Tutor Artist Recommendations from Part 3

David Hockney: iPad Drawings of Trees

Relating to Honing in and Colour

Looking at these pieces, I can see what my tutor means regarding the difference in colours used and how they are built up in layers, one colour on top of the other. I did try to achieve this in my third assignment piece, as I layered the colouring for the bushes in the foreground, but I do not think I did enough of this in the background colours. Looking at Fig. 6., I can see how a block of green colouring has been used for the bush in in the background and then several different hues built up on top to create the depth of the bush, similar to the colourings of the pathway. I tried to use this method in my final piece for Part 3 but clearly I have a long way to go in understanding the hues I should be using. I wonder whether my tutor’s comments regarding my use of colours is due to them being more natural and not contemporary enough? Perhaps I should be using more vivid and intense colourings within my pieces?

Hockney’s pieces appear somewhat cartoon-like to me, but yet these are considered successful? I am determined to get my head around understanding my tutor’s comments and what makes the cartoon-like pieces Hockney has produced better than the cartoon-like pieces I have created. I wonder is it somewhat part of his artistic licence to be able to get away with such things? A right I have to earn along my journey, perhaps? It fascinates me how some pieces are considered masterpieces when such things as their perspectives or scalings are off, so I would really like to look into understanding this more throughout my journey. I also want to learn to fully understand and get beyond the issues I have with colour.

With regard to the honing in aspect of Hockney’s work, I can only really see that he has honed in in Fig. 4. whereas the rest appear to be on a much vaster scale, taking in the whole surrounding area. In Fig. 3., I can see that Hockney has created a piece of the vast landscape, however, he has cleverly divided the page into six equal parts (perhaps as looking through a window?) which could then have allowed him to focus on each section individually and the detail within it. I think this would be very helpful for me in my work actually as, instead of looking at the ‘bigger picture’, I could then concentrate on each individual section (once the overall general shapes were in place to ensure continuity throughout).

Charlotte Verity

Sensitive and Subtle use of Media and Limited Palette

I have previously looked at Charlotte Verity’s work, the results of which can be found by clicking here.

I decided to look again at Verity’s work and try to understand further why my tutor recommends this artist’s work to better my own. Looking at these pieces as a broad overview, I can see that each has one or two colours at most for its background and to lay the subject in its space. I really like the fact Verity uses lines in several of her pieces as the main subject within the piece. The lines are delicate and fragile in appearance, yet seem to own the foreground and draw the viewer in. I think I definitely have to consider these pieces when creating my own and try to simply wash away the detail of the background. I can see from these that I need to really lighten up with my touch also. I think the reason I am so heavy-handed is due to the fact that doing so eases my tremor and allows me more control over the straightness of the line. When I ease up off of the pressure, the line becomes somewhat wiggly and, I feel, appears weak and less finished. Perhaps I should try and use this to my advantage? I worry for Part 4 that I will make everyone I draw appear wrinkly as opposed to having nice smooth outlines! I think I will also take from this that perhaps I can use some colour, but purely in blocks and used sparingly.

Henry Moore: Sheep Drawings

Relating to Linear and Expressive Tree Drawings

Again, I have looked at Henry Moore’s work before, the findings of which can be found by clicking here.

Looking again at these pieces, I can see how Moore has used the black markings to create the negative space of the backdrop in certain parts of the pieces to create the illusion of the foreground and positive space of the sheep’s heads or bodies. Where the pieces have shadows and are at their darkest, the line has been applied thicker and broader strokes. Where the areas are at their lightest, the lines are very light and almost non-existent in certain places. The lines used are sometimes straight, cross-hatched and wiggly. I think this is something I need to consider in my own work and to acknowledge that I do not need to apply line in every single part of the piece to create depth, as well as showing direction and movement.

With regard to Fig. 17., I can see that Moore has used two very muted colours to place the sheep in the field, with only a touch of shading to indicate the distances. I really like the muted colours used in this piece and think I will try creating a few pieces in a similar way. Whilst I do not want to use too many colours, I do really like the block colourings several of these artists tend to use and think it high time I had a go myself.

