For this exercise, I decided to break the three sections up and carry out some preparatory work for each from some of the earlier exercises within this Part of the course and from the Unit as a whole, including the following:
- Fabric and form;
- Positive and negative space;
- Mediums and surfaces;
- Quick Sketches.
Upright Seated Model in Line:
I began this section by taking a photograph of my model, who I had sat to the right of a lamp, which draped him in light on his left side and shadow to his right. Remembering that this piece was to be created in line, I focussed first on the fabric of his T-shirt, the proportions of his arms and the foreshortening of the fingers and lower arms. I then moved on to playing with the light and dark areas of the model and then the positive and negative spaces in the piece, which I also found helped with establishing the proportions correctly. I tried to consider which of the previous artists’ works that I have researched would suit this piece most and how I could incorporate the ideas found through replicating their work previously. I then had a little play in my sketchbook with several different surfaces and mediums, as well as creating several quick (and very rough!) sketches before settling on one final decision as to what would work best.
I decided from my preparatory work that my strongest options for this specific piece, including the size, were to use acrylic markers due to their flexibility and malleability. I also decided against using any form of preparation to my chosen surface (A1 cartridge paper) to allow me to focus solely on the task at hand, having never done this before, so as not to distract me or clutter the piece and to potentially revisit and explore this area more in the fifth part of the course when I have more flexibility.
I was able to move expressively and still create a good line drawing. The piece does not look truly like my model, but I think I have been rather successful in showing the lighter and darker areas of the piece purely in line, as well as also being able to stay very expressive. I enjoyed this piece very much, however, do think there are areas I could have done better on, such as the eyes being too close together and the face too elongated. I am pleased with the outcome of the black and silver pens together and feel they help to create a sense of depth within the piece.
Upon reflection, I do think the model’s left hand could be somewhat more detailed, but I found this difficult when there wasn’t hardly any detail to be seen due to the glare from the lamp’s light. There is not much of a likeness to my model at all in this piece, however, this was not my main focus; my focus was on trying to achieve an accuracy in proportions within the body as a whole, as well as the creases and folds and areas of darkness and lightness within the piece as a whole, which I think I have somewhat been able to replicate. I thoroughly enjoy working in line, however, I do not think it the best option solely for me due to the cartoon-like appearance which I do not really seem able to shake so far.
Once again, I believe I was able to try and keep all of the expressive markings within the outline of the figure, however, I do feel I need to be willing to allow myself to leave some of these areas free of line to trick the viewer’s mind’s eye into seeing what isn’t actually there.
Reclining Model in Tone
I then moved on to my reclining model and, again, being limited for inspiration, had to capture my husband (once again!) unawares whilst lounging on one of our sofas. As can be seen from the photographs, the light source was artificial and from above the bottom end of the sofa. There was also some artificial light falling on his hands and face from his mobile phone which was in his hands. Again, I worked through some experiments with foreshortening, positive and negative space and the fabric and form seen, as well as the mediums and surfaces to potentially use for my final piece, as well as reconsidering the methods used by some of the artists I had previously researched.
Overall, I am rather torn with this piece. On one hand, I had so much fun creating the depth and pressures with the charcoal, whereas, on the other hand, I could hear my tutor’s comments relating to ‘overworking’ and ‘less is more’ reverberating around my mind! Considering it is a leather sofa, I think it appears that my husband is draped in fabric and that I have created the same issues I created in my first assignment piece, where I have treated everything the same – the cushions behind his head are not really distinguishable from the sofa and so on. I do not think the perspective is very accurate either with the foreshortening of the sofa needing some work. However, on a plus note, I actually rather like the definition of light and dark within the piece, as well as the folds in my husband’s clothes and the accuracy of the proportions of his body. I think I must definitely try and come up with some way of restricting the pressure applied by my hand!
Self-Portrait in Line and Tone
Once again, I carried out the preliminary experimentation within my sketchbook, having reconsidered some
This was by far my favourite piece to have completed so far throughout the whole of this course. Knowing I would have to work over two hours and how fast I am able to create pieces, I decided I really needed to slow this piece down. I had already worked in both acrylic markers and charcoal for this assignment and because I was free to choose the size of this piece, I settled on A2 and black biro. Again, I decided to work from a photograph and grid system for the base layer and proportions, but then worked from a mirror for the tone and depth aspects. Later, I decided to add a slight touch of charcoal in places to create a slightly more believable depth and darkness to the tonal areas, due to this piece focussing on both line and tone.
Once again, I think the nose has been somewhat unsuccessful to my actual right side as I have overworked the shading in this area. I was unable to draw this back in any way without ruining the piece, so I left it and decided there was nothing more I could do for this section.
I had positioned myself by a window so that natural light would fall across my right-hand side and also chose to pull a shocked face to lead the viewer to question why I am looking in that direction, what has surprised me and what could be in the light etc.
As stated above, this is by far my favourite piece to have made as I think I have been able to listen to my tutor’s advice of not overworking the piece, keeping an ‘outline’, but being expressive within and using different pressures to create different tonal ranges. The hair took the longest time by far, however, I think I have managed to do it justice in the majority and have been able to indicate a change in direction of the hairs, showing a ‘wind-swept’ positioning.