Start of part 4 – Project 1: Fabric and form. Exercise 1 and 2

So today I started part four. I am super apprehensive and anxious about moving to figure drawing but I am keeping an open mind. I have now completed the first two exercises. I enjoyed focusing on line when drawing the fabric and it felt very relaxed as i didn’t need to concentrate on a strict form. I found adding tone slightly more tricky as I had to concentrate more on the folds and sections of fabric. For the smaller, ‘zoomed’ in sections of fabric I wanted to explore with different media so I used, ink, charcoal, biro and pencil. Some media worked better than others. The ink looked quite rigid but perhaps it would work better on a larger scale to create more ‘flow’ in the fabric.

The second exercise was tricky. I drew the first image with pencil and then decided to layer with another type of media, ink. Firstly I feel my use of line much too heavy for the drawing and feel that i should be more delicate. I spoke to a fellow class mate and she found that the head was too small which was something I agreed with but I also had a lot of fabric around the chest area, something I hadn’t noticed. I decided to do a second drawing to work more on the form of the figure underneath the fabric/dressing gown. I focused on getting the angle of the right shoulder and less fabric around the chest area, intricately observing the amount of fabric sitting in the middle of the model. Also rather than adding details of the face and hands I left this out and worked on getting the proportions correct.

Assignment 3 final piece reflection

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I have written a lot about my technical skills in my journal throughout this part of the course and the majority of the time discussed my disappointment with them. However, I finally felt that towards the end of this part I was successfully drawing technically and comparing what I was putting down on paper to what I was seeing in observation. During the latter exercises I was able to really get to grips with angles of buildings and this started to show more patience when I was drawing but also my improvement my technical skills. After being shown how to look for and record angles, I was then able to put them to paper successfully. In turn my visual awareness started to improve. I believe that this was mainly from attending the life drawing classes that helped me so much in seeing the comparison between one limb from another. I felt then I had developed transferable skills that I could use when drawing buildings, townscapes – observing the relationship between buildings from one another, the windows, the roofs etc. I honestly feel that my compositional skills are improving but I still have a long way to go in regards to a ‘traditional’ composition. However my work has been majorly influence by Julie Mehretu who’s work is based on layering and movement. This is something that I have focused on rather than a basic compositional approach. Despite the layering and movement in a piece I have still had to think about the position of each building, especially during the assignment piece as I have had to think about perspective and angles of buildings to demonstrate my understanding of composition.

Quality of outcome

As in assignment 2 I love developing my work and have started to get a feel for how the exercises work. I have been able to develop a theme throughout the exercises on this part of the course to then carry through with me for the assignment piece. My extensive artist research broadened my knowledge and content to develop my assignment piece effectively to reflect the preliminary work I had completed with the exercises. I felt that the overall quality of outcome was successful although I feel that I could have ‘polished’ the piece off with extra care taken over the marks made, though saying that I feel a lot of my work has been expressive and I wanted to convey a sense of movement, wether I could have done this in another way i’m not sure. The overall presentation I felt was carefully planned. I didn’t just want to draw on an A2 piece of paper I wanted to incorporate the surface with the idea of the piece, which I feel I creatively managed to do. In regards to my one point perspective (which was the initial idea for the piece) I think was absent and overlooked as I feel I was more focused on developing the layers and angles of the piece. I wanted the viewer to view the middle part of the drawing square on which would display depth in the piece with the angles moving into the centre point. This was lost, I feel, due to the amount of layers, but that doesn’t mean to say I don’t think the layers work – I’m quite pleased with the effect I was able to create.

