Assignment Two: Final Piece

 

Assignment 2 Final Piece- A2 Paper

Same image – closer up and in better lighting

 

The process for this drawing was quite typical, and I took a good few weeks to work on it a few hours a day in manageable chunks. I started off in pencil outlining the basic forms, and then begun the basic shading, just in pencil. Once I knew everything was accurate and in place, I started to add colour, using used coloured pencils primarily, but also sharpies and pro-art markers within the spines of my books. I worked from inside out, starting with the bookcases, and very last thing I did was the view through the window.

I made an effort to keep focusing on six particular aspects.

  1. Composition and Context
    • I really feel like I have an effective and balanced composition, two bookcases framing a window neatly following the rule of thirds. Multiple, geometric, rectangle and square shapes fit neatly within the page to form a visually interesting, dynamic page. I also mentioned earlier in this previous blogpost my reasoning’s behind my subject matter.
  2. Medium
    •  I used a variety of materials, including coloured pencil, pro-art markers, a range of HB-B pencils, and biro pen, with hopefully a very good level of skill. Although I didn’t use a complete range of mixed media I’m still really pleased with the fact I didn’t just use coloured pencil, as I believe it could’ve been a lot more boring and flat otherwise. Occasionally, I tried to create some depth within my books by outlining them in black, but sometimes found that just
  3. Colour 
    • I really love the idea of rainbow organised bookshelves, and so slowly created a gradient, some having block colours, some merging two colours together, such as yellow and orange. Outside the window love the variety of greens spread out which I think works really successfully, and I initially considered putting hints of oranges and blues as flowers, but didn’t want it to be too overwhelming especially as I have a lot of small details in this entire image.
  4. Form
    • One part of my drawing I am not incredibly pleased with is the form of the bookcases. I didn’t take the time to look at the shelves and draw the books set back, with perspective and full shading like I took the time to in one of my preliminary sketches, so it’s not quite as accurate as I would have liked. I also don’t particularly like the way the entire bookshelf, and the books just cut off at the bottom of the page, it might have worked better drawing the actual bottom of the shelves or cutting off the books halfway. However, the form of my windows are correct, and I’m pleased with how they turned out.
  5. Mark-making and contrasts of line and tone 
    • The most intense mark making within this drawing is shown outside the window, in the garden, and I made a conscious effort to be free and loose and simply gesture at the hints of grass and leaves, which I think is so successful. Inside the room, there’s a very regimented, neat set of lines and boarders, so as result there isn’t a huge intense feeling of emotion or feeling within, besides a calm serenity.
    • I relied heavily on traditional B pencils to create tone within this image, for example within the bookshelves, and on the panes of the window are the most obvious. I also initially coloured the back wall in a baby pink, then realised there was a lower level of lighter pink beneath so used my pencil to deepen the shade as well.
  6. Experimentation
    • This element is definitely more prominent in my preliminary sketches but is one of my weaker points I need to improve on. I often need pushing to get out my comfort zone and try new things.  I really tried to use materials I hadn’t before, unique composition ideas that I wouldn’t initially consider, but I could definitely have been

The assessment criteria:

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills.

In general, choosing compositions come very naturally to me. I regularly experiment with sketches of multiple viewpoints and try to choose the strongest, most visually dynamic and pleasing result. I have experimented with a vast array of mixed media in this section and in some of my artwork I have absolutely loved the result. I have the strongest skill in black and white pencil drawings and full mixed media pieces. I definitely have so many more materials which I’m not quite so proficient in, especially more permanent products for example ink or markers, which I love the result of but ends up a messy splodge, but I have slowly been pushing myself outside my comfort zone. My observational skills are mostly proven in sketchbook studies and my visual awareness has come on in leaps and bounds since starting this course.

Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner with discernment (good judgement).

I believe I choose very strong, personal content. As described in a previous post, having a long term chronic illness I am not able to leave my house regularly, and once I don’t have to follow particular exercises I will absolutely represent my personal life so much more personally and hardhitting within my artwork, but for the moment I am just hinting at it whilst still subjected to guidelines and learning the basic skills. I regularly refer back to lessons learnt in the past, collating all this knowledge into every piece I create and hopefully improving each and every time. I have yet to create something either I wasn’t very proud of, didn’t learn a huge lesson from.

Demonstration of creativity – Imagination, interpretation, invention, personal voice.

