Final Drawings – Natural Forms and Made Objects
The objects for the finished work were chosen for their diverse shapes and textures, i.e. the roundness and smoothness of the avocado stone to the jagged and rough textures of the branch section, which necessitated very contrasting marks which had to be used differently for, say, the edges and nearest face aspects.
The marks chosen were those that formed the texture of the object and reproduced as near as possible on the drawing. All the objects had their own texture even though fine in places but crosshatching and similar marks were not used.
I have a range of clutch pencils with different size and grade leads which enabled such textures as shading to be readily reproduced.
Graphite pencil was chosen as the tool as I have most experience in this medium and would not have been able to achieve my best standard in another medium, consequently more practice with charcoal, ink etc. required.
However with a range of pencils and leads one can simulate charcoal and incorporate more detail and also more stability from the medium.
1. Did you do enough preliminary work before starting on your final pieces? I think so. The objects were chosen for their difference in shape, size and textures and within their limitations the final compositions appeared to be the best arrangements with regard to the objects’ characteristics.
2. Do your large drawings give an accurate interpretation of the still life groups? If not what went wrong? For my standard at this stage I was quite pleased with the outcome of most of the pencil sketches and sketches and drawings. (Unfortunately I haven’t learned the skill of sketching yet, i.e. making a quick, restricted detail drawing.)
I have never drawn such size images in my life and so it has been a big jump in the last couple of months to get to this stage.
The Natural Forms could have had an alternative finished drawing as there were probably other groupings that would have achieved the same result.
I am aware of the shortcomings in some details (ellipses!) in the Man Made drawing but in the main I consider my drawings are realistic and whilst there may be a lack of artistic flair, i.e. they are a bit plain, they do represent the objects as I saw them.
I quite liked the idea of the large leaf encompassing the garlic as the central object with a balance of other items around them albeit contrary to the good principle of thirds.
I was close to achieving the encompassing leaf but I think that the dark shadows have dominated the central area and taken away the enclosing effect. Maybe another way of representing the texture of the leaf would have avoided the situation.
3. 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? There were a good number of made objects that could have been incorporated into the final drawing with interesting and different shapes but the number was reduced for the final drawing though I am not sure this was absolutely necessary.
For the Natural Forms I think the right number of items was chosen. More would have cluttered the drawing and detracted from the central image. Perhaps the bracken leaf could have been included as a “pretty” but the balanced element would have been compromised.
4. Do your drawings fit well on the paper or could they be improved by working on a larger sheet of paper? I have never drawn this large before and so was possibly timid about size. However I think the drawings fit the size of the paper used but obviously they could be drawn larger on a larger size of paper but a different medium might have been required.
Perhaps charcoal could be used on a larger sheet for the man made items where the shape is more dominant than the texture but not for the natural forms which required a greater attention to detail.
If you increased the size of sheet and drawing for the natural forms you would have to step up the size of leads.
5. Did you have problems with drawing or find hatching too difficult? Apart from some of the ellipses most of the shapes fell into place and I was pleased that I was generally achieving my shapes at the first attempt particularly in the final drawing.
It has been a huge advancement in the last couple of months that I am not making anxious “search” lines in order to define a shape. Mostly I am getting my initial lines right. Also I have learned not to furtively erase search or construction lines as they can often be merged into the drawing or overdrawn.
As commented above hatching was hardly used. Quite early on when I started drawing I was not convinced that representative textures were going to be suitable for me, i.e. I have never seen cross hatching in nature.
If I was to have a style it was probably to reproduce as near as to what was there and where there was a possible shortfall hopefully the eye/brain would fill in the gap. Hence my wide variety of clutch pencils, graphite leads and sticks.
In any event I would find the actual application of any cross hatching quite hard.
I did have a problem with the coloured pencil drawings. I think these drawings are the first proper coloured pencil composition that I have undertaken since leaving preparatory school.
They are as good as I can do and with more experience I will do better. For me coloured pencil is not able to represent detail or draw an accurate line in the manner of a fine lead pencil.