Demonstration of creativity

I developed my creativity as far as time would allow me, unfortunately that wasn’t enough time. I am now planning to go for the November assessment and I am on a strict time scale. This slightly dampened the amount of imagination I could demonstrate however I feel that I have presented my creativity quite satisfyingly. I feel that at moments during the exercises I was losing a personal voice but I remember after my assignment 2 feedback that I was advised to use the exercises as a guidance (as I was struggling with the jump from exercise to excise with no link between to develop ideas). I think that I have been able to display a personal voice much more so during this assignment piece and develop my interests and successes. Selecting the exercises that I enjoyed and the ones I was successful with, combined with artist that I feel truly inspired me I was able to come to a conclusion about which aspects I wanted to include for my assignment piece. During the assignment I also decided to video elements of the piece to show how, as I was drawing, the movement I was creating and also to show the scale of the piece. I found that returning to my sketchbook during the assignment drawing helped me formulate my ideas and thoughts, when I was stuck. Also with the use of my journal and sketchbook I have been able to demonstrate the creative journey that I have taken through the exercises and assignment piece – showing each stage of my thoughts.

Context

I completed extensive reflective thinking throughout the exercises (more so in the latter ones) and during the assignment piece. This became an important process for me as I was able to see what was working and what needed further development. Using my journal enabled me to act on these thoughts and feelings about the piece, with times returning to my artist research and ideas of my own. I was able to select the research that interested me but also artists that would help me develop my own creative ideas to enable me to implement what I had planned to do. I completed considerable amount of artist research which ALL developed my ideas, whether it was ‘I don’t want that in my piece’ or ‘that is exactly how I would like for people to see my work’.

Overall I am really pleased with my piece but I unfortunately wish I had time as I feel that I could add more layers and explore further with transparency – maybe this is something I could work with for the next part of the course. I spent 9 hours on this assignment piece.
On one more further note – I think that my piece is missing colour. I have just gone through all my work to package up to send off and its missing parts of colour and almost, excitement! But I think my assignment piece brings that?!?!?! On reflection I think it would have been nice to add colour into the blocked out shapes.

Wednesday 24th May

25 drawings – blue prints to go along with the main drawing – the blue prints don’t seem to have a top or bottom to, they are simply marks and lines that have been layered so much they become an abstract scene of perspective.

I am concerned I do not have enough varied lines/mark making. I think if i just keep adding layers it will just be the same but more muddled which although I’m trying to create that sort of feeling in the piece I am not exploring the mark making and giving the viewer an differentiation between the individual drawings and then the piece as a whole – so after referring back to Julie Mehretu after being finished but not finished a light bulb was turned on and I had finally had my final idea

Wanting to explore/engage the opposite of what are building is – rigid – i wanted to smooth engage with the movement of marks and relate that to my city/townscape.

Exploring movement in the drawing would then cause a juxtaposition of a motionless building with movement in my line drawings

So my instruction to myself was GO BACK and…..

draw finer lines and explore fluidity in that way in-between the buildings of the city. as I had this thought I looked back at an image of Merhetu’s work and noticed that all her smaller mark making, the dots, the finer marks, the delicate circles were all integrated ‘between’ parts of buildings – well thats how I saw it – which gave me the idea that maybe by adding these smaller finer, more fluid marks capture the movement and the bustling of city whilst they are being contrasted to the rigidity of the architecture that is the city. the movement is captured in these smaller marks and lins.

I’ve also noticed that she really creates a sense of the depth – she also has a ‘back’ to her piece as if it was a 3d drawing, so maybe I can try and enhance my drawing the same way by connecting the finer lines and capturing the movement in my drawing!!!!!!!

So i returned to my drawing and then had another light bulb moment –

maybe the fluid marks and movement that i will be adding to the piece can relate to my idea of the juxtaposition between rural and urban, organic and manmade. the marks that I make will be that of organic matter but also simple marks that will grasp the feeling of movements in a busy city centre. movements of people, the wind, the cars, sounds everything that makes a city, a city. (i am thinking this will relate to the very first exercises i did, linked to emotion). This is a perfect link as I really wanted to use the juxtaposition between the two. So putting my drawing on hold, I will gather some visual information – photographs and sketches – to then use in my assignment piece. I may experiment with frottage and then i could sketch the smaller detail – as i was really enclosing on a particular part of a plant or flower and then use those patterns in my drawing.

