Your composition should occupy most of the paper's surface. How much negative space do you have left?
Having read this check and log before embarking on the drawings I became a bit obsessed with filling every piece of the available space. The result of this was that rather than achieving a pleasing composition, several of the pieces have ended up looking quite cluttered and overcrowded. I've come to realise during these exercises that the negative space really does form an integral part of the composition. If you can make pleasing negative shapes between and around objects this helps with the aesthetics of the pieces. Obliterating every trace of negative space by cramming too many objects into the composition just makes everything seem uncomfortable and busy, perhaps making the viewer want to turn away.
What have you learned from drawing the details of fruit and vegetables?
I have learned that marker pens can be used in very variable ways. I have learned that I really like oil pastels especially for glossy and reflective surfaces. I have also realised that I still have a lot to learn in terms of planning compositions. In addition, I have a tendency to get carried away and overwork something if I am enjoying the medium and the subject (see marker pens) so I need to be aware of this and step away from the drawing sometimes before I think it is 'finished'.
What did you find most challenging about this part of the course?
I found using the coloured inks the most challenging. I found them difficult to handle. I have blamed the very small range of colours I have for this but I suspect that even with an unlimited range of colour I would still find this difficult. My attempt to place a wash in the background of the drawing after I'd drawn the subjects was especially disastrous as the resulting wash was too thick and the colour fought with the other colours in the subjects. I find water-based media such as watercolours very difficult. I need more practice.