This page is to highlight some of the pages within my sketchbook for the third Part of this course which do not correlate with any specific exercise.
Internal Box Experiment
Working on my tutor’s comments regarding bringing forth the many layers of tonal ranges, I came across this exercise on the internet and decided to have a go myself in my sketchbook. I was quite pleased with the result and enjoyed the piece and tranquility completing it brought with it. This experiment will definitely assist me going forward.
Colour Wheel Experiment
Following on from my tutor’s comments regarding understanding colour and its different attributes, I decided to carry out a creation of a colour wheel which, again, I had found on the internet. Whilst I could have just used their version to work from, I decided to create the piece myself and was happy that I did so as actually redoing it myself helped me to understand the mechanics and use of this wheel.
I decided that, since I didn’t feel I fully understood the concept of perspective having read the course manual, I would do my own research into it and carry out my own experiments to help me comprehend it fully in my own way. Below are the three pages of my sketchbook showing these experiments and the results of the same.
Sketchbook List of Illustrations and Bibliography
Please see the below document for citation relating to my sketchbook for this Part of the course:
I decided to begin this assignment by working my way back from the start of this Part of the course and to include as many techniques from the exercises within it.
My first task was to choose a viewpoint which included a bit of all, or as many as possible, of this Part. I had been looking around for a while but then decided on the view from my in-laws’ home, which overlooks a lot of trees and other greenery, sky and clouds which lead to an atmospheric / aerial perspective in the distance, houses which show the other different perspectives, and a statue (a birds’ feeding post) in their garden.
Photographs of Chosen Scenery
Looking around, there was a lot of scenery, atmospheric perspective and beautiful rolling clouds. It was an overcast day and there was a dampness in the air, yet there was not much wind.
Whilst I could choose from any of these viewpoints as they were all beautiful to behold. I decided to create a quick sketch of some of the more interesting and diverse scenes to assist me in deciding, as I felt I could only see things properly through actually drawing the scene to understand it better and in more detail.
I began by carrying out some quick sketches in willow charcoal of the area by turning and zooming in on sections I felt were interesting and which held several different angles, sharper areas and softer curves.
10cm x 10cm Square Sketches
From the sketches above, I then decided to create six 10cm x 10cm squares; one zoomed-in box for each quick sketch and each in line and tone, as with the earlier exercise in this manner.
I really enjoyed doing this exercise again as I genuinely really enjoy zooming in on certain areas and I am rather pleased my tutor suggested it. My favourite was by far the bottom right tonal piece as I really like the angles and sharp contrasts within it as well as the softness of the greenery.
Selecting a Viewpoint
I decided that my favourite viewpoint which held a bit of all the previous exercises was the view with the birds’ feeder in the foreground, houses in the middle ground and sky / clouds in the background. Whilst I actually thought the last 10cm x 10cm square was really interesting, I decided to look at the full viewpoint again for my final piece.
Quick Studies of Clouds
Next, I decided to revisit the clouds experiments to assist me with developing my final piece. The coloured pencils I felt were rather unsuitable as I could not manipulate them in the way I wanted. I really liked the soft pastels and how subtle the colouring could be within it. I liked the willow charcoal as I was able to manipulate this rather well, however, it was a little heavy in the delivery compared to the soft pastels. The oil pastels was the most disappointing, however, I think that may purely be down to my approach and heavy-handedness.
Foreground, Middle-Ground and Background
Next, I decided to break down the three grounds within my chosen viewpoint as I had done in an earlier exercise as I really found that that helped me to distinguish between the three rather well. This time, however, I decided to use some oil pastels to quickly jot down the colours I could see (and which I had the closest representative to).
I noticed that the background was very washed out with barely any intensity or detail at all. There were only small areas where the sky broke through the clouds. It was a very overcast day, which I thought perfect for assisting in creating an atmospheric perspective within the piece.
The middle and foregrounds confused me slightly, however. From my earlier practice, I had found that the more distant the object, the lighter it would appear. These two grounds appeared to be in reverse. The greenery of the middle-ground was rather dark, yet dull, whereas the greenery in the foreground was rather light and rich in colour. Besides this, it was apparent that there was much less detail to the middle-ground than the foreground. I decided that when it came to my final piece, I would lighten the middle-ground to assist in following the method I had previously used, leading to the light background.