I feel like I’m slowly beginning to show and develop my personal voice in all my work. I’m finding particular subjects and colours I’m drawn to, unique to my tastes, and although my art style hasn’t quite been developed yet, I realise I’m still at the beginning of my journey and still have so much more to explore yet. I definitely show more creativity within my sketchbook, but I do believe imagination is one of my weakest points, I can easily learn skills and techniques but struggle to be brave enough to put unique visions out there. Not worrying about mistakes or people judging me for imperfect art has been a big hurdle I’ve started to overcome recently. I hope confidence will come as my talent develops too.

Context – reflection, research, learning log.

This is a huge part of my learning process that I find so incredibly vital. I learn so much more from reflecting on my work, especially writing down what I learnt and what I could have improved on. I put a lot of time into writing and analyzing in as much depth as possible the work I do. It makes me think, focus on what didn’t go well, and appreciate what did go well so I can repeat it in the future. I find it so useful to print out and look through what I’ve written every so often, just so it’s constantly fresh in my mind. My research could definitely be a lot more in depth and intricate, but I make a huge effort to explore what the brief asks us, and I really enjoy putting creative pages together documenting my written work.

Assignment 2: Preliminary studies

Upon starting to plan this assignment, it was quite easy for me to decide between a still life or an interior scene, I just find the latter so much more inspiring, with endless easy access inspiration and doesn’t take an hour of setting up. After a little bit of thought, I decided I really liked my  bookshelf and window drawing and was going to use that as the starting point for this assignment. I considered a still life, however because I enjoyed the interiors portion so much more, with that. experimented with five things during my preliminary studies. Composition, Colour, Medium, Line and Form.

Composition

a (2)

I experimented with multiple viewpoints in this. Completing multiple compositional studies helps create the best final drawing I can. I push myself to draw unique layouts I woudn’t perhaps think would look great, which can sometimes end up being my final piece! Completing, easy sketches I dont have to commit to takes the pressure off and frees me up to be creative without worrying that it’s not ‘perfect. I actually started this thinking I would use my very first composition, however my favourite ended up being the fourth, with two bookcases either side of the window. I tried to consider using different or interesting perspectives, from different angles throughout, but drawing 5, my most exaggerated picture, ended up being my least favourite, I didn’t consider how the window would look next to it, and so it awkwardly works against reality. In the very final drawing I decided to see what it would look like to add hints of the rest of my bedroom I had originally planned to remove, the edge of a fan and my bed-frame, but ultimately thought they looked a little random and out of place.

In regards to context, I decided to do my bookshelf, as mentioned multiple times before, because I am an avid lover of literature and my two bookshelves are my pride and joy. My curtains and window could be a representation of the fact I spend a lot of my time inside looking out, seeing the outside world from the comfort of my bedroom.

Line

I lightly drew some guidelines in pencil for this but then used blak ink and a stick to create the deep black lines to see how it would turn out. I definitely wish I had done more tonal depth work with my pencil to enhance the image, but I mostly focused on the lines of the curtains. I experimented with filling in areas with different mark making techniques as well, and I think the diagonal line shading on the left works really well, but not the block black shading on the right on the right. There are some extremely exaggerated contrasts however, I’m learning just how effective and dramatic a jet black mark against a bright white can be in an image.

Medium

b

In this, I experimented massively with different mixed media. I used all types of pens, coloured pencil, sharpies, pro-art markers, pencil, and black fineliners. I even cut up small strips of colored washi tape. I initially used this to figure out which single medium looked the best but I concluded that I really liked the subtle mixed media look this gave, and figured that a whole page of simple coloured pencil wouldn’t look visually interesting or stimulating, especially considering the texture of real life books and how unique each one is. Looking back, I think this could have been even more diverse and I have gone the whole way and done full mixed media, with inks, pastels paper, and paint, so I think that will be a future project for another day.

Within the actual drawing however, I am so pleased with how I managed to portray so accurately the form of the shelves, and the perspective within. I really made an effort to see which shelves you could see above, which you could see below, what was shaded, and I believe it’s paid off. I also like the almost cartoon style of the books on the lower shelves, with the black outline and the hints of pages.

