Friday, 11 July 2014

Review of the Course So Far: Choosing Option for Assignment 5

I have written very brief notes on each project and for simplicity this entry is colour Coded: 
What Worked
What Didn't Work 
Gold Stars indicate level of enjoyment *****

Part One: Mark Making and Tone
Making Marks ****
Exercises: Holding Pens and Pencils/Doodling/Mark Making/Using Charcoal/Line and Other  Marks.
Thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to experiment and play without the pressure to make a picture. 

Basic Shapes and Fundamental Form *
Exercises: Boxes and Books/Jars and Jugs/Supermarket Shop
Really struggled with basic perspective and basic shapes. Resorted to using a ruler for the boxes but lost sight of the actual composition. Struggled with ellipses. I was quite pleased at the time with the supermarket shop exercise but looking back now I can see so many problems with this drawing it indicates how far I've come.

Tone and Form ***
Exercises: Observing Shadow and Light Formations on a Surface/Tonal Studies
Improved my handling of graphite to achieve a wider variation in tonal values. Improved my observation of lighting, cast shadow and reflected light.

Reflected Light **
Exercises: Study of light Reflected From One Subject to Another/ Shadows and Reflected Light and Shade
Enjoyed trying to depict the strong tonal contrasts on reflective surfaces
Struggling with representing basic forms like ellipses and straight lines

Still Life ****
Exercises: Still Life Sketches of Made Objects/Composition of Natural Objects
Enjoyed the colour, texture and character of the teddies but the straight lines and linear perspective on the playstation was a struggle.
Sketches of vegetables worked better than the final drawing - starting to get to grips with using the sketchbook

Using Texture *****
Exercises: Experimenting With Texture/A drawing With Texture
Thoroughly enjoyed the experimentation and the frottage. Could have made more use of frottage in the final exercise

Enlarging an Image *
Exercises: Enlarging an Existing Drawing/Enlarging a Simple Flat Image
Nervous drawing. Lack of confidence and knowledge that errors would be exaggerated when enlarged made for very stiff but wobbly drawings.

Assignment One ****
Natural Forms
Interesting textures and range of tonal values. Composition is not great. Vertebra looks to be floating not really connected to the background or other objects

Made Forms
Interesting range of objects and textures. Composition was interesting. Limited palette worked well with the subject matter. Ellipses and straight lines still problematic

Part Two: Observation in Nature

Exploring Coloured Media *****
Thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with wide range of media in my sketchbook

Detailed Observation ***
Exercises: Line Drawing Detail/Getting Tone and Depth in Detail/Stipples and Dots
Produced some competent drawings. Found the stipples and dots exercise rather tedious. Could have used a wider variety of line quality in the line drawings and diverse mark making for the stipples and dots exercise.

Still Life ****
Exercises: Still Life Group Using Line/Still Life Group in Tone
Confident linework. Enjoyed using a dip pen and ink. Limited pallet and pastel for the tonal study.

Drawing Fruit and Vegetables in Colour *****
Exercises: Using Hatching to Create Tone/Using Markers or Dip Pens/Drawing Using Oil Pastel
Initial attempts at hatching were stiff (but did improve). Great experimentation with markers and with coloured inks. Loved using the oil pastels and handling the different colours and textures.

Drawing Plants and Flowers**
Exercises: Negative space in a plant/Plants and Flowers in Coloured Pencil/Drawing with other Colour Media
Negative space exercise was useful. I found the A2 detailed coloured pencil drawing tedious - it took a very long time but the final drawing was competent. I preferred the experimentation with other media but the final drawing after the experimentation was disappointing in composition.

Drawing Animals *****
Exercises: Grabbing the Chance/Fish on a Plate
I loved this section (probably because of my pre-existing passion for the subject matter). The more rapid drawings in grabbing the chance were the more successful as I was being more selective. I loved the texture and colours of the fish and the oil pastels suited this well.

Assignment Two ***
Being less literal in my description of the objects that in assignment one. Colour scheme and composition complemented the objects chosen. Struggled with foreshortening on the skull.

Part Three: Drawing Outdoors

Landscape Drawing ****
Exercises: A Sketchbook Walk/360degree Studies/Drawing Cloud Formations/Plotting Space Through Composition and Structure
Nervous start - initial drawings quite wobbly. 360 studies worked well - sticking to very short time limit helped with being selective. I loved experimenting with the cloud formations. The plotting space exercise was too 'busy' became bogged down in detail and was not selective enough in what to represent.

Perspective *
Exercises: Parallel Perspective - an Interior View/Angular Perspective
Hated this exercise. Drawings are only just acceptable. Concentrating too hard on drawing lines rather than on drawing what was in from of me.