I decided that the houses which I had put in the middle-ground section would help create that sense of distance and I had read in my research of grounds that including an object such as a building within your piece in the middle-ground will assist in the divisions. I chose to leave the house closest to the bird feeder out of the piece as I think I would have made it harder to distinguish between the grounds and make that area generally too cumbersome.
Perspectives in Chosen View
Having chosen my viewpoint, I the used a page in my sketchbook to look at the perspectives of the objects in my piece. I found that there the roof of one of the houses and the electricity unit were both seen in one-point perspective and that the second roof and the bird feeder were both two-point perspective. Due to not having enough room to find the actual vanishing points for these objects, I decided to measure the widest area and then the narrowest area of the angles as it was not always clearly distinguishable that the lines were narrowing just by looking with the naked eye. For instance, the base of the bird feeder looks as though it is completely parallel upon first viewing, but if you look closer and actually measure the distance between the lines, it becomes clear that they definitely narrow over towards the left-hand side of the page, so the vanishing point would clearly be over in that direction as opposed to over in the right-hand direction. However, other areas, such as the top right of the bird feeder’s roof seemed to run almost parallel. This would really assist me when plotting out these details for my final piece as I think it really does help me to see the facts of the objects in a much clearer way as opposed to what I think I see.
Choice of Palette
Next, I played with the different colours I could see within the three grounds and different objects of the piece. I merged the next colour with the previous one and so on. I then worked over the top of the shades with other colours in the same category to see how they would interact with each other.
Once I had done this, I decided to work into each with the lid of my pen to blend the colourings, add a lightness to them and also to add a little texture.
I really enjoyed this exercise as I found a few colour combinations I had not considered previously. I also really liked the scratchings as I think these will be really useful for the greenery and also the wood of the bird feeder to create some texture within the piece.
Quick Sketch of Whole Composition
I then decided to create a line study of the whole piece quickly in charcoal in my sketchbook. I tried to look up during the creation of the sketch to see what I was drawing as opposed to what I thought I was seeing.
On reflection, I think I have actually done rather well with this sketch as the depth in the bird feeder is good as a result of the tonal differences created with the charcoal. I stayed with the natural darker middle-ground, but I think I was correct earlier when I decided that the darker middle-ground would not be the best way to complete my piece.
I then created a piece purely using the side of my oil pastels to create broad strokes of the general colours within the chosen piece. This time, I swapped the middle-ground and foreground tonal ranges so that the foreground was darker and the middle-ground lighter to blend easier with the blue and white of the background.
It was only when I had finished that I realised the outline of the A4 piece of paper on the page behind had come through. I actually really like it. I think it frames it rather nicely and adds a sense of intrigue to the sketch. Whilst it was an accident, I think it would have the viewer question why it was there, why it is not central etc and would draw them in to the piece.
I felt finally ready to begin my final piece and decided I would use oil pastels to help me do so as I had really enjoyed working with it in the preliminary stage.
I began by taking the photograph of my chosen viewpoint and drawing a grid over it. I decided to do this as I wanted to be as accurate as possible with my perspectives, measurements and structures of the skeleton of the piece. I had found this really useful in my earlier exercises and wanted to use this method within my final piece.
I decided to use a piece of pastel paper which had a good texture to it and which I knew would work well with the oil pastels in creating even more texture within the piece. I drew the objects into place and roughly drew the divides between the three grounds.
Luckily, due to having a wet and miserable summer, the day I returned to complete my final piece, the weather was exactly almost identical to the day I had originally taken my photograph and had created the preliminary sketches.
I then put in the base colours on the three grounds in an almost solid colour so I could build over it. I then began working in the detail of the roofs and building the greenery up, which I decided to stay rather expressive with as opposed to adding much in the way of actual detail.
I got to a certain stage and took a step back from the work to look at it and see if I needed to make any changes. I realised that the rooftops appeared to just be floating in mid-green sea, so I decided to bring the tones used in the greenery of the foreground up to the roofs, thus separating the roofs specifically into the middle-ground.
For the sky, I considered my earlier experiment with the oil pastel to recreate the clouds and thought them too much, so tried to recreate the effect of the soft pastels with only the slightest touches of blue, grey and silver to add density to the clouds, which I believe has been rather successful.
