Assignment 3 Reflection on assessment criteria

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA COMMENTS

DEMONSTRATION OF TECHNICAL AND VISUAL SKILLS

The unusual view-point shows observational skills, design and compositional skills. I have had to really concentrate of getting the parallel (and in places angular) perspective right. I also have had to work on making verticals vertical. The depiction of light shows visual awareness and observational skills. My use of charcoal demonstrates an understanding of that medium, its fugitive nature and the ability to work and re-work, including lifting out highlights.

QUALITY OF OUTCOME

The content of this piece matches the assignment criteria in that I have demonstrated knowledge of linear perspective (and hopefully have shown improvement over the course of the exercises). I have presented work in a logical, coherent and progressing manner. My initial sketches include reasons why the scene interested me in the first place. I have followed these through with studies that start to conceptualise my thoughts and communicate my ideas. These also show the evolution of the design process.  Finally I worked on my final assignment piece drawing on these ideas. My final piece is not the best bit of work in this assignment, the graphite and water studies show far more atmosphere, presence and tension. Whilst I can discern these pieces are better than the final piece I am conflicted by the requirements for certain technical aspects specified in the assignment brief. I would have loved to have submitted one of the graphite and water studies as a final peice.

DEMONSTRATION OF CREATIVITY

I hope that the unusual perspective of these pieces displays imagination and invention. Using my imagination hasn’t gone too well for me in previous assignments so I have reigned it in here to improve an existing scene rather than create an entirely new one. I had to experiment and move the view-point to get a more interesting scene. I don’t think that I am showing much in the way of development of a personal voice, but possibly the studies in graphite and water show a move in that direction. Certainly my reaction to them would suggest that. In these studies I do explore media with which I have not had much previous experience, with great results.

CONTEXT REFLECTION

I have shown how I was influenced by artists working in black and white media, most notably David Bomberg and John Virtue. Both these artists also produced much work from a bird’s-eye view and I had that in mind as I elevated my view-point in the sketches for this piece. I have reflected on my process in my learning log as I have gone along and have tried to be critical of my work. I am starting to understand the process of discernment and recognise that better work may not always be your planned work!

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Assignment 3 Reflection on assessment criteria

Assignment 3 – ‘Down the Hill’

The Aim

  • Draw an outdoor scene of your choice. Include natural objects as well objects with straight-lines. Chose a view that will demonstrate your understanding of aerial or linear perspective.
  • Do some preliminary drawings including broad sketches in charcoal or diluted ink.
  • Draw your final piece on A2 or A1 paper, spending up to 2 hours on this final image.

The exercise

I decided that I wanted to draw a townscape scene so I could show my continuing development in my ability to draw vertical lines (!) as well as my understanding of linear perspective. I happened upon a scene of terrace houses on a hill that I really liked. It was a bright day and what caught my eye in the first place was rows of chimney pots gleaming in the sun against a couple of quite dark, tall trees. The houses descending down the hill provided an interesting sky line too.  This scene, quite an ordinary suburban scene, had all the elements required for the assignment so I decided to make this my subject. The problem was that it was 20 miles from home, so once my initial sketches were done I had to rely on photographs for any further reference.

The Process

Preliminary sketches

Sketch 1
Sketches 1 and 2

I started with a couple of quick sketches to try to locate the best composition. I was standing at the top of the hill with my eye level to the chimney pots of those houses at the bottom. Initially this made the relevant houses seem very far away. The trees in the background were quite majestic but my view straight ahead was quite boring. I decided very quickly that the two lamp posts had to go, they added nothing to the scene.

The road had a bend in it as it neared the bottom row of terraces. This produces two different sets of receding lines for the buildings. I drew a second sketch emphasising these to get the feel of the change in direction. I also ignored the bottom row of parked cars which allowed for a solid ‘ground’ line which i think helps anchor the scene.