Form

dI drew a black and white pencil sketch of what I’d like to imagine my final drawing to be like. I hinted at tone in this, but mostly focused on making sure the forms of everything were correct, especially the shapes and proportions of both the bookshelves and the inner windows. Its very loose and appears in some places partially finished, for example the curtains aren’t tonally accurate as I didn’t fill them in a dark grey. I experimented with how I would organise my books as well, using a bit of artistic license to portray them sitting beautifully and gorgeously on my shelves, and also experimenting with figuring out how to draw books that are leaning against other books.

Colour

I completed this page very quickly, using it almost as a jotter for reference. I figured out the colours I would use for my curtains, and a more detailed representation of how the flower pattern print on the curtains look. I love the pink and grey colours together, my entire bedroom follows this scheme and I think it represents my girly personality well. I also put together a sketch of colours and leaves outside the window, seeing what worked well together and what didn’t. I could use a multitude of blues, purples and oranges to create flowers in the garden. I considered red, but as I knew there would be a lot of pink in this picture, it would clash slightly. As with any piece of art, its hard to know exactly what colour your pencil/pen/paint is going to turn out on the page, and so having a sketchbook or sheet of paper to just practice is incredibly beneficial. Making a note of all the shades of green pencils I own will enable me to quickly pick the best match, without blindly guessing and ruining the entire picture with the wrong colour. I also realised having one single colour on most of my books would end up being boring so experimented with merging and blending two colours together, I found it really easy with pencils, I wish I had done it again with markers or pastels and seen how that would have worked out!

Exercise 3: Material Differences

Concluding part 4, we were asked to create a final drawing culminating from our previous exercises, just on a larger scale. As I sometimes find it a little physically difficult to work on A1 size paper, I decided to go for A2. I definitely need to pick up an A1 drawing board as I only have smaller sizes. I love the personal feel that comes from drawing interiors, it’s a very intimate look into someones home and this has been my favourite sections of the entire course so far. Overall, I believe this image is quite successful.

A2 paper

I started off lightly sketching out the chair. I tried to place it at a unique angle with a hint of foreshortening and I think I achieved that, even if only subtly. I actively chose to not overly exaggerate the visible depth too much, although I could have been brave and created a startling, almost uncomfortable version of reality and a disproportionate chair. Something I wish I had done in the previous exercise to this was create small, exaggeratedly foreshorted drawings of my chair and just see how far I could actually have taken it. I always have a lot more confidence experimenting in my sketchbook. I definitely still need to work on bringing that freedom and creativity into my final pieces, as I do have a tendency to ‘tighten up’ on my final pieces and not take as many risks.

I then drew in my small side table behind in pencil, which isn’t particularly successful. I wish I had added some clutter to the table, maybe a lampshade, a mug, or a book, as its not particularly obvious as to what it is, and appears very plain. This could also be because of my hesitation, I worry if a drawing is too ‘busy’, the quality may be compromised as I try to simply finish it, and I could draw a wonderful chair but completely ruin it with an immature addition of a lampshade that is inaccurate and looks out of place. Hopefully as time goes on I will become way more confident with pulling together objects and harmonising them together in one picture.

There wasn’t too much tonal difference within this image, however I did try to make an effort to darken underneath the chair, and also within the creases of the fabric itself. I definitely could have made more of a dramatic play on the shadows however. I think one of the more successful parts of this drawing is the arm of the chair, I think I have managed to capture the depth of the design, even if it is slightly simple, it’s incredibly effective.

I found that adding colour was one of the hardest parts of this drawing. I think black and white images often look better and more realistic, and adding the wrong colour, unless used for effect can make an otherwise wonderful image appear uncomfortable to look at. I started off used colouring pencils, but had trouble filling large areas neatly and smoothly with such a fine point, so I moved onto soft pastels instead, which worked a lot better. I worked much faster using them as well, as I was able to quickly fill large areas of space and could blend colours together easily. The more I practice with pastels the more skilled I am becoming with them. The mix of pencil and pastel works together to create a lovely rich tone, like how you can mix paints together to get your perfect shade, I occasionally find that often using a pencil straight from the packet creates a very childish and unnappealing colour, bute blending and combing with others allows you to end up with something more true to reality.

As a final touch, I cut up flowers from a sheet of wallpaper and stuck them on in the background. Although I really love the sketched flowers in previous drawings, I really love incorporating mixed media in my art. Overall I have achieved a very simplistic, but bold picture with strong blocks of colour and hints of detail here and there.

