Project 3: Picking and Portraying

To continue the plant drawings for this Project, I took inspiration from my latest research on drawing, and Russell Crotty‘s drawings on three-dimensional surfaces.

Using florists’ foam forms: two balls and one cone shape (the latter, I thought resembled a bunch of flowers when inverted), I gave them three different papier mâché surfaces: crinkled tissue paper; a patchwork of brightly coloured paper scraps; and newspaper.

Flower Ball #1, 11 cm diameter, florists’ foam ball, papier mâché, pen, felt

I did not think that this drawing was very successful. The pink abstract shapes were meant to represent the everlasting sweetpea flower heads, but were not quite right in shape or colour for my liking; also the colours used for the background bled into each other and appeared rather muddy. The combination of marks, materials and shape makes for an interesting object to handle, however.

Flower Ball #2, 11 cm diameter, florists’ foam, papier mâché, conté

I tried for a more realistic representation of the flowers in this drawing, spreading them out around the sphere. The surface was rough and quite hard to draw on. A speckling of quickly-made black marks was added to represent insect life.

This was my favourite of the the 3D drawings: I think that the delicate whitish grey of the crumpled background suited the more delicate drawings and colour palette, and gave the piece a vintage look.

Flower Cone, 24.5 cm x 11 cm, acrylic paint, papier mâché, tissue paper, felt pen, yarns

I tried a smoother, but brightly coloured background for this drawing. Painted flowers first, then additions made of tissue paper coloured with felt pens, and various yarns. I particularly liked the acid green yarn that split into two different textures – smooth for the stem of the parsley and a bobbly thread for the seed head. The 3D elements certainly added interest to the piece. The shape was hard to work on until I speared the cone on a barbecue stick.

This was an interesting exercise for me, because I nearly always work in two dimensions. I will certainly try and think more three dimensionally in future, if appropriate, and consider mixing media more often to give added texture and interest to a piece of work.

I had considered adding stitch to the cone-shaped piece, but it wasn’t suitable for that. It might be possible to work on a flat textile skin to put over an inner form, to make it 3D after working on it.

I took some of my earlier drawings and altered them digitally using one or more programmes: Picasa, Paint Shop Pro and Gimp. I experimented with adding or altering colours, brightening backgrounds, adding distortions and tiling or using the pattern function. These are the ones I liked best:-


Working in three dimensions felt a bit unnatural to me, but it is something I would like to develop in my work in the future.

I have just scratched the surface of what is possible with digital alterations and will continue to experiment with this medium.

4 thoughts on “Project 3: Picking and Portraying”

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