Natural objects appeal to me more than man-made, partly because it is easier to cover up mistakes! Artistic license!
Sketches of natural objects in different arrangements:
Next, I wanted to try using coloured pencils so this choice of medium influenced my choice of subject. I thought I needed to choose objects with subtle colours and soft lines, and I was learning about the medium as I went along. The result is rather “quiet”, and could be said to lack confidence, but for a first attempt at a “serious” drawing using coloured pencils, I’m quite pleased with it. (I haven’t used coloured pencils since I was a child colouring maps of Africa for geography lessons.)
This oil pastel by Buhler 2012 “Onions”, was the work which inspired me.
I placed the objects on a paper napkin, mainly to provide some unity and colour contrast, but I have not captured the intensity of the colour which was a brighter apple green. I did not want the background to dominate the composition.
It is easier for me to represent natural objects as their shapes are more forgiving (see above), but I think man made objects reflect light more and therefore it is easier to portray 3D.
The man-made objects I drew were more solid that the vegetables above. This was shown partly by the choice of medium I used and the paper support. The line making was firmer and denser. The lines in the much softer drawing above were lighter in pressure and the overall tone of the piece is softer.
Overlaping objects helps to give the appearance of depth. The use of a soft napkin beneath the vegetables reinforces the light touch. A firmer more solid base detracted from this.
I find it hard to know how to “create meaning” in the choice of objects for a still life, even after all the research I have done. I am not keen on using objects to symbolise something directly. If meaning can be attributed simply because an object belongs to me, then it is easy, but I think this is too simple.
In the end I chose to draw a glass ornament with interesting and challenging tonal variations and inclusions within the glass, and as a foil, some sweets wrapped in cellophane.
The strength of the light source is important and difficult for me to acheive in my situation, but would help if I wish to enlarge the drawings.
In another series of sketches of a different selection of objects, chosen for their old-fashioned nature, I also needed stronger light. I made a sketch of the glass on its own to try to capture the reflections.
I realise that as the obects do not overlap, the composition is dull, and they all have the same vertical structure and similar shape. This is a bit like Modriani, but he always has very significant and important overlaps in his works.
In retrospect, I feel very critical of these sketches.