This has definitely spurred on my desire to constantly draw other areas around my house, I got so much enjoyment from these exercises and I’m actively making an effort to notice things around me nowadays as well, sharpening my perception skills and being more aware of subtle objects I would previously have overlooked. I’m definitely honing my skill of looking at the world through the eyes of an artist and grabbing inspiration from all corners.

 

Research Point: Interiors

Transcript:

Using multiple viewpoints within a single image creates such an incredibly unique picture. In life, when you look around you, objects from all different angles are pieced together in the mind to create a coherent image which the brain then processes. We don’t see the world in neat compositions and perfect squares, we see things jumbled up from all directions, meaning images with multiple viewpoints may be a more realistic view of the world. The world is 3D, but no matter how hard we try, flat paper artwork and images will only be 2D. However, experimenting with the idea of multiple viewpoints can create art which is realistic to what we see in real life. It encourages creativity and non-linear thinking, something I definitely need to embrace. Even if you had the same still life in front of you for months on end, by using different and multiple perspectives you could create a plethora of unique paintings, and no two images would ever be the same.

In this particular image by Anthony Green, I was struck initially by the colours used. I really liked the berry red tones and greens. The unique viewpoint is striking, and I love the geometric, mathematical style to it. It appears that he has drawn the entire first floor of his house. To completely appreciate this piece of art, I felt like I needed to learn more about perspective, so I did some very basic research. Primarily, perspective involves creating the appearance of depth in a drawing. It is arguably one of the most complex and difficult art principles to master. It is attempting to convey a sense of realistic depth on a 2D flat surface. It is a technique that will require a lot of repetitive practice to master, and so am planning on really focussing on how to learn and draw perspective well.

This second image is by Philip Pearlstein. Again, I felt like I didn’t have sufficient knowledge on foreshortening to completely appreciate the technicalities that went into this painting, so I did some more basic research. I learnt that foreshortening meant rendering a specific object or figure in a picture in depth, and recording the distortion seen by the eye when an object or figure is viewed at a distance or unusual angle. Some artists play on this feature, some exaggerate it whilst others subdue it and create a less dramatic look. It can be seen in this image especially in the feet, and is a really interesting element I would love to explore further in my drawings.

An artist I found who paints domestic interiors is Carol Rabe. I absolutely love her artwork. Like myself, she is unable to go outside for hours on end, so finds inspiration within her own four walls, and adores the geometry and complex spaces of interior/exterior views. However, she does not like to paint abstractly, preferring to depict the known in front of her. She often chooses bright sunlit spots to paint, which is beautiful and makes for artwork with rectangles and trapezioids of light creating unique bright patterns over the canvas. In regards to her painting methods, Rabe has about six paintings going on at the same time that correspond to different times of day. Once the light changes too dramatically she moves around the house to another painting, ensuring each piece of art captures a single snapshot in time. Her working style is something to be admired. She uses a viewfinder, something I am endeavouring to begin using to ascertain compositions, and creates a few brief sketches before starting a final painting. She always starts on a toned canvas, creating a base with sometimes even as bold colour as bright pink, but occasionally more muted. She draws out the composition of her underpainting in ultramarine blue, a technique I am definitely going to use myself, and skilfully uses a small pallette of three or four oil paints, and a couple of flat brushes. I am completely inspired by Carol Rabe. In regards to content, whilst looking through her website I found her interiors to be very similar to mine, curtains, lamps, books,  chairs and windows, small, beautiful details within her house. Compositionally she has a very similar eye to me, in this particular drawing she has two doorframes and a wall running between them. She uses the corners of rooms, tables, and windows to split her page up interestingly.

She is a contemporary artist, and her content reflects that in regards to the fashion of this era, with modern and classic decor. Shiny reflective surfaces and thick heavy curtains with wooden furniture are very common throughout all her paintings. We get a very intimate look inside her home, giving an in depth view into her personality, style and tastes. Her paintings often appear incredibly light and bright, giving off a very calm, serene and peaceful mood. The colours, although sometimes a little dull, do not give a depressing feel to the image. They are all very bright and full of texture and details. You can even see the brushstrokes in some of the images.