Sketch 3 - Portrait
Sketch 3 – Portrait

Worried that the whole scene was too complicated I tried sketching just one row of buildings (sketch 3), thereby concentrating on just one set of receding lines. This also enabled me to have a think about landscape or portrait as the most suitable format. The problem with this was that the trees were mostly pushed out of view and I lost the lovely contrast of sunny chimney pots against the dark foliage. I also didn’t quite get the height of the buildings right in this sketch, but I did realise that I was drawn to the great skyline the chimney stacks produced. In carrying out research of landscape/townscape artists I have been drawn to those that portray a ‘bird’s eye’ view (see below).

This got me thinking to how I could get nearer to the chimneys! I was a little constrained to getting very much higher but I did manage to get a bit of extra height by standing on the car door.

Sketch 4 Landscape
Sketch 4 Landscape

By standing on the car and looking down the hill at houses whose roofs I was almost level with, I managed to get sketch 4 done. I have reverted to landscape format to try to get the bend of the road and a tree in. I have exaggerated the height at which I am viewing this scene which was a little hard to do and get the perspective right but it made the row of chimneys the focal point and had the advantage of being above the level of most of the cars down the hill. I didn’t manage to get the mid-ground roof and chimneys right here but I felt this composition was coming together. I liked the way that the nearest chimneys run off the top of the page. It adds a sense of intimacy to the scene.

Sketch 5 - tonal values
Sketch 5 – tonal values

I hadn’t really considered any tonal values in these sketches. It was the contrast of the pots in the sun against the dark trees that first drew me to the scene. Further observation revealed that the sun was shining in such a way that the roof tops had bright flashes of light amongst the dark shadows caused by the chimneys and that the front of the buildings were progressively more in shadow as they receded down the street. The row at the bottom was completely in shadow. I was running out of time so I made a quick study of the tonal values of the scene (sketch 5). I was worried that this dark row of houses at the bottom would make the composition unbalanced (here I haven’t added any detail of these houses). I realised that in this tonal sketch I have lost many of my mid-tones in the roof, confusing darker colours with light tones . More was in sunshine than this sketch would suggest.

Sketch 6 - Tonal values of the rooves
Sketch 6 – Tonal values of the roof tops

As such I made final sketch (sketch 6) of the pattern of light and dark on the roof tops, trying to work out which chimney belonged to which house at the same time. I also deliberately left out a couple of the mid-ground houses to try to simplify the composition a little.

At this point I took some reference photographs and went home.

 

Research Influences

Way before I got to this part of the course I came across a drawing of a London skyline “Evening in the City of London’ by David Bomberg which I fell in love with (http://www.andrewgrahamdixon.com/archive/readArticle/233). It’s a charcoal drawing but the original is much better then this slightly washed out digital image would suggest. I was really drawn to the juxtaposition of light against dark and loved the aerial view. I made a small sketch of part of this drawing (previous published with my sketchbook images almost a year ago) http://wp.me/p5Tzmx-4W

Sketch of detail from: David Bomberg Evening in the City of London, 1944
Sketch of detail from:
David Bomberg
Evening in the City of London, 1944

In the process of doing research for landscapes in general I came across more of his work in charcoal, again lots of aerial views with a play between light and dark contrasts such as https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/419819996487784541/ andhttps://uk.pinterest.com/pin/419819996487784530/

I have also been very drawn to the black and white townscape drawings of John Virtue, introduced to me though the course material. The link to my previous post about some of his works is https://annapike99.wordpress.com/page/2/

With these two artists in mind I set about using my reference sketches and photographic material to create some studies.

More detailed studies

Study in charcoal
Study in charcoal

Using my sketches, and with help of photographs to check the perspective, I completed this more detailed charcoal sketch of the view that I wanted to depict. I did use a ruler to help me get my lines straight and I have concentrated really hard in getting my vertical lines vertical! It doesn’t have the drama of a Bomberg drawing but I really like the outcome as a drawing in its own right and quite like the movement that the view of the descending roof tops, all at slightly different angles, gives the image – like a line of steps.

