Method: “Choose a subject which has a substantial number of detailed parts. Choose whether these parts will be repeated or all different; consider also whether the parts will be drawn from observation or invented. Remember that the original subject may not be primarily visual…. the imagery is secondary to the relationships between elements…”
When i looked at the exercise initially i panicked slightly – it has been quite a while since i tried to do a realistic detailed drawing as for most of the course i was focused on experimentation as well as “found images” theme.
Few ideas popped up as well as choices for execution – using grid or transfer paper or draw from life… I went through many photographs – subject was food, my own hands, microscopic imagery ( that was really fascinating), plants etc.. I even started a few drawings but as i went with it my direction changed especially after doing the research.
To go along with my parallel project i wanted to use example of “finding” images, abstracting and working out the image as it develops rather than selecting a real object at this stage. I really liked ideas of Extended doodling by Greyson Perry; imagination and building by Paul Noble; complicated geometric patters by Richard Wright – so i decided to combine some of it and invent a pictorial space from imagination and as i explore the space of the support.
As i used mostly organic shapes previously , here the choice was to play with geometric shapes and forms together with organic to create a complicated pattern/space with added textures.
I did a few sketches working out where to start and how to take this forward in order to decide how to build up the composition. I wanted to have overlapping and connection between various shapes and forms to arrive at a complicated but visually interesting composition as a result.
Using A1 sheet of cartridge paper and charcoal I began to draw shapes working intuitively , adding more as i went along for a few days. To add a bit of movement ( as if the shapes are moving through air) i smudges the charcoal following the lines in places or going over a larger area to connect the elements and get a tint on the paper – i can erase it later where need.
To add some tone and colour i used an Elegant writer pens to add a few outlines varying the thickness where i thought appropriate. Then the pigment was released by adding a wash. As pigment ( ink) and water mixed with charcoal , especially on areas where i rubbed the paper, i noticed quite pleasing textures appearing – kind of like erosion by rust on metal. Some elements were left untouched for the time being – first to create contrast , and also not to overwork the space too quickly.
I’m thinking of adding a contrasting colour, not too much, to the “holes” to get more depth and an effect of layered spaces. I used a piece of plastic and acrylic to check if this will work before painting on paper itself. While deciding on this i started to add detail on the background – because front is quite hard line geometric i chose to add a softer intertwined tangle of worm like pattern on the back. It will recede into the distance and create a contrast between front and background, as well as adds an interesting element of carpet like fibres or tangled up pipes.
Many hours later : some colour was added, background filled in, gold outlines added to some of the shapes ( not easy to see on the photo); i also filled in a part of the background using pencil – i haven’t decided if i should do the whole piece like that, i do like the darker contrast against the tangled piping. I also framed a part of it to compare this , but still thinking.
It can be viewed both portrait and landscape – this changes the dynamism of the composition. Below, i think number 3 and 2 have a bit more movement, unless it is just because it looks different after drawing was looked at as first photo for a while.
I’ve spent so long on this project that i fills like i’m actually tangled myself. I’m still working out the best format for it to be viewed i think i like the photo number 2, but i would probably go ahead ad fill the background darker on the top half. This might create illusion of things flying away from a lower lighter half. It will only require a few more ( 10?) hours and could be erased if it does not work.
I think it would benefit if framed , dark colour, i’ll be looking to get one to check this out. Also there is a possibility of cropping and making more than one piece that could be placed together as a diptych. I will come back to it later, and review as at the moment i got a bit attached due to hours spent on it and want to see it with fresh eyes after some time.