I kept on building up several layers of colours and scratchings (changing the movement and flow to suit the object) to create depth and definition in the foreground until I finally decided I had gone as far as I could without overworking the piece.
Overall, I am actually rather pleased with this final piece and think it rather successful. I have managed to include a lot of the exercises and projects worked with in this Part of the course and believe I have learned an extraordinary amount in such a short space of time.
I think the piece is believable and the grounds distinguishable. I am happy with the atmosphere I was able to create in the background with the rolling clouds and the subtle density and thinning to the blue sky behind. I think my greenery could perhaps have been a bit more distinguished, but I thoroughly enjoyed being really expressive within these parts of the piece and feel I allowed this to come through, yet be restrained when needed (such as the roofs and the electricity unit).
Please click here for my findings from this research.
Exercise One: Sketchbook of Townscape Drawings
For the first part of this exercise, I created three squares which held close-up quick line sketches of points which interested me and then another three squares which held close-ups of tonal sketches.
Having learned what I have learned so far, it is very apparent to me that my perspective skills when used without assistance still need a lot of work. However, I have found I am looking for ‘clues’ now which I wasn’t before. Bearing this in mind, I am happy with the outcome of these as quick sketches, as I think they do show some improvement.
For the next part of the exercise, I created two quick sketches in biro of two interesting points of view.
As with the previous part of this exercise, I have found again that my perception is not completely accurate. I was aware there were errors during the creation of these sketches, however, I tried to work through these errors and correct them during the process. I really tried to imagine the vanishing points again when creating this, but do think this is going to take some time and practice to be able to see naturally, however, I am happy with the results and how I am progressing in this way. It will take some time to perfect, but I think I am getting there slowly!
Exercise Two: Study of a Townscape using Line
For this exercise, I began by creating a sketch in my sketchbook over two pages, as instructed to do, of a townscape scene I thought appealing. After the previous exercise, I decided to continue the study of my own house in an attempt to ‘work in series’, showing my continued development of my understanding and appreciation of the details of the exterior of my home. I have actually found this rather enjoyable as, not only is it very sentimental to me and I enjoy working with sentimental things, I feel I have looked more closely at things I have merely taken for granted and walked by obliviously when coming and going from my home, day in, day out.
Composition for Final Piece
I then decided to use a piece of tracing paper as a view finder as the view finder I had made for myself was only roughly A4 in size. I placed the tracing paper at different angles on my preliminary sketch (as can be seen in the pics below – if you squint hard enough!) before choosing my favourite.
In all honesty, I actually really liked Viewpoint 3 and thought it rather abstract and interesting, but decided to play it a little safe and go with Viewpoint 4 as it held a lot of visual information and different parts of the preliminary sketch.
I decided I was rather intrigued as to what the piece would look like if completed on the tracing paper and – although a bit of a cheat on my behalf – traced my preliminary sketch with my finer drawing pen before adding in the extra bits of detail with thicker pens, using the thickest to show the darkest (and actually black) areas of the composition as well as the shadows and darker parts of the clouds.
Whilst I think I have been rather successful with this piece in respect of the depth and perspective, I did struggle somewhat with my really straight lines as my tremor was rather strong when I created the piece, so i was a little disappointed with that. I actually wanted to keep the slightly wobbly lines more for the brick walls, but my arm had other ideas! Also, I think I have definitely overdone it with the clouds as it was a beautiful sunny day and I think the markings used would represent a more dense and rain-filled cloud as opposed to the light and wispy clouds which were actually visible. Again, this is a little disappointing, but definitely something I can consider for future pieces. I also think they try to jostle for the foreground focus too much too – another reason to keep them thin and dainty. I don’t think I have been all that successful in separating the grounds in this piece, but I do think it rather difficult when working with line. This is something I will have to try and work on.
Exercise Three: A Limited Palette Study
For this exercise, I chose again to continue studying my home and to recreate the same piece again, but this time using as close to the traditional colouring as possible. Again, due to my increased tremor and a little weakness in my hand, I chose to work with wax crayons. I made this decision as I thought the finer grip / motor skills needed would cause much more cramp in my hand, so I chose to avoid these. I then considered soft pastels, but did not have a good enough match to the colours (I had black, but no brown, only yellow and orange). Then I considered oil pastels but decided they were too loose and expressive for the piece as I did want to keep it delicate, bearing in mind the weather of the day (I waited -a little too long! – for the sunshine to come back and for the conditions to be roughly the same as the day I had created my preliminary sketch in my earlier exercise.
