First drawing of natural forms.
When I thought of natural forms, immediately seed heads and drift wood came to mind. I thought of teasels, poppy seed heads, rose hips and berries that I often see growing in the wild. Unfortunately at this time of the year, I could not find anything except teasels. I spent a lot of time thinking what to put with the teasels to add some interest and colour. I picked different fruit and vegetables that caught my eye at the shops. I also wanted to have a variety of textures. The final choice is a pomegranate, avocado, Aubergine, teasel and two physalis fruit. The group is like a collection of seed pods, from near and far. I used soft pastels, conte crayons,charcoal, graphite crayon and charcoal pencil for this drawing. After trying different tools, I felt the pastels would be the best to depict the fruit. The objects were placed on a table. As the table lamp was very close to the objects the cast shadow was emphatic. I used charcoal pencil and dust for the shadow and it seems the tone may be too solid black. I tried to make it lighter with grey pastel, but It would not take.
The petals of the physalis are very thin- almost transparent. the shadow had different nuances and I could see the reflection of the fruit in the shadow.
The texture of the avocado was rough. The area where the light was falling, there were shiny spots. The shadow on the left of the avocado may not look correct, but angle the light was falling, it cast a double ended shadow.
I struggled with getting the correct colour for the Aubergine. I found it very hard to blend the purple with black to get dark purple. It is not correct in some areas, but I left it as the more I tried, the worse it looked. I was happy with the reflection of the pomegranate on it and did not want to lose it, so I did not attempt to use another tool for the Aubergine.
I added blue marks in the negative space just to cover the white areas and make the fruit feel vibrant.
Second drawing of made objects.
I wanted to draw my small fork and trowel as I use these a lot in the garden. After trying to add other objects, such a gardening clogs, a jug, just the fork and trowel alone, I decided to use my gardening hat. The fork and trowel are made of stainless steel with black and grey matt rubbery handles. The floppy sun hat is made of cotton. It’s actually a very long strip of cloth stitched like a spiral. I placed the objects on the floor, so the view is looking down on them while sitting on a chair. The desk lamp was on a table so the intensity of light was less. The cast shadows were light. I thought I would add a stippling of watercolour to give a mossy sandstone effect as background. It looks like I may have gotten carried away. I have used charcoal, ink, conte crayon, charcoal dust and gouache. The trimming on the hat is done with sepia ink.
Assignment one Reflection
Did you do enough preliminary work before starting work on your final pieces?
I feel I have done enough preliminary work. For the study of natural forms, I had sketched teasels using different mediums till i felt confident I can depict their honeycomb and spikey form fairly well. I wanted to show the texture of the avocado, so I tried various tools, including oil pastels. It looked good in the oil pastels, but I knew I could not use them for the other fruit so I ended up using the soft pastels for the final drawing.
Do your large drawings give an accurate interpretation of the still life groups? If not what went wrong?
Yes they do. The trowel in the made objects may look wide, but that’s because its at a diagonal angle. I could not make it very long, so proportionally the width seems big. The tools are actually 1.5 times bigger on the drawing. When I finished it, I placed them against the drawing to compare and they look correct.
In the study of natural forms , the physalis on the left may look a bit bigger compared to the avocado behind it. That could be because it was right at the front.
Did you make a good selection of objects or did you try to include too much? Would you change the arrangements of objects if you were to start again?
I don’t think I have too much and I have tried to include as many shapes and textures as I could. For the natural study, I had started off with peppers, teasel, Aubergine, physalis but it looked too busy. I then tried to have more teasels on their stem lying horizontally in the middle. That had an effect of too many lines (including the shadow of the stem). I liked the teasel against the dark Aubergine, so I put it in the middle and arranged the rest of the fruit around it. I also tried a sketch of several upright teasels in a vase and looking down on them. The sketch looked good,but for this assignment, I felt I would not have used many of the techniques I have learnt.
For the made objects, I arranged the tools as if I have left them there on the ground while gardening and gone off for a break. I am quiet happy with the way they look, except for the watercolour stippling in the background. I can not remove it as the paper would be ruined.
Do your drawings fit well on the paper or could they be improved by working on a larger sheet of paper?
They fitted well as I haven’ t used large, tall or too many objects.
Did you have problems with drawing or find hatching too difficult?
I had problems drawing the sun hat – trying to depict the folds and the trim accurately. Though I looked, the hand would not draw what I saw. In my preliminary studies, the hat looked fine, I am not happy with it in the final piece. Also I accidentally ‘kicked” the objects 3/4 way through as they were on the floor, and I couldn’t get the hat the way I had drawn it originally. There is a slight bend in the fork and i haven’t managed to depict it. I was feeling apprehensive about the made objects as i prefer drawing natural objects – probably because they are not hard, symmetrical and all identical. There must be a quicker and better way to depict the trim on the hat.
I used directional marks to depict the form of the fruit. I did not have any problems drawing the fruit, except perhaps trying to depict the long shape of the Aubergine at a diagonal angle.
Demonstration of technical and visual skills
Material, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills
I have tried to use a variety of tools that I had discovered in the mark making exercise. I used the most suitable tool and technique I thought best. In terms of visual awareness, I have drawn the shapes as well as I could, included shadows and reflections to show form and depth. The composition of the natural objects may look odd,mixing teasel with fruit, but I am looking at it as various seed ‘pods’, some fleshy and some dry. I am happy with the composition of made objects, though not sure about the stippling – it may be visually too much to look at and takes the focus away from the objects.
Quality of outcome
Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.
At this stage, I am just beginning to overcome the fear of making marks on a blank paper. I look forward to my tutors feed back on areas I need to improve.
Demonstration of creativity
Imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice
I have enjoyed the exercises so far and applying some of the experience on the final studies. Depicting a teasel can be difficult, but I feel in keeping with the rest of the fruit, I have managed to indicate its form fairly well. The delicate thin petal like cover of the physalis and its veins were interesting to draw, with the partly hidden fruit. I positioned them so you just get a glimpse of the orange fruit, like a pearl.
The colours may look garish as a composition, but in this study I wanted to use different colours.
For the made objects, it was supposed to be a study in charcoal, but ended up as a mixture. I would have to be careful while planning negative space next time. Looking back at the sketches, I prefer the drawing I did on the A3 paper, it’s simple and the tools stand out more.
Amended photos of the two assignments