Forttage and sketches in sketchbook

Assignment 3 – Planning & Development

So I decided to do a quick preliminary drawing of what I planned to do for my final piece. I managed to work out some ideas and problems to lead me to my final assignment piece. Whilst drawing the preliminary sketch (refer to loose drawing – labelled: preliminary drawing for assignment piece) I noticed that layering line drawings on top of each other meant that lines were crossing and started to make additional shapes that you would not have been created or noticed if I had not taken this approach. I decided to block a few of these shapes in using just a pencil. I felt this made a really interesting difference to the piece as your eye was drawn to it and it also highlighted the individual drawings and/or shapes more, as pencil is hard to see on charcoal, an effect I quite like as I don’t want the drawings to be too obvious. This then made me think of a link to an artist that I used to go to school with who now has a studio she paints from. Her work is usually based on blocking shapes out in the landscape.

Although I did not fully master it, I thoroughly enjoyed researching and trying to understand perspective, which is something I am desperately trying to incorporate and reflect in my assignment piece. I was also able to have fun with this piece after researching and understanding Mehertu’s work further. The key takeaways for me from looking into perspective that I have wanted to demonstrate in my piece were:

  • Varied scale
  • Layering of scaffolding on both the pencil and charcoal drawings
  • When drawing I am know giving more though to measured; shapes, lines, angles, repeated patters (e.g. windows) and scale.

Further ideas are as follows:

  • I could go out and do drawings of buildings on site and then go back to my desk to do larger scale versions. This could include adding tone to create depth and scaffolding may be used to piece the drawing together i.e. parts of the scaffolding leading onto parts of the drawing, creating perspective but also movement as your eye travels across the drawing.
  • Take time to think about the scale of each drawing then be able to fit together on to the larger drawing.
  • Simple line drawing which I can then add detail or tone too as I think adding tone into assignment piece was quite striking and I really liked the emphasis it gave to the concerns of the drawing.

Sunday 21st May

I went out at the weekend and took photos of more ‘exciting’ buildings in central London and now have a better selection to choose and draw from. Whilst taking the photos I was thinking of the different angles and scales that would subsequently be reflected in my drawing.

Whilst walking around the City and taking photos of/ documenting places and things to draw I was thinking about the background for my assignment piece. I had initially done clouds as the background of the preliminary sketch to incorporate movement into the piece but later thought that I had wanted to include trees as the background (after enjoying drawing trees with charcoal) to combine the urban and rural elements. However after walking around and properly observing the trees I feel like they need much more detail, given they are so delicate in their own right and would only get lost in the background. I feel that in a landscape the clouds completely transform a view/ a thought/ how a feeling of a place is and I think that this is more important in creating an essence for my art. Reaffirming my initial idea to use clouds as a background I questioned whether these should also be included in my line drawings. I feel like I should draw these ideas to get a true representation of what they may look like.

Monday 22nd May

When it comes to layering more drawings maybe I could include Photoshop images layered on top of each other for the scaffolding going through the drawing using photo transfer paper. I have attempted to do this using tracing paper but it is too strong and not transparent enough for these purposes. Photo transfer paper would offer a softer and more delicate addition to the piece. Update Wednesday 24th May – uncertain as to whether this will be possible in practice.

Wednesday 17th May

 

I have completed a couple of Photoshop experiments (see sketchbook for images) but feel this defeats the idea of drawing. I am contemplating whether I should trace the images or use them an inspiration for free hand. I feel I am getting too bogged down with what to do so I am just going to draw!

I started a piece/ idea with piece of charcoal as my background and simply layering drawings. As I was doing the pencil drawings I felt I was over thinking what to do next so thought it was best carry on with the process I was applying and knew that ideas would develop as I progressed with the piece.