Anselm Kiefer

Simplifying Vast Spaces

Having looked at Kiefer’s work, I find it slightly confusing as to how the pieces are deemed simplified, besides Fig. 19, Fig. 20 and Fig. 23. The pieces with the trees I can see is simplified in the sense that the trees are merely lines, beginning rather thickly and with greater detail in the foreground and becoming less defined and thinner when moving backwards into the piece. In most of these pieces, I can again see only two or three colours, except in Fig. 23. In this piece, there are a few more colours, but the piece has been simplified somewhat by the blocking of the colours of the clouds and the foreground. I really like the depth created in the clouds caused by the layering. I think this is something I will have to try within my pieces. I do think I have a long way to go with my use of inks, but can’t get the seed out of my mind that such things as inks and watercolours are more for painting than drawing. Perhaps these things will develop more in units more so focussed on painting?

List of Illustrations

Fig. 1. Hockney, D (1997) The Road Across the Wolds [iPad drawing] At: https://www.treehugger.com/culture/stunning-english-landscape-paintings-made-with-ipad-photos.html (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 2. Hockney, D (2006) Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006 [iPad drawing] At: https://www.treehugger.com/culture/stunning-english-landscape-paintings-made-with-ipad-photos.html (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 3. Hockney, D (2006) A Closer Winter Tunnel, February – March, 2006 [iPad drawing] At: https://www.treehugger.com/culture/stunning-english-landscape-paintings-made-with-ipad-photos.html (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 4. Hockney, D (2008) The Big Hawthorne [iPad drawing] At: https://www.treehugger.com/culture/stunning-english-landscape-paintings-made-with-ipad-photos.html (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 5. Hockney, D (2011) The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate [iPad drawing] At: https://www.treehugger.com/culture/stunning-english-landscape-paintings-made-with-ipad-photos.html (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 6. Hockney, D (2011) The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate [iPad drawing] At: https://www.treehugger.com/culture/stunning-english-landscape-paintings-made-with-ipad-photos.html (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 7. Verity, C (2014) Spent Stems [oil on canvas] At: https://www.charlotteverity.co.uk/works (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 8. Verity, C (2015) Winter Ending [oil on canvas] At: https://www.charlotteverity.co.uk/works (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 9. Verity, C (2016 to 2017) My Nest [oil on canvas] At: https://www.charlotteverity.co.uk/works (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 10. Verity, C (2017) A May Day, Sienna [oil on canvas] At: https://www.charlotteverity.co.uk/works (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 11. Verity, C January Colour (2018) [oil on canvas] At: https://www.charlotteverity.co.uk/works (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 12. Verity, C Seed Time (2018) [oil on canvas] At: https://www.charlotteverity.co.uk/works (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 13. Moore, H (1974) Sheep Walking [lithograph on paper] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/moore-sheep-resting-p02567 (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 14. Moore, H (1974) Sheep Resting [lithograph on paper] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/moore-sheep-resting-p02567 (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 15. Moore, H (1974) Sheep and Lamb [lithograph on paper] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/moore-sheep-and-lamb-p02588 (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 16. Moore, H (1974) Sheep Before Shearing [lithograph on paper] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/moore-sheep-before-shearing-p02589 (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 17. Moore, H (1974) Sheep in Field [lithograph on paper] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/moore-sheep-in-field-p02590 (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 18. Kiefer, A (1971) Mann im Wald [acrylic on cotton canvas] At: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/anselm-kiefer-mann-im-wald (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Fig. 19. Kiefer, A (1998) Lasst tausend Blumen blühen [emulsion, oil, acrylic, shellac, dried roses on canvas] At: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/anselm-kiefer-lasst-tausend-blumen-bluhen-2 (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Fig. 20. Kiefer, A (2006) Für Paul Celan : Aschenblume [Oil, acyrlic, emulsion, shellac, and books on canvas] At: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/anselm-kiefer-fur-paul-celan-aschenblume (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Fig. 21. Kiefer, A (2010) Fitzcarraldo [oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, ash, thorn bushes, resin ferns, synthetic teeth, lead and rust on canvas in glass and steel frames] At: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/anselm-kiefer-fitzcarraldo-1 (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Fig. 22. Kiefer, A (2010) Winterwald [oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, ash, torn bushes, synthetic teeth and snakeskin on canvas in glass and steel frames] At: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/anselm-kiefer-winterwald-1 (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Fig. 23. Kiefer, A (2014) aller Tage Abend, aller Abende Tag (The Evening of All Days, the Day of All Evenings) [Watercolor on paper] At: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/anselm-kiefer-aller-tage-abend-aller-abende-tag-the-evening-of-all-days-the-day-of-all-evenings-1 (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Part 4: Project 3: Form

