Observation and Construction
In all cases, I’m not totally happy with the images but they are a definite improvement over where I was. In the hands images, for example, I’m not that happy with the fist. I was going for a darker image in the tonal range (which worked), but I’m not as happy with the observation and accuracy of this one. In the touching feet, the background needs a level of work. I might also have put more effort into the rendering of the material of the jeans. For the crossed feet the toe on the right foot (on the left hand side of the image) is a little too bulbous. Similarly the arch of the foot is somewhat off.
With the feet, I kept the board in landscape orientation, and had my feet upright above the drawing board. This may have been a mistake, as it basically resulted in portrait drawings on a landscape board. Not exactly a disaster, but something I should consider in the future.
Overall, the images are an advance in my previous drawings (which a trawl of the practice image will show). In many ways the one I like best (and those others I’ve asked agree) is the hand with the watch. Although it isn’t particularly more detailed or accurate than the others, it does have an interesting character and balance of detail in it. The presence of the watch also adds interest. I could probably spend quite a lot more time usefully repeating this exercise over time, and I suspect I will be doing so over time, along with repeating many of the other interesting exercises on the course as a whole.
For the feet I have tried to add some interesting background, but without making it over power the main subject of the image. I’ve had negative feedback on both of these aspects from my previous tutor, which I now find an interesting balancing act. Including background and the negative spaces involved did help in the observation and construction of the images, as did the negative spaces between the toes, and deeper tones around the foot.
All of the hand images have very little context, as this would be difficult to include with so many poses on the page. Thus, I simply shaded out the “not hand” part.
For the hands, I fitted in the 4 poses and considered trying to get another one in, but it would have been quite a cramped. As discussed above, the feet turned out to be a balancing act between subject-background and level of detail. I’m reasonably happy with the balance, but I could have gone for ever increasing detail in both background and subject. I may try that in a future drawing, but for the moment I’m happy with this level.
Colour and Tone
In all cases I think the tonal range could be more extensive, and that is a reasonable area for future development. Possibly by going back to the earlier exercises, or just practice – practice – practice! This is a bit like trying to break the habit of outlining the subject as part of the drawing process: I need to just keep trying to improve over time and from drawing to drawing.
Reflection and Evaluation
What went well?
I can honestly say that my drawings of hands and feet have improved over the course of this module, as has my appreciation of the role of using negative space in drawing and considering images. I can’t honestly say that I think I have “mastered” either, but progress has been made. Similarly, I am starting to consider some of the balancing acts in a drawing more carefully – without noticeably mastering those concepts either.
I am also developing an approach for considering the message of an image, and enriching my analysis of it. I’m considering how to feed that back into the composition and context of my own work – but that is still early days as yet.
I did almost as much preparatory work and practice for this section of the course as for the perspective drawings. This has been less theoretical, and more based in considering approach and other artist’s work. The consideration of Manga and Etchings has worked well, along with the fineliner practice. The amount of anatomy study and practice was also significant, which did lead to improvements in the drawings of the hands and feet. I have found all of this interesting, and probably could have continued for quite a while – but deadlines and the need to do some of the drawing pull me forwards. I don’t consider the a end to that study though.
What could have been better?
The scope for improvement is clear in many aspects of the work. My approach to construction and anatomical accuracy both need work, and further experimentation. Would adding some props into the feet drawing add interest? Maybe some discarded shoes and socks. Maybe stick them in some sand with a beach toy? The brief specified charcoal or soft pencil, but moving to colour conte sticks, or even full colour, might be an interesting experiment.
What other research might I have done?
With the hands and feet my research concentrated mainly on anatomy and finding ways to improve the accuracy of the images, as I knew this was an area I was (and still am to a degree) weak on. I didn’t spend much time on how past masters had treated the subject, or on ideas on how to add interest to the subject. This might have been worthwhile, especially for the feet.