Aim: Using materials and the way they are applied create a drawing that helps to read the piece/subject
The idea of this exercise/experiment is really fascinating and does imply a lot of possibilities and variations of interpreting the subject, however, implementation was a different matter for me. I’ve been thinking about this project a lot and had an array of possible ideas but as soon as the starting point came – i found myself throwing most of them into the drawer…. I was thinking of using items of clothes of my family members but haven’t managed to work out something that would really help to show the character . Perhaps one of the reasons is that i did not want them to “misunderstand” the piece or worse – do not capture their essence. I have one idea at the moment and if i can get the required ( thought of) materials i will attempt to implement it later on.
The personality i chose to portray is my dog – Lewis. I would say he collaborated by being a real character and a really smart but messy boy.)))
I understand this might be a bit unusual choice for depiction but i wanted to combine his playfulness/ messiness with the way he sometimes appear to really listen and understand.
I’ve used a sketch I’ve made a few month back- it was an idea for a painting – where he is wearing clothes and playing a role of an art critic ( just my imagination of course). This sketch i have covered over with a sheet of clear plastic – to use as a template for a print – then i have used different colour acrylic paints and brushes to apply a lose contour drawing, with a few added elements. Initially the paint was pure but i allowed it to mix by going from one colour to another – just as he likes to mix stuff up.
I need to explain the method of applying gesso here – very important part. We call him Jackson Pollock ( no offence of course, just a family joke) – because of the way he hmm-mm does a tinkle when he gets exited and runs in circles – the pattern created on the surface , really reminds us of abstract expressionist technique of drips and spatters. I’m trying to find a photo of his “masterpiece” and i’ll add it as soon i can locate it.
Anyway, using various tools i have used mentioned above technique to apply gesso over black mount board/card ( A1) trying to leave space and get an uneven pattern.
This still wet drawing i then pressed over wet white gesso – the idea was to get a blurred up print or the contour drawing that then would be a starting point. Unfortunately – that’s what i thought at that point – the gesso turned out too powerful and “swallowed” up all the paint.
I did another drawing and reapplied it again but the result was the same as before. I did learn here – materials can really do their thing and it is great to learn new qualities, main thing is not to give up.
In-between applications I’ve used a sheet of cartridge paper to get secondary prints from the drawing, and it is this that worked out – just as Lewis can surprise us. Second ( fourth) print over the paper unexpectedly revealed – get ready – image of Lewis !! Wow, i got really exited here – of course it might just be me who seen him there , or not ?)
I took this as follows – the black board was left to dry and will become the background for one of the Assignment pieces, or else.. I turned my attention to the “discovered” image on paper ( A1).
To keep the acsidental and spontaneous way this was going , just like Lewis runs on his walks and appears covered in mud with bramble sticks hanging off his ears, i used tools that were involved in the application and remaining paint to work out the drawing working relatively quickly and allowed the image come through itself.
The resulted textures here are a mix – the gesso started to dry in places a bit by this point as well as acrylic paint , and i feel like it worked well here. Some areas got mixed with gesso, some were just pushed over and scratched in – i believe this helps to imply the soft fur, muddy adventures he has in mind and the movement of air rushing buy. But also, his overall expression works as one of intended qualities to be captured/expressed here – he “thinks” a lot, what about i’m not sure – probably biscuits and long walks. ))))
Reflection: Personally , i like the piece – it makes me smile and i do see him in it, which in a way is the point here. The process had a combination of fun, frustration, discovery and definitely a learning curve for me.
Do i think it tells a story? – i would say one can be imagined upon viewing the piece. the application and materials played part during the process of working it out.
Overall, perhaps i did not use a large variation of incongruous materials – this is something to work out later and i’m sure there will come a point or feeling/understanding of what will work with what , but i definitely learned a different way of starting and working out an idea and potential of letting materials speak to you during the process.