Sunday, 29 January 2012

Assignment 4 Drawing Outdoors - Final Piece

The final piece for this section was really quite specific in it's requirements. Because of this I struggled to find the right place to draw from. The brief asks that you select a view from a window or open door and the view should include some natural objects and should also allow you to demonstrate atmospheric or linear perspective. I painted the views from the front and back of my house for STP and didn't enjoy it much so I wasn't overjoyed at this as my garden is in a pretty bad state. I gave it a go however and tried to do some sketches of some potential views. After perching on the edge of the bed and straining my neck and then sitting in front of the continually opening living room door, I gave up and decided the job was a bad one. Leaving the kitchen door open in December and sitting there would probably result in divorce so that wasn't an option.


 After a week or two of stress and pulling my hair out I was visiting my mums and remembered the great view from my old bedroom window. Logistically it was quite hard trying to get time to draw while visiting especially since it starts getting dark about 3.30 at the moment, but I managed to do some sketches and took some photos to work from to work out compositions.


I had initially thought that a view looking down the hill would be good but after seeing the sketches I decided on another view with a white house being the focus. From the photos I did a line drawing to work out the composition and I did some tonal studies using inks and colour pencils.



I had been flicking through the latest copy of Artists and Illustrators and found an article about an artist who drew beautiful pen and watercolour drawings of Plymouth.

Richard Allman
Richard Allman - Harbour wall - Ink and acrylic  70x50cm
Richard Allman


There was one particular tonal drawing that I really liked (unfortunately I can't find an image of it on the net to put on here). I tried to do a pen and wash study using tones in a similar vein, but stupidly did this in my sketchbook so the paper was far to thin for washes and it didn't work. It did however help me to pick out the darkest a lightest tones for my drawing. Richard Allman does these drawings on quite a large format (approx A1 size) which makes a difference to the approach. He seems to keep the line very fine and delicate and overlays this many times to create darker lines. He uses the colours to create the tones mostly. I also tried using a white oil pastel for the white house but it came out too creamy.
A4 pen and ink wash + white oil pastel
 I then did a sketch using coloured inks. I was quite pleased with this and I liked the effects produced by the inks. The bushes and trees have worked quite well. I used the coloured pencils to bring out the colours although the green is a bit artificial - better for summer, not the green of winter!
A4 pen and coloured inks and coloured pencil
 I decided to do my main drawing using my black Rotring pen which I can use washes with to bring out the tones. I wanted to use coloured inks and Inktense water-colour pencils too to create a similar effect to Richard Allmans above (although this is done with watercolours or acrylics). The thing I struggled with is my range of coloured inks. I discovered that I didn't have a decent brown and because the red is very pinky all my mixes came out a bit strange. My green ink is also quite synthetic and limey but I managed to dampen that down with some blue. I also used my inktense water-soluble pencils to give more colour. These are much better than my old set of pencil and the pigment really flows (sometimes too much!).

A3 Bockingford paper Mixed Media
I'm not sure about the final result. I like parts of it and other parts annoy me. The smaller sketch is actually better in some respects, the colours seem better although they are greener than real life. I wanted a washed out appearance but I think it could do with a bit more intensity of colours. I think I've also used too much black or it's run too much in the washes. The hills in the background are example. It would have been better if there was no hard line showing their shape like in the ink sketch. The vague wash helps to show atmospheric perspective. Maybe a water-insoluble pen would be better to make the initial line drawing in future.

I am happy with how the trees have come out though. I was trying to show the different tree types. The large bush on the left is a rhododendron with large glossy leaves reflecting the light more while the tree above it had a much smaller leaf. I'm not sure what it was, it actually looked like a deciduous leaf but couldn't have been in December. The trees across the road where leylandii and needed a different approach again. I think these turned out a bit better in my sketch though as the pencil lines showed up under the wash and give the foliage a diagonal direction.

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