Monday, 10 August 2015

Project 5 Exercise 3: Live animals - using line and tone

I have been putting off this drawing for a long time. It's partly the drawing moving animals which is daunting, and partly that fish are intrinsically static, and I wasn't sure what to do with the background I did some composition sketches a long time ago, but I reckoned that they need something to contain them otherwise they are going to look as if they're floating on a flat surface.

The fish tank is a lovely cool pale green.
First study(on the left below):
Colour - pale green with green weed as background, and contrast between inside and outside the tank with shadows of fish
Composition: focus on the bottom of the tank, and line at edge of tank. Fish not very important in the composition
Texture: No

Second study (centre):
Colour/tone: This time I tried using the different colours (black, dark green and light green, and the colour of the paper, for their tones as much as for their hues. 
Composition: Still like the containment of the tank edges and particularly the way the surface of the water distorts the colour block.
Texture: There's some difference between the fish and the water textures but not enough.
and the fish don't stand out enough...

Third study (right):
Decided to remind myself what moving fish look like.
Nice and loose and moving. Not sure how this loose sketching translates into a drawing.

Studies for the fish drawing.
Left: Watercolour and conte crayon
Centre:pencil and conte
Right: conte on its own
 Fourth study:
I did this one on brown paper (the matt side with more bite) as the final drawing is supposed to be on coloured paper. I used conte crayon again, to draw the moving fish, tone and texture. The fins are coloured with pencil. I didn't think about the composition at the beginning of this sketch, and tried putting in some fish in the distance which are effective, and then some watercolour background, which of course was not successful.
Movement and texture sketch for fish drawing

Fish in the tank
Conte crayon, coloured pencil and oil pastel on coloured paper
For the tank/ outside contrast I was thinking about whether to use collage of one coloured paper on a paler one, or using watercolour behind the water part. However, I found this regularly textured green paper which had been sun-faded at one edge, so I used the edge of that faded area to represent the edge of the tank.

When I focussed on the tone of what I was seeing, I could see that the floor of the tank and the triangles on the fish were about the same dark tone, with variations due to the sun falling on them. I tried to show the light effects by doing stripes on the ground, changes in texture, and the use of pale blue for the brightest areas.

I tried to use the shapes at the bottom and the pale reflections in the side to show some depth. This wasn't very successful and I think if I did this again I would make more of the other edges of the tank and the distortions through the glass.

Using a mid tone background made me have to think more about how to show the light.

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