Drawing Skills Week One

In the first week of drawing skills we were taught was that it is important to see, not just to look.  As a photographer this is what I try to do.  I aim to be able to do what I can do with a camera (see, document, create) without one!

We were taught that it is important to be able to express our ideas visually through drawing, and that the act of drawing is also a means of developing those ideas.  Drawing as a designer is also an important means of communicating your ideas with your audience.

We were taught some basic drawing skills such as hatching to show gradations of light and shade, adding shadows to demonstrate where light sources are, and that figures can add scale.

In the class were asked to sketch some shapes onto A3 paper, and to then draw shapes over another person’s work.  We were to use mixed media. We passed our work round a few times, and did this twice, until we  had two sheets each with various sketched shapes.

Self directed work:

Embellishing the sketches, using mixed media and adding colour:

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Shapes and Colours 1

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Shapes and Colours 2

There wasn’t much of a conscious process in my embellishment of the sketched shapes.  The idea of the homework was for us to get used to working with different kinds of pens, pencils and colours, and to begin to feel comfortable with drawing.  So I just went for it!

I connected shapes to make new shapes, hatched and cross hatched to add depth, shaded, used various pens, pencils, and colours, and added figures to some elements to give a sense of scale. As I drew, new ideas for how to connect more shapes, and add new ones, came to me, and I became more confident in my drawing as I saw what was developing.

Some of the images created are fairly representational – there’s a giant tepee, some buildings, and a plant, some seem to be somewhere between representation and abstraction – kite like forms, tent like structures, and a giant TV on skinny legs, and others are more abstract – I had a sheet with a number of circles on it and wanted to see what I could do with them that wasn’t obvious.

I was really pleased to get some positive verbal feedback on my work in the class.  Brian described ‘Shapes and Colours 1’ as ‘very expressive’, ‘vibrant’ and ‘bold’.  He also used it to demonstrate some drawing techniques to the class such as the use of complementary colours, the use of figures to add scale, and the use of hatching to represent light and shadow.

I’m still working out what most of objects in ‘Shapes and Colours 2’ are! I’m not sure they have to be anything, and I think I like them better for that.  The idea of the task was to get us using mixed media and to help develop our confidence with making marks on paper.  This activity has certainly done both of these things for me.

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