Well this as a much more difficult day for me ending up with a piece I wasn’t pleased with, but I think I learned a bit about how I need to go about things.
What we did
We were asked firstly to draw a collection of objects but instead of ‘drawing the objects’, we were asked to draw the dark areas. It was quite difficult not to draw the objects because there was a dense blacks vase in the middle of the still life plus the black base of a lamp.
Then we were asked to measure horizontals and verticals, and adjust the drawing position and size, this week using a negative space as the basis of thé measurements. Again this was to get us away from the objects. I was only partly successful, and ended ended up with some very heavy and define charcoal lines, that multiplied as I moved the dark areas round the paper.
Thirdly we were asked to work with very subtle layers of ink adding a little at a time to water, working over the dark areas to start with, then the mid tones, then adding to the dark areas bit by bit. Because of all the heavy marks on my paper there seemed to be no light areas left. The drawing looked better after the ink, but still very unsatisfying.
People in the class did some excellent drawings – I felt that I should have been more tentative.
Finally we were asksed to draw round the light areas with a white pastel, outlining those areas but not filling them in. Drawing round the light spaces drew attention to the light areas and negative spaces, the spaces between. This improved my drawing, but only somewhat I felt.
What I learned
The idea of focusing o/taking into account the negative spaces – the spaces between objects – helps in many different ways. I think it helps to frame and place objects more accurately in relation to each other ways from the start. I’ve found in the last few months that I’m beginning to look at things like that, not only when I’m drawing. Not sure whether it’s improved my driving.
Less is more – be more tentative?
Somehow – not sure how it’s happened – since I started painting I’ve started pressing on really hard with charcoal – making lines that are very heavy and definite. Although having multiple lines on the page makes for a rich texture, what happened this week was a mass of very dark markings followed by even darker definite marks following measuring and moving objects on the paper. Almost like I couldn’t control it. Tony kindly said something he could see from all the markings that I’d worked really hard to get everything right! Yes in that way i made everything feel wrong. Maybe will try not to do heavy lines.
I’ve been very busy this week so did just one still life at home, starting drawing the dark areas, a quick drawing at home. I used ink washes, all a bit hurried. But my drawing turned out much better. I still did heavy charcoal lines too heavily on some parts, but I was pleased with my marks with the jug – that area seemed the most interesting part to me – the lines and ink washes much more subtle. Had difficulties with the shadows and light in the kitchen as light went from bright sunlight to cloud,to evening darkness and then electric light.