Exercise 1: Basic Shapes

For this exercise I created a couple of sketches of a seated model from different angles. I decided to use some acrylic paint pens as I remembered this tool being rather flexible and quick to draw with.

My model was seated towards one side of the chair with a slight twist in her torso and a slump to both of her arms.

I decided to begin by drawing the basic shapes I could see within the outline of my model’s silhouette and then drew the detail in rather quickly. I tried to consider the centre of gravity to the model, resting down the central part of her face, towards her left hip and down through the weight-bearing left hip and leg to the floor. For the second sketch, I tried to create the central line as indicated by the book; around the ear area, down the side of the torso and down the weight-bearing leg.

I found the body was largely made up of several ovals (the arms and legs), triangles (elbow joints) and squares (torso).

I noted that the torso was slightly twisted, leading the model’s left shoulder, breast and then the arm to be raised, but the latter of which she left slack. This also caused the model’s right arm to drop slightly and that the model allowed this arm to also hang loosely draped over the chair’s frame. On the right-hand side, the model’s midriff was much shorter than that on the left, leading to weight distribution being much more crushed and gathered on the right compared to the more stretched-out flesh on the left-hand side.

Overall, I think the general shapes are rather consistent with that of the real model and are recognisable as being a human form. I am slightly disappointed, however, with the accuracy of the chair’s legs, specifically in the second piece. I did not spend half as much time on these as I should have due to an oversight on my behalf of not reading the exercise details properly, hence I decided to then use these as preparatory sketches for a much larger study of the same model in the same position. I also think I have created the head of the second model slightly too small to be believable for the size of the remaining frame.

Exercise 2: Essential Elements

Due to time constraints and the lack of willing models, I decided to search the internet for images of models I could use to create quick sketches of.

I created my first sketch in pencil but just did not think pencil worked well enough; I really like the contrast charcoal creates with the white of the paper.

Regardless, I was rather pleased with the outcome of all six of the pieces; I think the measurements are largely accurate, however, I do think I have a tendency to either elongate or shorten certain parts of the body unnecessarily. Due to the time constraints of this exercise, I am not all that fussed about this misjudgment here, but will bear it in mind when I come to creating pieces with a longer time-frame. I also think my work is much stronger in the charcoal than the pencil as the latter appears too cartoon-like to me and too controlled. The markings are too ‘permanent’ compared to those of the charcoal which can be manipulated somewhat to correct certain mistakes etc.

Questions from Textbook

Were you able to maintain a focus on proportion at the same time as creating a sense of weight and three-dimensional form?

As stated above, I think I managed to keep the general shape and structure believable, but when you look closer, it becomes apparent that I have elongated and shrunk certain areas of the body; mostly the torso and legs. I think I found the weight-bearing aspect of this exercise easier than the following exercise where I was specifically meant to be looking out for it. I think perhaps this is because the majority of the models in these sketches are in more dynamic poses where the weight is very obviously distributed, whereas in the next exercise, the model is stood almost like a statue, so the weight distribution is rather evenly spread between both legs, which makes it much more difficult to see clearly. Once again, I think I have been rather heavy-handed in the sketches, but think this is just my way in quick sketches as I just strive to ‘get it out’, whereas I will take further consideration of this in my final pieces for this section due to the length of time available to me for me.