Whilst I think there are still a few issues with my work which I need to address (the bricks I drew in quickly do not fully sit at the right angle, so this spoils the effect somewhat, the door is too narrow and the garage roof was difficult to recreate due to its strange angles, to name just a few), I used this exercise to practice my lighter touches in the clouds and in the shadow on the white sections of the piece. Again, I think my angles still need a lot of practice and I did struggle to see things clearly, but I think I have definitely improved dramatically since beginning the course and, hopefully, this will continue.
Exercise Four: Statues
When I first thought of this exercise, there was only one statue which came to mind that I wanted to study due to its place in my memory; having grown up driving past this statue on numerous occasions, I had always been fascinated by the ‘magic’ it held as it seemed to reach up to the sky at an angle, as though anchoring the giants’ world from the ancient fairy tale, Jack and the Beanstalk, to ours!
I went to visit the statue and noticed things I had never noticed about it before, having always been solely focused on the ‘magic’. The shadows were fantastic for working on my tutor’s comments regarding patches of tone and the contrast between the two. Also, the fact it disappeared into the distance and everything became smaller as it became further away was also really good the help me practice my foreshortening skills. I tried to move around the statue for different viewpoints, but also zoomed in on key points of interest to try recreating.
I think I was a little tame with my first two sketches (top left and top right) as I stood in a position where there was not much shadow (I was here for some time, so the light changed position too). I think I have made the mistake again though on the top two of giving them too defined an outline. I just cannot seem to get away from this!
The bottom two are much more interesting I feel and are less outlined than the previous two; I think the lack of tone in the top two compared to the bottom two really seems to affect me. It is as though I just cannot get my mind around the fact the very solid outline does not have to be there for it to look realistic. I think I should have blended it a little better so it was not so solid a line. I am, however, very pleased with the links in the bottom right piece. I used the lifting method with a rubber to lift to the lightest value and I think it has genuinely paid off! I tried to draw the links roughly in place so I knew where I was going, but then just followed the tonal changes and worked my way downwards. I think this has really helped make the sketch look convincing.
After doing the four quick sketches, I decided to draw the whole statue on a page in my sketchbook, trying to take note of what I had gathered in the quick sketches I had made. As a whole, there was not masses of shadow and tonal contrast from the view I had now chosen (and with the sun’s placement changing etc), so I decided to work quite lightly in tone and use very deep tonal areas for the shadows, as well as lifting areas (such as the scratching to the lower half of the hook) and the reflected light on the links.
I was actually quite impressed with the finished result and, again, think it has helped my understanding of foreshortening massively, which I think will help me no end in the next Part of the course.
Exercise One: Parallel Perspective – An Interior View
For this exercise, I decided to revisit my kitchen, as I had created a piece in a similar position in an earlier exercise and, thinking back on my tutor’s comments regarding this piece, thought it would be a good idea to rework a similar piece for this exercise to try and understand the comments through actual practice. Reading the first part of the exercise, I decided to draw a freehand sketch of the kitchen as I saw it through my doorway, but trying to bear my tutor’s comments in mind and trying to consider the perspective and geometry issues discussed.
When I had finished, I grabbed a ruler and started trying to find any and all vanishing points within the piece. I hoped there would be one main vanishing point but, this being my first attempt knowing what I did now from the feedback, I wasn’t pinning all of my hopes on it! I had marked on the piece where I felt my eye level fell and tried to aim for the vanishing points to hit there. I tried to keep all flat pieces flat and then build on the angles within the piece to create the depth held within the kitchen.
When I had finished connecting all of the lines, I was actually rather impressed with myself as, although they didn’t all line up perfectly as they should, I think I had managed to get it quite good for a first attempt. I realised once I had finished that I had drawn the cupboards first but had drawn them slightly at an angle – perhaps this was the way I had been stood? – but this had had an impact on the rest of the piece, so the rest was all slightly crooked. Whilst there wasn’t one single vanishing point, I was pleased to see they all fell rather in the same area and where I think my eye level was roughly.
