After going through sketches and exercises , i decided to go with the idea of scaling up and using all the space available in order to create a semi abstract drawing that includes natural elements. As i had some troubles with shading and perhaps use of too much colour i chose linear approach using ink pen. Personally this is what i enjoy and feel drawn to – lines, shapes.
While walking my dogs i tend to make a lot of close up pictures of areas that interest me ( trees, mushrooms, flowers, branches etc.). The one I’ve chosen contains a group of mushrooms on a log (rotten log not really visible) with branches and fallen foliage.
I did a small ( A5 sketchbook page 11) sketch using pencil and ink pen – this is to familiarise myself with composition and work out how to take this further.
Next i tried to enlarge the whole drawing ( A3 sketchbook , attached to page 11) and change it a little ( sizes and placement, smaller number of elements) – but was not very happy with the composition.
Next i used a piece of paper with an area cut out ( as a viefinder) and using my original sketch chose an are i was happy with. In the sketchbook ( A3 sketchbook page 11) this area was emlarged to fill the space and check out the composition. Using watercolour and ink some colour and shading was added as a start.
How much to scale up was the question, so going with the flow i took a risk of attempting a larger format for this (A1) – partly to explore how the space will work and also to get some gestural marks as the initial linear markings. Using a pencil i quickly drew the design, then charcoal stick was used to reinforce the lines. I used a roller ( as in exercise 4 – scaling up) to apply acrylic paint over the “branch” areas. I liked the texture and this particular colour combination when used previously.
Next day , after a few hours of staring at the paper, yellow watercolour wash was applied ( as in the sketchbook sketch) over the “background area) – this really started to feel like a sun shining shtough the miriad of branches i see in the forest.
While this was drying i went through a variety of thought of how to take this further – in order to find shapes and forms, steer towards abstraction but still to keep idea of mushrooms/forest within the design. As Leonardo DA Vinci ones said ( not exact words but the way i remember) – if you stare at the wall long enough the shapes will appear – this is something i do as an exercise quite a lot. Here are a few small “finding” design sketches i’ve made using gel/ink pens, while may not be relevant for the assignment i want to mention this because this “doodling” gave me an idea of going with the flow and let the design emerge rather than fall into struggle of loosing myself here:
Using dip pen and black ink i “found” more mushrooms and leaf shapes ( using the drips and textured marks from the paint roller), a few more “branches” etc. The tall mushrooms ( bottom of the drawing) have spores flying off them, leaves appear as if catching light on their uneven surface.
Later Watercolour paint was used to add form and volume to the elements. During the process i was walking around the board to make sure i was not thinking about the source photograph, trying to apply shading to create contrasts between light and dark areas.
This is the result – a combination of initial sketch from scaling up an area, “found” elements that were created by texture and marks from the initial wash and rolled paint, plus engagement with the process and composition. Looking at it the right way up it is possible to recognise some elements but i feel that it does look abstract on the first glance.
or upside down – i think it looks more abstract
Personally i think it is quite a successful use and realization of the things i have learned in the part 1 of the course. Overall, the project exercises did not always come to a successful realization but i believe i have managed to combine the thought process behind the exercises and create an interesting drawing with elements of abstraction and composition that uses all of the space as one, without separation into unused areas and main elements.
While I was working on the main piece ( as it was drying) another drawing was also worked on using a different approach. Here i used technique that really captured me in the Part one – where i used plastic and paint to make the first drawings as prints, where paint created interesting blobs and shapes. The design is the first drawing ( at the stage where only charcoal lines are present) overlaid with a sheet of clear plastic and diluted acrylic paint was used to follow the contour lines. Next a sheet of paper was placed over and pressed down gently using a roll of tissue paper as a tool. The result is a mirror image printed onto same size (A1) paper. I did the same thing in the sketchbook as a tester to figure out the design first.
I really like how paint creates intricate random marks and blobs – the drawing is almost unrecognizable this way. It took me a while to decide what to do next , in the end i remembered research on H. Matisse earlier ( part 2) and his use of colour and shapes and decided to take a risk and use colour here.
sketchbook A3 page 12
The pallet is limited but i feel that it really works here. Sketchbook drawing/painting was painted upside down in order to “forget” that it is a mushroom , but interestingly enough somehow the mushroom found it’s way back. Looking at it the right way : it could be an illustration of the surreal forest or a walking stick person.
The large piece is more abstract ( looking at it upside down in regards to initial design) and has loose painterly paint application, i dropped water into the wet paint on purpose – to get some fungus/mushroom shapes. Is it finished? I would say that for now, yes – i think if i were to add more shapes or use dip pen then i go back to the first drawing approach. I’m quite happy that it is different and slightly surreal.
Placed next to each other (the same way up)
Thoughts on parallel project – to be completely honest i have not finalized the idea yet but do have a few in mind ( for example is to look for images and shapes in the surroundings and environment to create a composition and perhaps an installation using found materials, which is in line with my previous course), i would like to start part 2 before i choose a direction on this.
Review against Assessment criteria
I’ve realised that this was not posted with the assignment piece i hope it is ok to add now ( 25/02/18), i have written it for the assignment before sending:
Demonstration of technical and visual skills: Materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills
Building up from what i have learned so far: i believe my technical skills are improving, espetially with the painting and ink(linear) media. Drawing and tonal contrast still needs improving when dry media is used. I believe that desidn and observational awareness improved and i am staring to incorporate this in to the final work ( assignment 1 piece).
Quality of Outcome: Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.
During the exercises the approach is almost like finding my way in the dark room – but in the end i believe i’m starting to find the way of how to put this learnt experience into a more finished work. Quality would need to be worked on , perhaps by changing the support and time spend on the final piece. Saying that i find that sometimes spontaneous approach can get better result and help to visualise idea better than when i’m trying to please the viewer. This hopefully will come into one with more practice.
Demonstration of creativity: Imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.
I try to combine my imagination with the experimentation and the process, there is still work to be done on getting them connecting to create the intended result. But i do find it interesting and somehow important , to allow the process and materials to take part in the outcome – i feel this help to open the mind and create/add unexpected into the work. My personal voice – it is emerging, still working the way out but definitely getting the feeling that i work more on thing that interest me rather than how to please others.
Context Reflection: research,critical thinking ,critical review.
I need to get deeper into research of artists/movements/techniques that interest me. Steps was taking towards it – I’ve visited galleries ( need to write about experience), also engaging into the recommended as well as my chosen reading materials.