Townscapes **
Exercises: Study of a Townscape Using Line/A Sketchbook of Townscape Drawings/A Limited Palette Study/Drawing Statues
Initially severely hampered by nerves and lack of confidence when drawing in public. First Drawings are very wobbly and quite inaccurate. Did manage to produce a good variety of line. Tendency to panic and forget previous learning when faced with straight lines and perspective. Limited palette study reasonably competent but may be 'over executed'. Later statue drawings worked better once confidence was staring to improve.

Drawing Trees *****
Exercises: Sketching an Individual Tree/Larger Study of an Individual Tree/Study of Several Trees
Loads of sketchbook experimentation which was really enjoyable. Larger studies lack some of the energy and variety in mark making compared to the sketchbook work.

Assignment Three **
Initial sketchbook experiments went well and were enjoyable.However, composition of first attempt was poor and made worse by panic in the face of perspective issues. Second attempt - sketchbook experiments were free and interesting. Final piece did not maintain the fluidity of line and became overworked and busy. Frustrated at the end of this section - to take forward the need to be selective and maintain the fluidity of line drawings.

Part Four: Drawing Figures

Proportions ***
Exercises: Quick Poses/The Longer Pose
A nervous start - initial drawings have big heads and short legs. Measuring technique improved somewhat over the course of this project.

Form ****
Exercises: Essential Shapes/Essential Elements
Proportions slowly improving, learning to capture the essence of a pose. Syill having some struggles with measurements.

Gesture *****
Exercises: Stance/Energy
I loved this project - good opportunity to experiment with many different media and techniques. Less controllable media such as needle and syringe and string with ink worked particularly well as they force selectivity.

Structure ****
Exercises: Anatomical Drawings/Three Drawings -Standing/lying down/sitting
Foreshortening was very difficult - still needs more work. Missed feet off some drawings. Large scale brush and ink drawings produced some good marks. Repeated measurement helped with the foreshortening issues.

The Clothed Figure ***
Exercises: Fabric with Line and Form/Form and Movement in a Clothed Figure
Initial difficulty with seeing and selecting folds to draw. Coloured pencil drawing showed folds and the structure of the body underneath.

The Moving Figure *****
Exercises: Sitting and Waiting/Fleeting Moments
Initial nerves and wobbly drawings. With practise got more confident and produced some interesting drawing. Good practise at being selective and also blind contour drawing which I love.

Self Portrait ****
Exercises: Drawing Your Face/A Self Portrait/Portrait From Memory
Initial drawings had eyes too large and mouth and chin too small. Enjoyed experimentation in the sketchbook.Enjoyed broad brush gouache drawing. Final charcoal drawing had resolved issues of proportion and was a good likeness. Portraits from memory were weak - overly analytical approach building face from individual remembered features. Continuous line drawing while thinking of the face worked better- drawing more fluid.

Assignment 4 *****
Adopted a different approach - rather than initial work in sketchbook and one final planned piece used a larger sketchbook (A2) and made several large pieces before designating an assignment piece. This worked well and meant I experimented on a larger scale. drawing with syringe ,needle and ink and also with oil bars were particularly good fun.

Things to Look For in Selecting Part 5 (Fun/Successful)

  • mark making and sketchbook experimentation
  • blind contour drawing/continuous line
  • colour and texture
  • Charcoal and Pastel
  • less controllable media (force selectivity)
  • Natural Forms/Organic Forms
  • Animate objects (people and animals)
  • Oil bars and pastels
  • Ink and brush or dip pen

Things to Avoid 

  • Architecture
  • Straight lines and symmetrical objects
  • Formal linear and angular perspective
  • Very detailed drawing (especially graphite) 
  • Performance nerves (public places/pre-selection of the final piece)

Selection of Option for Part 5
Initially, given that I'd had problems pinning down a model at convenient times and the limited time I have left before my deadline I had decided to do option 2. This seemed more controllable in terms of schedule and the exercises looked interesting - especially in terms of moving towards abstraction. However, my heart wasn't really in it as I had enjoyed part 4 so much and I'd had so many ideas that I wanted to develop. So notwithstanding the potential practical difficulties I have decided to do option 4. When models are not available I may have to resort to internet pose generators and self portraits.

Things to Consider In Part 5
  • Foreshortening and measurements
  • Working on a large scale works better
  • Be Experimental
  • The Exercises are open to interpretation
  • Final project likely to be based on self portraits.
  • For final assignment proceed as for part 4 - experiment in large scale and do not select the final piece until there are several to choose from.

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