Project 5 Pets and other animals Research point

Important note: This blog post forms only part of this research task. It accompanies research and notes on contemporary works recorded manually in a paper learning-log. Due to UK copyright law this log will not be posted on line. It will, however, be made available in electronic form to tutors for the purposes of assessment. 

Erica il Cane heralds from the Italian street art scene and is a prolific drawer of animals – usually in a satirical style. He is exploring similarities between humans and other animals. In his pen and pencil drawings (both black and white and coloured) he uses simple marks to depict the form and the surface texture of a variety of animals. many of his drawings of animals are anthropomorphic in nature. He changes his marks to depict different textures, for instance clothing over a furry body. I love his quick easy style and could explore his drawings for a very long time.

Caitlin Hackett uses pens, graphite and watercolour to create mythological drawings and illustrations. She is particularly good at representing surface textures, using strokes of the pen to contour fur or feathers. Lauren Marx also very good at depicting different textures.

Alexander Calder is probably not classified as contemporary but I didn’t feel as if I could leave him out, His simple line sketches of animals are so complete, yet so free of detail! He manages to capture the very essence of the animal in that line. He also did some block colour work, in which negative spaces become very important.

The over-all composition of the drawings looked at here tend to have the animal as the main focus. Some are set within a believable (if mythological) background, whilst others against a white background emphasising the drawing itself (for instance many of Erica il Cane’s drawings). To depict animals successfully Calder shows that you do not need detail, but the curve of the spine, including any tail and the position of jaw line are very important in determining what type of animal it is. The curve of the spine will determine much of the animals stance, and the jaw line, the head shape. If depicting fur, feathers or scales, the direction of pen marks will be important in creating patterns that determine those textures.

Stanley Boxer depicted many types of animals along side humans in his etchings. Both are represented by thin lines, with minimal detail. The power of the images comes the positioning of each figure and the pose that each strikes in the group, and the relationship between these poses.

Jake and Dino Chapman collaborated to produce a series of etchings on paper based on the game of consequences. As I often play this game with my own children I was intrigued to see the results when done as a serious art project. The different parts of the ‘body’ are dieicted using different marks but have no direct relationship to each other having been made without prior knowledge of what has proceeded it. The resulting animal / people forms are intreguing but so are the marks made by two individuals on the same piece depicting various textures and forms.

Project 5 Pets and other animals Research point

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