Part 3

Project 1: Trees

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Project 1, Exercise 1: Sketching individual Trees

It can be overwhelming when faced with such a mass of detail, which is what I found when working on the trees exercise.

I’m not sure what genus of all the trees that I have sketched, but I have tried to reflect their particular individuality, e.g. by concentrating on the general shape, the direction that the branches grow and how the leaves fall. I found this exercise useful in appreciating the diversity present in trees.

There are two large, purple-leaved trees just in front of the green and I can see them from my bedroom window. I can’t make out much about the shape of leaves from the distance that I’m at, but I wanted to get a sense of the shape mainly. I’ve used many layers of oil pastel for this one, and then scratched at the surface for the texture of the leaves at a distance.

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Not sure what type of tree this is- it’s pretty much dead (I drew this in the height of summer, not the depths of winter!) I liked how some sort of lichen has started to take over, and is using the dead tree as a support- not only does it have its own poetry of sorts, I like the texture that it adds. I drew this one standing at the bottom of it, looking straight up- so I’ve only got the top portion.

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This is a tree is my front garden. I’ve seen it hundreds of times, but not really taken it in properly until this part of the course. It has interesting leaves/shape. What drew my attention to it was the intense green contrasting with the dark rain clouds.

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This is actually a chilli plant- I watched a programme about a range of mountains (can’t remember where now- I think possibly Africa), and they have these crazy heather trees (think regular heather plants on steroids)… and it got me thinking- imagine if this tiny little plant was a huge tree… and so I drew it and pretended that it was tree-sized, instead of a little pot plant on my window ledge. Possibly a bit of a cheat, but nevermind. I like the combination of biro and pencil, and the red chillis really stand out next to the green leaves.

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This one is a willow tree. I drew it quickly, just to get a sense of the shape and the flowing fall of the leaves.

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No clue what this tree is, but I found it while on a sketching walk. I noticed how the leaves were mostly visible on the edge of the tree, almost a halo of fuzzy green on this dark, almost skeletal tree.

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I think this is a stunted little yew tree- I discovered it while on a sketching walk around one of the villages nearby. It is in a churchyard. I didn’t plan it very well, and started from the bottom up… only to realise that I’d ran out of space by the time I got to the top- oops!

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Project 1, Exercise 2: Larger observational study of an individual tree

For this exercise, I focused on a youngish apple tree in my front garden. I worked in ink- it seems to lend itself to botanical drawing (probably because the botanical drawings I’ve are often in ink/watercolour), and I think I managed to represent the delicate/fragile form of the tree well. The palate wasn’t quite right- the greens are probably too yellow, and the background was done quickly and only hints at the shrubs behind.

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Project 1, Exercise 3: Study of several trees

I spent a couple of hours in the arboretum close to my house for this exercise. At first, I found it difficult to hone in on a suitable group of trees- the amount of detail was a little overwhelming.

I sat on a bench I found in a quiet part of the park, and after a period of letting my eyes adjust to the scene, settled on a small clump of young silver birch trees, as well as some other trees (not sure what type). I decided on pencils, and this was largely because I find them easy to use while outside.

The picture is here:

Unfortunately, I only have 3 greens, so the palate is more limited/inaccurate than I WP_20170530_021would like. I used gesso on the foreground, to get a sense of mistiness (inspired by Chinese landscapes). I distinguished one tree from another by using different mark making (vertical, uneven lines and strong tonal contrasts for the non-silver birch tree), but fine, horizontal curving lines for the silver birch.

A lot of the mass of foliage was actually in the background, which I’ve let sink away. On balance, I could do better at this, but I wanted to focus on the trees rather than the bushes behind them. Perhaps a little more detail would suffice though.

For the light on different parts of the tree, I have highlighted the light falling on the trees in a light cream colour, which I’ve used sparingly.

I do think that I managed to select and simplified the scene- I was right in the middle of a load of trees and bushes, but have focused on 5 trees. I think I need to work on getting a greater sense of depth in the composition.

I then drew the same view, but this time as a negative space drawing. I left the trees blank, but coloured in the negative space, trying to get just the impression of the

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colours of the bushes in the background.

I’ve included more trees in this version because I felt that it would add more interest to the negative space drawing.

I got a little carried away with this exercise, and ended up with a few more examples of groups of trees:

The first one was inspired by the view of trees while you’re passing by woodland in a car- you just get an impression of very light and very dark areas, with dapples of light on the ground. The light/dark areas whizz by in noticeable vertical lines. I like the end result, although it needs some polishing up. It has quite an unsettling but at the same time, child-like/fantastical atmosphere, which I like. This one was done with Biro on acrylic ink.

