Preparatory Work 30/09/14 & 01/10/14
This assignment has come at a time when my primary model, my husband, has had a change of work place and is not so readily available to pose. As a result I have much less time to draw from life, and have had to change process significantly to achieve the assignment. Much as I avoid using photographs as source material ordinarily, needs must. However, I am determined to make the best of this and have made preliminary sketches to establish composition and pose. I took many photos from all angles, zoomed in on head, face and hands and have tried using all of these to build my drawing.
I am aware that the camera has only one lens, whereas we have two, this can lead to flattening and distortion of an image. Things closer to the camera are unnaturally enlarged. Trying hard to avoid this I made myself work from my sketches rather than slavishly copying the photographs. Once I’d decided on a viewpoint, I considered the orientation of the support, the media and drawing tools, plus the size of the paper to be used. I settled on using a sharpened piece of bamboo with sepia acrylic ink. I wasn’t, however, confident enough to draw straight into the work with these. I drew and adjusted the drawing in pencil initially to try to ensure accuracy. Had I been working directly from the model, I may have omitted this stage.
Once sketched out, I then used the bamboo pen lightly to reiterate the outlines. Once that was complete I worked at varying the line strengths and then worked into the figure with pen and ink only to establish form by using the folds and creases of the clothing. I felt, although this was a line drawing that I had to indicate the hair and beard more darkly, not for tone, but for likeness purposes. these are such identifiable aspects of the model, that it wouldn’t have worked so well without this. Initially, the figure, its chair and table plus the lap top, were the only things in the composition. I did feel, however, that this left a lot of empty space not only on the paper but in the narrative of the drawing. Again using pen & acrylic only, I decided to indicate the room as background. The vertical and horizontal lines added more interest and context to the whole image and as these were drawn with fainter line, they were useful to show depth with their perspective.
What didn’t work?
- I am still undecided as to whether the nearest hand is too large – has the camera influenced me negatively?
- The additional chairs, I think, need to be there, but has the perspective worked? The most questionable for me are the legs to the chair opposite the figure.
- I’ve used line to indicate form and shadow on the face and I think the line on the nose is too strong.
What did work?
- The composition I like – it’s a little unusual although I hope it’s described the form of the figure successfully.
- The additional background gives a fuller image and composition.
- The bamboo “pen” worked quite well in varying line strengths and marks. Once I was using it I felt more confident with it than the dipping pen, which I decided not to use in the end.
I decided not to erase the initial pencil marks as it show the process and I didn’t feel the need to “tidy up”.