Which drawing gives the best sense of the pose and why?

I think my third sketch is by far the best of the six as I think it to be the most believable; there is shadowing, the measurements are rather accurate, the pose is dynamic and interesting. I am, however, disappointed with the hand area as I feel this really lets the sketch down. I also rather like sketch five and I believe this is because I have grounded the model, added shadow, movement to the hair with the tilt of the head and lack of features on display. I also think I could have filled the space better in the sketches as they do not fully fill the page, hence are much smaller than they could be, which would also allow me to be more expressive.

Was there any movement or gesture away from the model’s central axis? If so did you manage to identify this and put it into your drawing?

In pretty much all of the poses, there is a lot of movement away from the central axis, so I chose to bend the line with the figure, however, upon reflection, I think perhaps I should have also kept the vertical central axis in place so I could use it as a measurement guide and to ground my model to the spot he/she would have started from.

Exercise 3: Stance

I began this exercise by quickly walking around my model before beginning to be able to try to see the central axis line and weight distribution and bearing. I quickly found that my model changed her weight-bearing between studies, whilst the original pose did not change much at all. I found this exercise was rather eye-opening to the foreshortening which can occur when creating sketches of the same model from different angles.

Again, I was rather pleased with the general outcome of these sketches and the fact the scaling appears a little more accurate than previous sketches. I think, however, that certain areas are not as accurate as they could be, such as the model’s bottom. It was a little dark in the room and I could not really see the creases of her trousers clearly, so I had to do a little guess work here. I do think I may have struggled with the weight-bearing and portraying that as clearly and as accurately as I could have as I do not think it is clear in all of my sketches as to which foot and leg are actually bearing the weight of the rest of the body. I can also see from my sketches that I have changed the width of the model’s frame, legs and arms. This could indicate to the viewer that there were actually several different models, so I must look out for this and try to ensure continuity throughout any series of sketches of the same model, but also when drawing any model generally.

Exercise 4: Energy

I was rather nervous about this exercise as I was not sure whether I would be able to find someone again who was willing to assist. In the end, I settled on some images found on the internet and decided to drawn them.

My first sketch was my most successful I believe; the measurements were rather accurate, the weight distribution was rather convincing and the pose itself was rather dynamic and interesting. I do, however, think I could have created a little more accuracy with regard to the twist in the torso, the shape it took and the distribution of weight as a result. I also think I may have miscalculated the measurements of the model’s frame so will bear this in mind as I move forward.

Bibliography

Source images for ‘Exercise 2: Essential Elements’ sketches can be found by clicking here.

Source images for ‘Exercise 4: Energy’ sketches can be found by clicking here.

Research Point: 4.6.2.1 Self-Portraits throughout History

For this Research Point, I was tasked with finding self-portraits throughout history, including some more contemporary pieces, which I decided to try to find ones which closer resembled my own developing style.

Rembrandt (1606 to 1669)

Fig. 1. Rembrandt Self-Portrait at the Age of 63 (1669)

Rembrandt is one of the most well-known artists of history and one who created several self-portraits in quite a similar style throughout his lifetime. This piece has quite a moody atmosphere to it, which I was instantly drawn to. I don’t really like light and delicate pieces, but much prefer darker and moody, so this piece really draws me in. I can see that the light is focussed almost solely on the face, leaving the remainder of the piece in almost darkness. I think the piece is rather dated in the sense of the clothing worn by Rembrandt within as well as the darker muted palette often seen in historic paintings.

I think this piece is very subtle and creates a sense of humility of the artist. I see a modest gentleman in a very calm moment. By looking at the eyes and the position of the mouth, I am drawn to wondering whether Rembrandt was somewhat unhappy in this moment as he looks slightly subdued and down.