Study in oil pastel
Study in oil pastel

Next I completed a study in oil-pastel. I find oil-pastel quite hard to work with and struggle to get it to work in ways I would like (for instance smudging and erasing). This study ended up being quite a stark image but I quite like that as it was the bright areas against dark backgrounds that drew me to the scene in the first place. I was trying to add more drama to the image but I haven’t got the tones in the windows right here. They should be a little more graded as they go own the hill. I have made the nearest just as dark as those further down. The bend in the road is lost in this study, the drama of the study in charcoal that the change in road angle gives is lost.

I wanted to challenge myself with a different media and also try to loosen my style up a bit. Given the final piece is to be quite large, using a drawing pen doesn’t appeal. I would struggle with a fine lines over A1 size. So I tried a different approach. I had some broad graphite and coloured charcoal sticks. Using wall-paper lining paper (it holds water well) sprayed with water I quickly drew into the wet surface with lines and broad sweeps from these chunky sticks. I kept added more water to areas of similar tone and let the pigment run down the paper. I did a series of these drawings, really enjoying myself. Each one only took between 10 and 15 minutes and were very fun and spontaneous. I loved the results and if I hadn’t got a deadline to complete this assignment I would have done more!

Study in graphite and water 1
Study in graphite and water 1
Study in graphite and water 2
Study in graphite and water 2
Study in graphite and water 3
Study in graphite and water 3
Study in graphite, coloured charcoal and water
Study in graphite, coloured charcoal and water

I didn’t really stick to my sketches for these, the buildings have become simplified in various ways throughout this series, and the chimneys more and more exaggerated. This doesn’t matter however there is drama in the representation of the houses.  My favourite is study 3. It really shows the part of the scene that drew me to find it interesting in the first place and I love the texture the water creates with the graphite. This effect adds atmosphere to the whole series. I feel these studies have some of the drama that I like in David Bomberg’s work. I’m enthused by the coloured study. I like the texture of the house brick work and I think that I have got the gradation of window tones about right. The tree however doesn’t seem to work in colour – it’s too bright. The texture and colour of the slate roofs and brick chimneys work better, but they are not such a good compositional group as the study above it. They are too spread out and seem a little more disconnected. The sense of light on the roof tops is possibly stronger in the coloured study however.

My Final Piece

I decided that I was going to use charcoal for my final piece. I like its fugitive nature and the way you can smudge it and move it around with your fingers and erase bits with a putty rubber. I also felt that charcoal would allow me to keep a certain freshness about my drawing my being able to rework areas in a more loose manner if I felt it was becoming too ‘tight’ and less fluid. As my aim was to show the contrast of light and dark having been influenced by the drawings of David Bomberg and John Virtue. Both the charcoal study and the oil-pastel study show this.The graphite studies had more drama about them but I don’t think I can do a drawing lasting 2 hours with that technique.  I have decided not to use colour here, rather keep the monochromatic theme going again to emphasis the contrast between light and dark.

I used an A1 piece of heavyweight cartridge paper in landscape format. I needed to use a ruler to check my perspective lines as working at that scale caused me some problems (i couldn’t step back from my easel far enough to judge the lines by eye). I aimed to spend 2 hours on it, in reality it took 4 hours to complete.

'Down the Hill'. Charcoal on heavyweight cartridge paper, A1
‘Down the Hill’. Charcoal on heavyweight cartridge paper, A1

Reflections

I think my graphite and water series show a spontaneity and a freshness that my final piece doesn’t have. My best work to date has been work that has been quick and spontaneous. I have (quite rightly) been criticised for producing longer, more thought out drawings that are, to be quite frank, boring. The problem I have is that I have no idea how you maintain this spontaneity in a two-hour drawing.

