Enlarging a Simple Flat Image

This exercise was aimed to give me further practice in enlarging original drawing with a slightly more complicated structure. For this exercise I chose a fancy jar of face cream (borrowed from my girlfriend), a roll on deodorant and a plastic Nasol bottle.

To get familiar with the objects I did a quick 3 minute drawing of each one before putting them together for the composition in my A5 sketchbook. This helped me to recognise problem areas on the objects such as the top of the Nasol bottle that would have looked a mess too wide or too narrow.

As in the previous exercise ‘ Enlarging an Existing Image’ I drew the composition of three objects in my A5 sketchbook and drew a grid of 2 cm squares over the top of the composition with an HB pencil. Just as in the previous exercise I labeled the squares by writing numbers across the top and letters down the right hand side to stop any confusion to which squares I would be drawing in.

From there I drew a grid of 3 cm squares in my A4 sketchbook, again moving the composition up the page by taking away the A row in the grid then reproduced the drawing on a larger scale.

Again, I really loved this exercise it was so simple and easy, I erased the odd line due to points of contact on the grid being slightly wrong, but the results of drawing these 3 objects were actually better than in the first object. I think this  was down to viewing all three at once rather than trying to look for faults on the angles and curves of one single object.

A Drawing with Textures

For this exercise I was determined to get outside and draw so I took a few objects with different surfaces  onto the balcony and tried them in different compositions. Originally I planned to use objects that I used in the ‘Experimenting with Texture‘ exercise and what I had in mind was a reel of red and white string, a Siamese football, a mesh dishcloth, mop mitten and a teddy bear so moved them around in different composition to see how they looked. After much thought I headed down to the shop to buy some money type bags and cotton wool and came up with the following composition.

Because of the texture of the mop mat I chose graphite stick on watercolour paper to complete this exercise and started out with some more experimenting to see how each object would look.

I must have not been myself that day because I did a quick sketch of each objects texture with a soft graphite stick and thought everything looked great so grabbed my drawing board and went ahead with the drawing.

I wasn’t too worried about perspective as it was about depicting the texture rather than anything else. The drawing took me no time at all and when I had finished I packed up, confident that I had done great. I must have been in some kind of trance because when I woke up the next day I looked at again and realised not only did the drawing look awful but was too smudged and I had done a bad job in depicting any texture that was in the composition apart from the woven basket. So I made the decision to change the medium and the paper and  start again.

This time I did something I had never done before, instead of drawing everything first and then going over it again with texture and detail the only thing I drew in advance was the shape of the bears head and completed the rest of the picture stroke by stroke, The drawing took me quite a few hours and due to not drawing the outlines of the objects first the perspective was off but again I wasn’t too worried about the perspective.

Medium used: graphite pencil – b, hb, 2b, 4b, 7b and white hard pastel

Paper: A3 Canson drawing paper

Technique used:

• Teddy Bear – Small flowing hatching
• Bears clothes – cross hatching
• Woven Basket – hatching, smudging
• Mop Mat – loops, circles, smudging, putty rubber (twisting)
• Cotton wool balls – hatching, smudging
• Cotton wool in plastic bag – putty rubber (twisting and erasing lines) and hatching

I changed the length of the mat as it did get a bit tedious but I am happy I got to show the depth of the mat, my only regrets are 1, that I didn’t get to do the drawing in a different medium such as pen and 2, I didn’t leave the cotton wool in the plastic bag the colour of the paper instead of trying to use a white medium which got a bit messy as I tried a few on the actual drawing before using fixative and going over in white pastel which still looks cream.

Observing Light and Shadow Formations on a Surface

The brief for this exercise was to place two objects together and position a lamp so they are lit from one side, or natural light if its a bright day. Originally I wanted to get out on the balcony during the daytime but housework took me right through to early evening, so I settled for a bendy lamp in the living room and I’m glad I did because it threw more definite light on the objects that I chose, which were a Johnson’s Baby Powder bottle and a ceramic cup.

I started with a simple sketch that I knew I could alter as I shaded back through the drawing. I begun with the mid tones but was very tempted to start on the darker tones first. The objects were placed on a glass table, however I put some paper down on the table top to cut down on where the reflected light was came from.