Another art movement I must mention is cubism. It’s entire purpose rests on the functionality of multiple viewpoints. Artists such as Cezanne would create still life compositions in completely revolutionary and organic designs, compared to the linear geometric thinking the western world primarily accepted.  Picasso would create bizarre compositions in which facial features would be captured from different angles, planes of colour overlapping, and although to some the art may seem childish, it is actually some of the most realistic depictions of life. I don’t even believe it could be classed as abstract art.  In this drawing, it is almost as if the table is seen from one perspective whereas the fruit bowl is seen from another, higher perspective. There does appear to be some sort of block supporting the back of the fruit bowl, perhaps explaining the unusual composition, but it still doesn’t quite allow for the degree of artistic licence this painting appears to have. Work like this appears to mimic the artist moving around and looking at the subject from various quirky perspective.

Sources

Exercise 2: Composition – an interior

I was next asked to complete around four more drawings, building from an image within the previous exercise and focusing more acutely on one place. This culminates in a more final drawing later on Our main focuses were experimenting with multiple positions, angles, and viewpoints in order to create a drawing with the best composition possible. I always have to make sure I have an observational position that allows me to sit down comfortably, as standing for long periods of time is not beneficial to my health. I decided to chose my armchair, and so having a smaller stool at my desk, I was able to perch on that and work from there. I chose my chair as I’ve not worked much with fabric, and I spend a lot of time curled up there so thought it was an accurate representation. I also thought I could possibly begin to experiment with the idea of foreshortening as well, and maybe just slightly exaggerating the way the chair looks.

My first drawing I started in pencil, then moved on to adding colour with dark grey and pink sharpies. Even though the technical drawing isn’t perfect, I believe if I had taken the time to properly colour the chair, and not just briefly scribbled a drawing, it could be quite an effective drawing. It’s definitely an extremely strong medium that I am looking to use in the future. I really like the loose sketchy flowers of my wallpaper, I was able to draw them quite effortlessly and they look good.

This exercise asked us to constantly shift our viewpoints and consider using different perspectives. I was so glad I was pushed into working like this as I definitely wouldn’t have been creative or brave enough to go ‘outside the box’ naturally. In this drawing I focused on noting down the tonal values, and although the shape of the chair isn’t completely accurate, the tones within are. I really like how I managed to start depicting the creases and folds within the cushion, I feel like it looks pretty realistic.

I really like how my side table turned out in this one, I put a lot more detail into it and its paid off. I also drew my little footstool, but if I were to do this particular picture again, I’d definitely turn it around so it runs horizontal against the chair, not vertically, as it awkwardly breaks the composition up and feels very out of place. I like the darkness I put into the creases of the chair, I’m really trying to make an effort to use a confident hand and avoid light cautious marks, as it really makes for better drawings.

We were asked to do multiple studies, both vertical and horizontal, and I ended up really liking this composition. I almost considered it for my final piece, but ultimately decided against it as it felt very ‘safe’ and I wanted to draw something perhaps a little more out of my comfort zone with a bit more interest.However, I considered the colour usage within this study, figuring out schemes that worked well together but were still relatively true to reality. I used slight artistic licence, as, in reality having mostly very washed out pale, white, pink and greys in my room I exaggerated for a more interesting picture. I used coloured pencils and definitely find smaller areas like this easier to fill neatly.

Looking back over all these studies, I feel like the portrait studies just worked a little better with the subject than the horizontal. I like being able to play on the height of the chair.

I really tried to work fast during this exercise. Traditionally I spend ages carefully drawing and erasing lines and reworking but sometimes you just need to do lots of quick sketches to get a feel for the subject and then move on. It forces me to work instinctively and intuitively, and most of the time it ends up being a much fresher, natural drawing. Overworked pieces can end up being dull and I have a tendency to focus on the smaller details and not on the bigger picture. Speeding up forces me out of this mindset. This often leads to multiple messy looking sketches, but an in depth and coherent study of a subject

One thing I wish I had done was create more drawings in different mediums. I stuck to pencil throughout and I should definitely have used charcoal, pastels or conte sticks as well, even biro. They bring out a completely different mood to your drawings and it would have been really interesting to see how it might have changed how I saw my chair. Previously I’ve always tried to use a wide range of experimental media, but in all honesty I think I just forgot, so I will be making a mental note for the future.

Project 3. Exercise 1: Quick Sketches around the home

In this exercise, I was asked to draw sketches of multiple rooms in my house. I really enjoyed this, completing this slowly over a couple of days. I made the decision not to use any colour, just wanting to get the basic details of the room on paper first, then perhaps in further sketches I could add colour. I realise these photos don’t do the drawings much justice, they are much more vibrant in person.I used an A3 sketchbook.

