Sunday, 22 May 2011

Assignment 3 - Exploring coloured media

Exploring Coloured Media

Here are some of my experiments with coloured media

Check and Log

1. Which of the media you have experimented with did you find most expressive? Make notes in your learning log on the pros and cons of each medium.

The most expressive media tend to be the less fine ones like pastels or oil pastels. With these you are able to do broad loose strokes that are less about portraying the exact detail of the subject and more about depicting your own feelings about it. I find this expressive drawing quite hard because you have to forget about trying to copy the subject exactly onto paper and think more about general shapes and colours.
The cons with these media is the same feature however. Their broad strokes Make it difficult to do any detail so it's a different style of drawing that requires you to look at the subject in a more general way.
I tried using turps to thin the oil pastels but it didn't work as I expected. The oil pastels didn't dissolve as much as the water soluble pencils did and didn't blend much but the turps seemed to spread the pigment over the paper better.
The colour pencils are better for detail and they can also be used with water. I found adding water increased the intensity of the colour so some practice is required to get the right amount.
I found the felt pens a bit restrictive because of their intensity and permenance. Using these to create a drawing will require some practice I think.

2.Which medium do you think lends itself to very detailed work

Anything with a fine point should work better for very detailed work, like pens or harder pencils. You have the freedom to either made fine marks or you can hatch or use them on their side etc to create darker areas. My searches have shown that a soft medium such as charcoal can also be used to create wonderfully detailed pieces but this would be much harder to do I think and require a lot of patience.

3. Which techniques, tools and effects do you particularly enjoy? Make notes about your experiments.

Funnily enough I enjoyed the felt pens even though I wasn't sure how I would do a drawing with them. Some of the pens have a flexible brush like nib that could be used to create fine lines or thicker depending on the pressure you use.
The oil pastels also were interesting especially the way you could score into them to create the detail that is difficult to do with them alone.
I think the water soluble pencils should be quite flexible because you have the watercolour effect but can overlay detail once the area has dried.

Research Point - Detailed Drawings

Research Point - Find some examples of artists' work who exemplify mastery of detailed drawing and make notes about their work

I did a couple of Google and Bridgeman searches on detailed drawings and came up with a few drawing of interest. First of all I came across a couple of drawings from John Delafield Cook. I was really impressed by the detail in these, they are beautiful.

Bulbul nest 99 - Charcoal on paper 69 x 78cm
Golden Babbler nest 02 - Charcoal on paper 88 x 107cm

He is a comtemporary artist and does incredibly detailed charcoal drawings from nature on a large scale. I'm always fascinated by detailed charcoal drawings because whe I use charcoal I end up with smudges everywhere an I find it very difficult to get small detail in.
The scale of these drawings must add to their effect too. From my own experience I've found that detail is easier if it's done a bit bigger but these drawings are very big and must require a completely different technique from small scale.
Something I've found a lot with detailed drawing is that the objects are in the centre and the background is left blank. This makes the subject jump out from the paper and the background doesn't detract from the detail.

Another artist that I have come across in my search for detailed drawings is Albrecht Durer. The drawings I have found tend to be figure drawing but their detail is beautiful. These would have been done on a smaller scale which adds to the draftsmanship.

His studies of hands are beautiful. The highlights are done with white and the subtle lighting is lovely. One of the things that make his drawings so lifelike is his ability to show the tonal variations. The shadows are very dark and I think that's probably what makes them so accurate. He mainly uses hatching but he has done it in such away that it isn't noticable. The hatching follows the shape of the fingers etc like ringlets which helps convey the 3 dimensional shape.

His portrait of a man aged 93 is another example. This drawing is done in pen and ink but at first glance appears to have been done in a much softer medium like charcoal. This is due to the delicate lines and careful shading that isn't too dark and doesn't overpower. You can almost feel the softness of the mans beard.