Part 5.3: Initial Conceptual Ideas and Studies

Surface and Media Experimentation

I decided to begin by creating some very brief and nondescript mixed media experiments, using the same ideology as used in a previous exercise, to refer back to once I had found my chosen subject. I created three pages using inks, masking fluid, pen, chalk, charcoal, masking tape and a range of found papers and then applied of these in a very child-like way, just to see how each interacts with the other.

From looking at these results, I think the chalk and charcoal as surfaces is very delicate and the colours work nicely together in a subtle way in the background. However, other than the charcoal, there does not seem to be many media which will work on top of these surfaces. The tea works really nicely as a base and I think would assist in keeping the image as a limited palette, especially if mixed with some of the found papers.

Initial Sketches of Chosen Subjects

Next, I decided to create some preparatory sketches to try to come up with different ideas for the composition, structure, layout, design, different angles, foreshortening, perspectives and technical aspects of my final piece.

Sketches of Human Subjects

I began by sketching several figures from a couple of books I have and also from the internet (the details of which can be found in the bibliography, below). I decided to use several different media to try and deduce which would be the most successful for the final piece.

Sketches of Tree Subjects

Next, I created some sketches of several trees from my local park, again using the different media to try and assist with deciding upon a chosen media for my final piece.

Combinations of Preferred Subjects in Biro

From here, I tried combining some of the figures with some of the trees to try and come up with the best choice for my final piece. I chose to work in biro for these sketches as I find it the most delicate, but quick and controlled for my method of working. I also realised from my initial sketches that my pieces in biro were my favourite with respect to the precision and fluidity created in them.

Different Media Experiments of Preferred Subjects

From the quick sketches I created, I decided that my strongest option would be to zoom in to the tree as close as possible to remove any excess space, but also to choose the two figures I found the most interesting to provide the best result and the most intriguing story and connection to my chosen question for this assignment.

With regard to the choice of media and surface, I tried to consider all of the artists I had come across both independently and from my tutor when creating the sketches and to try to include a mixture of several within my experiments, such as Moore’s expressive but controlled use of lines, Schiele’s delicate and subtle mix of colours, Redon’s use of contrast in his pieces of trees.

I found I really enjoyed the collage aspect and think it provides extra depth to the piece. I also like the monochrome and limited palettes I had created in the pieces and think I will have some fairly difficult decisions to make with regard to the final piece as to which options to choose.

I did find, however, that I struggled to choose between the two favourite poses as they were both appealing. Again, I feel this will be a difficult decision to contend with.