Saturday, 12 May 2018

Large Scale Sketchbook: week 1

Yesterday was the first session of ' Large Scale Sketchbook'  with Tony Hull  at City Lit . I got a lot out of ' Reading the Paint Surface' I did with him a couple of years ago and the Contemporary Drawing Sketchbook course  with Amanda Knight  so it seemed the logical next step particularly as 'scaling up' is something I want to tackle. 
From experiences of others who'd done the course before I was expecting an A3 softback sketchbook  but the course should really be called  Very Large Scale Sketchbook  as we were given a  Seawhite A2 wire-o hardback

 We were all seated around a big table ( with extra tables added to extend it when we opened our sketchbooks)  which was a lovely way of starting. After  introductions , a still life was set up  in the centre of the table of some of the usual random selection of objects: bottles, tools, a teapot, a  large metal 'P' (above); a creepy looking doll.  Starting several pages into our sketchbooks we then  drew with charcoal  over a double page  A1 spread ( bit tricky with the wire in the middle). Lots of rubbings out which  gives a lot of lovely ghostly marks then  measuring, trying to make it a more accurate drawing.   
We then made up a very light ink wash and painted all the darkest areas with it, letting it dry during a teabreak  while we filled in the  admin forms. 

On our return we turned our sketchbooks upside down so more aware of shapes rather than objects  and started  cutting into the pages with a  Stanley knife

Initially the shapes cut out were glued  to the page beneath so that superficially the upper page still looked the same but then we became braver and stuck pieces on different places/pages. 
Every so often we  walked round the table to see what other people were doing - considering it was the same materials and objects being drawn , the approaches used were very different and  inspired by others  we started  cutting right through the pages, creating flaps  and holes. 

Finally we did a tour around the table again , opening and closing folds , revealing different combinations , before putting them away in a drawer until next week ( they're definately not very portable...)

So many possibilities  and ways of looking in just 3 hours! We have another session of exploration  next week  before the site visit to V&A Cast Courts in week 3. Unfortunately I'll be away for that  so will have to make a visit  under my own steam. My current sketchbooks ( A5 and A4) suddenly seem very small.

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