Project 2 – Exercise 4 Monochrome
After completing Exercise 3 I was keen to make a start on this exercise which I already had in my head.
The use of chinese ink with watercolour had fired up my imagination and I wanted to use the combination again but this time with a little more delicacy and a will not to overwork the drawing.
I started with a line drawing in ink which I then very quickly enhanced by moving gentle washes from the lines drawn to find the middle and darker tones.
At this stage, I let the drawing dry completely (overnight) and the next day moved on to laying washes of blue/purple to improve on the tonal gradation of the eggs, newsprint and bowl.
In trying to keep to the brief, I had chosen three different surfaces to represent in the drawing; each with a different texture – the eggs with their perfect white profiles/shapes, the newsprint crumpled upon which the eggs rested, and a blue fairly shiny bowl.
I did consider really zooming in on the eggs, and just paint them on their own but that did not meet the exercise requirements. I also wanted to use an expressive line but maintaining accuracy of form (ink/charcoal are excellent for this but are punishing if you make mistakes!) As I had enjoyed the use of chinese ink previously I wanted to explore this medium as much as possible with pen and brush (although in the image I used the brush to lay washes and chose to not use it for line).
In considering the format I chose a portrait format on A3 watercolour paper but used a drawn border which I deliberately exceeded in some parts.
The newsprint was drawn in using a very sharp 5B graphite pencil which worked well and did not distract the viewer as much as say ink would have done – there was also the risk of ruining the image with an ink blot/mistake and the pencil was much easier to control.
I finished the image with some more ink lines in the deep shadows which may have risked overworking them.
What worked well…
The combination of watercolour and ink is an expressive combination and worked well. I was pleased with my expressive mark making which did on this occasion maintain the forms of the chosen objects. I achieved a sense of depth in the drawing and feel that I modelled the eggs well even keeping some of the reflected lights in place without resorting to additional means such as gouache/pastel etc. The use of graphite pencil for the newsprint was a great choice and I was pleased with the result. The choice of paper and format was also a positive. (This paper is a joy to work with and I will look to buy some more whenever possible)
What did not work so well…
The deep shadows were overworked and too deep in many places. My final marks with ink in these shadows was a mistake. Next time I need to build the shadows up with layers of watercolour or diluted ink not heavy line. I represented some reflections of the eggs in the bowl but in hindsight these were too bright and distracting /confusing to the viewer.