I didn’t really understand the instructions for this exercise, but was advised by other students by email.
I did a continuous line drawing of some objects on a window sill. Not sure if this was what was required, but used pencil, charcoal, conte pencils, ink pens.
Then I stood in my bedroom door and drew with charcoal, adding ink mainly with a stick or brush. The result is very loose, suiting the appearance of the room which looks as if a bomb has hit it (as my mother would say).
Later, I found a drawing by James Boswell (1949) Man in an Interior, which I copied in my sketchbook. It is a simple line drawing with a very small addition of red and terracotta watercolour wash. It is very effective in its simplicity.
The perspective is not accurate. The table top and shelves are too flat, and there is little depth, but I like this inaccuracy, as I feel it is echoed by the roughness of the seated man, half off the page, with his cigarette between his fingers.
Initially I misunderstood the whole build-up to this exercise. It was not until I looked at the blog of anothet student that I realised my mistakes.
To start with, I wasn’t clear whether this study was supposed to be in monochrome, so I opted to use hard pastels. The result is not much good even though it took me ages. The pastels haven’t covered the paper very well. I think the perspective in this drawing is improved, however.
Then, on reflection, after some time, I went back to the exercise, and made a monochrome drawing of the interior view from Exercise 2.
I think it gives a fair impression of depth and tone and I was helped by the lead-in exercises.
I have some paintings by my Great Uncle, Denbigh Hilton, who was a lovely, gentle Unitarian priest, and a couple by my paternal Grandfather, Colin Hilton who was an embittered man who was forced by circumstances to work for years as a clerk when he wanted to paint. In spite of this, he produced many paintings, pastels and watercolours, which are still hanging in the home I grew up in.
The sketching around the house was frustrating, and some was done in my father’s home where I grew up. I find perspective very difficult still. The results below are also in my sketchbook, along with others.
None of these drawings were “fast”. I am too inexperienced still to do much quickly. the last plate was the quickest and is the most careless. By this time I was fed up.
This took me a great deal of effort, making sketches some of which were woefully out of proportion and perspective.
I tried to draw someobjects on the table. but again made mistakes with the proportions
I tried various views and compositions.
I finally did a fine line drawing sitting on the floor, which was better, but took me a very long time.
This exercise took some time to come together. It was a staggered creation, with some aspects added in as I discovered source material..
I found it difficult to access any good quality anatomical drawings of animals initially. I managed to borrow from the library a very old book ‘Animal Painting and Anatomy’ by Frank Caulderon (1936) London Kimble and Bradford, and some images online. These were drawings of mammals and I was not keen to try mammals at this point, as I was not sure how I would develop away from the original drawings.
Then I found some beautiful watercolour and collage works by Philip Gosse, and was led to a book by him containing his drawings of sea life: ‘A Naturalist’s Rambles on the Devonshire Coast’.
I made some chalk drawings on black paper from these.
I wanted to convey the quality of the floating weightlessness of a jellyfish and its watery environment, so I experimented with acrylic ink to produce the image below. I used an irregular wash of diluted blue acrylic ink onto damped watercolour paper, then added an equally dilute orange in spots and sprayed with water, to give the impression of transparency. Lastly I drew roughly with a stick, using less diluted violet to form the jellyfish and sprayed againg in places.
I think it is naive, but gives the impression of floating and transparency in a crude fashion. It is very far from the precise and delicate drawings of Philip Gosse.
This was very enjoyable. I was fortunate to be able to go to sketch some six month-old pigs at a friend’s farm, and had a lovely afternoon. They were such characters and wanted to communicate. The noise of their snuffling for apples in the straw and grunting in their sleep was just like pigs are supposed to be! They shifted and moved even when asleep and the flies irritated them.
The photos from my sketchbook have not come out well.
I took lots of photos whilst I was sketching and once home, selected a group to make a charcoal drawing.
I really like the portrait but wanted to draw a group, so opted for the second photo here. I considered the composition and chose to draw four of the five animals, as I liked the balance better when the animal in the foreground was left out.
I like using this approach with charcoal, giving the paper an initial covering and then adding lines and darker tones, picking out highlights with a rubber.
Then I thought I might try a similar approach using pastels on a coloured paper. I used a bright orange. I was nervous about the choice, but the other option I had at the time was green. I didn’t want the effect to be cold, and hoped the orange would infuse the whole drawing with warmth and give me a good base upon which to attempt the colour tones in the pig’s skin. It was a challenge and I was left with an OK result without much interest in the surroundings.
Although the original sketches and phots were taken in a barn, these pigs are usually “free-range” in some woods. They’d broken out a few days earlier, to my convenience!
I decided to take a walk to a pretty orchard and make some sketches and photos and then to try to incorporate something of the atmosphere onto the work, maybe using the gouache which I have just bought and never used.
I’ve taken a photo of the pastel drawing before attempting the background, in case I ruin it.
I think the orange is still too strong and the gouache spoilt the work, because I was too literal in the drawing of the background/foreground.
I want to move away from the attempts at realism but I don’t have the confidence, or the ideas, or enough experience of the media.
I was stuck to find any suitable objects that I wanted to draw for this exercise, so I went to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter and found a false killer whale jawbone. It was difficult to draw in the light from the cabinet, and I did not have much choice about the angle from which I could draw it. It took a long time and I had to go back a second time.
I am less than happy with the result.
Some time later, I was lent the skull of a roe deer and made two further drawings, one a rough sketch with pen and the second in pencil. I am much happier with these. I was able to control the position and light and am more familiar with the anatomy of the skull of a mammal.