects - Photo of Original Composition
Assignment 1 – Made Objects – Photo of Original Composition

At this stage I did things a little bit in reverse with the composition studies just finished I decided to develop the composition in pencil to get a feel of how it would look in that medium before looking at others. One of the main reasons for doing so was being insecure about whether or not I would be able to demonstrate the techniques especially pencil holding techniques that I had practiced in the first part of this course. I then concentrated on enlarging the image by drawing a grid over the top of the composition ready for enlarging for the finished drawing.

Assignment 1 - Composition Development and Enlargement grid
Assignment 1 – Composition Development and Enlargement grid

At this stage I was still not so sure about what medium I would use for the finished drawing, so as instructed on an A2 sheet I practiced with colour pencils and charcoal.

Assignment 1 - Charcoal and Colour Pencil Studies
Assignment 1 – Charcoal and Colour Pencil Studies

Charcoal would have been great for the towel and even the water bottle and possibly the iron but on an A2 sheet which I was planning to use this medium proved itself too messy for the electric fan. I did love the way the water bottle looked in charcoal though, rather like stencil street art. Colour pencil wasn’t too bad but didn’t look solid enough for me, I was still trying to get practice with this medium and didn’t feel like I could carry it off in any other medium than graphite pencil and so that was my final decision.

assignment 1 made objects
Fan Almost Complete

At this stage i decided the composition still needed more work and moved the squirty bottle further in to create less negative space to fill the rectangle shape of the paper. The layout of the fan was very technical it helped that there was no front on it but still took well over an hour and a compass and ruler for the cage. After everything was sketched out my insecurity about not being able to show the various techniques that I practiced in the first part of the course disappeared as I got into it, swapping between 3B and 4B pencils using different pencil holding techniques and several different forms of hatching.

The squirty bottle was pretty straight forward and quite easy to show tone and form on…eventually after I managed to get the shoulders of the bottle right after several goes, as I had moved the bottle in since the composition development work. This was completed mainly by hatching and cross hatching.

The iron allowed me to use several different drawing techniques including hatching, smudging and drawing the patterns on the blade with a putty rubber. However the shape of the iron varies slightly from the photo above I was having double vision when it came to the iron as my left eye is quite bad but refused to work from the photo.

The towel and the ironing board itself allowed me to draw with texture using short, lines dots and a putty rubber on the towel to dry and fluff it up and cross hatching for cloth ironing board cover.

I’m satisfied that I have managed to make reference to most of the aspects of drawing that have been covered in the first part of the course in this part of my assignment from holding pens and pencils to enlarging an image. Drawing the fan allowed me to demonstrate different pencil holding techniques, the bottle allowed me to demonstrate tone and form while the iron allowed me to show both tonal variation as well as reflected light on the blade. The towel was also a great idea which I originally added to raise the iron and didn’t realise it would help me to demonstrate techniques for drawing with texture.

,

Using Texture – Check and Log

Yellow crayon on breeze block wall

Have you discovered any new ways of using your drawing tools to depict surface and texture?

Not as much as I wished I had, there were a few things that I couldn’t find here in this part of Bangkok such as a chunky sponge, I would have loved to have tried dripping or splashing ink for the texture of this. However I did discover new ways of hatching for as in the the fur of the teddy bear, hatching with small strokes in flowing patterns. I also discovered new ways of using my putty rubber to show texture such as twisting for the mop rug underneath my composition.

a Drawing with Textures - Second Drawing
a Drawing with Textures – Second Drawing

How successful were you at implying form with little or no tonal hatching?

I seemed to use some kind of hatching for nearly everything except the mop rug. The technique that I used to depict the mop strings (as I would call them) showed real depth. This was a mixture of squiggles, circles smudging and twisting with a putty rubber and it worked well.

What are your impressions of frottage as a drawing technique?

I really love the idea of using this as a drawing technique and I love the way that a surface of one thing can give you a totally different result to what you thought it would and how something as simple as the joint of 4 breeze blocks can give you an idea for a drawing of a crucifixion or graveyard scene. The best thing about frottage is that you can use it for texture in drawing you are already working on or it can give you an idea for a new drawing.

Yellow crayon on breeze block wall
Yellow crayon on breeze block wall

 

Research Point – Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon (April 20, 1840 – July 6, 1916), started drawing as a young boy, and was awarded a prize for drawing at school at the age of 10. At 15 years of age, at his father’s insistence, he took up formal architectural studies, but failed to pass his entrance exams at Paris ‘Ecole des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts). On return to Bordeaux he took up sculpture, and also etching and lithography under the instruction of Rodolphe Bresdin.

Threw his early career he continued to work almost exclusively in black and white, in lithographs and charcoal drawings right into his 50s. These drawings became known as his Blacks ‘Les Noirs’. He developed an extremely unique repertoire of weird subjects such as strange creatures, insects and plants with human heads on; these subjects were often influenced by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe.

In 1975 he studied trees and the Underwood at Barbizon in North-Central France, the same year saw his Blacks reached the ‘Most distressed period’ with him often depicting the topic of prisoners in his works, appearing behind the bars of windows or isolated in a nightmare or hallucination. Has he said about his Noirs “They were executed in hours of sadness and pain”.

From the 1890s due to illness and a religious crisis which transformed into a happier person he began to use  pastels and oils, expressing himself with use of vibrant colour, creating works that depicted mythical scenes and flower paintings. Odilon abandoned his Noirs completely after 1900.

He always remained a fairly private person but the end of his life he became a rather distinguished figure with various awards and recognitions and was also regarded by the surrealists to be one of the forefathers of the surrealist movement (I was almost certain that it was going to say this in at least one of the online biographies as I began to look at his works.)

http://www.odilonredon.net/biography.html

http://www.odilon-redon.org/biography.html

http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/redon/

http://www.escapeintolife.com/essays/odilon-redon-prince-of-dreams/

http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=4840

I had never heard of this artist until I was asked to research him but I’m glad I got the chance to do so. It was good to get a chance to see all his paintings side by side and to see how his works changed over the years, rollercoastering in and out of an often dominating dark mood until his change in mediums in the 1890s. I found a lot of his images disturbing and quite a lot of the hybrid characters made me feel uncomfortable like ‘The Egg’. However I was inspired by some of his darker works like ‘The Convict’; since my childhood I have often tried to put something similar down on paper but never got around to it.

The Egg, Odilon Redon 1885
The Egg, Odilon Redon 1885

I find a lot of his works interesting and could probably gain inspiration and ideas from them. Although I would find it hard to bare my emotions like he did, for all to see I quite often like to depict some of my innermost feelings and beliefs into my work and will continue to do so.

The Convict, Odilon Redon 1881
The Convict, Odilon Redon 1881