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The one below is again trying to demonstrate the sense of light and dark that you get as you’re passing by a woodland. Not as striking as the above example. I didn’t focus very much on creating depth here, and the image lacks depth.

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The one below has turned out way more apocalyptic than I intended… I was initially inspired by the orange sky combined with the very dark woodland at ground level. It’s done with pen and ink on acrylic paint.

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While I was walking as part of my atmospheric exercise, and I came across a hedgerow on the way to Wayland Smithy. It was so perfect, like a little window into a hidden woodland, that I had to draw it. I know it’s a bit cliche, but I felt quite drawn to the scene. I’m not sure what to do with the colours, so I’ve printed some copies of it and I’ll experiment with the colours on those.

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Finally, I turned my hand to collage- the first attempt that I’ve made so far on this course. The background is a photograph of a tree with a rope swing on the Green near my house. It had an ominous atmosphere, which I have attempted to recreate here with dark colours.

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Project 2: Landscape

Exercise 1: Cloud formation and tone

I’ve been adding to this exercise gradually- with the aim of studying clouds over a period of time and updating the blog as I go, rather than doing the section and moving on.

The first one here is in oil pastel, with I’ve blended with my fingers and also partially scratched off the surface to re-introduce the highlights from the paper underneath. I think it’s ok, but needs some clearer highlights. What I find difficult sometimes is that the light can appear diffuse, so there’s no obvious light source hitting the clouds firmly from one direction.

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I was thinking back on something that I’d seen, I think at the Tate- ages and ages ago. It was a large canvas, with quite complex overlay of white paint, with touches of blues and pinks. I don’t remember what it was called or where I was, but I recall interpreting it as dense fog, perhaps on a dockyard or something. It was quite atmospheric. That gave me the inspiration of getting out my lesser-used chalks.WP_20170606_001.jpg

The first one (above) had a patch of damp paper, which had seeped through from something I’d been doing earlier. At first I was annoyed, but actually I like the way that the removal of the surface of the page has created an interesting texture. Perhaps something I could use in the future.

I used a similar technique (using white chalk on black paper, and going back in with charcoal to get the dark tones). This time, I added in red chalk because the clouds that I was looking at were more complex in colour than just tones of grey. It was particularly stormy, and the clouds had a distinct earthy hue to them. I like this technique for clouds- it’s so quick to do, which means that you can capture the sense of the clouds without constantly being annoyed that their shape has changed.

I think the main thing about clouds is that there’s not much point trying to draw single cloud that you can see, because their shape is constantly changing. It’s better to get an overall impression of what clouds are like: they don’t have hard edges, they have dark and light patches combined throughout them.

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I have bought some water soluble wax crayons, and experimented with them to see how they’d do clouds. It’s strange weather outside- a weird yellow hue and ominous clouds; it definitely feels like there’s a storm brewing. I wanted to try to reflect the yellowness of the clouds (below). It’s sort of worked. I think it probably needs less blue and more grey… and also less white (but it’s not meant to be a finished picture- just a test really).

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Exercise 2: Sketchbook walk

I took my sketchbook around the outskirts of the village where I live.

The first was walking through a winding lane, where I stood facing up a hill that curves around to the left with a house on the bend. It’s very rural, and the lane has a thick canopy of trees and surrounded with bushes. The day was humid and very overcast, although there wasn’t much view of the clouds where I was standing. I feel that this sketch has the potential to make a good composition- the lane leads the eye up towards the house. There’s a very dark area, which is the side of a brick wall (although there’s little texture to see- it was just extremely dark).

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Walking further down the lane, I came across a dilapidated fence and gate enclosing a field of grass. Again, it was a humid and overcast day, and from where I was standing there was little sky visible. There isn’t much foreground here, perhaps a better composition would involve something leading the eye up to the gate, although that could be achieved with tonal values (e..g. light patterns on the ground).

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Next was in the arboretum close by. The arboretum has a large wild meadow area, with rusty shed surrounded by trees. Again, it was very overcast and actually starting to rain. There is a clear view of the sky, which I’ve tried to capture here. I think this one has the potential to make an interesting composition, although this view doesn’t work so well because the main subject is pretty much right in the centre of the page.

