Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Line and Other Marks and Trying New Media

I have to say that when I came to this exercise I was getting fed up with drawing various different lines and was keen to move on from this project.  Having said that I used a variety of pencils (2b,4b and 6b) to produce different line thickness and effects.  I also used a pilot drawing pen, a rotring drawing pen, graphite sticks, compressed charcoal, charcoal, felt tip pen, water colour pencil, dip pen and ink, ink and feather, ink and a skewer, watercolour ink and a dropper with a stick, conte crayons, oil pastels and chalk pastels.

I found it easier to hold the implement in the traditional writing hold, although other holds produced different effects I found them hard to control and get the lines where I wanted them.  I found the pencils the easiest to control the thickness and darkness of the line but then I have used the pencil more than any other drawing media.  I do like the flow of charcoal but found it difficult in small squares.

The dip pen and ink I  could get different thickness of line by changing the angle of the nip but struggled to get a change in darkness of line.  The feather I found extremely difficult to hold and control.  The ink dropper and stick was fun just to see what would happen.  It was easier to get a thinner line with the conte crayons over the oil and chalk pastels but I could get good thick lines with both the oil and chalk pastels, particularly when holding the chalk pastel on its side.  I would find it hard to do small precise work with oil or chalk pastels. I probably need to use them more and get more familiar with them.

Life Drawing Class - using ink

I really struggled tonight, I lacked confidence in putting the final lines down with the pen and ink and so none of the pictures pulled together.  I kept giving up.  Not sure what the problem was as I have used this technique before and been quite pleased with the result but just could not pull it together this time.

Looking back the inks were too watered down.  I struggled with proportion and was very hesitant.  I do think in retrospect that it can be about how confident one is feeling and I need to be brave enough to go for it and just get lines down and not worry about mistake.  When I am hesitant and very self critical I make more mistakes, feel like giving up and this, in turn, inhibits my work...

Using Charcoal

I really enjoyed using the charcoal.  I find it quite freeing. I love the tone and energy you can get with it.  It does get extremely messy but I love the dramatic effect.  I particularly like the drawing of the women’s bottom. 

  You can get a really crisp line particularly with the compressed charcoal. 

The graphite sticks have taken more getting used to as I have never used them before.  I really like the small graphite sticks.  I found it easier with a broken piece of stick as it was shorter.  I like the texture and there is a lot of energy in its effect.  It is not as dramatic as Charcoal but also not as messy.

I discovered I had run out of fixative and hairspray – so they will probably all smudge as well. I really enjoyed this exercise but have just realised that I supposed to do it in small boxes - oh well!



Life Drawing Class

The Drawings did not flow as well this week.  We were looking at capturing the anatomical landmarks and basic shapes.  I found the back easier to mark than the legs.  I do like the tonal effect achieved with charcoal and the ease of drawing with it.

The first pose was 10 minutes and I struggle with the angle of left leg.   I also struggled with getting the head to look like it is leaning on to the hand.

3 one minute poses - the second drawing the legs are totally wrong.  Generally find the legs hard to capture in one stroke than the back.

15 minute pose – really like the shading in this drawing.  I think the back is too long and I need to gain some confidence in drawing hands and feet!

20 minute pose – very small for the page for some reason.

Last one was a 20 minute pose – I was getting very tired and struggled again with the legs but pleased with the back.

Mark Making Techniques

Initally I found this exercise ok.  I struggled with stippling and with ideas.  I then looked at others work and did a bit more.  It all seemed to take a long time and I started to get bored and frustrated.  I felt that ideas did not flow easily but in the end I did enjoy the cross hatching and the effect it gives.  I was getting more used to stippling but found it frustratingly slow.  However, I can see that it can be effective in developing texture and it also reminded me of the Impressionists.  In particular George Seurat “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

The stippling and the hatching did not work well with the softer mediums – charcoal and conte crayons.  I did not really like the felt tips I used – they gave a very lined effect.

Monday, 25 October 2010

John Cage Exhibition at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge

Every Day is a Good Day
The Visual Art of JOHN CAGE
At Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge

Before going to this exhibition I did not know anything about this artist/composer.  Others told me to be prepared for something strange and very random.  The pictures were hung randomly – at random heights and positions on the wall.  Some so high that you could not see them.  Some pictures were missing and there were big spaces with nothing on them.  However, I liked it.  It felt more homely, less sterile to me.
I really enjoyed this exhibition.  I found the smoked effect fascinating and rather beautiful.  The colours Cage uses were calming and a lot of his pieces had empty spaces within them – allowing them to breath in my opinion.  Pieces that initially looked very simple were produced by several different print techniques and to me seemed hugely complex.  I looked up the smoke technique on Google and this seems complicated, risky with little control over the result. 
Some of his smoked pieces left me cold (Variations ll, 1991; Variations ll, 1991; Variations lll, No 18, 1992 and Variations lll, No 21, 1992 – all Smoked and branded monotype)
Some pieces – pencil on Japanese handmade paper – were so faint they were almost not there at all.
Overall I really enjoyed this exhibition.  I found the pieces simple yet complex and challenging.  The colours were calming and the compositions interesting and definitely random but that is how John Cage works.
I read the attached article following the exhibition which explained a lot of things!  http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/jul/10/john-cage-composer-drawings-exhibition

Monday, 18 October 2010

Life Drawing Class

Life Drawing Class

The class was looking at capturing the initial gesture of the pose.  The 3 one minute poses helped to free me up and not too worry too much about proportion.  I found that I did managed to capture the essence of the pose

In the 5 minute pose, although not sure I got the proportions accurately I like the light and shade I captured. 

I really enjoyed the second 5 minute pose again thought I captured the light and shade well.  I have also been bold for me and drawn the face which I always find daunting. 

The nest drawing was a10 minute pose.  Initially I started too far over on the page.  The head looks a bit squashed and I struggled with the lower legs and ran out of time.

I was really pleased with this drawing (20 minute pose – lady lying down).  I felt I captured the gesture and the proportions well.  Initially I did struggle, again with the lower legs and the foreshortening.  I ran out of time to complete the detail but felt I still captured it.  I also think the light and shade is good.  I was really please with overall drawing.