Assignment Choice

My final assignment and preparatory exercises will be from one of the following choices:

• Mark making and tone

• Observation of nature

• Drawing outdoors

• Drawing figures.

I am to be guided by my own interests, tastes and inclination in finding a subject and feel free to develop my own interpretation. Experiment, be bold and let my intuitive and emotional involvement in­fluence your approach to this final assignment.

Option 1 – mark making and tone

Looks like an interesting option. I could do with experimenting more with mark making techniques and this would be a good opportunity to do this. However, still life drawing doesn’t inspire me and led to me getting behind with my course so that I am now getting towards the 2 year cut off point, so I will pass on this one.

Option 2 – Observation of nature

Ditto to the comments made above re. still life drawing I think – again, I will pass on this one.

Option 3 – Drawing outdoors

This is the part of the course where I started enjoying the course more, but due to the weather / temperatures at this time of year, I would be restricted to drawing from photographs and would not be able to do justice to this stage through that, so again a pass.

Option 4 – Drawing figures

From the above, it may look like I am going for this option as a lack of any alternative, but drawing figures has been the most interesting and rewarding stage of the drawing course for me, so it was always going to be top of the list anyway.

If you look through my submission for assignment 4, you will also notice that I have some unfinished business in this area – the introduction of colour! It wasn’t a conscious decision to go monochrome in this stage, but that is what happened. I also don’t feel I have been very successful in my use of colour so far (perhaps why I avoided it in stage 4), so I would like to remedy that in this stage. I would particularly like to explore the use of bold bright colours.

From my research in stage 4, I would like to try drawings in the style of Rembrandt’s Self-portrait as a young man, c.1628 (pen, ink & wash on paper) , van Gogh’s, Self Portrait with Felt Hat, 1887-88 (oil on canvas) or Caio Locke’s pastel figure drawings.

Also, having now finished reading Betty Edwards book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”, I will practice some self-portraits in the way she suggests near the end of her book.

From my tutors’ comments on this assignment, I have also picked out the following to try:

  • To achieve a developed sense of form – use charcoal or soft pastel on A2 paper and work lightly from within the pose using the side of the medium (this way you are forced to think in terms of tone rather than line). Continue to model and mould the forms as if you were using clay, at the same time darkening the tones in selected areas to render the forms. (See Seurat’s conte drawings)
  • Use media that force you away from a dependence on line only, eg, brush and ink/water-colour wash, the side of a piece of charcoal or pastel.
  • Drawing the basic skeleton over photographs of the figure can be helpful – use magazine or newspaper images.
  • It is helpful to make a lot of studies of the individual features of the face – eyes, nose, mouth, etc.
  • Keep on exploring the use of charcoal and similar media, eg pastels (oil and soft), conte.
  • It would be interesting to do a similar study (line assignment drawing) direct in pen without doing the “safe” thing of drawing in pencil first.
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