Reflecting on the previous 2 exercises, in the line drawing I think I was able to do a reasonable job indicating the texture of the various objects. A sense of depth was achieved partly by the arrangement of objects, but helped also by the drawing of the patterned tablecloth they stood on. It could be useful as a study for another work, but as it stands I don’t see much merit in it.
In the colour and tone drawing, I chose soft pastels and was able to handle them quite well, but I think I went too far and I’ve ended up with something that is not as good as it was half an hour before I stopped. A sense of depth was again created by the juxtaposition of the objects. I could have created more contrast which may have improved it.
The restrictions created by the limitations of the exercises were interesting – in the line drawing I was constantly tempted to include shadows and tones, and had to resist. Using colour was another challenge and here again I was tempted to stray beyond the limits of the exercise (I actually think I did), and I found this more challenging than the line drawing.
For Exercise 3 I went through various attempts to use different supports and mediums. I began with the idea of using one of my African woodcarvings on a small table, then added an action figure, then another one.
I worked in wax crayons and coloured pencils (of the more waxy type), which worked at times but at others created difficulties when I wanted to change things. This is how it ended – not how I’d planned it – I cut the bottom off it, and I darkened the background too much, and was then unable to make it lighter again. I’m thinking I may cut out the objects and stick them another support.
I wanted to try drawing on an old wood panel so I first painted it with clear gesso than used a combination of wax crayons coloured drawing pencils, pastels and charcoal. I then sprayed it with varnish. A useful experiment – I’m quite pleased with it, the wooden figure is enhanced by the grain of the wood support:
I then sketched with a watercolour pen brush and coloured it with pastels and added a bit of watercolour. I found this to be a good method to quickly achieve a suitable result:
I then decided to try collage – I selected 5 objects and intended to draw each of them separately in different mediums before cutting them out and arranging them on a support. This is the first figure, done on pastel paper with sepia Conte stick, charcoal and white chalk:
I prepared a foam board by sticking paper on it – some wallpaper samples and a page from a book. Inspired by Mary Fedden I decided to include a window with the intention of drawing a distant scene in it, so I stuck a piece of blue wallpaper on as well. I cut out the drawn figure and then made the decision to stick that on before drawing the other objects directly on to the board. The mediums used for each object, left to right: 1. Black marker pens. 2. Coloured drawing pencils, pastel pencil, brown marker pen, soft pastels. 3. Acrylic paint, ink, pastel pencils. 4. Paper collage, wax crayons, marker pen, acrylic paint. 5. The cut-out figure, stuck on.
Having got this far, and aware of my tendency to over-work things, I made the difficult decision to stop – no distant scene through the window or anything else. It is not a picture of 5 objects that I’d arranged before drawing – each of the objects was created individually and the composition was made on the support. I’m pleased with the result and enjoyed this way of working. All in all, a very useful exercise. I’m keen to do much more experimentation with mixed media.