Posted in Art and Artists, Part 4, Research & Reflection

An experiment linking to artists

On of the challenges that I have is that of considering artistic style and approach. One challenge my tutor left me with is to:

“Link your work to that of others and make it clear
that this is what you’re doing”

Part 3 Formative feedback

So, lets start by considering one artist whose figurative work I admire – Maggi Hambling. To start, lets examine a number of her figurative drawings that I like:

Portrait of Dr David Brown

Sebastian in a Hermès scarf. Charcoal, 2004

Henrietta’ (1998)

There are all primarily line drawings, with some tonal aspects. In many cases they are charcoal on paper, and so my first question needs to be how is this relevant? Maggi works in many different media, but I am drawn to the charcoal on paper ones. is this because charcoal is a medium that is growing on me, or is the medium growing on me because of its properties? Another major medium for this sort of work is ink, with many lines and some wash for tonal properties.

The next observation is that the images are created from lots of swirling lines. I would imagine that her hand is never still when she is drawing like this. Line upon line is built up, presumably starting light and building depth of image. The notes indicate that the Dr Brown portrait was built over 2 consecutive days of sitting. There are, presumably, a set of preparatory drawings within this – as I suspect the total time on the final image is somewhat less than 2 days.

The images have some “tonality”, but are primarily line drawings. This is part of this style. There is no attempt at photo-realism here, and I feel the images are the better for it. What does shown through clearly is a sense of character. To a degree I feel the lack of photo-realism is entwined with the feeling of the character of the sitter showing through.

As an experiment I decided to try a quick sketch following this basic approach:

The Artist's Mother
The Artist’s Mother, 4B pencil, A4 sketchbook, 08/01/2019

As a picture I feel I have a long way to go, but the basic approach has some merit. As this is a one-off sketch I think continuing with it to try to build a large image is likely to lead to a much more successful result. It has been an interesting experiment which I may continue to progress as part of the main exercises and projects.

One thought on “An experiment linking to artists

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