Exercise: Linear Perspective

27 & 28/10/14

Exercise: Linear Perspective

27/10/14

I revisited my chosen location of the sluice gates to make studies concentrating on linear perspective.  I decided to work on the two views that gave the most challenge regarding distance, using the sluice gates and the various walkways and bridges along side them together with the river itself.

I spent an hour working on site using line markers and Sharpie pens.  I remembered to mark in my eye level as the horizon line, which unfortunately, aligned with the horizontal centre of my workspace.  I continued regardless as this could be altered when working on the composition specifically.

Exercise: Linear Perspective Liner, Sharpie and Water-soluble Pens A5 Looking down river

Exercise: Linear Perspective
Liner, Sharpie and Water-soluble Pens A5
Looking down river

Exercise: Linear Perspective Liner and Sharpie Pens A5 Looking towards the mill houses

Exercise: Linear Perspective
Liner and Sharpie Pens A5
Looking towards the mill houses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On returning, I simplified the “looking down river” view into perspective and cross over lines.  At this point I was still uncertain about this view, as it seemed too traditional.  I was originally strongly drawn to the “looking towards the mill houses” view because of the rusty iron work etc, yet I wasn’t enamoured with the mill houses themselves as part of the composition.  There were like an ill placed full stop in a sentence, the image stopped dead at their walls.  I did then realise that from my eye level, I would see more of the bushes between the footbridge and the road bridge in front of the building, but the wall was still visible.  After, making this second drawing, I was more confused than ever as to which to choose.

Exercise: Linear Perspective Liner Pens A5 Looking down river

Exercise: Linear Perspective
Liner Pens A5
Looking down river

 

Looking back over the first view, I did like the sense of distance, even though the sluice gates were less prominent.  I decided to sleep on it before deciding which to make into a larger drawing.

28/10/14

Back to work and I decided to work up both drawings to a larger scale.

This time using a tinted pastel paper on its smoother side, I used sepia liner and brush pens to help invoke a feeling of an autumnal scene without using a full colour palette.

Exercise: Linear Perspective Sepia Liner and Brush Pens on tinted pastel paper 30 x 40cm Looking down river

Exercise: Linear Perspective
Sepia Liner and Brush Pens on tinted pastel paper 30 x 40cm
Looking down river

Using the previous sketches and reference photos that I could enlarge on-screen to see more detail, I worked directly onto the paper with the sepia pens.  The ratio for this paper was wider to height than the A5 size previously used.  This worked much better in regards to including more of the machinery of the sluice gates.  The distance down river works well and the perspective of the gates and particularly the iron girder on top of them is much more successful.  I also like the fact that the steering/turning wheel is visible together with the planked road bridge adjacent to the gates.  I decided therefore to stick with this view, allowing for a similar paper size or larger with the same ratio for the final work.  I have found a good compromise for describing the distance as well as the workings of the sluice gates that is acceptable to me.  If this happy accident hadn’t occurred I think I wouldn’t have been completely satisfied with either view.  Another plus, is that with the more natural objects ie trees, river etc, I can be more expressive and experimental with their treatment in the final work.  I am also looking forward to experimenting with the various textures of the iron and concrete.

The exercise challenges whether:

  • a sense of space has been achieved – I believe so, with this particular view with the river going off into the distance.
  • the interpretation of the linear perspective of the landscape is accurate – with the slight alteration of the walkway railings that were sloping a little too high across to the right, this is a fair representation of what I could see.
  • it feels right – generally, the entire drawing gives me a realistic feeling of the scene before me, with the additional features to the left ie the road bridge and machinery, adding to the perspective and draws the eye along the river bank to the distance with the walkway allowing a way back in to the image.  It feels like an autumn day, with trees losing their leaves and reflections in the water.

This has been a very worthwhile exercise allowing me to analyse which view would be more successful and interesting in the end – with the added width of frame giving me a complete image rather than two that were not quite right.

 

Project: The Moving Figure Exercise: Fleeting Moments

20/09/14

Fleeting Moments

I am hoping that I have chosen a situation that will present many “fleeting moments” as defined in the brief for this exercise. eg

  • Opportunities not to be missed
  • Energy and movement
  • Colour and ideas for future work
  • Concentrate on the smaller part of the story and catch the moment
  • abbreviate sketches, keep to minimal lines, tell the story briefly and move on to the next opportunity

As mentioned in my previous post, I decided to go to the annual Ringwood Carnival Procession and watch, not just the procession, but the crowds lining the streets in anticipation.  My main challenge was to be, I thought, drawing children.  I was taking it as read that moving subjects would be tricky but children’s proportions are very different to adults – their heads are naturally larger compared to their bodies for future growth. Even some ancient paintings of religious subjects show babies/cherubs as adults in miniature rather than alluding to this fact.

