Aim: continue to focus attention on your own physicality and opening up your method to new ways of moving.
Method: Set up a large still life, place piece of paper on the floor, attach drawing tools to a long sticks and draw the subject using these super elongated pencils. Add colour by using a few drawing tools together by holding them at the same time.
A1 sheet of paper placed on the floor , pencil attached to a branch, then charcoal and coloured pencils.
I used a corner where some of my props are stacked – wire flowers and plastic leg attached to large slices of oak, they all are sitting on top of plastic drawers next to shelving units with a curtain behind. There are quite a few objects, textures and shapes which could be an interesting group to use for this experiment.
The sticks I’ve used are quite flexible so the controlling the outcome was difficult but marks ended up being not too rigid.
First i used 4b pencil
Then I decided to use brown Twistable crayon to add some colour – not very easy to use.
Then i attached a stick of charcoal and gone over darker outlines and tones – charcoal kept breaking so i went through a few pieces.
Using large amount of coloured pencil some colour was added to the bark, and then I have separated pencils into smaller groups that were easier to hold.
The result – while this was not easy and harder to control due to the length of the tools used, overall experience was really enjoyable , the marks created have some freedom and life of their own. Addition of colour gave an interesting effect of reflections and light on objects and livened up the whole thing. I’m quite surprised that despite the length of the tools used overall drawing has definite resemblance to the set up – i was expecting a more all over the place drawing.
I placed a black board cutout as a frame to crop a smaller are – zooming in on an area here to get more filled in picture with not too much empty space ( approximately A3 in size).
Take two: Enlarging – to make the marks more loose and gestural I have decided to up the scale using four A1 sheets attached to each other with masking tape. Then I’ve flipped the ”canvass” so the tape is not visible and using my first drawing along with the actual set up for reference began drawing using charcoal attached to the long stick. In a way I’m hoping to end up with 4 drawings that could work as one or as a group regardless of placement. Partially I’m considering this experiment as a start for the parallel project – using idea of enlargement, gesture and abstraction in one.
I found this particular way of drawing more ”painterly” and gestural – due to size of support the movements became more loose and less controlled marks started to appear.
I had to stand on the paper – so there will be indents and imprints of my feet all over – as I expected this to happen I’ve removed my footwear prior to the start.
This walking over the drawing experience felt really personal and somehow connected me to the surface of the paper – plus the setup is the cast of my leg using plastic so drawing it now and standing over it adds something I believe.
After i did first set of photographs with charcoal drawing I decided to amplify this and walked all aver the surface on purpose. Love the marks on wood bark area and curtains – hard to see but this softness of the imprint adds to the texture and connects the whole space.
I used fixative in some areas to preserve some of the charcoal marks first and then continued using elongated brushes, ink and acrylics – I’m hoping to create another layer of marks and see if depth can be achieved.
and close ups of each in order – I think they work quite well individually ( click on image to enlarge) – each sheet became an independent “abstract” drawing but still remain part of a group. They become more abstract when flipped or rotated.
From here I took it a bit further away from actual hand drawing – adding colour became more of a “see what happens” process. It’s been some time since i wanted to try this and the moment felt right. I have a few bottles of bubble liquid – they do have colour tops so in theory they were supposed to leave colour marks on paper, but after starting I realized that this meant how bubbles appear in the air – so I’ve added acrylic inks to a the bottles ( blue and yellow). The colours chosen on purpose because they represent all the things mentioned above, and I was hoping for mixing effect if the land on top of each other – not really under my control though.
The marks left by coloured bubbles supposed to represent lichen growing on bark, specs of light in the air, rain drops, seeds flying and water evaporating from the wood as it dries. I understand it seems a bit stretched but this was how i felt and what I wanted to achieve by using bubbles that would land randomly over the surface.
Below some of the bubbles are visible just before they burst and leave the mark.
As air in the room is pretty still I walked all over and around the drawing to make sure that bubbles land on all the pieces. Good thing was that they still moved randomly and landed more or less where they wanted )))) hence creating a random sizes and in unplanned spaces. Some of the bubbles stuck together and landed as a group creating a lovely effect of cellular molecules.
Small video of the process:
When I felt that it is enough for the moment and in order not to overdo it the paper was left to dry and later i had lifted the whole thing and attached it to the wall (slightly at an angle unfortunately) also the whole thing is flipped upside down – personally I feel that it works better this way up, it gains a semi-abstract quality and takes away from the representation on the set up.
Reflection: This was a very engaging exercise that allowed to explore variation of tools used, less control over the application of media that resulted in loose and lively marks; physical connection with the drawing – by walking over the surface and leaving foot marks, exploring gesture marks while using whole arm/body; watching bubbles land in random pattern and creating their own marks etc.
I would say that this approach creates more sensitive marks as well as ones that have their own life – in contrast to ones made while using tools held in a usual way with more control.
Are they bad drawing? – I think they “different” – less rigid and more fluid, as if lines/marks/dots etc. making their own way on paper using me as a tool instead.
The end result (all 4 pieces together, upside down propped to the wall) – this is my favourite way of looking at the whole thing – it could be read as a road(?) twisting its way up , or interestingly enough remind me of the Assignment 1 drawing where i used mushrooms. I am thinking of adding colour here but not sure if i will of how exactly to do it at the moment- perhaps less is more in this case.
Working on a large scale was really liberation and freeing – this format, as well as placement (on the floor) allowed for gesture marks and application and physical engagement with the whole work.
Each A1 sheet can be viewed separately as a standalone abstract drawing – or at least placed with a gap in between to create a space break.