Assignment Four: Reflection

Assessment Criteria

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills:

I work very hard at the technical aspects of drawing and composition, with these things becoming more like second nature the more I do.  I feel more confident in self critiquing my work as I am learning more of what is expected of me.  This section of the course, Drawing Figures, has pushed me to hone my observational skills, particularly by sketching people out and about, trying to tell their “story” in a few lines and marks.  I have tried to use more and different drawing tools, in particular the bamboo pen and ink.  This was the first time I’d tried it and I enjoyed the different feel and variety of marks possible.  Design is a part of composition that has come to the fore as I can now envisage an image more clearly in the lines that I see ie diagonals, verticals and horizontals, and how they lead the eye around a scene to create a drawing or painting.

Quality of Outcome content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas

I believe now, that I am more confident of translating what I have in my mind onto paper or whatever, the effort put into planning and trying out ideas has paid dividends.  I am learning not only is what is included, but also what is excluded can be fundamental to the final result.  Having recently converted to using an online blog, I enjoy collating my work and thoughts into a format that is clear and readable visually.

Demonstration of Creativity imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice

This is still my biggest area for development.  I think I will always say this because it is the crux of progression.  However, I need to bring my imagination into play more freely.  My sketchbooks are my lifeblood as I go through this course.  I am beginning to use them more experimentally, noting things as they occur to me, planning, playing and analysing, noting things for later, referring backwards and forwards.  I still have the tendency to be free within the sketchbook but tighten up when producing a final piece of work.  I need to learn to carry this through to the end and not lose courage.

Context reflection, research, critical thinking (learning log)

My learning log together with my sketchbooks contain a lot of self analytical notes.  Recently, I have noticed that I tend to “argue” with myself over points in pieces of work – “is that right?”, “I’m undecided about…” etc.  I’ve realised that if I have to question something I’ve done, then it’s not right for me and it needs more work, if I can be happy with what I’ve done, it’s probably the best I can do at the time, if not, it’s a case of “that’ll do” and that’s not good enough.

I have tried to review previous points for development and test my progress against them, this was particularly useful in this last assignment.

I have enjoyed reading other students’ blogs, looking at other artists and see how they use found objects in their work.  I am looking forward to revisiting some of the sections in the course in Part 5.  I hope to push and surprise myself and experiment more.

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Assignment Four: Part Two: Tone

Preparatory Work 07/10/14

Assignment 4 Tone Composition and Pose

Assignment 4
Tone
Composition and Pose

Assignment 4 Tone Composition and Pose

Assignment 4
Tone
Composition and Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment 4 Tone Composition and Pose

Assignment 4
Tone
Composition and Pose

Assignment 4 Tone Media and Drawing Tools

Assignment 4
Tone
Media and Drawing Tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As before, I have had to take photographs for this drawing.

We were asked to produce a reclining pose, paying particular attention to tone and to focus on the pictorial qualities, making the background as important as the figure.

I decided to wait for the evening so artificial light could be used to throw shadows and produce more tonal contrast.  I used only the lighting available in the room ie an adjustable standard lamp and the secondary light source from the TV screen in the opposite corner.  I took photos from many different view points and angles to try to help build the structure and three-dimensional aspect in my mind.  The background was definite but not overwhelming, I omitted a large pot plant behind the figure as I decided there was enough to make an interesting image without it and I didn’t want it to look overcrowded.

I made a few sketches to establish the composition.  I particularly like a sketch taken from behind the model looking down on his head and along the length of the sofa he was lying on.  However, the light source did bleach out a lot of the tonal contrast.  I decided on the first sketch for the composition due to more tone being evident.

I was  determined not to use the photographs at all in the final piece of work.  This was to test myself in the following ways:

  1. Did the sketch have enough information eg tone, structure and background?  (This was a failing in a previous section “Drawing Outdoors”).
  2. Could I use my memory of previous numerous drawings of the same model together with these sketches to achieve a likeness? (As in the exercise “Portrait from Memory”).
  3. Could I translate the tonal sketch into a colour study? (Something that I have previously struggled with).
  4. As this was to be a drawing incorporating the background to explore pictorial possibilities, could I achieve realistic and accurate perspective in the drawing? (Again a struggle in the previous section “Drawing Outdoors”).

09/10/14

Assignment 4 Tone Final Drawing 50x65cm Pastel and Coloured Pencil

Assignment 4
Tone
Final Drawing 50x65cm
Pastel and Coloured Pencil

Results:

  1. As I had simplified the tonal ranges in the sketch from which I was working,  it was much clearer where light and dark occurred.  I also, in the final drawing, sketched out the entire image in black conte stick and then hatched in the same dark tones in a dark blue pastel before blocking in with colour.  this again described the darks clearly before working in to them. (Note to self: Must take more work in progress photos as this was a particularly interesting and new way of working for me).
  2. The sketches were a good starting point for achieving a likeness.  As the drawing neared completion, I was drawn to the face and was not happy with it.  A few adjustments with coloured pencils and a basic likeness appeared with which I was satisfied.
  3. As the sketch had clear definition and the tonal under-painting was in place, I did not consciously consider the problems I had had translating tone to colour previously.  The precautions I had taken initially made it a natural process.  I couldn’t have been more pleased at this result at this stage in my progress.
  4. The perspective element is something I need to keep working on so I tried not shy away from it in the final drawing.  The aerial perspective seems to have been successful with background objects being described subtly, however, I am still unsure about the sofa.  I can not blame the source photograph as the sketch was in proportion.  I think that as I was working on a larger sheet of paper with slightly different ratio of width to length, that I overcompensated and made the sofa appear too long.  I’m not sure – I need a neutral point of view to case an eye over it I think.

Overall

I think that the sketch works slightly better proportionally than the final drawing.  However, tonally I am very happy with the outcome.  I enjoyed exploring another process by marking in the tones first in one colour as an under-painting, especially as it seems to have worked.  Another note to self: if unsure whether something has worked – it probably hasn’t!

 

Assignment Four: Part one: Line and Shape

Preparatory Work 30/09/14 & 01/10/14

Assignment 4 Line and Shape Prep Selecting a Pose

Assignment 4
Line and Shape Prep
Selecting a Pose

Assignment 4 Line and Shape Prep Facial Features

Assignment 4
Line and Shape Prep
Facial Features

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment 4 Line and Shape Prep Hands

Assignment 4
Line and Shape Prep
Hands

Assignment 4 Line and Shape Prep Hands

Assignment 4
Line and Shape Prep
Hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment 4 Line and Shape Prep Composition and Placement

Assignment 4
Line and Shape Prep
Composition and Placement

Assignment 4 Line and Shape Prep Media and Support

Assignment 4
Line and Shape Prep
Media and Support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment 4 Line and Shape Prep Media and Support

Assignment 4
Line and Shape Prep
Media and Support

 

Assignment 4 Line and Shape Prep Media and Support

Assignment 4
Line and Shape Prep
Media and Support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

06/10/14

Assignment 4 Line and Shape  Final Drawing

Assignment 4
Line and Shape
Final Drawing 57x77cm

 

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”.