Assignment 1: Drawings #7 – #10

#7 Black & White Acrylic Paint on Canvas – Large Brush, and Fingers

This attempt was half successful and half not. I liked the way the roughness of the canvas used with a fairly dry brush meant that the background showed through, for example in the ‘fur’ section of the sketch. I also enjoyed the splatter effect of flicking or pinging wet paint off the brush leaving a mixture of thick heavy splodges and fine, misty specks. The melon was smoothed over with my fingers to give it a more flesh-like appearance.

I think that the shiny, hard objects (knife and bottle did not work – the knife looks too dark and monotone and the bottle is again too dark, although I quite like the white edges where the breaks are). I liked some of the texture around the twig representing the lichen, but was less impressed by my attempt to show the gleam on the black and grey feathers. The white one was a slight improvement, with more texture and a lighter feel to it.

#8 Mark Making For Texture – Large Black Marker

I tried to make this drawing quickly. After pencilling in rough forms, I used a thick black pen to draw in marks that made me think of the objects: woolly and soft for the scarf; sharp and stabbing/cutting for the knife; soft, yielding and juicy for the melon; jagged and dangerous (I speak from bitter experience! I managed to cut myself while washing this ‘found’ item) for the broken bottle; gnarled and rough for the twig; a mixture of smooth and hairy for the feathers; hard, small objects for the beads and buttons.

I think this was an interesting exercise: to try and forget the forms and to concentrate on the feelings each item evoked in me. I would use this technique again to suggest textures or three-dimensional forms of objects.

#9 White Thread on Black Wool Fabric (Re-purposed Coat)

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Inspired by my first attempt at this Assignment, at a blind contour drawing with a pen on paper, I wondered if I could do the same (but without the ‘blind’ bit) using a sewing machine’s sewn line. I tried a small sample first (lower two pictures show the reverse of this first attempt). As you can see, I had ‘fun’ trying to get the thread tension correct. Then on to the bigger piece of fabric (this had a couple of seams in it, but I thought I would just work over them). It was amusing to try, and I liked some of the textures achieved (the scarf, white feather, twig and scattered objects). The finished drawing reminded me of a scratchboard picture, albeit somewhat puckered and distorted. I was going to work in a round quilting frame, but couldn’t get it under the needle. The resulting work would probably have been flatter if I’d attached a stabiliser to the reverse of the wool, first. (However, the fabric was slightly shaped anyway because of its past life as a coat). I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed making these sketches, although I did like some of the effects achieved.

#10 Abstract Patterns Suggesting Textures – Black Fine Pen

A follow-on from drawing #8, looking at the items in a more abstract way with stylised patterns suggesting the textures. I liked some aspects of this drawing: the lines on the knife that were supposed to be fairly straight, but weren’t, interwove to form different densities towards the pointed end. On the scarf area, I tried spaced dots on the more distant area, closer together on the middle part, and faster, overlapping dots on the nearest part. The close dots actually look more like tadpoles, and there are some paler ones where the ink wasn’t reaching the ballpoint quickly enough. I tried to make the ‘feather’ area light and floaty, but it looks squirmy and moving instead. This was similar to the melon area – I was aiming for ‘yielding’ but got ‘wriggly’. I liked the claw-like twig with dark fine circles on it. The spiky form representing the broken glass, I felt would have been better if the whole shape was spiky.

I find that I like the abstract versions best and will explore this in future.

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