I started off this exercise in my bedroom. As this is the one room in my house I have furnished and designed completely to my own tastes, I definitely believe it’s going to be the place I feel the most inspired. I started off  by drawing my chair I spend my time reading on. I tried to quickly portray the fluffy texture in the cushion, however could definitely build on it. There wasn’t much variety in medium involved in creating these simple drawings, besides using a few different shades of pencils, HB, 2H, and B. Once I drew the basic forms, with as accurate perspective as I could manage, you can also see the beginnings of tonal value shown on the arms. I also didn’t include the wallpaper or carpet, an important finishing step in any drawing.

This is one of my favourite parts of my bedroom, my bookcase paired with my  curtains and a window. It makes for a visually pleasing composition. I am an avid reader as mentioned before, so it’s inevitable I would use books as subject matter for a lot of my drawings. This is one of my favourite pictures, the natural light outdoors coming in from the window paired with the manufactured bookcase creates such a diverse, unique image. There’s slight tone on the window-ledge and for one of my very first times drawing curtain fabric, I believe I was was pretty successful, although could definitely have been more dramatic.

I decided to try with different size drawings too, so decided to split my page in two and draw something on an A4 size paper. I’m not particularly happy with my bed drawing, I found it extremely difficult to draw, stood at a very awkward angle, and didn’t include any background. I tried to depict the creases in the bedsheets and pillow, and although the basic form is accurate, it couldn’t be said to be a complete drawing. However, I am pleased with my door picture. I live on the ground floor so have a door leading out into the garden, so, the idea of window and doors giving a glimpse into the outside is very appealing to me. I hinted and the brickwork on the floor as I thought initially it would be too distracting to draw every single individual brick. The contrast between the natural outside world and the manufactured building makes for a really interesting picture. On the ends of my curtain rails and hook, there is a sparkly glass decoration and I really struggled depicting it accurately, I think if I used charcoal and focused on drawing it alone I would do a much better job, but as I’ve never drawn glass with pencil before,  I struggled.

I continued trying to experiment and try new things in this exercise. Upon seeing my desk, I initially considered drawing it traditionally horizontal across the page but could not find a comfortable viewpoint and position to work from. So I thought outside the box and stood at a different angle, seeing how it would look lengthways instead. Although not perfect, I’m really impressed with my creativity. I definitely need to practice more into how to portray carpets and flooring, as I gave no indication in this drawing. I tried sketching in a very loose, free sense, with a darker pencil and experimented with a unique perspective and an extreme sense of depth. Although extremely tricky to depict, and as a whole I’m not all too pleased with the composition, as looks a little off balance, it was a big learning curve.

This is a very basic sketch of my kitchen, as I look at all these drawings I am regularly realising I needed to add more tonal values into these pictures, they look incredibly  ‘unfinished’, but at the same time I have the beginings of multiple pages of notes on different parts of my home. I think my progress and visual representation of bigger areas has improved a lot, and you can only compare progress with yourself . I really like the round stove chimney in the middle of the drawing, I think the variety of shapes and depth works well as I’m traditionally just using . I feel like one of the consistently successful elements in most of these images are the composition, I believe I have a fairly instinctive eye for that.

This was one of my most quickly and roughly done, and subsequently most inaccurate drawing. I really quite struggled with this fireplace. With all the different almost mathematical lines that made up, I found it hard to find a starting point, and to deconstruct what I saw in front of me, I just personally found a little overwhelming. There was too much similar detail to be able to focus on one part. I feel like its very basic and childish looking, but sometimes it’s important to do speedier drawings and then move as  I tend to get stuck down in the intricate details and spend far too long on one part. The more drawings I do, the more naturally it will come.

This time I moved into my dining room, and my favourite part of this piece is the jug of flowers that sits on the wood table, as it has strong lines, a hint of shadow on the table and even some tonal indication and it makes such a huge difference. I also really like the idea of drawing art within a piece of art! I think the bird picture on the wall is really interesting and looks really effective so I will definitely be using that in subsequent pieces. The second drawing on this is a clock in the hallway, and a window outside overlooking a gate and a few trees. I think the tonal shading within the clock is well done, and probably one of my neatest, most accurate and detailed drawings to date. I began filling in the background outside the window behind as well, if colour was able to indicate the gate, houses and trees it would make even more of a impact.