Whilst I do not see much of a connection to my own work, I do like the way Rembrandt has used one a small number of colours and the many hues within these colours, as well as his use of light and darkness to emphasise the areas of the piece he wants the viewer’s eyes to be drawn to. Whilst I know my tutor feels my work with colour needs much improvement, I do think pieces like this offer a great opportunity to dissect the piece and see the colours used and how they were used in such a clever way.

Sketchbook Dissection

Van Gogh (1853 to 1890)

Fig. 2. Van Gogh, V Self-Portrait (1889)

Considering my earlier comment regarding not enjoying lighter and happier pieces, I am actually rather drawn to this piece of van Gogh due to his story, the swirls used in his application but also due to his fantastic use of a limited palette. Considering the whole piece appears blue, van Gogh has very cleverly included a more orange colouring in a muted way to represent his auburn hair and beard. It seems somewhat strange to me just how these colours work so well together. I think it is perhaps because van Gogh has not only usd the orange shade, but also used touches of green and also the blue hues for the flesh and within the beard. Again, colour is not my strength, but this offers a fantastic opportunity to dissect the piece within my sketchbook to try and understand this colour concept better. I definitely have a long way with understanding the application of colour, but I find this piece a great reference point to come back to when coming back to colour in my future units.

Lieu (21st Century)

Fig. 3. Lieu, C Self-Portrait No. 32 (2012)

Moving forward in time, I came across this piece which I was instantly drawn to due to the almost solitary use of tonal patches to create the final piece. All sections appear to just be differing variations of pressure to create the different features. The lighting is clearly from the upper left-hand side of the page and highlights only certain areas, bringing the depth and shape to the piece.

I have found that during the creation of my pieces in earlier exercises, using tone as opposed to line has really worked in my favour and helps me create a more realistic piece, so this piece is a fantastic reference point for when I create my final piece within this Part of the course and is definitely something I would like to channel in my own work.

Sketchbook Dissection

I really like the techniques used in this piece, but definitely struggled with replicating the hands. I also rather enjoy the solid contrasts between sections of the piece and the heavy-handedness used by the artist. This very much resonates with my own techniques.

Auerbach (1931 to Present)

Fig. 4. Auerbach, F Self-Portrait II (2013)

Sketchbook Dissection

Whilst I am not extremely fond of this piece, I found it interesting due to the different pressures used to show different areas. I also really admire the fact that the lines do not appear to mean anything when viewed independently, however, they do come together as a whole to show the overall image of the artist. The lack of a solid outline and the presence of a very broken one resonates with me too and reminds me of my tremor. I wonder whether this artists has a similar issue and has reflected this in the piece?

List of Illustrations

Fig. 1. Rembrandt (1669) Self-Portrait at the Age of 63 [oil on canvas] At: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/rembrandt-self-portrait-at-the-age-of-63 (Accessed on 9 August 2019)

Fig. 2. Van Gogh, V (1889) Self-Portrait [oil on canvas] At: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Self-Portrait_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg (Accessed on 9 August 2019)

Fig. 3. Lieu, C Self-Portrait No.32 (2012) [etching ink and lithographic crayon on Dura-Lar] At: https://claralieu.tumblr.com/post/21251081537/self-portrait-no-32-etching-ink-and-lithographic (Accessed on 21 August 2019)

Fig. 4. Auerbach, F (2013) Self-Portrait II [unknown] At: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/frank-auerbach-speaking-and-painting-by-catherine-lampert-book-review-portrait-of-the-artist-as-no-10328712.html (Accessed on 21 August 2019)

Bibliography

My Modern Met (2017) ‘Iconic Artists who have Immortalised Themselves through Famous Self-Portraits’ [online] At: https://mymodernmet.com/famous-self-portraits/ (Accessed on 12 August 2019)

Van Gogh Museum (Unknown) [Online] At: https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/collection/s0022V1962 (Accessed on 12 August 2019)

Wikipedia (2019) ‘Self-Portrait’ [Online] At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-portrait (Accessed on 12 August 2019)

Part 4: Project 5: The Moving Figure

Every Friday evening, I attend a local Karate class. However, this week, I had given myself whiplash by taking my inhaler (seriously, I couldn’t even make that up!) and so was unable to participate. This was actually a blessing in disguise though, as I was able to take the opportunity to concentrate on the following two exercises. Whilst I only created the sketches briefly whilst at the classes, I then finished them off at home later that evening so that the details were still fresh in my mind.