For the second part of the exercise, I decided to create another version of the same piece, but with using a ruler this time and remembering where I had gone wrong with my first freehand attempt. This time, I chose a specific view point (marked with a dot on the piece, just below the centre cupboard) and drew the cupboards from that. At first, I had a bit of an issue with ensuring the cupboard doors fell correctly, but then realised what my set square was actually for! Once I had figured this out, I realised that these things should all be at 90 degrees from the bottom of the page.
Once I had completed these pieces, I decided to create a comparison list to point out the similarities and differences between them when seen side by side:
I was much heavier-handed in the freehand piece than in the controlled one.
In the freehand piece, my angles are tilted too much to the left as opposed to being drawn straight on.
Due to the time needed to create the controlled piece, I found I took much more notice of finer details than I did in the quick freehand sketch.
There is much more accuracy within the second piece, perhaps also as a result of the time and effort applied.
The top cupboards within the freehand piece have been drawn on a much smaller scale than those in the second piece, showing a lack of accuracy within my freehand skills.
Overall, the angles within my freehand piece are generally slightly off, whereas those in the second piece appear to be much more accurate, if not perfect.
Exercise Two: Angular Perspective
For this exercise, I decided to initially take and build the structures of my piece from a photograph of my porch due to the request to draw a building side-on. I wanted to practice creating a similar result to my controlled piece in the previous exercise as I think I have found a brilliant way to assist me with my accuracy issues.
Firstly, I drew a grid on the photograph and then inserted all of the vanishing points. Once I had plotted the basics, starting with the straight line of the corner and ensuring others were accurate too (i.e. the door frame and porch), I then began to draw in the detail, using the grid lines and perspectives to assist me.
Having used a 2H pencil to draw in the structure, I then took my piece outside and completed the finer details and tone in real life. I figured that whilst the structures would never change, the colours and shadows would, even though I was only creating this piece as a line drawing. I added only a little tone to help differentiate between numerous lines all clustered together.
I was rather pleased with this result as I think I may have found my way with using grids and vanishing points to assist my work. Whilst I won’t be able to use these for every piece I make, I will use them as and when I am able and it suits. For instance, I am aware I won’t be able to use them when working with the figure or during such things as sketchbook walks etc as these pieces will require my immediate and quick attention. In fact, I believe these situations would actually work in reverse; I would have to work quickly and potentially only use photographs to assist should the weather change or the sun move its location or the model need to change their pose.
I think I definitely need to work on my observational skills to improve in this area, but I think I have come such a long way in a very short space of time as I can ‘see’ the issues I have fallen victim to in the past much clearer now and know how best to attempt to rectify them.
Exercise Three: Aerial or Atmospheric Perspective
For this exercise, I firstly carried out four experiments in my sketchbook of a set of hills I came across locally. I created atmospheric studies of these hills in charcoal, oil pastel, ink and soft pastels.
I really liked the outcome of all four pieces as I feel they all offer something different. The charcoal allows for greater shadowing and tonal changes I feel, whereas the oil pastel allows for greater vibrancy of the colours. The ink works best for showing the lightening of colours and hues.
For the final piece for this Project, I decided to once again draw a grid, but tried to work freehand with the grid as opposed to from a picture – ripping the plaster off, so to speak!
I went to a local park and chose this spot as I could visualise the bridge disappearing in the distance. I tried to imagine the grid lines and vanishing points in the distance and to see the parallel lines in my chosen setting.
I built the piece up with a set of white, grey and black soft pastels, working from the back, forwards. Whilst I created this piece in the summertime, from my earlier exercises with trees, I found I much prefer working with the ‘skeleton’ of the tree, as opposed to dealing with the excess of foliage. Instead, I tried to represent foliage through blended areas with a touch of dabbing in places to create the texture of the leaves, mud and moss throughout the three grounds, having minimal in the background.
I was rather pleased with the end result of this piece and the atmosphere created within it. I tried to really draw upon Atkinson-Grimshaw‘s works to create this piece and think I have been somewhat successful in doing so. Whilst it holds none of the precision of Atkinson-Grimshaw’s pieces, I think I have been rather successful in creating the depth within the piece, with the bridge leading the viewer’s eye backwards towards the background of the piece. I think I have been rather successful with the perspective of the bridge considering it was practically freehand! A vast improvement I think (I hope!). Once again though, I think by adding in the outline of the bridge, I have made it look somewhat like a cartoon. I just cannot seem to break away from needing that outline! Maybe that is just my style? I’m not too sure!
