Thursday, 14 May 2015

Day 16 and 17, Plan, Experiment....Repeat

The good thing about this challenge is that it nurtures ideas for new idea leads to another and so on.  Most ideas are cast aside, simply because they're not good but we need the bad ideas and regular work to come up with the better ones.....right?
Sometimes even the bad ideas return in another form. Not sure if these will, neither am I entirely sure what I was doing here but it was fun making paper surfaces and working with carbon, graphite, chalk and paper stumps...oh and of course more bulbs and seed- heads.

The beginning, working with carbon. It's a different type of finish great for smooth shiny areas and you can lay the basic form very quickly!

My first attempt with carbon, This paper surface was created using Gesso and paint....I was trying to make a surface that looks a bit like natural vellum and burnished it to make smooth when It was dry. It's not so bad, I used a marbling technique with a rigger and overlaid glazes, and even indented some veiny looking bits and also trashed the Daniel Smith Earthy dot card in the process!
Making a mess! textured coloured smooth base for the Carbon.... A kitchen sink approach!
 After the 'peaky' looking silver point in my last post, the dusky Wolff carbon pencils were an attractive prospect but I like the coloured background of the silverpoint, hence the paper experiment. I ground the carbon and applied with a brush and paper stump to model the general form. Then working with graphite and the carbon pencils before adding white French chalk for highlights. At this point I gave up and decided it was actually a load of rubbish and moved on to the iris seed head on paper.
The point of abandonment.....accept the fact that it's not really working and move on!

Carbon and graphite on Fabriano Artistico. Not sure why I worked this large. Thought it would be easier with carbon to work larger. It remains unfinished and I reverted to type and moved on to butterflies.
Both the Sketchbook Exchange Project or 30 Day Challenge have given me many ideas for new work and also a chance to reflect. And when I'm busy doing other types work I think about what I've done previously, I look for links or areas to develop sometimes. This carbon drawing of a bulb didn't quite work but I think it could. So I moved on to an iris seed-head on paper. It looks promising but the jury is still out on the carbon. The simple things in the Challenge seem to be pre-cursors or tasters for more complex component parts. I used this approach to build up parts and ideas. One work I think about developing is the sketchbook page below but on a larger scale...... It tugs at my attention.

Complexity, my I've drawn all of these individually prior to this and want to develop it.
It's all gone a bit pear shaped with the 30 day challenge but there seems to be a purpose here. I had a super high pressure commission painting lots of complicated fruit compositions over the last two weeks,  so very little time for anything else. Working 15 hours each day to complete on time was draining but while I was doing this work I was still thinking about my own work up ahead and planning.... this is the important time leading up to new work. I've been thinking about a compositions for the look that I want to achieve for sometime. I've been observing habitats everywhere and the complex interactions between plants, it's not a conscious effort it's just something that people who paint and draw plants seem to do....eventually I home in on something. So my next focus will be the development of the sketchbook page approach and that's where I'm heading next. I love to work in black and white and love complex forms, it makes sense.

My favourite kind of subject, detailed graphite, complex pattern and texture!

 There are two types of compositional ideas that I favour, the simple floating subject and the complex with intertwining parts with overlaps, patterns or transparencyand.  I'm not really interested in too much in between, so look for interesting shapes and flowing  lines, movement and the interaction between objects, sometimes I like to 'order' them and at other times I like to go with the natural lines Neither is it necessarily about a particular plant initially but more to do with a particular feel or atmosphere. I think this idea will be my focus for the remaining days of the challenge....but after the carbon chaos a few colouful butterflies are in order first!

1 comment:

  1. I think I love your graphite work best. I love all of your work, but your graphite drawings really pull at my heart.