Assignment One (at last!) : Made objects
OCA manual p 43
It has been 6 weeks since my last post because our house has been over-run with builders and there hasn’t been an inch of space or time to draw. My Dad has been on the critical list too and he lives 2 hours drive away but is back in his Nursing Home now and the house is in some semblance of order again. So here goes!
I started with the made objects exercise. I had to prop my objects on a coffee table as the house was so disrupted but managed 3 efforts before it became impossible to work there any more.
My first attempt at this group (fig 1) took two and a half hours and is on A3 paper. I was getting a feel for the shapes of the objects and found it extremely challenging. I wasn’t happy with the composition as it seemed to slew off to the left a bit, but maybe the bulk of the watering can on the right balances it better than I think. I used pencil with a tiny bit of graphite for shading on the gloves to show their texture. I liked trying out the textures of the old gloves and the handle of the fork but the watering can was a nightmare with all those grooves and its odd shape. Lots of learning going on though and a healthy dose of practising manual dexterity.
For my next effort (Fig 2), on A2 cartridge paper, I changed the objects around to make a more coherent shape and rested the muddy fork on the glove, generally bringing the objects together just as I might have left them in the garden whilst stopping for a cup of tea.
In this second sketch I added ink to create the mud on the fork, graphite to create the deeper shadows on the watering can and more charcoal for the folds and texture of the glove. The can and fork have been brought out as my main focus of attention whilst the other implements and bottle fade off into the background. This sketch again took over 2 hours but I know that the more I practice drawing, the more confident I will be of my lines and marks and the less snail-like my pace will be.
Fig 3 below (A3) was not meant to be my last effort. It was intended as another step on the journey but builders stopped all idea of further work for several weeks so I’ve put this in as my final sketch since I have lost the momentum with it and the items are now scattered far and wide on the building site.
For this sketch (fig 3), I decided to try another composition and change some of the components that I thought were not working well so have added a little flower pot and removed the mini-hoe. My shadows never got completed due to being thrown out of the last little corner of the house, so I’m not at all pleased with this effort. I put these items on the floor to draw them in the hope of getting a birds-eye view which is the way they would be seen if they were in their correct setting.
I’ve used pastel crayon to colour in. I was getting along quite well until I had to stop so am pleased with some of the contrasts. The hole in the watering can is a little off-piste but I like some of the contrasts of light and shade on it.
Assignment One : Natural Forms
This was another erratic assignment which was completed in four or five sessions with the items being put away between. I started with the arrangement in fig 4 which, although perfectly acceptable as a composition, was a bit too similar in style to another piece of work I had done earlier. The drawing is in pencil on A5
My second attempt (see Fig 5) was arranged in a different way and I like the composition. Regrettably everything had to be moved for the builders but we soldier on! This sketch gave me a feel for the plant material and the stones. It was again completed in pencil on A5. I gave this sketch more time and used some shading and shadows, concentrating mainly on the shapes, forms and relationships.
My next attempt (below Fig 6) was on A2 paper so I had to be bolder in my strokes. Again I spent time concentrating on the relationships between the shapes and the negative spaces and gave weight to the stones with shading and shadows whilst intentionally leaving out the detail of the flower – just suggesting it. This is a new idea and technique to me and I was pleased with the result.
My last attempt at this assignment is on A3. I kept to a similar composition but decided to add a more interesting shaped stone. In this sketch (Fig 7 below) I started by drawing in graphite to give some definition to the stones and the shadows but I also wanted to leave the light side of the edges less defined. The flower was drawn with black felt tip and then oil pastels painted on; coloured ink is used for the stem and edges of the leaves and watercolour for the rest of the painting.
The picture is relatively simple in construction but that was a deliberate decision. I’m new to drawing and often frighten myself off and don’t even go near a drawing because I simply don’t know how to execute it. I don’t have the techniques and then delay starting.
On this occasion I thought that if I chose simple shapes I could concentrate more on them and the relationships between the shapes rather than being intimidated by something more complex at this early stage.
I am averagely pleased with this drawing since I know the shapes and negative spaces to be as true as I could get them at this point.
- I felt I had done as much preliminary work as I knew how before starting on the final drawing
- My large drawing of the still life group (fig 2) was the most accurate of my drawings
- I made a good selection for the group of objects but a much simpler selection for the natural forms. If I were to choose again, though, I would probably make the same choice, given my reasoning (above)
- My drawings could fit better on the paper in most cases. I have to admit I haven’t paid enough attention to that side of the learning so must do better
- I found hatching very difficult and need to do lots more practice