This was not a kind of drawing I would have ever considered attempting before embarking on this course and never considered that I would choose to depict buildings for an assignment. I realise that if nothing else I have at least grown in confidence and willingness to try new things. I have mixed feelings about this as an assignment piece. On one hand I don’t think its the best of the pieces I have done for this assignment (I definitely prefer the graphite and water Study 3 as a finished piece of work, but it doesn’t fit the assignment brief) but on the other hand I have demonstrated an understanding of linear perspective from quite an interesting angle. I have been criticised for my previous assignment pieces work being too ‘tight’ and overworked (probably over-thought too) so to have to do a 2 hour drawing presented a significant problem for me: I do not know how to maintain freshness and spontaneity on a drawing that takes so long to do. I tried to limit this problem with my choice of medium. Charcoal allows a lot of reworking, so provided you don’t get too bogged down in detail you can make fresh marks throughout your time period. I struggled to maintain this in some areas of the final image: for instance the windows of the houses in shadow. I went in too heavy too early and even with a putty rubber had trouble removing some of the marks to lighten them.

I embarked on the graphite and water series to see what I could do quickly and spontaneously without really thinking of what I was doing (beyond the idea). At the time I just got lost in doing these studies and sort of churned them out, but on reflection I realise that not only was I enjoying myself but I was exploring the relationship between the roof tops and the light, as well as trying to capture the pattern of the almost-marching chimney pots. In my final piece I think I have managed to keep the chimney pots as the main focus of the drawing and I wonder if this would have been the case without these quick free drawings.

Overall compositionally I am quite happy with this drawing. There is certainly a sense of the houses going down the hill and the elevated position of the viewer adds a feeling of intimacy or belonging to the scene. There is also a slight air of mystery: I want to actually look in the upstairs windows of the first house – what is in there, who might by looking out?? I have made the ground floor window line a little too high in the mid-ground houses though.

I deliberately avoided the use of colour in the final drawing (and recognise the fact that it didn’t play much of a part in my preliminary studies). The reason behind this was that it was stark contrasts that drew me to the scene, that and the regimented feel of the buildings. Colour wasn’t important but the white and black was. I have tried to add a bit of texture to the houses and their roofs without adding too much detail. On the large scale of A1 this was quite difficult to do. I didn’t want the slate patterns (which were in fact quite hard to make out in reality) detract from the light. I do wonder, however, if I have introduced a slight comic air to the drawing by keeping to this monochrome palette.

Summary

Without a doubt my graphite and water studies are far better drawings than my final assignment piece. They have atmosphere, tension, a sense of journey and a sense of place about them. By contrast my final piece may fit the assignment brief but it is quite mechanical, without the same expressiveness of the studies!

 

 

Assignment 3 – ‘Down the Hill’

Project 5 Exercise 4 Statues

The Aim

  • Draw statues outside
  • Decide what interests you about the particular statue.
  • Draw from interesting views

The Exercise

Unfortunately the afternoon I had set aside to find some statues to draw (I needed to travel a fair distance for this) was pouring with rain. As I had a deadline looming I took the liberty of drawing statues inside at home instead. I have a ¼ size human skeleton model which lives in the hall next the stairs, When coming down the stairs you have an interesting view-point of the skeleton, with much foreshortening from the cranial end. I have often thought this would be an interesting angle to draw it from –  so I took the opportunity.

I placed it on the kitchen floor so that the kitchen tiles gave it some structural context, and sat on the table looking down at it. I used compressed charcoal to make the image, which was a bit of a mistake as it became quite fiddly (I was only working in my A4 sketchbook. I also had to stop to make tea in the middle of doing it which did interrupt my flow and consequently made a bit of a mess of the legs! However I enjoyed the challenge and still think it is an interesting view of a skeleton!

Foreshortened Skeleton in compressed charcoal
Foreshortened Skeleton in compressed charcoal
greek stature
Plaster cast of Greek Statue in pencil

My second statue was a diminutive plaster-cast of some historic (Greek possibly) statue of a lady, complete with missing head and limbs. The whole statue only stands about 7 inches high but it has lovely folds in the drapery that cast shadows around her form. using a 4B pencil I made an A4 sketch of the cast standing on a box at eye level. I really liked how the white plaster stood out from the darker wall behind. The cast was lit from above. On reflection I should have lit it from the side to increase the contrasts.

I recognise that these were quite rushed exercises and this shows. I should have done both drawings on a larger scale – I found it hard to correct marks in either drawing because they were too small. I haven’t got the proportions quite right in the statue – her right hip protrudes too much, the drapes sit too low and the shadow isn’t quite right on her upper left leg which has the effect of bending it in an odd way. (There is no left foot on the statue!)

