I will continue to use the evaluation framework from my previous tutor for convenience. Although somewhat long winded, the approach does provide me with a series of different lenses through which to consider my work on the projects. Although I’m sure a lighter weight approach would suffice, this approach does seem to be effective for reflection. As I did the preparation as a block, however, I will do the evaluation together as well.
Observation and Construction
The quality of observation and representation varies between the images. The pencil image is probably the closest to an fully accurate rendition of the forms of the pieces. In many ways, however, the charcoal image gives the best feel for the scene as a whole. The bend on the foremost peg in the fine liner image is slightly over exaggerated.
The mark layers within the charcoal study have too small a tonal range, with the patterning on the back wall not showing through sufficiently. Similarly the density of the lines on the charcoal meant that subtly on tone on the pegs was difficult to achieve without rubbing out and reforming the piece. I tried to keep to the brief of not rubbing out during the project, and so the charcoal approach of continually reworking to gain a better tonal range was out of scope. Based on the project I decided to get some even thinner charcoal sticks, which I used in Project 4.3.
I struggled to get a reasonable tonal range with a fineliner, which was the subject of a good deal of my early part 4 preparation. I think the end result showed significant improvement over my earlier efforts. If I’m to use the fineliner in the future, however, further practice will be needed. This is particularly true if I want to use a manga style in part 5.
The mark making in pencil was limited by the approach, and trying to keep to a single pencil. This seemed more “in the spirit of the brief”. Similarly, a lack of eraser use was an interesting twist in the project. Overall, however, the pencil study has the best representational properties (observation, tonal range, representation etc.), and yet in many ways is the least interesting.
Concept and Context
Overall, I think the idea of using the gypsies worked well, providing a good basis for showing: the differences between the mediums; a study in light and shadow; and a good tonal range. The gypsies are both man-made and organic in nature, which provided good scope for an interesting picture. I did consider an number pf alternative types of object, but ended up on these because of their range of interest and my ability to keep the scene relatively stable over a period of time.
The lighting approach and slight variation in viewpoint between the images provided scope for keeping the images sufficiently different to keep some interest. There was sufficient scope for observing and using positive and negative spaces within the rendering of the image, including in the rendering of the shadows within the image. This is illustrated fairly well in the photograph of the original composition that was produced.
Colour and Tone
As mentioned above, I found the brief challenging to follow and still obtain a good tonal range in the charcoal. The shadows on the white and black have both worked fairly well in the graphite and fineliner images, and passably in the charcoal one. I found this particularly interesting in the fineliner to get to a point of being acceptable. The concepts of “rhythm, dynamics and phrasing” in a drawing are starting to make a bit more sense having gone through this exercise.
Reflection and Evaluation
What went well?
In the end I do like the images that I produced for the project, despite my reservations about their accuracy and technical correctness. The exercise has made me think about my approach to tone, correction and image build up when not able to use an eraser or smudge stick. I do expect this to show through in subsequent work, and (to a degree) already is doing in the other Project 4 exercises.
The consideration of etchings and negative space worked well, and the degree to which I practiced the use of a fineliner was critical in gaining any reasonable representation with the medium. The consideration of Rembrandt’s Etchings and the work of Manga artists helped in this case, as did the line art sampler. This is still, however, very much an area for development if I want to use this medium in the future for “Production” work.
The exercise has made me work without the facility of an eraser, which is something I’ve done relatively little with before. It has made me consider how to work forwards to build up the image structure, working mistakes and early marks into the design as a whole where needed. My abandoning my first fineliner drawing due to too many errors crystallised this learning, and made me think more carefully on approach – and using negative space drawing to avoid future issues.
What could have been better?
The most effective thing I could do to improve the work is practice, practice and practice some more. As my observation is improving, and I am working at better ways to approach building an image, the number of major errors ‘m making is reducing. I am also getting better at spotting issues early enough to be able to fix them – but I have a way to go.
I am finding the use of contour lines a hard habit to break in the representation of objects. The drawing of the negative space is helping, but there is still significant evidence of lines which are intended to separate edges. This would be better done with tonal variation than the use of a contour line.
My creation of a tonal range with the fine liner still leaves something to be desired, and is an area I will need to work on in future. Even if I don’t use a fineliner as a major medium, I have found that this practice is helping with both charcoal and graphite as well.
What other research might I have done?
I found the study of etchings and manga artists. I would like to find the time to try copying some of their work to see how it works out. As I have a book of Rembrandt’s etchings that should be feasible when I get the time, and there is plenty of manga reference material out there. It may also be worth looking in detail at some of the line art of tattoo artists for inspiration.