Monday, 29 December 2014

Rethinking my assignment

After this exchange it dawned on me that I have been working up to assignments in textile modules by doing sketches and samples, and there is no reason why drawing assignments would be any different. In fact, that is one of the most useful ways I have found to learn how to be better at it.

So I approached this assignment in something like the same way, thinking about how doing sketches could help me to get the most interesting arrangement and perspective on my familiar objects when I do the final drawing.

My previous drawing of these objects had two issues which I wanted to explore a bit in these sketches.
First, the relatively narrow range of tone, which meant that the particular qualities of the individual objects was rather lost. Particularly the darkness of the furry foot, and the metallic reflections of the lotus. For my first sketch I was interested in trying a way of drawing that would allow a wider range of tones.

Secondly, the objects in my initial drawing were in a big clump, which was interesting to draw, but perhaps not so much to look at, and I wanted to try a few different arrangements to see if I could do something that would engage the person looking at it a bit more. This would also mean thinking more about the background and whether there needs to be something there to frame it or not.

As well as these issues, I haven't done a great deal of drawing with these types of materials, and I'm very aware I need to try out all of them a bit more to see what I can do with them.

Trying out drawing with ink and stick, and using continuous pencil lines.
I think the lines I made with the stick were much more interesting and lively, and I like the way the thickness and intensity of the line varies. At this point it dawned on me that with these very different kinds of objects, different materials might work better for each one. How then do I decide which material to use to draw all of them together? Could I use more than one material in a single drawing if that seems best? Might be difficult to keep it united as a drawing.

Horizontal arrangement
Graphite pencil, using roughly prepared paper to give mid-tones, and a rubber to give the lightest tones
eg on the metal spikes and the claws.
This technique gives its own background and allows me to play with objects coming off the edge. It certainly makes the metal look more reflective than my previous drawing. and I rather like the way it looks as if the objets are emerging from a fog. The horizontal arrangement makes it look as if they're on a shelf. There wasn't room for the hat, but I am not too bothered about that as it was not very interesting to draw in the end.

A close up quicker sketch of the objects in a clump using conte crayon on white paper.
This close-up is a bit too confusing, and only meaningful if you already know what the objects are. I felt the need to use brown to outline the lotus because the contrast wasn't obvious.. Again the hat is squeezed out to the left and not recognisable. I was worried that if I gave the clump of objects a broader perspective they would be hanging there in space, and I know from my first try that this doesn't look quite right.

I decided to try losing the hat altogether, and put the objects on a child's chair in order to frame them a bit. 

My first try of this arrangement turned out like this -
not enough room on the page for the size I was drawing it.
So I pulled out a bit. I didn't bother to fill in the details
for this one as it was obviously still too close in.

And a bit more.
But it still just looks like a jumble of stuff on a chair.
So for the next one I tried standing back and arranging the objects more naturally on the chair, as if they had been left there as part of everyday life. Naturally the slipper had to go on the floor...

This one seems better to me, as an arrangement.
It is more understandable, and it has a bit of a story going on about how it got to be like that.
The chair gives it some three dimensional presence. (It's a bit to short).
The little sketch in the corner is how it would look if there was more space to show the slipper underneath, which seems to work best of all, so I did it again on a bigger piece of paper, making space for the whole chair this time.

My final composition sketch.
I think this one is funny as well as narrative, because of the surprising 'shadow'.
I put in the floor boards but it's very hard to get the perspective right with them. I might see
how the final drawing looks without them.
Looking down on the chair is the way it should be, because it is a very small chair!
Thinking about the materials I should use for this drawing:
I find conte crayon and graphite pencil easier to draw with, and the graphite pencil background preparation worked well. It would be easy for me to draw this composition like that and come out with a result that I would feel good about. On the other hand, I really like the way the ink and stick drawing looked, and it seemed to go well with the strange clawed slipper. I don't really know whether I could effectively draw the other objects with this technique, so I will try that out next.

I am aware that my tutor gave me 'permission' to draw in more textile ways if I wanted. I am wondering if I could try drawing this arrangement with a free foot on the sewing machine? Lets see how that goes, too.

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