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This one was still walking around the arboretum- I found a little old-style caravan parked underneath some trees. Although the cart is in the centre of the page, I like how the line of the path next to it takes the eye further into the background. I could certainly add highlights to the roof to bring the eye across from the tree branch and back down to the foreground.

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I did additional sketches, even though the instructions were to limit it to 4. In this one, also in the arboretum, I found a little pond, surrounded with trees. I liked how the banks of different water plants (which were different tonal values) created interest, and I felt that there was a definite sense of foreground (tall iris plants), middle ground (the lilies and pond) and background (the trees at the back). This one I felt also had potential.

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I drew this one further back on the lane mentioned above- you can just about make out the house at the top of the page. I think this version potentially works better- there’s more going on in the foreground, and the gate and lane both help lead the eye up to the house. The problem might be how to bring the eye back down from the top- what’s to anchor it and prevent it leaving the frame? The over-hanging branches helped with that in the first version, but these are absent in this one.

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 Exercise 3: 360 studies

I did 4 quick sketches in pencil while I was walking in Llanwyn, Anglesey.

This was on a sunny, windy day on and island off Anglesey. It was interesting to see how many different views there are all around, and how you can get a very different sense of a place just by what you choose to focus on.

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Project Three: Composition

Exercise 1: Developing your studies

I decided to develop one of my studies from my walk in Llanywn.

I started by deciding what it was I wanted to portray. The reason I’d decided on one of the studies was because of the enjoyable day I had when I sketching the rough studies. It was a lovely sunny day, I was off work and having a nice time with friends. That’s the emotion I wanted to get across.

I decided on the first sketch, with the little row of houses. I liked the way that the landscape sat in layers, providing clear sections of background, middle ground and foreground. The day when I was sketching was quite breezy, so I also decided that I wanted to capture that sense of movement in the grass. I wasn’t sure how I might go about that.

I came across ‘Bathing’ by Duncan Grant, 1911 (oil on canvas), (c) Tate, London 2017. I was quite taken with the stylized depiction of the water, and noticed how it was layered, in a similar way to the layering in my own sketch. The wavy lines work for water, but I didn’t think it would be appropriate for grass. However, it did help me to start thinking about how I could depict moving grass. I thought perhaps some sort of hatch, but felt it would look flat and solid- not what I wanted at all.

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The final version is below. I used a combination of water soluble wax and pencil. It looks paler in the photo than it is on the page. I think that I’ve managed to depict a rolling landscape, and that e.g. the foreground is lower than the middle ground. I think I’ve also done an ok job of echoing the moving grass- but could do with some more work. Perhaps a totally different technique would be more effective. The house is much smoother, and I think I’ve contrasted it well with the surroundings. I’m not so convinced about the background- it’s not quite right. I put quite a bit of blue in it, thinking that this would push it back- which has sort of worked, but it’s more about the lines themselves- they’re quite flat.

Overall, I feel a bit underwhelmed by the drawing- it’s nice, but is actually quite bland… but I guess I did choose a sketch that I made while having a gentle stroll on the beach! How could I retain the sense of peace and tranquility, but at the same time make it more interesting?

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I tried again, this time with ink pen and white charcoal pencil highlights on brown paper. I feel much the same about this- I don’t feel very satisfied with it for the same reasons above. I think there’s a combination of factors here; the subject and atmosphere being evoked as well as the composition (the eye is drawn directly to the houses, and then there’s nowhere else to go). Perhaps a different angle would have created a more interesting composition/drawing.

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I also developed the other sketch with a house in it from Llanwyn, although I didn’t do any prep work for it. I wanted to try it as I’ve never tackled water before. It took quite a lot of tweaking to get it to the point where it looked alright. At first, it looked very flat, and then also noticed that I’d drawn it in horizontally, whereas the lines of the waves were coming in diagonally (I think because there is a cove behind the house). I think I’ve got the background in nicely- it’s hazy and lighter in colour/blueish in tone. I used gesso to go over the trees, as they were too defined and dark without. That seemed to push them back. The rocks don’t work so well – they are too flat.

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Exercise 2: Foreground, Middle ground, Background

Although this exercise says to return to one of my original sketches/photos, I’ve actually chosen a different location- I’ve just been to Prague and was particularly taken with the landscape, and was inspired to draw a scene from the square outside Prague castle.

