Observational drawing

From inspiration by Jindra Jehu and to develop my own drawing skills, I was keen to develop some observational drawings from my findings on various walks. Walking is becoming an important part of this assignment and collecting bits and bobs from my walks is something that I have always done from a young age. By observing and taking away these objects, to then draw in my studio, I have picked up on shapes that needed adjusting but also things that I need to improve on. Jehu has a collection of works called ‘Ocean Drifters’ which inspired me to collect objects.

This first image is of a pine cone collected from a walk at hengistbury head:

I struggled with getting this drawing looking 3D. I struggled with the individual shapes of each segment of the cone which affected the overall form. It was important for me to combine various media as I enjoyed completing my drawing of the tree trunk. The pine cone was looking a bit flat with no striking emphasis, especially in regards to the shape. I couldn’t quite see what wasn’t working so I asked a family member their view on it. They mentioned about making the segment more obvious and observing the shape more intricately. I kept going, adding more marks with a range of media. I added shadow to show that it was laying on a surface and then highlights with white oil pastel to emphasise the surface properties of the cone, showing where light was falling on one side of the cone, evidencing the 3D form of the object. The piece was completed with oil pastel, ink, charcoal, pencil and the use of a putty rubber.

This next drawing is what I have called ‘natures compositions’. It is an amalgamation of string, seaweed and stones that have been forced together in the ocean’s movement. I was keen to convey the texture and the movement/story of the actual object. I wanted to show my developed observational drawing skills but also create an essence of gesture and expressive marks. My use of line and mark, I feel, are evidently fluid which add to the idea of movement and flow in relation to the object. It was actually quite a challenge to draw this ‘ball of string’ with detailed observation as each piece would disappear into the next, which meant the drawing ended up being an amalgamation of directional marks and lines. I used my charcoal effectively to emphasise darker tones and highlighted areas to give some depth. I feel my inspiration from Jindra Jehu is successfully evident, as I feel I have been able to complete a gestural and energetic drawing but also include aspects of observation.

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