Project 5 Exercise 4 Statues

Project 5 Exercise 3 A limited palette study

The Aim

Using sketches from the previous exercises select a drawing to develop in colour. Use a limited palette – no more than three colours.

The exercise

I chose to develop the studies of the Market Hall with its wonderful arches.

Using black, brown and sanguine conte crayons I drew on A3 heavyweight cartridge paper

The Market Hall
The Market Hall

Compositionally I am quite pleased with this, especially the front two arches. Receding arches are definitely difficult to do. The far arch isn’t the right shape and on trying to correct it made more of a mess (the conte crayon wouldn’t lift out in a small enough area) so I have left it. The depth in this drawing is provided by three things: the perspective of the receding arches; the very dark tone of the interior, which leads your eye through the front arches into the middle of the image; and the view through the arch to the other side of the road. I have tried to make this view fairly indistinct. There was a dark tone with the shop window and I think maybe I have gone too dark with this. The wall was hard to represent too. It is lower than my view-point so i was looking down onto the grassy area surrounded by it. The diagonal line takes your eye upwards back to the dark interior rather than across the road to the far side. maybe if I had lowered the angle this would be better.

The limited palette allowed me to lay down a tonal range, from the bright white of the paper to the black dark interior. I did find it difficult to decide between the two mid tones in places,. I am not sure that the dark brown has really added anything to this drawing.

Project 5 Exercise 3 A limited palette study

Project 5 Exercise 2 Study of a townscape using line

The Aim

  1. Make preliminary drawings of this study. Establish the primary focus and any other shapes and objects you think necessary to make this drawing interesting and unexpected.
  2. Make notes about the weather conditions and how they affect your approach to the drawing and establish the general mood.
  3. Decide what sort of marks fit the mood and shapes of this study.
  4. Decide on the foreground, middle ground and background.
  5. Complete the study in pen and ink or a drawing pen or fine brush pen.

The exercise

I chose to expand my study of the hight street scene that I drew for my sketchbook walk in the previous exercise. The weather was bright but overcast which was not ideal as there were few strong contrasts.

Far end of High Street
Far end of High Street

My immediate problem was to deal with the large space of road in the foreground – not very interesting. I could get around this by just concentrating my image on a certain part of the street and bringing the buildings forward. I was keen to capture the bend in the road as this provides a bit of interest in the picture. The first building on the left also has a lovely old street light high up. This would make a good focal point in the foreground.

I did a quick sketch of the buildings more close up and took some photographs for reference (especially as to what the bottom on the buildings looked like as they were obscured by cars. I finished this sketch at home by using a ruler to check my vanishing points and adding a few details.

High Street sketch 2
High Street sketch 2

The lamp makes a good focal point but there is still too much road space. I could draw the cars in to fill it but, whilst closer to reality,  a huge rear end of a car in the foreground would not add to the scene which is primary about the rather picturesque historic buildings than being a true representation of the street.

I then sketched an image with a slightly higher horizon, allowing a more ‘zoomed-in’ effect and removing the road completely. The buildings rather conveniently had strong vertical lines positioned roughly at the third lines of the horizontal, which also allows for a natural division between fore, mid and background. I didn’t quite get this in this sketch and ended up with the lamp and a vertical in the middle which compositional isn’t as strong as it could be.

High Street Sketch 3
High Street Sketch 3

For my final study I chose to draw with black drawing pen on heavy weight A3 cartridge paper. This image is all about hard lines depicting cotsowld stone which has strong defintions. As there was little contrast of the tones I decided to keep simply to a line drawing and hatch in the darkest shadows with the same pen.

High Street, Chipping Campden in drawing pen
High Street, Chipping Campden in drawing pen

Reflections

This is probably one of the hardest things I have tried to draw and would never have attempted it before embarking on this course. For this reason I am pleased with the outcome, however I can see much wrong with this study. Firstly and most glaringly is that I am obviously having trouble drawing vertical lines!! The door in the mid ground is so not vertical it is embarrassing. The problem with pen is that it becomes very messy to go over it again so I have left it to remind me to really concentrate at not letting my arm swing out as it comes down!