Project: The Moving Figure Exercise: Fleeting Moments Ringwood Carnival Procession & Crowd Liner pen in A4 sketchbook

Project: The Moving Figure
Exercise: Fleeting Moments
Ringwood Carnival Procession & Crowd
Liner pen in A4 sketchbook

First page of sketches and straight away, my nemesis – Little People!  Well, it transpired, you don’t have time to worry about proportions in this scenario, you just get on with it and the more you do the more natural it becomes.  Doing this, my sketches are very scribbly but that’s what seems to give them life and energy (that’s one tick!).  It was difficult to decide what to draw at first, particularly as we were waiting for the procession to start for 10 minutes or so. Eventually, though, I became aware of more animated subjects.  I don’t think I really described the wizard like character well enough to understand he was a stilt walker but I couldn’t really see his full figure as I was back from the road edge. As I moved on, the little ones were more engaging and I couldn’t resist.  I felt I’d succeeded with the little girl sitting on the kerb with her “wiggly” (mmm I know what I mean).  The first thing I drew were her curls and went from there.  This seems to be a common factor when I make these kind of quick studies, I start with what first attracts me, be it the negative shape in a bent arm, style of hair or whatever, and work from that – it seems to work but isn’t how you would normally begin a portrait or life drawing for example.

Project: The Moving Figure Exercise: Fleeting Moments Ringwood Carnival Procession & Crowd Liner pen in A4 sketchbook

Project: The Moving Figure
Exercise: Fleeting Moments
Ringwood Carnival Procession & Crowd
Liner pen in A4 sketchbook

I noticed that a couple had chosen a window seat in a first floor cafe across the street – wished I’d thought of that!  Pots of tea and sandwiches, comfortable chairs *sigh* – I digress.  They were probably a little static for this exercise but they help describe the full scene below.  A street entertainer stopped in front of me and the kids loved him, laughing, squealing, oohing and ahing along with his tricks.  He grabbed “volunteers” from the audience and stood on the folding arms of two dads, whilst juggling with knives, very impressive – almost forgot to keep drawing!  Another guy came along with a wheeled suitcase full of “wigglies” for £1 – he must have sold out by the end of the procession!  I noticed a little girl in a polka dot zipped up top waving her “wiggly” around for all she was worth, and a young lad too, he only managed to put on one sleeve of his anorak on in the excitement.

Project: The Moving Figure Exercise: Fleeting Moments Ringwood Carnival Procession & Crowd Liner pen in A4 sketchbook

Project: The Moving Figure
Exercise: Fleeting Moments
Ringwood Carnival Procession & Crowd
Liner pen in A4 sketchbook

The procession began and so did the accelerated pace of drawing.  Floats passed by too quick for me, with the crowds in a mini surge to the kerb and I’m sure, I think, I saw a genie balancing a crystal ball on his head – now that was a fleeting moment!  The beautifully harnessed horses pulling the Carnival Queen’s float were spectacular but so much information it was impossible to catch it all – I barely managed one horse’s head.  The marching band playing the bagpipes looked very impressive but on trying to draw just one of them, I’ve decided bagpipes are impossible at speed – too many tubes, bags, squeezing arms arrrgh!

Project: The Moving Figure Exercise: Fleeting Moments Ringwood Carnival Procession & Crowd Liner pen in A4 sketchbook

Project: The Moving Figure
Exercise: Fleeting Moments
Ringwood Carnival Procession & Crowd 
Liner pen in A4 sketchbook

I think I’ve learnt that, in this situation, a split second selection of a good subject is even more crucial that the drawing itself. Choose the wrong thing at the expense of a better subject being missed too.  With this next page, I selected a little more carefully.  Fleeting glimpses through the crowd of a little girl’s hair bunches was great, as the crowd in front of me, moved and swayed in and out of view I built a sketch of her in her dad’s arms and then noticed the bugler from another marching band had stopped awaiting his cue. Two for the price of one!  The circus float had two trapeze artists swinging to and fro and just caught a sketch of one before they moved on.

Project: The Moving Figure Exercise: Fleeting Moments Ringwood Carnival Procession & Crowd Liner pen in A4 sketchbook

Project: The Moving Figure
Exercise: Fleeting Moments
Ringwood Carnival Procession & Crowd
Liner pen in A4 sketchbook

My final page of scribbles was slowing down as the procession came to a close.  In front of me was young baby boy with the roundest cheeks, gazing in absolute awe (or was it confusion?) about him. I couldn’t see his mum at first but tried to describe him, starting with the cheeks! Bizarrely this seemed to work as I then noted his collar and little dungarees, with his chubby little hand clinging onto the stick of his balloon.  As I was drawing him, someone moved out of the way and I managed to catch sight of his mum too.  The teenage boy was a great subject, his dark hair sprouting out of his woolly hat so typical of his age group, covering his eyes and appearing a little sullen – yet he had been patiently keeping his little brother and sister in check all the time.

Going back over the criteria, I missed so many more opportunities than I caught, but I suppose there was a lot going on.  I hope I managed to convey energy and movement, it did feel as though I did.  I did fall down on the colour aspect, I think I only mentioned it once with the little girl in pink and that was probably so obvious it wasn’t really worth mentioning.  However, I do think there are a few select moments that may be nice to include in a future work.  I also found it difficult to abbreviate sketches unless I really only did have a split second to produce something.  I found I did go back and re-work a little more tone and a little more definition fairly regularly – hopefully, though this was when I had some breathing space to add more remembered detail and was not just over-egging it.

