Work your way around the house sketching 4 quick sketches in each room. Use a variety of materials. Look at all your drawings carefully. Which are the strongest and why? Which drawings did you enjoy the most? Which area in the which room do you want to study further? Use this exercise both as practice in fast observational drawing and to locate the area that you’ll study in greater details in the following exercises.
This exercise has taken me weeks to complete and definitely comes in two parts, pre-holiday sketches and post-holiday sketches. Pre-holiday I was desperately trying to get the end of this whole section before going away and had hurried through a couple of exercises in the previous topic. Reaching this exercise was like hitting a brick wall. I found that my ‘quick’ sketches were taking about an hour each. With 4 per room to do, there was no way I was going to get anything completed this year!! So I stopped, went away for 3 weeks, came back, waited another week, took a deep breath and finally was brave enough to continue from where I had left off. This time I was more relaxed and found I could do quicker sketches and (as the brief said) didn’t get bogged in detail. I didn’t always sketch the whole view rather concentrate on interesting parts. I even managed to try a variety of materials. Some areas of our house are rather pokey and I wasn’t able to get 4 images of each space on all occasions.
Kitchen and Hallway in drawing pen (pre-holiday)
Living Room in charcoal pencil (post holiday)
Study in conte crayon and charcoal pencil
Upstairs Landing in compressed charcoal
Which are the strongest sketches and why?
Of the ‘whole’ wall views I think kitchen 1 and 3, hallway, and landing 1 are the strongest sketches. They all have a sense of journey about them. All but kitchen 1 have open doors that you can just see through drawing you in. In kitchen one it is the perspective of the ‘dead end’ that draws your eye in (even if only to the kitchen sink!!) This sense of journey adds the illusion of depth to the images. Whilst I quite like kitchen 4, it doesn’t really have this sense of depth even if it does have lots of quirky angles. Kitchen 2 is just plain dull.
Of the ‘partial’ wall views, I think the strongest sketches have the more unusual viewpoints, for instance study 1 and 2. Here strong diagonals lend a sense of depth to the image and draw your eye to the rest of the drawing. This was rather serendipitous as the room is very small. I was sitting on a swivel chair in the middle and was close enough to the ends of the room that I couldn’t see the floor and the ceiling in one view so ended up looking down on the surfaces. This diagonal leading line also occurs in landing 2 but unfortunately in this image there is no where for your eye to go!. For this drawing I knelt down with my sketchbook flat on the floor. I really like the viewpoint of this image, but if I developed it any further I would have to alter my position to allow more of a journey to be taken by the eye.
Which did you enjoy drawing?
I have to say that whilst I am happy with several of the resulting drawings, I didn’t enjoy the process of this exercise much. The images with a sense of journey were definitely more exciting to draw as were the interesting perspectives. I found the clutter of my house really hard to deal with, mostly it is not in the images!! I am amazed at what I can see through.