I tried to produce marks that were less intense for the middle and background to give a sense of a receeding scene, buy this didn’t really work. Most of the sense of depth here comes from the strong sense of perspective, especially for the building in the foreground on the left. There were very few strong contrasts in this scene, the exception being the shadows in the window and door recesses. I regret putting in such a heavy shadow in the top window behind the street lamp as it now competes (and wins) for the viewers intention. As such I ended up putting extra brackets on the wall below it to act as a focal point. I am pleased with this addition.

Overall I am pleased with how the imposing stone mullions came out in the foreground. I would have liked more contrasting tones to work with to add some detail to the wall. However I do think that my initial sketches helped plan this work, although it was the photographs that enabled me to put the detail of the bottom of the buildings. More little sketches would be good for this. I don[t know why I have a problem with little sketches. I think that I find it hard to simplify images to make them quick. All my sketches seem to take a long time so I don’t get the time to do as many when on location.

 

Project 5 Exercise 2 Study of a townscape using line

Project 5 Townscapes Exercise 1 Sketchbook Walk

The Aim

I found the instructions for this exercise  to be the most jumbled and badly worded of all the exercises I have done so far. My interpretation of the instructions are as follows:

  1. Complete a sketchbook walk in an urban environment.
  2. Complete a detailed study of part of a building
  3. Complete a tonal study of part of a building
  4. Try to draw something from an elevated position

The Exercise

I live in a rural environment so chose to visit the town centre of a small Cotswolds town of Chipping Campden for this sketchbook walk. I’m not sure the residents would ever consider this to be an urban environment but buildings are buildings.

The day was overcast but bright. This did mean that the tonal range was quite limited as there were no strong shadows which wasn’t ideal. The high street is full of old Cotswold stone buildings, many quite ornate. The high street was full of buildings three stories tall. The nature of the meandering road meant that I found it hard to get far enough away from the scene to be able to sketch some of the buildings. The town was also very busy with many parked cars along all of the roads. I opted to ignore the cars which meant I had to fill in gaps of the bases of the buildings from near up (and thus from a different perspective!). I took lots of photos to take back with me.

I found drawing in my sketchbook whilst holding it quite hard. It appears I tend to draw in a slightly slanted fashion, so some of my verticals are not truly vertical. This is a problem I need to rectify!

sketch 2
The Old Silk Mill

This is the back of a very long building. I found it very hard to extend the diagonals at the correct angles and consequently have ended up with a building that curves towards the viewer on the left. This doesn’t happen in reality!!

sketch 3
The Market Hall

This is a very imposing building with lots of pointy ornaments. There was a small market stall in operation inside when i drew this. The interior is quite dark so I omitted the table and the drapes that were hung over the front railing. It was hard to stand far enough back for this sketch.

sketch 9
New and Old houses

I really liked the contrast between the old and the new houses on this page of my sketchbook. The regimented chimneys and the step-like lead flashing are what drew me to the new houses. This order contrasts nicely with the unevenness of the slate roof of the old house (which is a pub). These were my most successful sketches.

sketch 6
Far end of the High Street

I was drawn again to the chimneys of the houses at the far end of the high street. My view here in reality was full of parked cars. I drew what I could then took photos of the bases of the buildings and finished this sketch back at home, filling in the missing bits. The large building on the left had very dominant stone mullion windows. They provided a great line for the eye to follow to the curve in the road. I would like to work more on this view, but will have to deal with the fact that there is a huge empty space in the foreground.

Detail and tonal work

The arches of the historic Market Hall caught my eye as they provided lots of contrast between the dark interior and the bright light outside. I chose this as my building for the close up detail and tonal study.

sketch 4
Stonework detail of Market Hall
sketch 5
Tonal value sketches of the arches from different positions

I failed to get an aerial view of the town, so I called in at a retail park and drew from the upstairs cafe window. It was the most uninspiring view ever, mostly just a huge car park. I managed to do a very bad sketch of the entrance road! There is so much wrong with this that I am rather embarrassed to put it up.

