Mes: abril 2017

Part 1 Form and Gesture

Project 2 Exercise 2 Observing shadow using blocks of tone.

The two simple shaped objects I chose for this exercise were two yellow – very ripe (and just about to rot!) quinces. I placed then on a white cloth and lit them from the side with a lamp – during the exercise I realised that there was another light source playing on the objects – that of the ceiling (the light I was obviously using to work).

Quinces I worked with large charcoal sticks on a grainy, roughly A2 sized, paper. My first instinct was to draw lines to outline the quinces – in the upper drawing you can see the lines I used quite clearly. I then used a small stick and my finger to manipulate the tones. This quick drawing worked well but I needed to practice more the use of tone only…. in the lower drawing I introduced some background detail to help define the shape rather than draw the shape. I used line only at the end of the sketch – see below:

Quince 02  I then realised that it was entirely possible to work in just tone to make the form believable so made two more sketches on another large sheet. This time I worked carefully with a small piece of charcoal to find the midtones, leaving the whiter lighter areas blank. Then as the exercise required worked up the darker elements using very little rubber to find the highlights. Again in the second (lower) sketch I introduced background elements to emphrasize the form and used very little line.

Quince 01 I noticed the secondary light source shadows and shadow cast from the RH quince on the other. Also in the upper LH quince I managed to show a little of the form of the fruit emerging from the stalk.

After finishing the exercise and reflecting on my work, I felt that there were some basics that I missed.  Firstly I did not have a background to fill the sheet and introduce more shadows/reflections – or at the very least an interesting background to help ouline the form of the objects. Secondly, I could have changed the composition or changed the objects to add variation to the exercise. I did not have time to do this as I had to prepare for a business trip to Europe (next week).

From a very early age I have been awestruct with the still life drawings and watercolours of apples by Cezanne – for that reason I thoroughly enjoyed this exercise and will revisit it in the future –  the works of Cezanne are now in my sight as a challenge!

Part 1 Form and gesture

Part 1 Form and gesture

Project 2, Exercise 1

Groups of objects

There were some key details in the requirements of this exercise: to choose a group of three dimensional objects – cylinders, rectangles, cubes etc and the less regular for example a plastic bag, netting etc., firstly work large, be imaginative in the surface types and colours, use just one colour, fill the sheet with the drawing, imagine you can see through the objects and to try to evoke some kind of expression in the marks made and the relationships you create inside and around the edges of the objects/picture plane….a great deal to think about.

I started off very wooden….creating a large charcoal drawing on a white textured surface. The drawing worked well but was in my opinion not very creative.


My second drawing was very loose – using a purple oil pastel on newspaper print – I did not choose the newpaper sheet well and I believe I used a colour that did not suit the background – I actually used two similar colours. Whilst not a good drawing it helped me think differently about the subject.


From the exercise text I thought about how the objects would look transparent – as if I could see each of them without form – just lines – more abstract. I chose a tinted slightly textured background and a soft yellow pastel for the medium. Again I tried to work quickly and with more freedom.


I was extremely pleased with this drawing as it was more imaginative and could easily be developed further as a coloured drawing/painting. If the lines were tighter and more controlled and the textures more detailed/intricate …… maybe later on I will return to this image!

Next I thought I would use my fineline coloured markers deviating from the one colour requirement. After finishing the drawing – I did not like all the white open space so painted over the whole drawing with a pale yellow acrylic drawing ink which smudged the fineliner marks (better to paint background first in future!) Then I tried to recover the highlights with soft white pastel, then the darks and mid range colour with more fineline marks…..not very succesful overall and I was very displeased with the drawing. This is a selection of the stages of this experiment:

Finally I decided to loosen up again and return to the newspaper print – this time being more selective in the page/background used and the medium colour.

These are the two final images for this exercise:

In the green image – I tried to use a page with just print but this was the only page suitable – and the colo colo badge/dark square below destract the eye a little.

I used several shades of green (not strictly one colour?) and was pleased with the effect created and the change of format to portrait worked well.

In the final black and white image the darkish grey background worked well – using a light grey charcoal – very fast and loose and without leaving the surface when mark making….at last I was trying to give the image some expression. I then worked over the image with white and black to bring the drawing to life. The background worked well this time, the portrait format also worked and my main criticism is that in trying to work loose I think I lost control of the drawing and my initial grey structure.

I found the subject easy to draw, but struggled with the balance of working loose/creative to achieve a more satisfactory result. I need to work on this in future exercises and in my sketchbook.