Once I had completed the first exercise (whilst still at the class), however, I realised I was actually putting too much focus on the actual end result and how those depicted were clearly human and defined etc. I then decided to continue with the second exercise using more rapid mark making and forgetting about the inclusion of any detail. I also decided to make a couple of larger pieces using the same method for the first exercise to attempt to correct my error!

Exercise 1: Single Moving Figure

As stated above, I think I misconstrued the instructions in the Exercise (I do tend to find the wording used in the manual rather difficult to interpret sometimes and as though they can have several interpretations and finding the correct one is sometimes rather difficult, so I try to cover all my bases!) and so created very rapid sketches from an instant of looking at people in specific poses and then filling in the blanks with memory.

As appears to be my signature now, I know I have pressed fairly hard in all of the studies. My first interpretation of the Exercise was to show people in obvious movement, shifting their weight in a way which would not be practical to hold in the long-term and so would be believable as movement. I tried to emphasise the fact that the hair of those who had ponytails was swaying and moving in tune with the movements being made.

I enjoyed these studies and tried to hold on to specific images of interesting positions as opposed to simply walking around, for example. I think I have been successful in recreating such things as the proportions of the limbs and body parts, foreshortening, depth and tonal changes to direction of the material and flesh of the subject.

My favourite is by far Study 11 as I think I have portrayed the above traits the best here. In fact, the girl’s mother has actually asked me to recreate it for her as she liked it so much! Whilst I know I have been heavy-handed here again, I think I have been rather successful in the placement of imaginary (from my memory of the moment) shadows, placement of limbs etc so they are believable.

Larger Studies of Single Moving Figures

I decided to create my larger studies in ink due to its fluidity and focussed on two different poses those who were taking part in the class were carrying out.

The first stance I focussed on was what is known as the ‘horse’ stance, where the student will sit down as though straddling a horse, to then use their arms for punches or blocks. I created the study mid-movement, where the student was just about to reverse their stance to face the opposite way in the same position.

The second stance was of a student in Kamae, thrusting with one hand and ready to punch with the other. Again, I created this study as the student was about to carry out their punch.

I was rather surprised by the outcome of the studies and how I think I was rather successful in creating the movement of the moment. The ink was very flexible and seems to hold energetic qualities without requiring much effort of the user.

I prefer the second study due to the increased amount of activity within the piece and the fact I feel I have shown movement with lighter marks and an indication in their positions as to where the movements will / have happen(ed). I also believe this piece holds more information and definition as to the fact it is a human’s figure and the stance in question.

I think I got a little carried away on the first study and trying to show an indication of the face as I feel the two horizontal lines and the curvature of the body almost make me imagine Golem as opposed to a karate student! The student was actually facing away and the horizontal lines were to represent one eye and an ear.

Overall, I think my initial reservations of creating something in this manner were rather unjustified and unfounded as I think this was actually one of my favourite studies so far!

Exercise 2: Groups of Figures

By the time I had reached this exercise, I had realised my error and had not created any group images in a similar manner to those of the first exercise. I was still at my karate class, so I took advantage of the remaining time to continue these studies.

I was actually secretly relieved by my realisation; the idea of drawing more than one person in a crowd-like situation seemed daunting to me. I do not enjoy finer details and imagine a crowd of several people to draw to include a similar level of detail and involvement as drawing something such as a skyscraper with hundreds of windows.

Sketchbook Studies in Charcoal

I began this exercise in the same way as my larger studies from my earlier exercise, using purely line. I then continued to include more and more detail (to a certain degree!). I also decided to mark a couple of pages with a layer of diluted ink to add a sense of a background.