Entrance road to retail park
Entrance road to retail park
Project 5 Townscapes Exercise 1 Sketchbook Walk

Project 4 Exercise 3 Aerial or atmospheric perspective

The Aim

This exercise is about tonal gradation. Make several tonal studies that analyse receding features of a landscape from foreground to mid and far distance. Use a variety of drawing media.

The Exercise

On reaching this part of the course the weather has conspired against me getting out into the landscape to do some studies. It has rained for weeks on end!! I have resorted to a landscape photo of a loch somewhere on the Island of Mull. I chose this view as it had mountains in the background, a grassy island in the loch in the mid ground and part of imposing Scots Pine in the foreground. The photo was taken on a very grey day, there was not much shadow about.

Firstly I did a monochrome graphite study on pastel paper using 6B, 4B, 2B and HB graphite sticks.

Graphite sticks on pastel paper
Graphite sticks on pastel paper

By varying the pressure I was able to depict the distance views as paler and softer than the immediate foreground. The harder grades of  graphite stick produces paler marks too which I could use to create aerial perspective, however the 2B was good at adding bark texture to the tree in the foreground.

Next I used different shades of blue soft pastel to look at the effect of producing aerial perspective with more muted colours in the distance. I chose a bright blue for the foreground, a paler, lighter blue for the mid ground and then a grey-blue for the distance. I drew onto a coloured pastel paper – a light blue tone similar in tonal value to the mid distance blue pastel

arial perspective 2
Soft pastel on pastel paper (blue tone)

I think this definitely shows that bright colours stand out nearer the front and cooler, muted colours recede. I didn’t get the mid ground colour quite right – it should have been a bit darker and more of a contrast to the ground in the foreground. I also think that the scale of this sketch was wrong for the materials I was using. The image was approximately A4 in size. it was hard to get more details marks in pastel (in my hands anyway) for the foreground at this scale. As such the colour choice makes the tree stand out rather than more detail. I chose blue as my colour of choice here as distant objects tend to become cooler. I wanted to see what happened if you kept the blue tone in the foreground by made it really bright. An unintended consequence of this colour choice is that the overall effect is of a moon-lit scene. If i had not put in the white clouds, this effect would have been enhanced.

For my third sketch I used a dip pen and brown acrylic ink on cartridge paper. I diluted the ink in varying amounts to create aerial perspective.

arial perspective 3
Brown acrylic ink on cartridge paper

I am quite pleased with this sketch. I found that I had to add a little bit of mid tone to the far hills so that they didn’t appear too flat on the page. The Scots pine looks a little bare. The dense bundles of needles were hard to depict with the fine nib that I had, however the detail stands out in the darker ink. I managed to make some representation of the clouds too, realising that some of the clouds needed to be nearer than others, and hence in a darker ink. I haven’t got the gradation quite right in the clouds, a smooth transition between mid-brown and light brown would have been better but I have managed to convey clouds nearer the view and clouds in the distance.

For m y final study I changed size of paper I was working on. I don’t particularly like working small and the above were all around A4 in size. This particularly caused problems for the pastels. I wanted to use colour again, this time in the form of coloured graphite and charcoal blocks which are very chunk. I used a piece of lining paper approximately 60cm x 45 cm.

arial perspective 4
Coloured graphite and coloured charcoal on lining paper

I am particularly pleased with the background here. The blue mountains, with scare detail really appear to be in the distance. In addition they also recede to the right of the image, which they did in reality. In my previous attempts I didn’t really manage this. I have warmed the colours up as I have worked towards the viewer, with more detail in the mid ground. The Scots pine was less of a success. I again found it had to put in more detail with finer marks with such broad tools. The result was that the tree became quite muddy and smudged. The graphite and charcoal do not lift off of the lining paper well so it was hard to rectify mistakes. I changed the composition a little for this sketch, making the mid ground island a little more prominent. I hope that the strong diagonal of the branches of the tree compliment the diagonal lines of the  island and the mountains to the left and keep your eye on the page.

