Monday, 1 August 2011

Assignment 3 - Drawing Fruit and Vegetables in Colour

Using Hatching to create Tone in Fruit and Vegeables

I started out on this exercise by drawing the 3 different vegetables with the coloured pencil. I then did a thumbnail of each and I tried to focus on the overall shapes (this was really hard for the spring onion on such a small scale - the pepper was easier). I found it an interesting exercise to focus on the facets and planes that make up the surface. The onion and spring onion were fairly boring circles but the pepper had lots of planes and angles to draw. I found it useful to think of it like that and I'll try to use that trick in other drawings.
I had a few goes at using water with the pencils but I wasn't very pleased with the result so I stopped. I just seemed to lose the detail and it became messy.

I tried a few changes in the composition and decided to try a close in view by cropping it quite closely.

I'm pleased with this drawing, especially the composition. If it had been placed further away and surrounded by empty paper, it would have been boring. This close up seems more dramatic and interesting. Possibly the pepper might have created a more interesting shape if the stalk was pointing down and to the right and as usual I should have included the background.

Drawing Fruit with Marker and or Dip Pens

Using marker pens for a drawing seemed a bit daunting at first but it wasn't as bad as I thought. Firstly, it's nice and quick which is always a good point in my book! Next, it gives a bold, bright drawing which stands out.

I started out by doing a few thumbnail sketches (above) to get the composition right. I chose to come quite close in but not as close as the previous drawing. I didn't vary much with the sketches but I knew I wanted to put some of the fruit in the bowl and have one piece sitting beside, it was just the positioning I had to decide.

A4 Faber Castell felt pens
For the final piece, I felt I needed more colours and again, this showed itself in the darker shadows and tones. I was able to get the darkest shadow by overlaying the brown with a dark blue. The brown pen I used for the shadow I bought thinking it had a huge nib but in the end it wasn't nearly as wide as I wanted. I has a brush tip however which I found quite useful becasue I could use it for larger areas like that or for more delicate lines. I just need some more colours. As with fine pen, I found that the markers were quite good at showing the shape of the fruit because it was possible to use hatching to  follow the curves.

Drawing Fruit and Vegetables in Oil Pastel

This exercise was self explanatory. Oil pastels are not my favourite basically because of my inexperience with them.

I started out by working out a couple of compositions in my sketch book. I was going to make a stir fry that night so decided to use the ingredients. I started off including the wok but I took it out because I though that would be too complicated.

Oil pastel A3
The final piece however needs something else as the bottle is too tall for the horizontal shape. Either that or I should have included some more detail in the background at the top left area which is too empty. As expected I did find the medium hard to use. I think oil pastels would be useful in a picture along with other media but alone I feel I'm just like a child with crayons. They are difficult to get detail with but maybe I should just stop trying for the detail and go for a more impressionist approach. I find it very hard to get that essence of an object just with a few strokes of a brush or pastel so I've never mastered a more loose style. As with the markers, oil pastels definitely need practice because they both require a specific technique, very different from each other.

Check and Log

1. Your composition should occupy most of the paper's surface, how much negative space do you have left?

My first 2 drawings are quite cropped and thus the ratio of negative space to positive is even and I think ok. The 3rd one however has far too much negative space in the top left corner and also along the right side. Another object behind the existing ones would help this and it could have been cropped on the right.

2. What have you learned from drawing the details of fruit and vegetables?

I have learnt in this section mostly about cropping and I much prefer a zoomed-in composition. I also will be using the idea of concentrating on the shapes and planes of an object. Fruit and vegetables often have quite smooth surfaces so you have to be able to depict the reflected light. I was quite pleased with the pencils in the first drawing although I did find that this media takes a long time to cover the paper and develop darker tones.

3. What did you find most challenging about this section of the course?

I found using the oil pastels and markers the most challenging aspect. I was forced to use media that I wouldn't use by choice which has been very informative and interesting if not totally successful. As I said above, I think these media can create great effects if you know the little tips and tricks of how to use them which I don't...yet.


Unknown said...

Hi there your work amazing. I am also looking into using colour pencils. I would like to ask which sketchbook brand did you use for the colour pencil?

Kappleto said...

Many thanks, that's very kind!

For this exercise I used the sketchbook provided by the OCA which was unbranded but a pretty standard hard back A4 sketchbook probably about 125g/m. I would say coloured pencils don't need fancy papers just choose something without much texture as they need something smooth, although I'm not averse to breaking the rules and it might be interesting to have a go with a rougher paper! If you're going for water soluble pencils go for heavier paper.

Good luck!