I think as I moved through this section of the exercise, I found more and more enjoyment in it and realised it wasn’t as daunting as I had first thought! My fourth study in this media is by far my favourite due to the background colouration, the accuracy of the measurements, the definition in the seated gentleman in the foreground, the ease the viewer has in understanding the story being told and the depth of the piece.

Sketchbook Studies in Ink

I then decided to do several studies in different coloured diluted inks. I began with just one colour and then changed this to another colour to see how different the results could be. When I used the red, due to it having been diluted, I was rather disappointed with the result and the faintness of the study. I decided to go over the faint red with a blue, but I was then surprised to find that I really enjoyed the result! The colours worked so nicely together and so I decided to create the next one in a similar way, except by using blue and then grey over the top to add a little shadow to the piece.

Whilst I know my tutor does not think my colour work much good, this was something I was really impressed by the result and could see how the colours overlapping created a more interesting dynamic to the piece. I also think they added a little more insight into the movement and energy being used.

Sketchbook Studies in Oil Pastels

Next, I chose to use another of my favourite media for two further studies, oil pastel. I decided to create the first study in black only and then to follow on from my previous ink studies, using two colours for the second study.

I was very pleased with the first study as I think the outcome is very realistic, as is the depth of the piece, much more so than any of the previous pieces. I am aware of the heaviness of the pressure used in certain parts of the study, however, I do think this only helps to increase the depth of the piece.

As for the second piece, I do not think the outcome half as good as that of the ink in the same manner. The image looks cartoon-like and poor in comparison. Whilst I think the placement and measurements of the students helps with the illusion of depth, I do not think the grounds are very well portrayed or separated.

Sketchbook Studies in Acrylic Pens

Finally, I decided to create two studies using the same new-found enjoyment of two colours to assist and to find out whether these would also work well in acrylic pens due to their versatility similar to that of the ink.

I began firstly with gold and then brown over the top but, again, do not think the outcome interesting or believable enough. The depth is poor, similar to that of the coloured oil pastel study.

However, I actually really like the study created in black and silver as I feel the depth and information is actually much more believable and the colours work much better together.

I think I have taken from this that I seem able to work colours together when they are used in inks, but not so much in other media, where blacks, greys and silvers are my strengths.

Inverted Sketch of a Group of Figures

After the success I found in creating the inverted piece for the foreshortening research, I decided this would be a fantastic opportunity to use this method again as I could focus on just the main outline of the people with only the slightest of hints as to the detail within. As with the previous effort, I completed this in white chalk and willow charcoal as I really liked the results of the other piece.

Inverted sketch of a Sensei and her students

I was rather pleased with the result again, however, I think I the white areas are too white in places. I think I have managed to execute the little boy turning to look back at the Sensei rather well and that the weight and measurements throughout are well controlled. I think, perhaps, that I should have included a break-off line somewhere to ground the figures somewhat. However, I think I have been quite successful in creating a sense of depth with the placements and measurements of the figures.

Part 4: Project 4: Structure

Exercise 1: The Structure of the Human Body

For this exercise, I decided to work firstly in black drawing pens, but they soon ran out of ink (I have more on order though! Phew!), so I then switched to black biro. Looking at the exercise again, I think I was meant to look at the muscles and such, however, I decided there would be far too much detail for me and chose to work on the different positions created from the view of the surface.

There are a few studies which work much better than others; for instance, I think the hands, arms legs and torsos work best overall, whereas there are a few which have gone slightly awry, including the top right foot, bottom right neck and central skull.

For the skull, I think I may have kept changing my angle unknowingly and, once I finally sat back to actually look at what I had put on the paper, I was then able to see where I had gone wrong, i.e. the left side of my skull being too stretched and the nose twisted slightly. I struggled with the teeth in the skull, however, I improvised by only creating the shadows in the ‘gum’ area and the natural gaps between the teeth. I thought the skull would be the easiest to recreate due to the big empty spaces and basic shapes, however, I actually think it was the hardest due to the lack of ‘instructions’ provided and indications as to where this and that should be in relation to other sections.

