I enjoyed Part 4 partly because I enjoy the process of setting down on paper what I see before me. While I produced some good drawings, I do feel I moved away from experimenting with media in this module and this is reflected in my final 3 pieces which I executed in oiled charcoal, charcoal and graphite.
Having said that. My research into other artists did influence me and the processes of Jenny Saville and Frank Auerbach were especially influential. I also found Alice Neel’s portraits fascinating for the way they conveyed character and personality. This led me to experiment with processes rather than media, using techniques to remove what has gone before (painting over, erasing) and looking at how working from photographs changes the way I approach an image.
Demonstration of technical and visual skills
I worked with pencil, charcoal, pastel, ink and brush/pen/masking fluid and I feel that although I was less experimental with my media I produced some interesting drawings using media I had learned to use in previous parts of the course. This included drawings in ink with masking fluid, charcoal, drawing pen, pencil and pastel. A lot of the drawing was from a life model so was constrained by time which developed my drawing skills.
Quality of outcome
Having felt confident about many of the drawings I produced during the exercises, I was frustrated in my final Assignment pieces to find I wasn’t as good as I thought I was! This was partly because I had only produced one A1 piece of work during part 4 so the size of these drawings was a challenge. To work at this scale and retain the spontaneity of life drawing was really hard. In Figure Study using line (seated), I attempted to use a technique I had already tried – underdrawing in pencil then overdrawing quite quickly in oiled charcoal to try to retain the spontaneity of a quick life drawing. I feel I was only partly successful in this. In Figure Study using tone ( reclining) I followed up on an interest I had in drawing my son and worked in charcoal from a photograph. I am interested in the fact that he is always moving and tried to “recline” him while capturing that he was poised to slip off the sofa and run away. I think this is a successful composition though it was hard to get the darkest tones and I used conte crayon to deepen the darks. In my portrait the final drawing was a bit conventional but the process I went through to produce it – drawing then erasing the drawing – was interesting and I’d like to carry on with this.
Demonstration of creativity
In Part 4 I have experimented with processes for producing work including preparing paper with emulsion and graphite or pastel and working by erasing and overdrawing. I have also experimented with drawing the same thing in different media to study the effects of different media on an image.
I found looking at how other artists tackle portraits and the figure really interesting. There seem to be so many approaches to drawing the figure. I enjoyed researching Jenny Saville, Frank Auerbach, Richard Hambleton, David Haines, Alice Neel, Elizabeth Peyton, Graham Little, Euan Uglow and Leonardo da Vinci. This was the area where I felt most inspired by the work of other artists and adopted techniques based on their work.