Friday, 1 February 2013

Drawing With Texture

Pages 61-63: Sketchbook 1 (larger drawing not submitted)

For the first thumbnail I chose a rock, a shell, a pine cone, a shiny toy gecko and a particularly fluffy toy sheep. There were too many objects which meant I was too far away to see the textural detail if I wanted to fit them all on my sheet. Also I felt the toys were a bit repetitive as I had already included teddies in one piece.
In the next I tried an elongated horizontal composition using two logs to enclose other natural objects. The log on the leg form a diagonal which seems to take the eye up and out of top of the picture. Also the rock and pine cone are just about dead centre which I would like to avoid. The two logs also have very similar textures which means one dominant texture. 
The bottom thumbnail is an open composition with the objects spilling off the edge of the page but viewed very close up for textural detail. However, there are four objects in the foreground which means that the composition is too symmetrical.

I then hit on the idea of treating the composition a bit like a landscape with the bark of a log in the background forming a sort of horizon and sky and a knitted fabric in the foreground a bit like a pebbled beach. I arranged the objects deliberately so that reading from the bottom left hand corner the shell leads the eye into this picture. In retrospect the rock tends  to lead  the eye out of the other side of the frame but the whole page is used effectively. 

I tried out some mark making in my sketchbook. Scraping gouache roughly across the page and rubbing in graphite powder for the texture of parts of the rock. I used a combination of graphite stick and dip pen  for the bark.

In the final drawing (A2 size) I have used graphite stick and India ink for the log. For the deep fissures in the bark I scraped large drops of ink across the page with a chopstick. I used dip pen for the smaller fissures and also for the squiggly pattern of the lichen. The knitted fabric was drawn with 8b pencil. The shell is depicted using fineliners of varying nib size. The pine cone has dip pen outlining the tips which are given rough texture with charcoal pencil. The smoother inner parts are represented with conte' crayon in black and grey. The rock was first blocked in by gently rubbing the graphite stick across the paper on its side thus picking up the texture of the board underneath (frottage). I then worked into this with scraped gouache and graphite scrapings in several areas where the texture was slightly different from the main body of the rock. 

I really enjoyed this exercise as I was able to experiment and work freely because this was all about texture rather than my weak point of accurately representing form. I particularly enjoyed the bark. However, I do think that because of this I've allowed the bark texture to become a bit too dominant for a background pattern.

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