Day One; this saw us going off site for a museum day of observational drawing. I had never been to the British museum before so it was exciting to be able to experience the museum and really take note of what I was seeing – because I was drawing it. I chose a mixture of different elements, looking at pattern, colour and texture that could influence my box clever project.
I am always a little uncomfortable when it comes to drawing but I force myself to at least try; often using alternative techniques such as looking a patterns and mark making as a way of recording the objects I had seen. We were required to draw at least 15 objects, using varied mediums to create different lines and textures.
I decided to look at certain objects that could be link to my box, and the collection I have already started. I chose the leafy thing because it is a natural object – like many of my own objects and the colours really link to my project. I also wanted to look at cloth, I found this degraded piece of Egyptian cloth. I really loved the edges of the fabric that had worn away, I think it is quite special as it not only creates an interesting effect but it also makes a point about its own history – how long it has been around for. In the drawing I decided not to look at the actual cloth or the pattern on it but rather I focused on the lines of the edge of the material – As this is what interested me most about the piece. I think the drawing is successful and almost looks like a map. I looked at the African pot because of its striking colour. That’s what initially drew me in. I also like the very simplistic shape with the slight bit of interest at the side – the poking out bits. The colour also does relate as I have a few browny/red/orange elements and although it is a bright colour it is on the more natural side. The background which can be seen when looking at the pot was amazing. It was a collection of bottle neck metal pieces that had been straightened out and formed together to create a sheet / blanket like piece. I think it was very clever so see how the artist had used recycled materials in this piece. I did a close up drawing of the metal piece which I happened to be drawing on the same page, getting carried away, not even thinking about the pot the two drawings started to intertwine. I like the outcome of this – and it also happened to be like the photograph I took of the pot in front of the metal blanket structure.
I was inspired by a lot of different things at the museum, and I drew them even if they didn’t relate 100% to my project. I think that the objects don’t always have to have a direct link, but instead as part of your research you could look and certain colours, patterns and textures that could inform your practice.
The second day was a more experimental approach to drawing.
Observed, Imagined, Remembered.
We created 5 drawings in total. At first we were tasked to choose on object from our box and draw it in lots of detail. Trying to visually record everything in that one object. We only had 15 minutes to complete the drawing. I chose to draw the piece of bark from my box, enlarging it as I was drawing on A2 paper.
We were then shown a mystery object for about a minute, the object was then hidden again.
The next task, we were told to look at our object and describe it. I chose to create a list of words / short sentences that described the bark. We then swapped papers and had to create a drawing based on the descriptions. This was very difficult as often the essence of the object was missing so I created a rather vague drawing; more of a pattern really. I did enjoy this task as there was an objective but overall we created a rather obscure drawing. This is based on olden times when people didn’t have as much access to information as we do now. Often they would be given only a description of an animal and would have to try and create an illustration based on the drawing. The illustrator would have to use their imagination to help them fill in the gaps.
We were then asked to remember the initial drawing of our object and re-draw it. I actually found that I preferred the second drawing to the first one. This was an interesting task as my mind could only remember parts of the drawing and then I filled in the gaps with my imagination. This task involved remembering and imagination. It begins to bring up psychological theories; our psyche is what we use to make sense of the world. If we don’t have all the information / all the details we make up the rest – based on our previous experiences. This is why memory is so subjective, we remember the same story differently each time we tell it.
Then we were told to draw the mystery object. I could only remember the shape and colour but couldn’t remember the finer details and carvings that were on the body of the object.
The final task was to take one object and turn in into another. This was a little difficult at first, I decided to draw the two objects on either end of the paper and fill in the three drawings in-between, slowing transforming a piece of bark into an acorn/seed thing. I found it easier to focus less so on the shape and more on the patterns and textures within both the objects. I don’t feel that this drawing is very successful I think that maybe if I had introduced colour the link from drawing to drawing would be a lot clearer. Otherwise it is difficult to see how and why the objects change / link.
Overall, I really enjoyed this workshop, we were able to be a bit more free and experimental with our drawing which I much prefer. I find the drawings to be a lot more interesting and unique when they have some kind of explanation behind then, as opposed to a straight up copied drawing.
The final drawing workshop for the week was more observational drawing. This time, we started by drawing one of the objects from our box in quite a lot of detail. We then chose specific areas to zoom in on. Once the areas were chosen we created another drawing, very enlarged, as if we were looking through a magnifying glass. This workshop helped us to focus on detail, really observe an object and get all of the information out of it. We could then see the progression from each drawing.
The workshop was taught by Nicholas Dunn, a footwear designer. He explained to us that his process of working starts off very broad, looking at lots of different elements; whether it be colour/form/texture and then slowly reduces down his research to very detailed, specific drawings.
I really enjoyed this workshop as we had time to sit, look and draw. We were able to examine the object and I think that helped me in the initial mapping out stages of the drawing. I also enjoyed the enlarging stage, it is easy to see how this process can be applied to other textile processes.