I think the issues with the feet and other such failed attempts was due to the fact they were created on a small scale, whereas when they were created on a larger scale, they appear more realistic. I definitely agree with my tutor’s comments (and hear them again and again) that to be expressive my style definitely suits a larger scale.

Research Point: Historic and Contemporary Artists use of the Body’s Underlying Structure

The results of this Research Point can be found by clicking here.

Exercise 2: Three Figure Drawings

For this exercise, I attended a local life drawing class. The model asked if there were any preferences as to positions, so I advised about my course and the requirements of the exercise. The model attempted to assist me as best she could, however, there were also other regularly-attending members who had worked in similar ways recently, so the model tried to compromise somewhat.

I tried to carry out quick observations of each pose in my sketchbook before moving on to a larger study with more time. For the quick studies in my sketchbook, I chose to work very fast to get as much information down on the page as possible, but to also try and see interesting areas which stood out with foreshortening aspects or deep contrasts in tones etc.

Standing Quick Close-up Studies

For the first study in this pose, I was aiming for the sketch to be more like that of the second study, however, I found I had drawn the main focus (the breast and chair contrasts) too small and continued to fill the page with the rest of the detail. I recreated this again, but zoomed in much more this time (second study). I then tried to zoom in on the foreshortening of the bent leg and foot, as well as the contrast in tonal values in the third and fourth sketches.

I definitely struggle with recreating a foot which appears to bend back and touch the leg when facing away from me. This is something I think I should really try and work on and to figure out why it is that they do not look realistic – perhaps it is where I have laid my shadowing?

I think the depth, sense of direction and flow of the flesh is well recreated in the drawing pen pieces, however, again, I have pressed too hard. I think these would perhaps be better in biro and in very concentrated areas with varying pressures.

I also think the wax crayon is much more capable of producing softer end results for me, but I also really enjoy the oil pastel as it allowed me to show such things as the slight cellulite in the leg, however, I definitely press too hard when creating the outline. This is something I need to work on also – that fine line between outline and cartoon.

Seated Quick Close-up Studies

For these studies, the model had moved to a seated position on a stool so, again, I tried to focus on foreshortening and tonal aspects. I did not find this pose as interesting as the rest, potentially due to the lack of twists in the body creating interesting areas?

Again, the wax crayon was the more delicate of the media used, though I do really like the contrast created by the oil pastel.

The model moved slightly throughout this pose, so some perspectives are slightly skewed – something I need to bear in mind when drawing from life.

I also think the study of the face was rather unsuccessful at showing the tilt in the model’s head. I think I needed to increase the size of the size of the chin and reduce the size of the forehead perhaps?

Overall, I think it becomes apparent that when I have to work quickly, I focus more on getting the information down than ensuring it is in the most accurate position etc.

Lounging Quick Close-up Studies

The model then moved to a lounging position and I really enjoyed this one. There were several areas of interest to me and in which I was able to show the twists and turns of the flesh over the bones below.

Again, the model moved slightly in this pose, however, I think I was slightly better at correcting my studies to suit.

The third study is by far my favourite due to the contrasts between the flesh and shadows. I think I have managed to accurately measure the feet and have placed them in a believable position.

Longer Studies

Looking back at all of the studies created, both large and small, for this exercise, I think I have a long way to go to being able to create life in the face and to prevent it from looking too flat. With more time, I think I could have concentrated on the tonal contrasts to build the detail of the face up.

Looking at these studies and larger pieces, I can see that I still apply a lot of pressure when working rather quickly. I wonder whether this is something I can actually learn to control or whether this is just who I am? I actually really enjoy putting emotion into my work and the deep pressure and darker marks created have a certain ‘release’ effect on me. However, I am determined to show my tutor that I CAN reel myself in (even if I feel uncomfortable doing so) and have every intention of creating final pieces for this Part of the course which are of a much finer quality, taking time to stop and reflect several times and remembering my tutor’s comment of “less is more”!