I used a combination of soluble wax crayons and pencil. I can see that the lines of the benches are not quite level in places, although I think that the foreshortening does work overall. In this version, I haven’t put enough detail on the bench and floor in the foreground, so the level of detail needs enhancing. The trees are also uniform, and will require additional tone and texture. I want to keep the building loosely detailed, so I won’t add much else to it, but it could be made darker so as to push it further into the background

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Based on my observations above, I worked back into the drawing, adding more texture to the benches, floor and trees (particularly the leaves dropping over the top of the drawing).

After putting this drawing to one side for a couple of days, I’ve come back to it with the intention of re-evaluating with fresh(er) eyes. On reflection, the angles of the benches are unequal (particularly the one at the end), and there probably isn’t enough indication of the middle-ground, although the detail does gradually lessen. I think the main thing is that there although there is definition in the foreground, and although there is a clear sense that the bench in at the foreground is larger, I don’t think I’ve done enough here. It might be better perhaps if I focused in even further on the bench in the foreground.

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I’d been doing some research on Peter Doig, and I enjoyed a number of his paintings where the viewer appears to be looking through brambles at houses, or at people (e.g. Architects Home in the Ravine, or Young Bean Farmer). While on a walk around the village where I live, I spotted a view of one of the churches, through a bank of brambles- and I decided to capture it in a quick sketch, which I then developed into the drawing below. It’s on grey paper, with pastel and Biro. Although I didn’t have this exercise in mind when I was working on it, it seems like an appropriate place to put it. There is clear, defined detail on the leaves in the foreground, and they are evidently much larger due to being in the foreground (e.g. one leaf is as long as the main windows of the church). The middle ground is the field in the middle- some detail here, but not too much. The details of the trees in the background are only suggests by lines and smudged colour. The drawing is largely monochrome, but the orange of the roof is really quite bold, and prevents the overall impression being too bland.

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This is another sketch-turned-drawing, again whilst on a walk around the footpaths near my house. I was taken with the play of the light on the ground and leaves that I saw in this tunnel made from trees. It’s not the best composition (the lightest part- the end of the tunnel- is right in the centre of the page). The main thing I think that I was doing with this drawing was actually trying out some pastels, which I’d bought and not really used very much. I like working with them- I enjoy how physical the process is (as opposed to the fine, detailed work that I tend to do with pencils).

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This one is a view of the Wittenham Clumps. It’s actually more of a painting (acrylic paint), but there is also pen and crayon in there as well. It doesn’t especially fit with the course- it’s more of a sketch I suppose, but as there is the foreground/middleground/background at work, I thought this was an appropriate place to put it. It was a very quick sketch- it probably only took about 10 minutes.  I was experimenting with using a very dark palate, and a more expressionistic style.

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Project 4: Perspective

Exercise 1: Parallel Perspective

I had a play around with the suggested preparatory work for parallel perspective- i.e. looking through a doorway of various degrees of openness. I found it an interesting exercise. I was aware that the shape of the door alters depending on where I am looking and depending on how closed/open it is. I’d never tried to draw it though, and I found that something of a challenge. I actually found using a protractor to measure the angles to be very helpful. I was pleased that when I did it free hand, that I was pretty close to what the measurement actually was. Note- when measuring a rectangular object, the angles will add up to 180 degrees. This seemed easier than trying to work out where the vanishing point was and working backwards to find the angles of the top and bottom of the door.

After a considerable amount of working this out in my sketchbook (it isn’t pretty!), I settled down to work on exercise 1.

My final drawing for the exercise is slightly outside of the brief- I haven’t looked through a doorway with a rug in front of it. Instead, I have looked up a staircase, with a doorway at the top of it. You can see inside other rooms through the doorway.

The drawing is of one of the staircases at the Ashmolean. I think it has worked well- although the banister poles are a bit wonky and also too thin. I think that the staircase looks good, and you can see the inside of the other rooms well- and it’s WP_20170702_015.jpgclear that there are ceilings and walls. It could probably do with greater tonal range- the physical version isn’t as pale as the photo appears, but I’m sure that e.g. the shadows on the steps could be darker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve put the perspective lines in (black is the actual line, red is the correct line). For the most part, it seems correct. The exception is the lines of the wall above the step.

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I had worked from a photo in this exercise, and I think that this has proven a useful lesson in the pitfalls of doing so- the camera lens can distort lines of perspective. See the photo that I worked from:

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Although clearly the version that I’ve ended up with isn’t an accurate reflection of the true perspective, it has proven an interesting lesson… so, I’m glad that I did it.