John Atkinson-Grimshaw was a self-taught English artist, who created pieces in the moonlight around the towns and docks of places such as Liverpool (as discussed below), Scarborough, Leeds and Glasgow, having a fondness for maritime subject matter.
Atkinson-Grimshaw had a very specific style which varied only ever so slightly throughout his lifetime and which he was always only ever trying to improve on.
These pieces really remind me of Nicholas Herbert’s works with their neutral, ‘unpretty’ colours used and their misty air really draws my attention. Again, there is a sense of foreboding within these pieces. I can imagine the boats gently rocking in the water and also unsavoury characters such as ‘Jack the Ripper’ stalking the streets, prowling for his next victim.
The fact the artist has used the same area with slightly different viewpoints is rather interesting to me. In each of the chosen pieces, Atikinson-Grimshaw shows us his scene from eye level right in the middle of the road. The people walking along the road and peering into the stores, as well as the carriages travelling down the road give the impression that the artist could possibly be a ghost, passed by invisibly unbeknownst to the public, quietly observing and recording events as they unfold.
Whilst all of these pieces were created around the Liverpool docks at around the same time of day, as well as each holding ‘Atkinson-Grimshaw’s ‘fingerprint’, they each hold their own stories and atmospheres. These pieces, I feel, could be mistaken for photographs owing to their attention to detail and realistic qualities. The buildings within the pieces are particularly helpful in my own studies with regard to their construction and how I can use them as guidelines for my own townscape exercises, removing the detail as they fade into the distance, as well as their reduction in size. I also really like the use of what appears to be moonlight in the sky and the lighting inside the shops. There is very clearly a vanishing point to the centre of two of the pieces where all seems to blur into grey but in very small amounts so as not to demand too much attention. This is also something I will consider in my own works. I really appreciate his traditional methods used and his way of creating pieces from an eye-level viewpoint, using mostly a one-point perspective, but also an atmospheric perspective as can be seen in the fading away of the buildings and other details in the background, almost fading into mist, which I find superb and definitely inspiring for my own pieces.
Georges Seurat (1859 to 1891)
Georges Seurat was a French post-impressionist artist whose main body of work was his paintings, but who also created pieces in conte crayon and who was the founder of Neo-impressionism, or ‘chromuluminarism’ as was the preferred term by Seurat.
The pieces chosen for my research needs show several houses portrayed in a dark, moody way which, again, appear to be seen from eye level from a one-point perspective for most parts, but also from a two-point perspective in others. There is a slight sense of atmospheric perspective in the pieces by the misty appearance seen also, but in a way almost opposite to that of Atkinson-Grimshaw who uses lighter colours, whereas Seurat appears to use darker colours to create the ‘mist’ effect.
Tacita Dean (1965 to Present)
Tacita Dean is a British artist who primarily works with film, however, she also enjoys exploring natural phenomena from the smallest of creations to works on a grand scale, such as the mountains shown below, created in chalk on a very large scale.
Dean uses (from what I can see) a mixture of horizon-level and worms’ eve view points in her work. I can see a majority of one-point perspective, but also some two-point perspective.
Whilst I really do appreciate Dean’s work, I do not find it appeals to me too much personally and question whether there is too much ‘excess space’ (for example the mass darker grey area to the right-hand side of the piece at Fig. 10. or the vast blackness at the bottom of Fig.7.) as noted by my tutor of my own work. This is something I believe I will consider further as to why this is not the case.
Dean’s ability to stay very delicate with her tonal changes is beautiful to behold, and the way the mountains contrast completely with the pure black background (Fig. 10.) works just as well. This really calls to mind my tutor’s comments regarding ‘patches of tone’ and I will bear these pieces in mind when carrying out this type of work.
Birds’ Eye View
The birds’ eye view perspective is where an artist is positioned higher than eye level and so objects are seen as though from above. In this type of viewpoint, the bottom of the objects cannot usually be seen, the tops of items closer to the artist are larger, whereas the bottoms of the objects become smaller, with the vanishing point being much lower.
