This is in the wrong order, but exercise 2 came near to completion first. This exercise has also been a steep learnjng curve. in my last feedback my tutor suggested I try a dip pen, and in my Life Drawing I’ve been using conte. Lastly, I wondered if ink and brush might work well. In conjunction with these I’ve been considering what paper might work well and basic composition. The set of combinations and ideas has kept me going for a little while.
First composition: I started with a selection of objects in a fairly globular cluster:
I’m using photos at this stage for convenience. More on the sketching later. In reality drawing, laying out and taking pictures were interleaved. This first arrangement was too complex. Too many items of too many different characters.
For my next layout I reduced the number of items and tried a sweeping curve – a la the Cotan image:
This was better, but I still wasn’t happy. Next I went back to a grouping. But with less in than previously:
One of the challenges of the previous layout was the open double shell. It looked interesting face on, but was very difficult to read as to what it was in a line drawing. Rotating it made the shell much easier to read.
This was discovered partly via sketching and experiments with different papers and media:
After a whole lot of experiments I settled on using a fairly smooth sketchbook paper and an ink pen with a smallish rounded nib. The wider tape nibs could produce interesting marks, but I wasn’t sure would work for this image. The map nibs were just too fine to be interesting.
I eliminated the brush and conte because I was having trouble getting marks I liked. In both cases I think I’d like to return to the idea in the future.
I eliminated the sugar paper and multimedia paper as it was overly rough. The Bristol Board went too far the other way. It has an almost waxy surface that the ink sits on before drying. I suspect with practice this might provide interesting effects, but didn’t fit for this project.
So, I had a plan for media and also started to do some more preparatory drawing:
As part of doing the preparatory work I played with tonal aspects of my reference photo:
Here I was looking for clues on how best to treat the lights and darks of the final image. Some of these last stages were started after the main picture.
For this I started by pencilling in the outlines and then greying the negative space:
I then started to fill in the items and put in a level of shadow. This is also where I started the tonal experiments – as I was unclear on how this should progress.
Although presented in a linear fashion there was a level of interaction between the tonal images, the preparatory drawing and the main drawing. Despite looking king some aspects of the main drawing the tonal range didn’t seem to be working out.
….and on to the final result: