Monday, 16 January 2012

Time for reflection improves my Drawing homework

Yesterday, Sunday, the temperature reached 33 degrees, and was very humid because of the cloud cover.  I was hot and bothered all day.  I spent the whole day in the flat, trying to keep cool, and get myself motivated to do the last part of my homework.  The first hour or so was successful as I finished a complex piece of artwork, with dramatic contrast between the black and white areas.  I had an idea for a second complex piece, but as the morning wore on, and it became increasingly humid, I could not get into the creative flowing mindset that I needed to work up this idea.  I became hot, scratchy and irritable. 

First stage of drawing still life of items on bedside cabinet

Multi-layered drawing, a couple of hours later.

Jim told me that the cricket match at the WACA had ended before the end of the third day, as the Indian batting had collapsed.  We hoped Maurice had seen enough of the game to make it worthwhile.

Fortunately, the temperature reduced overnight, and we are forecast to reach only 29 degrees today, hopefully less humid, with a clear sky. 

However I woke up this morning, having slept well because it was comparatively cool, and came to a realisation about why I had struggled to portray the filmy qualities of the organza fabric in Friday's drawing class.  My artwork for the last year has focussed on getting the right blackness in imagery for it to translate well into a screenprint.  The advice received at Herts last year was to avoid careful shading, which is what I had been doing up until then. Screenprints only work in black/white images - tonal values just don't work.  Screenprints can portray texture marvellously, but only if it is a detailed patterned texture.  In order to get the filmy effect of organza, charcoal needed to be thoroughly rubbed back, as the tutor demonstrated on my work, and this is what I was very reluctant (and completely ineffective) at doing!  It sounds so basic, but the soft tonal variation of organza is what I had failed to grasp.  I did not want to work it so that it became a tonal exercise, by rubbing back hard to give soft effects.  And I did not draw and rub back, then step back several paces to evaluate whether I had acheived the filmy effect, and go back to accentuate the harder folds with further charcoal lines, which was what Michael had told us to do, several times.  I was trying to get the effect with one movement, and minimal rubbing back - which does not work.

So, in order to get the most from the class, I need to forget about producing stuff that will work as a screenprint, and work with a wider variety of styles in order to learn about "drawing", rather than screenprint preparation.

Sometimes my conclusions sound so basic.  But when I am struggling, I know that if I keep working and analysing, I will get a positive outcome.  So although I still struggle at times, I don't get upset about it any more.  The struggle is just an aspect of my learning style ... not comfortable, but part of the learning process.

A wide, shallow drawing of still life.  5 shots to get the whole width.  This was an A1 piece of paper cut in half lengthways, and stuck together to make a very wide piece.  I think this is my best so far.

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