Worms’ Eye View
Opposite to the birds’ eye view is the worms’ eye view. In this perspective, the bottoms of images are much larger and the tops much smaller, with the vanishing point above the eye level. Again, in reverse to the previous perspective, the tops of objects cannot usually be seen.
Please clickhere to view the information gleaned in this Research Point.
Exercise 1: Cloud Formations and Tone
For this exercise, I chose to sit out one day and, true to typical British weather, felt I had the luck of several different ‘skies’ all in one day.
The day began rather sunny, but with a bit of cloud in places. I decided to recreate the bright blue of the sky behind the clouds using a blue ink wash in my sketchbook. I then used some white, light grey and dark grey pastels to recreate some of the clouds I could see, trying to capture the movement of the clouds across the page. I tried to capture how light and fluffy the top of the clouds were, as well as how heavy and dense the bottom of the clouds were. I did try to make the top of the clouds much, much lighter, but there was only so much the pastel would lift. I thought about using something such as correction fluid or acrylic paint, however, I thought the use of them would make the lightness of the cloud much too heavy.
Later in the day, the sky clouded over and the clouds which were much lighter and sparser had become much heavier and closer together, overlapping each other in places. I tried, again, to lift the area where the sun was, increase the depth and layers between the clouds using pastels. Again, the pastel would not lift enough for the ‘sun’ section. I think, perhaps, I would be better to leave this section of the page white without applying the blue ink wash all over and building from there.
For this piece, I tried to use the pastels to recreate the colours in the clouds where were utterly beautiful, since the weather had, once again, taken a turn! The sky had cleared and the clouds were spread out like lines across the sky. I used a blue ink wash again and then applied a red and yellow wash beneath. I then used coloured pastels to recreate the colours I saw. I was a bit disappointed with the outcome as I think it is a great representation of a sky, but I don’t think the clouds are distinguishable really.
Again, the sky was rather clear and the sunset was beautiful.
Finally, i decided to take a piece of A3 cartridge paper and used some blue / white mixed ink to create the sky in the background. I then used soft pastel to create the clouds, which were constantly moving, and tried to show this movement within the piece. I also tried to create a bit of weight to the bottom of the clouds with a touch of grey. Remembering what my tutor said about less being more, I only added a slight amount of the grey, so it was almost invisible. I admit, I did find it a struggle to remain so light-handed as I do enjoy my darker colours!
Exercise 2: Sketchbook Walk
Due to this being a quick study exercise, I decided the best medium would be willow charcoal. I went for a walk during a warm summery day at around midday and came across these four scenes which interested me for different reasons, but mostly for the potential for depth, perspective and patches of tone, again, trying to work on my tutor’s feedback.
I was actually rather pleased with myself consider how fast I had worked to create these studies and feel I have been successful in creating depth rather well within the sketch of the single tree with trees in the background as the shadows and different strengths of tone really does work to create the impression of depth.
However, I do not think the study of a single tree with leaves and shadow was quite as successful as I think the shadow appears too similar in tone to the actual leaves of the tree.
I am rather pleased with the perspective of the first study of the trees with the pathway and do think it is somewhat believable.
Whilst, I’m not majorly impressed with the close-up of the tree trunk, I am happy with the texture I think I have got across within it.
Observations to Note from Course Textbook
I carried out this exercise on a summery day at around midday. The weather was warm and there was not much of a breeze. There were not many clouds and those which were visible were light and fluffy. The light fell to the right, left and in front of the trees, depending on my chosen viewpoint when selecting what I thought were rather interesting views. I chose the views I did as I felt they all offered something different; a full tree with foliage, trees leading down a path, a single tree’s trunk to show texture and also another single tree with smaller ones in the background with fantastic tonal changes.
Exercise 3: 360° Studies
For this exercise, I decided to work in biro due to its flexibility, expressive nature and my natural preference for this medium. I spent 15 minutes on each section and tried to work as quickly as possible, getting as much detail in as possible.
I found this exercise really good for practising my perspective skills (again, as recommended by my tutor) and thoroughly enjoyed some, if not all parts of the process.
My favourite is by far the curved wall piece as I just think I have managed to get a fair bit of depth and tone in this quick study as opposed to the other pieces. I also really like how the pieces appear to be just messy squiggly lines until you start to see them properly and they form an actual image.
Research Point: Artists Working in Series
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