Another very enjoyable experience, which I was surprised to note only lasted just over an hour. I’m therefore, pretty pleased with the amount of drawings I came away with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project: The Clothed Figure – Exercise: Fabric with Line and Form

08/08/14

Exercise: Fabric with Line and Form

Throw a piece of clothing or a length of plain fabric (so you don’t get distracted by pttern) across a chair to make folded layers of fabric and then draw two 15 minute sketches using line only with a soft pencil or charcoal.

Struggled not to shade as the charcoal lends itself to this.

Fabric with Line and Form Jacket on a Chair

Fabric with Line and Form
Jacket on a Chair
15 minute sketch in charcoal

Drawing one – charcoal.

Fabric with Line and Form Jacket on a Chair

Fabric with Line and Form
Jacket on a Chair
15 minute sketch in 8B pencil

 

 

Drawing two – 8B Pencil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 5cm squares, draw five minute sketches of different parts of the fabric.  Look at the shapes caused by the folds.  Identify and emphasise the areas of light and shade that will define the form.

Fabric with Line and Form 5cm squares of sketches of different parts of the fabric.

Fabric with Line and Form
5cm squares of sketches of different parts of the fabric.

Top row made with 8B pencil.

Bottom row made with liner pen.

 

 

Project: Drawing Trees – Check and Log

11/07/14

Check & Log

  • How many different tree types have you drawn?
    I drew several types of trees: Mulberry (in full leaf but no fruit); an unknown named tree (in full leaf); Bramley apple tree (full leaf, some fruit); Coxes apple tree (full leaf, some fruit) and an old Lilac tree (full leaf, flowers gone over).
  • What techniques did you use to distinguish each type?
    The apple trees were in full leaf with some fruit forming, so they were quite dense and solid in shape. I tried to concentrate on the tone of the whole leafy area, picking out a few leaves and branches only where they were actually visible. The Mulberry tree had been pruned from the bottom so a lot of trunk and lower branches were showing. the trunk was quite textured so more sharp, scratchy marks were used to show that. the leaves were more individual and a nice broad shape theat curled interestingly. These shapes were drawn more realistically and in the expanded view tree drawing, I tried to show the direction they pointed in and how as a group they “fell” in a certain way, almost as if draped. The “tree with no name”, had a tangle of branches with numerous knobbly twigs which were fun to draw with pen, using stop/start strokes with different thicknesses.
Project: Drawing Trees Exercise: Sketching an Individual Tree

Project: Drawing Trees
Exercise: Sketching an Individual Tree
Studies of the whole Mulberry (top left) and “tree with no name” (top right) and then zoomed in detail of leaves and branches beneath each.

Project: Drawing Trees Exercise: Larger Study of an Individual Tree  Bramley Apple Tree  Markers and liner pens on A3 white cartridge paper

Project: Drawing Trees
Exercise: Larger Study of an Individual Tree
Bramley Apple Tree
Markers and liner pens on A3 white cartridge paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • What did you do to convey the mass of foliage?
    I avoided detail and concentrated on lights and darks which help give the illusion of an abundance of foliage. By working pen marks in different directions and hatching into where the darks were, leaving areas for the lights, the leaves seemed to appear without specifically drawing them.
  • How did you handle light on the trees? Was it successful?
    The way light fell or showed itself on the tree was a little unexpected as it was bounced around within the leaves.  It didn’t always follow the pattern of dark away from the sunlight – it was sometimes reflected by the leaves up and/or down and around the edges of the leaf canopy, the sun shone through individual leaves giving them a translucent quality.  Using drawing pens for uncoloured work, made it easier to distinguish light and dark. By laying in bold darks at first, I was able to convey some light as well as texture and shape.  Once changing to colour it was easier to see whilst working, although using oil pastel there was a limit to the amount of pastel the paper would take, even if scratched off first.  Probably the most successful was the lone apple tree – this done in monochrome with differing pen thicknesses and also placing it in a background so darks and lights could be added around it in the negative shapes.
Project: Drawing Trees Exercise: Study of Several Trees

Project: Drawing Trees
Exercise: Study of Several Trees
Coxes apple tree and old, leaning lilac tree against beech hedging. Late morning to mid afternoon, bright sun with dappled shadow.
Underpainted with watercolour pencil washes, marker pen and oil pastel on watercolour paper A2

  • Did you manage to select and simplify? Look at your drawings and make notes on how you did this, and what could you do better?
    • Homed in on interesting part of larger trees to fill the frame
    • Simplified foliage by concentrating on tone and adding small amounts of detail close to.
    • With the colour oil pastel drawing, I think I could have made the darks darker to help emphasis light.  I did try to concentrate on the trees but needed to place it in its setting – maybe the background is a little too distracting?