I had to do this over several walks due to the miserable weather and had to take some photos so that I could complete it. The first few sketches were too detailed I think so I then tried to do quicker sketches. For this section I made notes on the back of the pages since they were only A5 and didn't have much space.
After doing these sketches I felt they were too detailed and I should have worked faster.
|A5 pencil - View from window|
I was on holiday in Italy staying with my in-laws in Genova so I took the opportunity to get some sketching done while making use of the babysitters. Their apartment has lovely grounds with a wide variety of different tree types. I was able to sit in a clearing on the grass and move round to see all the views below.
|A5 pen - View south west|
|A5 pen - View North East|
|A5 pen - View north west|
|A5 pen - View South east|
Drawing cloud formations
It's very hard to get to sketch anything other than rain clouds living in the west of Scotland. Before I did this exercise I didn't realise how featureless and boring the cloud cover is here most of the time. I spent weeks getting really frustrated whenever I was out and about and saw more interesting clouds but wasn't able to sketch them and then the weekends had permanent rain. So I didn't get a huge variety of cloud types and had to work from photos in places.The majority of cloud types were low cumulus or stratus I think.
|A3 sketchbook Charcoal, oil pastels, conte, pastels|
|A4 oil pastels on coloured pencil|
|A4 sketchbook pastels and compressed charcoal|
|A4 sketchbook oil pastels and carre pastels on coloured pencil|
|A4 charcoal in sketchbook|
Plotting Space through composition and structure
I chose for this section, a photo I had taken from Kinnoul Hill near Perth. The view is fantastic and looks over the Tay river winding though the fields.This drawing took me ages to complete. Doing a large (ish) drawing in pencil with pencil I found really hard and time consuming. The gorse bush in the foreground was particularly difficult. I tried to keep the spiky nature of the leaves by doing a scribbley technique.
I'm not really happy with it, it's a bit pale and doesn't have a central point of interest. I thought the river would provide this but it hasn't really worked. I was a bit confused with the instructions which mentioned water soluble pencils so I tried using some water soluble colour pencils but I quickly realised this looked very odd and stopped.
This photo is particularly washed out compared to the original but it still didn't have a focus that I could darken. I guess this is when you have to use artistic licence a bit and not draw exactly what you see. It was however not half as bad as I thought it would be when I kept stopping and starting so I'm very glad I finished it even if I wouldn't put it up on the wall!
Check and Log
1. In what way did you simplify and select in your study? Were you able to focus on simple shapes and patterns amid all the visual information.
I found this quite difficult when I started especially with trees and I tried to show the shapes of the leaves and their shadows. I found the quickest way of doing this was to use a scribbley technique which I found worked quite well with pen and was quite effective. I tried simplifying the trees to their basic shapes but they tend to look very simple and childlike. Buildings are much easier to simplify into basic shapes.
2. How did you create a sense of distance and form in your sketches
Tonal differences are very useful to show distance and form. Atmospheric perspective says that objects in the distant background will be lighter in tone and will be slightly misty and out of focus. I have done this in the larger drawing from Kinnoul Hill but not so much in the small sketches. I think however, even in these sketches I have shown the difference between more distant objects and the foreground. Primarily I have done this by size and overlaying objects in front.
3. How did you use light and shade? Was it successful?
This is more difficult if there is no sun to create shadows. In the drawings I did in Italy the shadows are more evident because of the stronger sun. Under the trees I have created areas of shade and the tree trunks are much darker. The white paper showing through seems like highlights where the sun is reflecting off something.
The larger drawing from Kinnoul hill hasn't been so successful in this respect. This is why it looks so washed out. The photo was taken on a bright day so there wasn't much shadows. I chose this photo because it had the bushes in the foreground and the hill in the background and the river and fields served as the middle ground. These areas however are are still quite distant though which removes a lot of the detail in which light and shade can be shown.
4. What additional preliminary work would have been helpful towards the larger study?
I think my main problem with this drawing was the lack of a focal point and the lack of tonal variations in the middle ground. The dark area of the bushes in the foreground seem to need something else in the composition to balance them. If I was to do it again I would look for something I could place in the middle ground to attract the eye that would provide a darker area. Alternatively I could darken the areas with the trees on the hills in the middle ground. I'm a bit scared to do that for fear of ruining the drawing completely. The trees were the same tone as the fields in the photo but I wonder if this definition has been lost.
So in essence some preliminary sketches would have helped in the composition and to study the area properly to find a better viewpoint.