A choice needs to be made from the previous assignments to carry forward and develop for the final assessment of the Drawing Skills Course. I have read through the exercises assigned to each option:
Mark Making and Tone
Observation of Nature
After thinking it through, I have decided to eliminate Drawing Figures from my selection. I currently attend regular portrait and life drawing classes, therefore, I think it wise to select from the remaining three to expand my experience and variety of challenges.
Below I have noted the points for development highlighted both by myself and my tutor from previous assignments’ critiques.
Part 1 – Mark Making and Tone
Self: Conceptualisation of thoughts; demonstration of creativity and being original.
Tutor: Frottage experiments; experiment with colour; be mindful of the volume of text and not to be repetitive (learning log); explore each exercise and embrace mistakes; vary the scale of working and don’t be scared to alter this if needed.
Part 2 – Observation in Nature
Self: Concept and communication of ideas; move away from the predictable; need to show more inventive thinking; once written down, self-analytical and critical thought to be explored and made into objective goals.
Tutor: Try to work more loosely and make use of the characteristics of the media in order to help to achieve this, (for example allowing acrylic ink to run); open your mind to less representative outcomes and methods.
Part 3 – Drawing Outdoors
Self: Have struggled with perspective in this section, so continue to practice this; maintain variety of media, don’t forget charcoal; continue to loosen up my work and become more expressive.
Tutor: Act on own analysis of work; continue to practice perspective; use charcoal as a media option; keep challenging yourself by choosing interesting and ambitious subjects.
Part 4 – Drawing Figures
Self: Bring my imagination into play more freely; carry the freedom and looseness through from the sketchbook into the final piece of work – have courage; push, surprise and experiment!
Tutor: Currently in review – to be updated.
One conclusion I came to from this exercise was that the learning log and reflective side of the course has helped me immensely. The articulation of my own development points has improved and become more specific from the extremely generic comments in Part 1. I am also encouraged by the progress being made with each of the points, they have actually filtered into my brain and have, in the main, been applied within the following sections. I am therefore, looking forward to going a little wild with my final assignment.
Mark Making & Tone
The subject matter in this option is to explore rooms and areas within the home, outbuildings, sheds, workspace etc. Look for interesting corners, explore tonal opportunities, light sources and experimenting with mixed media. Looking around the house, I was intrigued by a cupboard that doubles as my wardrobe and storage for hats, shoes and boxes of “stuff”. I would lean towards that as a subject – it would provide opportunities for tones and textures. This is a tempting choice.
Observation of Nature
Choosing natural objects such as plants, feathers, stones, leaves, animals as subjects. Exploring their shapes from different viewpoints, line, tonal and colour studies and torn paper collage. I have collected many found objects in a cardboard box and sorting through these I found a small rat skull that I had spotted whilst digging the garden. A little macabre, but a fascinating object, I could imagine increasing its scale in a vigorous drawing, adding textures and abstract elements using colour, frottage and collage.
This is pretty much an infinite subject! Where to start, the garden, parks, the New Forest near where I live, the beach again not far away, towns, villages etc. A lot of the preliminary work here, is finding the view, experimenting with differing viewpoints, light, weather conditions, practical considerations not being the least. Do I include people, animals, buildings, water etc? Plus of course, my old nemesis, perspective. I’ve made progress, however, that is still a big development area. I would need to make detailed studies to assist my composition and representation. However, from my regular dog walking, I pass one place regularly, it’s down the end of our lane and I am constantly fascinated by it. I live near the River Avon, it is a major river and has been known to burst its banks dramatically in the past, flooding large areas of the village and nearby town of Fordingbridge, big clue in the name! Over the years many methods of controlling flooding have been employed, from the natural water meadows that are allowed to flood to ease the pressure, to the sluice gates that control the water levels from one part of the river to the other. These gates are controlled by large iron wheels, the structure itself is rusty and mechanical, there are walkways over it, a couple of bridges and these are all at angles to one another. There are wooden posts, in various states of decay, lichen grows over them and the river itself is fighting against the restrictions being put on it. An opportunity for mixed media, frottage, perspective and compositional design.
The choice is obvious, Drawing Outdoors it has to be. I am trying to ignore the fact that it will soon be Winter and there are the remnants of a hurricane coming across the Atlantic. The chance to envelop all my development areas, draw something to which I have an emotional attachment, plus the many textures and natural erosion that can be depicted with all sorts of techniques and media is too great to pass up.