Part 1 Form and Gesture

Project 1, Exercise 2

Experimenting with texture

I struggled with this exercise at first and it took me quite a while to get started. I started by trying to draw the textures of a natural sponge and a piece of coral – both of which I found very difficult. After changing tack and working on a textile pattern/texture I was able to return to the challenge!

The textile example was a cushion cover:


This was the cushion cover texture which I intepreted using hard pastel and pencil on three scales:

cushion texture

I felt it worked quite succesfully and broke the ice to challenge the coral and sponge again.

Sketchbook texture 01

Sketchbook texture 02

I attempted a little bit of frottage with these objects but the paper was too thick and too small – so I decided to try with other paper/medium later.

natural sponge

The shell, coral and sponge gave me some interesting contrasts to try out as textures and in the end I made some reasonable pencil sketches of the items along withy their textures.

For my frottage I used the objects from before plus some leaves and bark found just outside the front of my house. I used a graphite block to make these pieces on A4 printer  copy paper (75g):

I used both sides of the bark – the one on the RH side was the reverse side and worked better with more interesting effects

I then used a variety of materials to make other imaginative patterns/textures in a larger (A3) sketchbook:

Sketchbook texture 03

There is obviously a never-ending amount of textures to find and experiment with – in addition to an infinite number of materials/mediums to work with. This was a good start and I will continue to search for and use other exciting/creative solutions to my drawings.

I will continue to experiment with textures and mediums/materials regularly in my sketchbook and workpieces, as I feel that this is a never ending challenge for the successful artist.

Part 1 Form and Gesture

Part 1 Form and Gesture

Project 1, Exercise 1

Experimenting with expressive lines and marks

I was worried about starting this exercise because I am generally not good at expressing my feelings.  In just one session though, I managed to enter into the feelings suggested: Anger, Joy, Calm and Fear. I started by writing down the words that I associated with the various feelings, choosing appropriate memories from my life as the various triggers and was surprised by how easy those feelings/emotions surfaced. After entering each emotion and finishing 4 drawings using different media, I wrote down the words and comments that surfaced as quickly as possible without thinking too much.

Media selected included Darwi Cristaline drawing ink (homemade bamboo drawing pen and credit card as tools), Caran d’ache GRAFCUBE graphite block, Faber Castell Graphite stick, Daley Rowney blue oil pastel (I did not have a black one!), and an old Staedtler pigment liner pen (that gave up on me – have to buy some more). The paper selected was a heavy, textured paper – a little bigger than A1.


Calmness to me evokes thoughts of palm trees, a hammock, a slight sea breeze and still sea – water, tea and scent also came to mind. These thoughts put me in the mood, but whilst drawing it was like drawing without boundaries, restrictions or any sense of realism – uninhibited! Soothing almost – so much so that I felt the need to caress the ink drawing and smudge any wet lines/marks.

CALM – 4 Drawings

The drawings appear to have images of waves, the sea and even a boat – all drawn  relatively slowly  and subconsciously.

CALM – drawing ink

After completing the 4 drawings the words and sensations I felt included stillness, a clear head, silence and freedom.


Anger is an emotion that thankfully I very rarely experience. Words such as hurt, bitch, scream, shout immediately came to mind before the exercise and I felt my heart starting to race, and raised adrenaline.


The lines were drawn very quickly and with a great deal of pressure applied.  I also started to deconstruct/destroy them using an old credit card cutting and scraping into the images.

Immediately after completing this series I had a raised heartrate and my adrenaline was pumping and I had to wait a while before starting the next one.

ANGER – oil pastel

Due to working at a faster more energetic rate, the marks became more loose and uninhibited, messy even – I broke up the charcoal stick and the fibre tip of a drawing pen! The exercise became more of a physical one.


A mother’s smile, a new baby, Christmas, a bonus and the stars give me a sense of wonder and joy.


During this series of drawings, I felt that I needed to dance with the tools and media – to use flowing strokes large and small – like moving to music but without music in my head. During the process I noticed myself smiling and happy.

JOY – drawing ink


My chosen feeling for the last series of drawings was the fear experienced by a new start, the fear/anxiousness of failure, the fear of losing a job etc., not the fear created by terror.

The feeling was more about needing to hide, withdraw or put up a barrier….


Darkness, alone, nervous, and erratic were some of my thoughts upon starting these drawings.

The initial top right drawing was a little forced and whilst erratic was the least successful – all the other drawings had a sense of putting up impregnable barriers, the fear of insumountable obstacles and the darkness – all of which need to be broken down before success or dreams are realised.

FEAR – Graphite block

Moving forward in this course, I will need to use this exercise as a resource and a basis for creativity – to break down some of the invisible barriers I put up to not show my feelings – which in turn could restrict the range of expressive lines and marks available to me.