Create a sketchbook with different kinds of coloured and textured papers. Use a variety of surfaces and collect the sheets together. Collect a range of drawing implements and force yourself to put familiar materials to one side and explore unchartered territories. Draw your chosen object on each of the sheets using a different drawing material throughout. Practice using the same media in different ways and at different scales. Explore cross-hatching, stippling, splattering, smudging and dry brush work. Investigate the properties of mixed media; see which marks work together or not and how marks can be altered.
The object that I decided to draw for this exercise was my glasses. I found this quite a versatile and enjoyable object to sketch and the shapes and dimensions were not too intricate, but still engaging to the eye.
Firstly, I used pencil and sketchbook paper and did a simple drawing. I then repeated this, but explored the technique of cross hatching. I like this effect, and have used this previously when completing the “History of Illustration” exercise, however – I did find this effect difficult with my chosen object as there was not much space and I found it more tricky to complete the technique in a refined place.
I purchased a pack of different coloured linen card, and used a light blue sheet for my next couple of drawings. The drawing implement I used was a felt tip, well several from a childs pack – Dark Blue, Yellow and Red. I decided to create one in red with some dot work (stippling) a yellow one with a ‘dash’ affect (stippling) and one in dark blue with a block coloured frame. Why do kids felt tips run out so quickly?! The felt tips were successful on the linen card, and considering the card is textured, I was surprised at how smoothly the pen ran along the card.
Next, I used some crayons and coloured in my pair of glasses on a pearlescent, glossy envelope. I used several different coloured crayons and I like the visual that this has created. However, using crayons on this type of material was not easy. I think this is due to the gloss on the envelope. I had to press and shade quite hard to get the colour to show, and even then – the outcome wasn’t bold.
I then selected one coloured crayon, my chosen selection was red. i decided to use the red crayon, a this colour – in my opinion, is bold and statement. I had purchased a pack of all sorts of different handmade Indian papers. These papers were fascinating and SO creative, and I had never seen anything like them before. I used the red crayon on a handmade Indian paper with cotton fibres. The crayon worked well on this texture and I like the addition of the cotton fibres that can be seen through the paper.
Another of the papers contained real flowers. For this I selected a blue crayon as I felt it complimented the colours of the flowers successfully, and my overall outcome proves this. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with these handmade Indian papers, and I am aiming to create more work with these textured papers.
I have used acrylic paint before, and it is a material I enjoy working with. However, when I think about the tasks I have completed on images I have created with acrylic – they have normally been large scale abstract designs. Firstly I created the glasses with a mixture of blue, white & grey acrylic paint, and I applied this onto canvas. This wasn’t as successful as I would have liked it to be. I think this may be due to the size of brush and palette knives I used, and also because the size in which I tried to portray the image – (the canvas was postcard size).
I then had a large A3 sheet of acrylic paper and decided to adjust the scale of my chosen object. I completed this in black acrylic paint and with my paint brush I created a ‘dry brush effect’. I haven’t noticed how this effect can work before, but now understanding its meaning and how it can be conveyed, I think it can look extremely affective – especially on a textured paper.
Tipex – normally used as a form of eraser, I thought could be an effective material to use, as long as on a darker background, so would still be visible. I decided to use Tipex on brown Kraft paper. It worked well, and although my final image wasn’t overly neat, the Tipex flowed well on this material, and I don’t think this would have been as successful on a more ‘rough’ texture.
Black fine-liner — My FAVOURITE drawing implement to use! When collecting all the materials for this exercise; it was obvious that a black fine-liner would be one of my choices, but I did deliberate several times on what surface to produce my object in fine-liner on. I had a pad of small, blue, square, patterned swatch paper and really liked the idea of the colour black in thin lines standing out on this background. Completing this, I am pleased with its success, and I also like that I didn’t include the whole object as I feel it gave a different view of scale and dimension. I visually enjoy how the blue/grey floral pattern comes through the image as this gives my drawing another aspect to enjoy.
My wife and I put flowers regularly in little mason jars that we had made for our wedding, and recently we had bought some beautiful flowers. Some time had gone, so they needed to be replaced. This is when I realised that I could use the petals as part of this exercise. The thought of this was far easier than the building of it. I did not glue the petals down, but placed them… thinking now that glue would have probably been a wise choice. This process became frustrating after many attempts to put certain petals back into places that they had slid/moved from. On the other hand, I have found this image to be visually engaging and pleasing to the eye. I love how the petals produce their own individual style and texture and I enjoy what they bring to my object.
Lastly, I removed a sheet of glass from an old photo frame and used a black Sharpie to draw my image. I ‘stippled’ the arms of the glasses and blocked out the main frame. The contrast of detail between the two worked really well and I am pleased with the outcome. I am also pleased with how well the Sharpie worked on glass. My experience from using glass has taught me that no pen will work successfully unless a Sharpie or an alternative ‘glass appropriate’ pen.
Completing a small analysis after this exercise, I have come to the realisation that ‘stippling’ works successfully with blocked out colour, especially with darker colours and shades; such as Black. I have learnt what drawing implements work on what textures and have noticed that although some may work, they are more difficult to combine and produce. I have also learnt to think ‘outside the box’ and look at ‘real life’ when thinking about what to incorporate in my work – as seen with the flower petals.