Monday 18 February 2019

EDAM Term 2 : Large Scale Drawing week 2

  The second week of Large Scale Drawing project  involved applying ink washes to the previous weeks charcoal drawing, disrupting the composition with addition of another A1 sheet of paper ( either whole or in parts ) and  working on again with ink, charcoal or other media . 
 Quite a transformation from the drawing below  to that above! 
 We started with very, very pale washes of ink , water with a splash of ink ,  thinking where the darks were , and about the marks on the surface, not what the object was. "Don't go too dark too soon"  was the constant reminder as the ink  washes were gradually darkened and  with the paper  getting wetter, the charcoal began to disperse into  the washes
 Then  a coffee break while the ink dried  and  time  to inset another A1 sheet of paper. I split  mine in 2  and placed one part at the bottom and 1 in the middle  and turned the top section of the drawing upside down. By this time it was enormous and I needed Tony's  height and help to put it back on the wall 
Then a return to using pale washes, gradually increasing in density , to link the elements  across the blank white sheets ( which of course didn't have all those layers of rubbed down charcoal drawings underneath so had a different quality) I needed to  make myself a long stick of paintbrushes joined together  with masking tape in order to reach the top areas! 
The drawings  were left to dry over lunch ( the heaters turned on full blast) , looking considerably paler  ( below) on our return . 

There was a wonderful  accumulation of ink splatters and drips on the walls and floors. Inspired,  I put a sheet of paper under mine to catch the marks! 
We had a good look at everybody's work and formed small groups to provide help and suggestions  on how to proceed ( it's often easier to look more critically at work other than your own, to see areas that are working and  those that might need attention) . The advice  given on mine was straightforward - turn it round!! it's amazing what a difference that made. 

Asked to respond to the marks and shapes, I struggled initially as I'm not very good at working from my imagination. At Tony's suggestion as there were so many lovely layers and marks, it didn't need that much more work doing to it, strengthening the darks in some areas and using careful drawing with charcoal to bring  definition and contrast, emphasising some of the dribbles and marks . I  didn't want to  climb on a chair to get to the top area so left that indistinct, concentrating on finding creatures and suggestions of strange objects within the areas I could reach ( ever the pragmatist!) 

Responding to the drawing itself rather than having fixed ideas  of  subject matter produced some amazing results ( reminding me of how  much I enjoyed Tony's ' Reading a Paint Surface' )  Who'd have thought that I could produce such a complex multi-layered drawing   using a toy fork lift truck as a starting point! I  can see or imagine all kinds of things when looking at this. 
It's also a revelation working so large ( and messily!) , not something to  do easily at home ( though I did do that quilt flicking in the garden …)

EDAM Term 2: The Creative Process ( large scale drawing) week 1

Tony Hull  was leading the next project  on behalf of Faith Vincent  looking  at relationships between drawings, what drawing does to looking,  what to do with the outcome. 
We taped 2 A1  sheets together and stuck it on the wall and then chose an object  from the selection of kitsch small item ( I chose  the small fork lift truck). Holding the object, we made continuous line drawings in charcoal, not looking at the object, turning the object in your hands.
 The drawings were rubbed down and further layers added , on different scales.

 We then wrapped our object in newsprint  paper and repeated the exercise , felling it, making large scale drawings.

 We then taped together 4 long paintbrushes with a piece of charcoal taped to the end  to make a very long wobbly stick - it  gave a  very different kind of mark!
After lunch, a session on composition ( thinking beyond the rule of thirds) - how the eye scans horizontally and vertically, predisposed to find edges. Rather than placing image in the middle, placing it off centre makes it more interesting. Making  larger positive and negative shapes and bringing objects  closer to the boundaries creates tension in the spaces around . Painting off the paper brings attention to the edges, opens space beyond the limits of the paper, abstracts.
The process is organic , responding to the marks that are already on the paper
We looked around at everybody's work  and place charcoal ticks in the areas of the drawing where your eye is NOT drawn to ( often edges, corners) . Then the decision was whether to do something about it or leave the space . In my case  I worked on the top left but liked and left the space on the top right hand side - you don't necessarily want the same kind of mark all over. 
I then played around with placement of a large version of the wrapped object on the space ( interrupted by fire drill and evacuation of the building which took a while…)  

I finished off  with using  both charcoal and eraser to define the shape , taking off marks selectively  giving a sense of transparency and layers . Working so large was exhausting! 

EDAM Term 2: Clay and the Figure

I missed the first class  of the new term for EDAM   as Ian had hospital appointment  and the surveyor came to assess damage after water leaked from the shower through 2 floors! It was with Alex Harley , drawing from the model in the  morning and  modelling in clay in the afternoon. Thanks to photos and explanation posted on  our 'Whatsapp' group, I  could see what the others had been up to - it looked an amazing  session , sadly all their wonderful figures  went back in the clay bag

I was able to go to the next session of this project, this time  with Annie Attridge. We worked really hard drawing from the life model Clive , first of all 3 minute poses in charcoal 
Then working with 2 pens taped together.

 Drawing with  wire and masking tape, starting with wire taped to the top of the paper and using continuous line, looking at volume and negative shapes.

 After lunch we were provided with clay slip the consistency and colour of hot chocolate ( tho you wouldn't want to drink it!) . I liked the gritty quality  of it, using a brush to draw with, embracing the accidental dribbles!

 When quick sketches were overlaid, it was difficult to distinguish which line was what  so used charcoal to distinguish shapes when drawing from a longer pose. Again , the negative shapes  were important in keeping track of  where you were in the drawing.

During a short break looking at other peoples work, I liked  work where the brush stokes  were evident in the clay slip  using a big brush. So I copied and drew 'mudman' , scraping into the wet clay slip with the end of the brush to make lighter marks. Very satisfying  and elemental! 

Drawing Tuesday at Tate Britain

Drawing Tuesday last  week was at Tate Britain. So difficult to decide what to draw  but I settled for multiple viewpoints  of small sculpture ' Mother and Daughter ' by F. E. McWilliam. Even moving a few inches gave a totally different perspective  

0.1 sepia Unipen 

0.1 black uni pen 
Pencil and eraser concentrating on the negative shapes, 
Neocolour crayon and biro  done very quickly 

 Having  done so many still lifes  on  drawing courses with random objects, this caught my eye!