May 17, 2011
Every Day Matters, daily drawing challenge #117. Draw something round. Every Day in May 2011.
Wash of yellow and yellow ochre ‘Global” Acrylic Impasto paint on my 180gsm Como paper; sketch drawn separately on 110gsm cartridge paper in Conte crayons, sanguine and Derwent pastel pencils, then cut and glued on with PVA glue.
No idea where the idea of a Portrait came from. Not a self-portrait, but it could have been. Completely left-field, though I wanted to include a Head somewhere among this month’s challenges, basically as a nod to other traditional genres apart from Still Life, which is what Every Day Matters understandably concentrates on in the main. I get to do some figures later on in the month, so that covers The Figure. And I’ve managed to include one item of Architecture already.
The idea of cutting-and-pasting my sketches on to a ground is radically new for me and comes from Roz Stendhal’s current online Strathmore visual journalling workshop. The technique is allowing me to “see” sketching and drawing as more closely related to painting – it “reduces” the gap between the two. I stopped short of filling in the white space at the bottom; if I wanted to move the sketch down, the eyes would have moved to the dead centre of the page so I needed to counteract that by sticking to the Golden Section/pattern of thirds and leaving the eyes closer to a third from the top. As it happens the white space at the bottom recalls the idea of Roman marble sculptures so I’m not unhappy about it. There was a compositional need to run the white from top to bottom of the page, which this satisfies. Yes, I did consider text and I did consider collage (the bloke is doing a PhD on sharks so it seemed natural to include a shark) but the page was “busy” enough as it was. This Portrait is a nod to some future sketching down the track when I revise my anatomy/figure drawing. Time for another round of Life Drawing!
Also moving away from my traditional style by holding my pencils in a different way – not up close. I liked the idea of round shapes and round lines coming to the fore; my favourite pastel drawer always draws portraits and figures in straight lines. “Round” conjures up that one wonderful class of adjectives in Japanese, where objects are described as long or round, etc.; sketching my beloved temari balls seemed a front-runner as well. Most of my painted background got covered up today, but I’m noticing how often cartoonists and illustrators use this same technique, obviously enhanced by digital technology in their fields. I found an example in today’s newspaper and I’ve been trawling through the 235 pages of examples on http://gorillaartfare.com The fantasy figure drawing there is firmly based on very sound principles of observation and draughtmanship – the direction they take it in is very 21st century including not just cartooning but things as “mundane” as book covers.