Project 4 Exercise 3 Aerial or atmospheric perspective

Project 4 Exercise 2 Supplementary exercise

The Aim

Copy a simplified version of Rome by Sir Muirhead Bone into your sketchbook. Check the accuracy of the drawing my continuing the perspective lines to the vanishing point

The Exercise

Perspective Exercise
Perspective Exercise

I found this exercise a bit odd as I wanted to draw in perspective lines to enable me to copy the image with some accuracy. Instead I copied it and then put in the lines, which I suppose is how you draw a scene in life  but it did feel in this exercise to be back to front,. In addition could not see how this would be checking the accuracy of the original as that would depend entirely on the accuracy of the copy. After having completed the exercise I photocopied the original image and then drew the perspective lines on. When placed next to my copy you can easily see my mistakes. This then becomes more useful to me. I can see that several of my lines tend to a vanishing point – but it’s not quite the right one! My angles are not steep enough. The baseline of the building is also very wrong. I draw in a corrected line, but without redoing the whole lot, this became a bit meaningless.

Reflections

I am struggling with these exercises and I am afraid to say that I think it is because I always am doing them in a hurry, in time snatched from the rest of life. This means I never have the head space to sit down and continue with an exercise until i am happy it is complete. I am finding this stressful and it reflects in my work. I don’t know what to do about this other than continue battling onwards…..

Project 4 Exercise 2 Supplementary exercise

Project 4 Exercise 2 Angular perspective

The Aim

Make a line drawing of a building or several buildings seen corner-on. Use every possible vertical or horizontal reference to ensure that receding lines are drawn at the correct angles.

When you have drawn the building as accurately as possible draw in your eye level and extend receding lines to it. All in-life parallel lines should meet on your eye level but there will be many different vanishing points. mostly off your paper.

 

The Exercise

I chose to draw our local pub The Old Plough on location. It was a bit of a mistake as it is a very old building and very few of the angles appeared to be right-angles and its lines not particularly sleek. It also is situated on a hill so that the furthest part of the building from where I was standing was higher. I should have chosen a nice sleek-lined modern building, it would have been much easier. However I persevered. I drew in black pen on A3 paper (also a mistake as this was hard to handle out-of-doors – too big to hold properly and no time to set up an easel).

The Old Plough
The Old Plough

What threw me was that the base line of the building was not in fact parallel with gutter line or the roof ridge. Back home I drew in the perspective lines, extending onto paper extensions to the sides. This is not a good photo but I include it here so you can see what I did.

The Old Plough Perspective Lines added
The Old Plough Perspective Lines added

The lines are all over the place basically! There certainly are lots of vanishing points, but very few of the in-life parallel lines appear to be heading to meet at the eye line (even though these will be off the page extensions).

I tried the different exercise of drawing a pile of books.

Pile of Books
Pile of Books

I was looking down onto this pile so my eye line was above the drawing and rather stupidly I hadn’t accounted for drawing this in when I drew the sketch. I drew in the perspective lines (using a different colour for each book). Although I couldn’t tell if the correct pairs of lines were meeting at the horizontal, I could tell if they were converging, parallel or even diverging.

Angular perspective books
Angular perspective books

As you can see one set of lines were in parallel on my drawing (light blue) and two sets were actually diverging (albeit by small amounts but diverging never-the-less!).

Reflections

Although these exercises were quite messy I did learn a lot from drawing in the lines. I would hope that I will be able to use this experience to improve my drawing. I was curious as to how a sketch I had done of boxes right at the beginning of the course would stand up to such angular perspective scrutiny. I photocopied the sketch and repeated the process of putting on the receding perspective lines. Once again I could not trace back to the vanishing point, however the results were quite revealing! The top surface of the top box was in fact diverging as was the left hand side of the long rectangular box in the foreground (blue lines not labelled).photocopy of boxes

 

 

 

Project 4 Exercise 2 Angular perspective