Etiqueta: drawing

Part 3 Expanse

Project 4 Perspective – Exercise 1 Parallel perspective

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At first I thought that I did not have a suitable subject for this exercise and I made too many excuses and avoided it for quite some time – even though I was confident that I knew sufficient to make a reasonable drawing with parallel perspective.

It was interesting that although the drawing was successful, I did not exagerrate the angles enough – particularly regarding the flooring/skirting boards and the mirror. Whilst drawing the tiled floor I was aware that there were not sufficient tiles and that they appeared too wide. Analysing afterwoods with the red lines my errors were clear to me.

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I modified some of the parts of the drawing with red pencil – the step was too large and the tiles need to be modified but overall my hand drawn version was on the whole accurate.

Exercise 2 Angular perspective

For this exercise I used a recent photo that I took whilst out sketching in my local town. It is of an abandoned petrol station which I am attracted to as a subject.

I made the drawing by first making construction lines in pencil without using a ruler or any other guides – just careful measurements by relating elements in the photo. I then used some new art markers that I bought to finish complete the drawing:

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The photo was taken mid morning with the sun rising on a very clear hot day – there were therefore many strong shadows and varios rectangular/cubelar forms to draw nearly all angle on to my camera.

After completing the drawing I drew in an eyeline where I guessed it would be (in fact I think it should have been a little higher). Then drew in the parallel lines from each edges of the forms:

_20171202_232529 Most of the red lines appear to converge on an eyeline a little higher than I have drawn in – indicating that my construction was very good with few mistakes. As in Exercise 1, in the foreground of the image I need to exaggerate the perspective more to achieve the correct result.

An interesting final check of the eyeline and other perspective elements of my drawing was made using the original photo – I drew the converging lines on the drawing mounted on a newspaper sheet. Then drew in the eyeline – in fact the eyeline was lower, not higher! It was evident that the angles I drewof the roof of the washing and lubricating shed of the garage were drawn incorrectly. How can I avoid this in the future? – I need to think first of the eyeline and drawn in some prelimenary contruction lines as a guide for my measurements.

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Using a ruler whilst drawing would help – in particular drawing in an eyeline to measure more accurately the converging lines.

The drawing made by Sir Muirhead Bone in the course text was incredibly accurate in that all the lines converge and even measuring the height of the people in the street – they all have a height that corresponds with their position in the drawing. I feel sure that he constructed the drawing using a ruler in his early construction.

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Exercise 3 Aerial or atmostpheric perspective

Whilst making the three following drawings, I was also looking at Turner’s Lake of Lucerne; The Bay of Uri from above Brunnen, 1841-2 which he made in watercolour and gouache. He clearly used the foregound, middleground, background technique with a gradation of tones to increase the sense of perspective:

Lake Lucerne: The Bay of Uri from above Brunnen: Sample Study circa 1841-2 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

My copy from a book was actually much darker in tones however you can still see the use of atmospheric perspective.

The most succesful of my studies was the one in indian ink where my range of tones was greatest. Turner made many studies of the Lake of Lucerne/Uri from many different angles and times of day. They can be found in the Tate online gallery.

I need to make more use of these type of small studies in my work – in my sketchbook!

 

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9B Graphite block and 9B graphite pencil 
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Indian ink and 2B pencil
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Watercolour and 2B pencil
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Part 3 Expanse

Part 3 Expanse

Project 3 Research point

In this research point, we were asked to compare contemporary artists working with landscape with earlier artists.

The example given in the course text was interesting and linked up with my recent reading of Margaret Davison´s book on contemporary drawing.

I liked the idea of comparing the works of Tacita Dean with Seurat because it made clearer to me the idea of INTENTIONALITY. Seurat was the first artist to intentionally make a drawing based on the surface/mark relationship (see his drawing above).

Tacita Dean´s blackboard drawings are large and her choice of medium dictates this as chalk would be difficult to manipulate on a in the same way on a smaller scale. Her subject matter works well in black and white – with the smooth matt support in black. She is able to use a full range of tones – the feel of her work is cold and stark – equal to the subject of the glaciers depicted. Other works in the series include waves and heavy seas – also cold and bleak – life threatening even. As in life one has to step back to appreciate their awe.

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Tacita Dean, Chennie Huang – Chalk on blackboard (Detail)

In comparison the work of Seurat is more intimate, warm even and made on a smaller scale – one would have to inspect the drawing up close to appreciate it fully. Less detail, impressionistic but with full range of tones present. Surface of the paper used is rough and is used to assist in his impressionistic approach.

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Georges Seurat, Factories by moonlight – Conte crayon on paper (23.6 x 31.2 cm)

In moving forward with this part of the course, I will need to think more carefully about my approach to intentionality, use of surface, scale and selection of medium to support and enhance the subject matter.

Part 3 Expanse

Project 2 Landscape

Research Point – Artists who use landscape as their main subject

Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) was not on my list of artists that I recognise as a landscape painter- so as one of the earliest to use landscapes in his work I researched a little into his studies in watercolour and ink: His ‘View of Trento, Watercolour and gouache on paper (1494) was a lovely study where he has simplified the trees and mountains – which maybe useful for me drawing the Andes mountains near where I live. He has a very clear Foreground, middleground and background.

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The other work I picked out was his ‘View of Innsbruck’ Watercolour on paper (1495)

I liked this watercolour because of its simplified clouds, and reflections in the water – very cleverly and delicately painted!

My HERO of landscape painting has always been John Constable ((1776-1837) evr since I saw his ‘The Hay Wain’ at the National Gallery at the age of 14. I loved the immense detail of his paintings, the small details such as shepherds and people going about their rural business. Small touches of red in perhaps a coat or a cart, birds flying in the sky, wonderful cloud detail, wind rain and storm also starred in his awesome landscapes. John Virtue in his tour of the National Gallery was also impressed by Constable’s bold courageous brushstrokes.