I had another go, this time in my own house, with a view through a doorway from the hallway into the lounge. This time, I looked carefully for where the horizon line was (measuring out from my eyes with my hand), and dictated where the vanishing point seemed to be (in front of my own face). I worked from the vanishing point, creating the angles by referring back to it. I’ve used pencil to pick out some colours, although it is chiefly a line drawing.

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Again, I re-checked the angles after I had completed the drawing. For the most part, the lines match up with the vanishing point. As you can see from the image on the left (black lines), the mat, the sofa and the curtain rail do not match. The Image on the right (red lines) demonstrate where the lines should be, if they are to match with the vanishing point.

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What confuses me here is that the line of the sofa on the ‘correct’ version just doesn’t look right. Maybe I’ve got the width of it wrong? It really doesn’t appear to recede so far when you look at it- it looks quite straight. The same is true of the mat.

Exercise 2: Angular Perspective

I started with a line drawing of a street scene from Prague, it was very faintly drawn and I then began filling in with tone.

Recently, I;ve been feeling frustrated that all my drawings all seem to look too similar- I seem to have a tendency towards representational drawing (which is no problem in itself, I suppose), but they are not very expressive and I feel quite bored by them. I think having a ruler and protractor to hand means that I’m taking this tendency even further than normal.

While I was filling in the colours and starting on the tone for this exercise, I could see the beginnings of a drawing that would be very tight.

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I decided to stop for a moment, and I put the drawing to one side. I picked up the book Experimental Drawing, Kaupelis, R. In it, he suggests a blind/partially blind exercise.

I decided that I would do this scene in a blind drawing outline, and then partially blinded for the details (e.g. the windows). The result is below.

I enjoyed this exercise a lot- it helped me let go of the rigidity that I’ve been holding on to. I quite like the drawing that I’ve produced- even if it does look something like a deranged, acid-trip version of Prague.  I find the the contrast of the very elegant, refined reality of Prague and this intense, crazed version of it that I’ve drawn amusing. Perhaps it’s something that I could bear in mind for future work.

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After loosening up with the blind drawing exercise, I returned to the original that I had started on. I much prefer the drawing that I have now, than the one that I was WP_20170705_003.jpgheaded towards before I took a break.

I used charcoal and graphite, plus a limited use of coloured pencils just to add some added colour and interest. This also helped to create a different effect; my go-to medium is pencil (probably because I like the fine detail that you can get with it). This change in medium also helped with the different style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise 3: Aerial Perspective

I took a stroll on the Ridgeway, which is a national trail that runs through Oxfordshire.To be honest, I initially found this a challenge- everywhere I looked was rolling fields… very picturesque and pleasant, but not exactly the stuff of interesting drawing. I was starting to feel very uninspired, but as I looked, I found here and there views that did have some potential.

I actually only managed one drawing on this walk- it was very hot and I had limited time on the parking meter- but it is below:

I used conte (but then worked back into it with pencil when I was home- I did not have any fixative with me on my walk, which meant that it got smudged!)

I’m not 100% convinced of the atmospheric perspective in this drawing. It is definitely more blurred and it has a blue hue, which the rest of the drawing does not have. I think it probably appears better in the flesh- perhaps this photo does not quite do it justice.

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I did enjoy drawing it, and I was pleased that I did find something to draw on my walk, given my initial misgivings.

 

 

 

 

On my way home, I stopped off at the Wittenham Clumps  and drew a landscape of the back of Little Wittenham viewed from the top of one of the hills. It’s very rough-looking, even though I was there for about an hour! Again, I think that the image is much clearer in the flesh; but it does definitely need more work to make it a finished piece. I think that the atmospheric perspective is effective (indistinct, blue). I was sitting on a hill, which I could see, and I kept it in the frame. I’m not convinced how clear it is that a hill is included in the immediate forefront. Perhaps the grass needs to be much higher?

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I had another go at a different view entirely- this one of a view from Llanwyn Bay. This is in conte and pencil on black paper. I like the diffuse lines that you can get with conte- it lends itself well to atmospheric perspective. The slightly annoying thing is how the fixative darkens down and flattens the colours. I’ve worked back into it, but I think there’s the danger of overworking things, so I’ve just left it as it is. WP_20170713_001.jpg

Project 5: Townscapes

Exercise 1: Sketchbook of townscape drawings

It took me a long time to settle into this exercise- I found myself putting it off for a long time and working on other exercises instead. I think it was because I felt awkward going out into a busy, public place and sketching. I’m not sure why really- probably because I was anxious about intrusive comments/requests to see what I was working on.