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I found this approach was highly effective and throughout today I have now finally decided what I am doing for the assignment piece. I am excited to get going with this work but understand that it will take a significant amount of time and planning.

Tuesday 16th May – Start of Assignment 3

I have now started my preliminary drawings and generating ideas for my assignment 3 piece. As part of the planning process I have undertaken some further reading of ‘Drawing Now; Eight Propositions’ by Laura Hoptman. I learnt more about Julie Mehertu’s work as well as a new group of artists ‘Los Carpinteros’ (The Carpenters), whose group members are Alexandre Arrecha, Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodriguez. I was really impressed with their drawings, which emphasises the mediums applied-arts aspect that they use more for its social symbolism rather than its uses.

In their sculptural practice Los Carpinteros would use traditional, carpentry tools. Their works on paper are mostly buildings. The group also mixes architectural structures with furniture. They produce both finished drawings for their own sake but also ‘to-scale’ working drawings for theoretically constructible monuments and public buildings. Although their works are related to sculpture they are not just developed for that purpose, although I do quite like the idea it is linked to sculpture. Their wall line drawings are often embellished with 3D details that depict buildings, as big as buildings which often create meaningful links – banks, lighthouses, sniper bunkers and prison, all of which I perceive to have a story behind them. Their work is quite conceptual in its meaning. One piece depicts a prison as an enormous bureau stacked with human souls, which can be related to the architecture drawings of  Etienne-Louis Boullee and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. Believing that architecture could literally shape its users’ lines these men dreamed of buildings whose design would clearly announce their purpose. This is another abstract view on architecture that made me read twice and could be another tangent to explore. For example a Library could take the form of an open book, a brothel or a phallus.

Upon further research into Etienne’s work it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. However, the work is abstract and layered, which are techniques I am keen to explore and include in assignment 3. It appears very ‘shape’ based.

I decided I need to get a deeper understanding of Mehretu’s work. She overlays images on the computer and her sources range from both chronological and geographical, superimposing airport plans over Palladian facades, weather maps over stadium seating charts. Using architectural diagrams as a kind of code, Mehretu creates recognisable but unidentifiable cities. I like the fact she draws/ is inspired by cities and actually quite like the idea of drawing on various charts. I did buy some graph paper to explore drawing similar to Mehertu’s technique. Actually, reading this section of the book again seems to make her processes more understanding and I can relate it to my work more. Mehertu is fascinated by transparency and she uses it to depict simultaneity and motion. Motion and movement is something I am keen to explore but is obviously hard to convey when drawing buildings so shall seek to incorporate this in another way, perhaps using the sky. This will be a different approach taken to a number of the typical architectural I have seen which are heavily focussed on heavy/ purposeful structural lines and rigidity in the drawings. I feel I need to analyse her drawings further to get a deeper and better understanding of her processes. I will also be looking at using other inspiration to create block shapes, such as the work of Etienne-Louis Boullee and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux further, as well as Georgina Towler (someone I went to school with and emailed her questions about her work). Exploring Photoshop further like I did for foreground, mid-ground and background drawing is something I anticipate doing.

Saturday 13th May – Giacometti Exhibition

During the weekend I decided it was time to make an art friend. I posted a message on the OCA email/ forum a few weeks back to see if any students wanted to view the Giacometti Exhibition. After receiving a few responses I created a Facebook mail group so we could all connect more easily. After exchanging some messages, a day was arranged for an art student and I to meet up and attend the exhibition at Tate Modern together. Dominique was the lady that I met and we got on incredibly well – we seemed to have so much in common and talked about art all day. We also discovered that sadly both our Dad’s had passed away from the same illness at the same age. Since that day we have not stopped talking about our worries and concerns as well as bouncing ideas off one another. We have also been sharing personal experiences and it has been absolutely amazing to find such a lovely person that I am able to share my passion (art).

Giacometti inspired us both and it was a great exhibition.

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