Constable made several studies of this view of ‘Dedham from Langham’. In both versions above there are very clear Foreground, Middleground and Background elements. I believe that he was a master of simplification of the landscapein what were landscapes ahead of their time…such as ‘Summer, Afternoon after a shower’ Oil on Canvas (1828) and ‘A rain storm over the sea’ Oil on canvas (1834).

Jean Camille Baptiste Corot (1796-1875) is another landscape artist that I deeply admire.  Some of his delicate drawings of trees are a joy and I love the details of people and animals strategically placed within his landscapes.  Examples are ‘Lanscape with three figures’ Oil on canvas (1850-60) and ‘Pastures in the Marais’ Oil on canvas (1865-70.

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I made a couple of small copies in pencil of these paintings:

About 7-8 years ago I was lucky to be able to visit the Lowry Centre in Manchester. From this visit I obtained a book which I subsequently read on the life and works of Lowry by Shelley Rhohde. LS Lowry (1887-1976) like George Shaw painted and sketched the life and scenes around him – but unlike Shaw, Lowry formed his own style of painting (not realistic) – at the time not recognised as a serious painter he did not achieve success from his work until the latter part of his life. He painted the monotonous life of the worker going to and from the factories – ‘Our town’ Oil on Canvas (1943) and the daily life of for instance ‘An arrest’ Oil on canvas (1927):

Among his more emotional paintings, I really admired his ‘The Lake’ Oil on Canvas (1937) part of his black series – painted after the death of his father. The image below does not do justice to the real painting:

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A painting about death…human death in the graveyard (foreground detail), the dark and polluted lake (middleground) and the death creating factories in the backgound belching out black smoke. This image is very similar to that on P62 of the course – Drawing by James Lloyd.

In my sketchbook studies to follow, I want to have in mind the studies of Corot and Constable and look for little details in the landscape that could bring life and realism to my drawings.

 

Part 3 Expanse

Project 1 – Trees

I found drawing trees a challenge – with so many variations, heights, forms and colours. It was also difficult to select suitable trees for drawing. In the end I sketched trees from afar, nearby and at a suitable distance according to the exercise requirements. I did not always follow the exercises exactly.

As a warm up I just went out sketching:

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and then a small sketch using coloured pencils:

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In Chile there is a famous native tree – the Araucaria.  It is a tall pine tree with distinctive form; not quite sure if I have captured it in these small sketches in my pocket sketchbook:

Exercise 1 Sketching individual trees

For this exercise I chose a fir tree not far from my house. It was drawn using a small piece of compressed charcoal on a bright overcast day:

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This was a huge towering tree with spreading branches – very beautiful. I was interested in capturing the overall form and movement of the tree with its large branches … also trying to imitate the movement and line of the individual branches.

I then chose another evergreen fir tree.

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This time I used indian ink, white chalk and pencil.  I felt that this was a brave experiment that did not quite work. This was a dense tree – a bit like the large cedar trees found in graveyards in England.

I have since walked past this tree several times and the overall form is very like the drawing above – so maybe this was more succesful than I at first thought.

Exercise 2 Large observational study of an individual tree

The large tree drawn above in ink was my subject for this study.  I worked in an A3 sketchpad with large 2B and 6B pencils and gradually built up layers and textures:

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The tree trunk and branches reminded me of an elephant. I do not think that I have ever drawn anything like this before and had to find my feet regarding the shading and textures.

The modelling of the tree trunk was not successful but some parts of the texturing worked well. The upper part of the tree put most of the trunk in shade and there was an even light all around the tree, so difficult to model without any form of directional lighting – perhaps it would have been better early in the morning or late in the afternoon on a sunny day. It was cold and overcast when I was sketching – not ideal!

During the sketching sessions on the same day, I also made a colour study of the fir tree using oil pastels – I love the effects and colours that you can achieve using oil pastels and was very happy with this study although it could be judged as quite flat!

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I must remember next time to take some baby wipes with me to clean my hands during sketching – you can see the thumbprints on the page due to dirty hands after drawing with charcoal.

After receiving my feedback from Part 2, I decided to make a further observational study of an individual tree to improve the tonal range in a drawing and render the form more accurately:

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Charcoal on A2 heavy mixed media paper

This was a very large Eucalytus tree with beautiful exposed roots and dark overhanging branches. I believe that this was a much improved study and I increased the tonal range of the drawing whilst maintaining expressive use of line.

Exercise 3 Study of several trees

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Watercolour and pencil on A2 heavy mixed media paper

This was a study of a group of very tall Eucalyptus trees – the day was a very bright sunny day, late morning so the sun was already quite high. I was drawing for at least one hour and the sun was moving fast. The left hand side of the tree trunks had a bright white patch which I did not capture – I therefore used some yellow to give the trees a glow.

I would like to go back and make a sketch similar to the Corot drawings in my recent research, as this is a picknic area and I could include people in the sketch to give a better sense of scale.

This was a group of similar trees so I was unable on this occasion to distinguish one species of tree from another. The mass of foliage included very bright patches on the LHS and very dark parts on the RHS of each tree. I used a grey base colour for the trunks and added yellow to the LHS of the truck to indicate the sun hitting them. I then relied on line and a little shading using pencil to render form…not very effective. I managed to simplify the shadows on the ground, the background, the masses of foliage and a sense of depth by fading out one of the trees.

To improve this drawing further  I could have observed better the position/form of the trees to give a greater depth, I should have used a greater range of tones in the tree trunks without resorting to line/pencil shading, and I could have been more delicate with the foliage by using delicate lines in support of the green washes. A mountain, horizon or other feature in the background together with a few figures would have given greater depth and scale to the drawing.