Anyway, after much procrastination, I went to the nearest town (Didcot), and sat in my car while sketching the Orchard Centre. My main observation about how I was feeling at the time was wanting to get it over and done with- I don’t feel that I really engaged with this exercise as well as I could have done. It doesn’t help that the place evokes no emotional response really… it’s pretty bland and generally, I’d say I’d associate it with a general feeling of going there to do get something and then leaving quickly. However, It was a beautiful morning, with strong sunshine and a clear sky.IMG_20170905_173529.jpg

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This is one (below) is a finished drawing from my townscape drawings. I wanted to focus on the striking contrast between the orange shop front and the blue sky. So, that it was I depicted in this drawing. I tried to get a sense also that this was just a facade, and one with plenty of cracks in it , e.g. through the moldy decaying material and the water stains. It has a vaguely Edward Hopper feel to it, I think.

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Exercise 2 Study Study of a townscape using line

It took me a long time to settle on a subject for this exercise. This is by no means a complaint, but I live in the Oxfordshire countryside and I am surrounded by quaint little villages. Although they are lovely to look at, I just feel that they are too chocolate-boxey for a drawing.

Ultimately, I decided on tackling a view of Oxford city centre. I went to the most ‘Oxford’ place- the Radcliffe Camera and made a number of sketches and photos of potential viewpoints.

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I settled on this view- with just a portion of the Camera visible, with a portion of Brasenose College visible, a wrought iron fence and a bike. It was quite difficult getting the angle of the porch on the camera correct- because it is attached to a round building. there was a lot of detail in this drawing, and at points I did feel that I had bitten off more than I could chew. However, I am quite pleased with the drawing- even though I can see that some of the angles are off. I think that I’ve managed to achieve a sense of depth, e.g. down the lane, which has added interest by just hinting at a turning in the road.

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Exercise 3: A Limited Palate study

I tried turning the Oxford townscape into a limited palate study, but felt almost straight away that it wasn’t working. Perhaps I was just sick of working on the same drawing! In any case, I decided to move on, and do a different view of Oxford.

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Here is an example of the sketchbook work that I did when trying to figure out an alternative view.

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This is the end result; it’s pen and watercolour. The view is looking at Market Street from Brasenose Lane. The buildings look quite wonky and like they are leaning outwards (into the street)- actually do that in places (because they’re so old, I guess).. but perhaps not as consistently as they do here- so something was off with the angles. I found this one quite difficult as well – there are so many details that it can be overwhelming. I’ve tried to keep them to a minimum where possible, and it was a relief to be able to do that more so as the buildings recede into the background.

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Another study of Prague in this exercise. I used acrylic ground using burnt sienna, raw umber and white. I then used pastels on the top, using the closest colours to match, with the exception of an additional dark grey. Not sure why the front of the buildings look to peculiar… they remind me of that hilarious (and horrifying) attempt by a local woman to restore a fresco of Jesus. Perhaps it’s the lack of detail?? Not sure. Also, somehow I’ve managed to make the downward slope of the ground slope upwards, so that’s a perspective fail. I think it’s a combination of the angle and also the tone or colour (so that the horizon doesn’t ‘lie down’) visually.

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Exercise 4: Statues

I visited the Ashmolean Museum with the aim of sketching some of the many statues that they have on display there.

Here are some of the drawings that I made:

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I saw an interesting article and accompanying video by Professor Sarah Bond of Iowa University, where she made a case for the ‘whitewashing’ of ancient monuments/history. Here is a link to her article in Forbes, and another link here to her blog (which contains a video). It was particularly relevant, while wandering around the Ashmolean and being presented with room after room of white marble statues… and which, of course, I drew in that same manner (except the hog, which I did in grey…before seeing the article, I might add). I always felt that these marble statues seem so serene, and sophisticated. But, what a different perception I would have if they were all made up in their bold, jazzy colours! And also, what different perceptions we might have about these ancient statesmen, gods, warriors etc if we weren’t automatically thinking ‘oh, these people were all white’.

An interesting reflection, given the point discussion above, is that I’ve made the statue of the woman look more ‘renaissance’ for want of a better description that the real thing looks. It would be useful when it comes to drawing faces, to get more practice drawing people who aren’t like me (i.e. European)- maybe it’s just lack of practice… it wasn’t intentional at any rate.

I haven’t had chance to do more sketching of statues, just for want of time. But, I did enjoy doing them, once I overcame the initial awkwardness of sketching in public.

 

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