Sunday, 27 January 2013

Drawing in the Style of Patrick Caulfield

page 36-39: Sketchbook 1

Exercise: Drawing in the Style of Patrick Caulfield

I completed this on 16th November 2012

I looked at two reference images from the 'white ware ' series for this exercise. They are very simplified images. In the first image the black negative shape is dominant. I initially read the black dots on the edge of the white shape as the edge of a spiral-bound notebook. It is actually the decorative edge of a lampshade and the white shape is the light from the bulb which illuminates the positive shape of the vase. In the second example, the negative shapes of the background and the shadows by their presence indicate the shape and position of the Jug. In this screen print the positive and negative shapes assume equal importance.

I went on to make some preliminary sketches. I had limited objects to choose from as I was away from home staying in a small and simply equipped locum flat. I settled on an anglepoise-type desk lamp illuminating various objects. Ultimately I decided that the simplest image was the most appropriate.

I traced the two simple sketches onto tracing paper and used marker pen to block in the negative shapes and add detail in one other colour. I liked the simpler image of the illuminated apple best. However, one of the main features of Caulfield's work in general is the flatness of his colours. I did not have access to screen-printing materials and decided that I could not achieve a flat enough tone with the marker pens or other drawing materials I has available. I  therefore decided to re-create the image as a collage of cut out black and red cardboard.

I am reasonably happy with the final image. I think it does have impact and does have an obvious reference to the style of the Artist. However, I am not sure whether collage can be defined as drawing. I had a search on the Internet. I found this definition on the V&A website:

"The term drawing is applied to works that vary greatly in technique. It has been understood in different ways at different times and is difficult to define. During the Renaissance the term 'disegno' implied drawing both as a technique to be distinguished from colouring and also as the creative idea made visible in the preliminary sketch.

The current 'Shorter Oxford Dictionary' defines drawing as:

'the formation of a line by drawing some tracing instrument from point to point of a surface; representation by lines; delineation as distinguished from painting...the arrangement of lines which determine form.'

Despite this insistence on the formation of line and the implied lack of colour, few would deny that a work formed by dots or shading or wholly in line but in a range of colours is a drawing."

This seems to rather a restrictive definition. Looking at the Jerwood Drawing prize and at some of the recommended reading for the course such as 'Drawing Now: eight Propositions'; Laura Hoptman and 'Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing' it seems that Drawing encompasses a lot more than that definition would suggest. I certainly think that Collage and Frottage would be included under a broad definition of Drawing. I'm interested to explore this further.

Final Drawing: Collage in the Style of Patrick Caulfield.

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