I was very happy with the first drawing, the sketch itself took me about 10-15 minutes and the areas of dark and light were very clear so I didn’t think it would take me long to complete the shading, which in the end took me well over an hour. To complete the drawing off I shaded in the background as the edges on both of the objects were quite light and I wouldn’t have been able to show that on a lighter background.

For the second drawing I pointed the lamp on the opposite side, which gave me different shadows and light and dark tones in different areas so between the two drawings I think I managed to get quite a lot of practise.

I really enjoyed this exercise but would have probably preferred to do it in colour as the cup looks more chrome than ceramic done in pencil.

My First Self Portrait (From a Photograph)

It was lunch time at school yesterday and as usual I sat on the top floor looking for something to draw. I decided on a self portrait, I’d never drawn a picture of my own face before and wondered how long I could get a drawing looking anything like me, so I took a photo with my mobile phone and started sketching away.

I started on my right eye, left in the photograph working down to the tip of my nose then with my nose complete moved onto my left eye. Within 40 minutes I had my drawing looking something similar with the eyes and nose almost perfect. However the mouth was a little to high and so it put my face out of shape a little making it more round than long.

For a first attempt I’m quite satisfied and even though my face was slightly out of shape I know I can only improve.

Basic Shapes and Fundamental Form – Check and Log

Are the objects in your drawings the correct size and shape in relation to each other?

In most of the drawings in these three exercises, especially Boxes and Books, the objects were the correct size and shape in relation to each other apart from when I started to use pen for the Jugs and Jars, but with a bit of practise I managed to get them in proportion, a better quality pen helped.

Do the shapes between the objects look correct?

Yes, one thing I don’t seem to have a problem with at this stage is the space between the objects, it helps to get them right the first time and then make sure you are looking from the same angle as you continue to draw.

Do the objects in your drawing look solid?

Yes the drawings in the Supermarket shop exercise all look solid, however the objects in the watercolour pencil drawings do not look as sturdy as the others, but with more practise I will get better at drawing with these.

Have you managed to create the feeling of depth?

I would say that in all three exercises I managed to create a good feeling of depth but more so in the charcoal sketch and the colour pencil drawing of the Supermarket Shop exercise

Making Marks – Check and Log

How did holding your pen or pencil in a different way affect your drawing?

By holding near the bottom of the pen or pencil you allow yourself more control when making marks giving you more precise lines and the control to add more pressure if and when needed. Holding a pen from the top or ‘dangling from the top’ creates less controlled, lighter marks but and can allow you to fill larger areas at a much quicker pace. By holding the pen with finger pushing down on the tip you create broad heavy strokes that are both dark and smooth.

Which drawing tools suited the different mark-making techniques you used?

For shading the best tools in my opinion are soft pencils, solid graphite pencils, graphite sticka and charcoal. Pencils, fine drawing pens, ball points and also coloured pencils are great for cross-hatching; felt tips may also be good with a bit of practise and knowledge of which is the best paper to use with these. However felt tips are great for stippling as the ink soaks into the paper quickly to leave a strong dot, drawing pens are also great for stippling.

Did you find that any marks or tools you used matched particular emotions or feelings? Did one convey calm and another frenzy for example?

This is difficult to answer, one can convey calm with tools such as soft graphite pencils, graphite sticks, drawing pens and charcoal by making regular marks, smooth lines and strokes with soft edges but then the same tool can conveyed frenzy when used in a different way on the large sheets of paper. I found that the nib (dip) pens were quite scratch and so probably created a more negative mood.

How did the introduction of colour (soft pastels, Conte crayons) affect your mark making?

Introducing colour especially soft pastels, Conte crayons, wax crayons and hard pastels was distracting because it made me realize I really need the practise and so spent more time trying to get things right than being creative. However once I had used them for the first time it left me wanting to use them more.

Which of these experiments you found most interesting and rewarding?

Definitely the Line and Other Marks exercise, it introduced me to colour for the first time plus tools that I had never used before as well as finding out how different mediums react to one other.