Yesterday – day 3 of the drawing course – was exhausting because of the intensity of the exercise and because I was tired anyway (I had been at a meeting the night before, talking afterwards, didn’t sleep till about 1am.)
Today the objects were set out – the speaker, the lamp shade, the jug etc etc. We were asked to make several sketches and rub out, till we found a composition that pleased us. I wanted to focus on big shapes and started sketching very lightly, in my ‘new style’. Within an hour though my composition had several objects (not large) on it (encouraged I must say by my work ‘partners’ on either side) and quite soon I was back to using heavy lines (encouraged by Tony who didn’t see why I was trying to change the way I drew). We were then asked to settle on the composition we wanted.
After I’d done this, Tony suggested I move everything up the page because the top right hand section wasn’t interesting – you can see below that the heating duct object has moved up beyond the edge of the page. This involved redrawing everything. But was a good lesson in how you have to look at things, not be satisfied, then do something about it. Most times I think I would just rush ahead and not think about it.
Tony talked to us about balancing our composition – he showed us how to divide up the page using the edge of an object near the top of the paper, near the bottom of the paper, then somewhere in the middle. He then showed us how to check that the measurement and relationship of objects within those sections was right . And then we could go on to use the usual horizontal and vertical checks and measures, using an object as a basis for measurement. All this involved moving and redrawing all the objects AGAIN which took us well into the afternoon. The jug, which I had confidently drawn in the morning, became a most troublesome object – to get it to look as if it was lying down – which I didn’t manage, and its shape – which is just about every bloody aspect of it.
He also showed us an approach to ‘dynamic composition’ where you could divide up the page vertically using the boundaries of the main objects to see whether the sections created were similar/symmetrical (boring) or asymmetrical (interesting). To have addressed the issues raised here would probably have meant another complete redraw – so that was left this time.
Finally – the exciting part – we could use tone, ink washes, black and white pastels for outlining, and an eraser to work on parts of our drawing that needed livening up. Tempting to go crazy but ran out of time so didn’t have time to completely ruin my drawing.
Still not satisfied – but more pleased than last week – and other people did some wonderful drawings.
What I’ve learned
If I want to draw big that is what I must do.
Probably its okay to use heavy charcoal marks – though I think it helped to be more tentative to start with.
That you have draw several options, then be prepared to redraw everything, draw and redraw till you’ve got what you want.
The spatial division of the whole page as first basis for measuring was very helpful but really need to do that a few times to get hold of it.