I have a very disabled friendly walk in shower, with handrails and a stool. After drawing this, I had a the idea of a set of paintings based around the idea of disability, depicting what life is like when you have a long term illness. The reliance on modern technology and the internet to keep up with friends, all the medication, abstract depictions of pain and headaches.

This was again, some of my first basic attempts ever at drawing fabric. I hope to practice more in the future and get so much better at it, but considering I have only used my observational skills to depict this, with no tutorials or guidance, I have done quite well. There were lots of doodles and patterns on the blanket that if I were to draw this again, I would liked to have included, maybe in pen, using a jet back fine liner.I drew more of the flooring and wall paneling in this which I think, even if not immediately obvious exactly what it is, finishes off the image to make it look complete.

Using the inside of my house as inspiration, for someone who can’t often get out and about very often due to illness, has been so brilliant. Only having to stay within my own four walls and exert my energy on making the art rather than finding and creating the subject matter is a much more enjoyable experience.

All in all, I feel like two of my most successful drawings are

  • The one looking outside my bedroom door, onto the garden
  • My bathroom

They work the best because they have the most tonal contrast within. It was a big lesson I learnt upon looking back, and will endeavor to always use a more confident hand and a darker pencil when drawing in the future. I can get stuck using a light touch and hesitant marks, for lack of confidence in my ability and fear of messing up. I know that I can always start over if I mess up that bad. Another thing I learnt was to always include background detail because it can really finish it off.

I like how big some of these drawings are (A3 size), taking me outside my comfort zone, but also believe that if I had maybe not been quite so ambitious, I could have perhaps finished the drawings a lot quicker and therefore got a lot more detail in.

Exercise 4: Monochrome 

This monochrome exercise as a way of looking deeply at tone, not just at the surface colour within an image. We were asked to use both natural and manmade objects, and contrasting materials.

I started off with trying out a couple of different subjects, for example a fish on a plate, which personally didn’t work for me. I then tried a banana and orange in a fruit bowl composition but that also didn’t work. Eventually I came across a vase and some flowers and thought it was perfect. In these last few exercises I have really learnt the value of testing out loads of different compositions and layouts before finding the perfect one. It may take time, but it’s worth it.

To help with visualising my drawing, I was able to edit a photograph of my still life into black and white, which gave me a strong basis and reference point to return to. It is definitely a great idea when looking at the tones in an image, and is something I will be continuing to do in the future.

I collected up and used a mixture of both coloured pencils and watercolour pencils in blue, using the latter medium for the very first time. Although I had used my sketchbook to practice a range of tints and shades on one pencil, I hadn’t tested every single colour I was planning on using, which resulted in me accidentally finding a much nicer shade of dark blue halfway through the process, and having to build up a lot of pigment to cover the first layer of ultramarine.

Using  watercolour pencils is a very different experience to using traditional pencils. I really like the soft, expressive, almost glowy look it gives the flowers, and how easy it is to move the pigment around on the paper once applied. I found it worked best if I drew a block of colour first then added the water with a wet paintbrush to soften it out and move and blend it. I also experimented with placing the water first and colouring over that, but found it did not give strong pigmentation and ultimately left striped pencil marks that couldn’t be blended well. Often, I would let the drawing dry and then continue adding colout and depth on top, creating a very multidimensional image. I really focused on depicting all the different tones and I feel like the flower especially is very successful.

One of my favourite parts of this drawing is the top left hand corner. It’s a very subtle, yet full of interesting background and texture. It has a great balance of colour and a range of tone. I also really like how the composition was made interesting by making the vase slightly off the page, giving the illusion of size and depth.

I struggled with the details within the vase however. I had been working in such a loose, free style and to tighten up again felt very counter intuitive, the marks I made felt very messy and unplanned. I don’t think the ellipse looks quite right either. If I were to do this exercise again I would definitely spend more time penciling in accurate proportions and details before filling in in colour. However, the vase is genuinely hand painted so there may be some people who really enjoy and appreciate the quirky detail I tried to reproduce. I also really didn’t focus enough on reflecting the light reflected in the ceramics, it looks very matte when it was incredibly shiny. I need to remember to look at the highlights when drawing manmade objects.

I started this drawing in my sketchbook as the paper within was relatively thick and I knew it would hold the water well without bobbling or buckling. I wanted to practice without worrying about the finished product, and found it worked even better than expected, so ended up using it as my finished exercise. I have the ability to cut out the image as if just on an A3 sheet of paper if necessary, but thought I would keep it attached for now.