This Semester's work has taken a different turn to how i began the year. While i feel that perhaps the quality of artwork hasn't improved as much as it had in the first semester, I have identified areas of improvement and found solutions to these problems. This semester was also less focused of the subject, but more on the drawing as a whole. A Personal goal for me this term along with working out how to improve, as to expand my use of medium. I am happy with the progress i made during this semester, i have learnt that focusing on the lineart and drawing what i think i see is not always the answer. This is a problem that had plagued me for the entire first semester and caused my overall brief to slip slightly. However upon using new techniques, such as utilising negative space and shading to create forms, the quality of my work is more consistent. In the future i want to continue using these techniques to further hone my skills, allowing my work to take new forms, while continually progressing in a positive manner.
One of my goals of this semester was to use more mediums, pushing me out of my comfort zone, to do this, i tried not to use a pencil when at all possible during lessons, and trying to use more wet mediums, such as markers, and watercolours in my homework. I feel that this use of medium is apparent in my Hive maze book and my Architecture Portrait i did at the beginning of the semester. One Particular success was my watercolour church drawing i did as part of my architecture brief, as this was one of the first times i had taken a wet medium out into the field with me, severely pushing me out of my comfort zone. Despite this, i enjoyed the work i did and was proud of the result, showing a significant improvement over what i would have done in the first semester. Heading into my second year of University, i would like to continue this trend of taking wet medium out more and expanding my skills to become a more versatile artist.
One thing that i have struggled most with, throughout this semester, was creating themes for my works, most notably when creating the animal texture pieces, i feel that i need to focus more on my use of composition when moving forward into my second year of university. I was worried that i would be unable to change and improve this, but by studying pieces done by my peers, i learnt tips and tricks that helped me approach the drawings with a fresh light. While i feel that my use of the page has certainly improved since the beginning of the year, i definitely feel as though there is a lot of room for improvement. In my effort to try and Improve my composition, i looked at many Renaissance artists and their pages with life drawings on, one most notable was Albrecht Durer, who was most notable for his life drawings and Printmaking. In his woodcuts, Durer utilised the entire canvas, using a distinct use of symmetry to create a interesting Composition. Symmetry is something that i haven't really used during this module and is something that i only tried to used at the end of the project, most notably in my Hive Mazebook. If i was able to repeat the semester, i would put a focus on the composition of my images, hopefully creating better looking drawings and series of drawings, rather than having them dotted over the page.
One thing that i am highly proud of was my use of Charcoal over this semester, Before i started the module, i had little to no experience with Charcoal, but by the end of this year, one of the highlights of my portfolio is my Tonal Drawings using charcoal. By using charcoal it has helped significantly improve my use of value painting. Something that was very absent at the beginning of the year. At the beginning of the year, i focused too much of creating precise lines, while neglecting the negative space and shading, however in the latter half of this year, Ive almost reversed, focusing more and more on the background, and using that as well as tones to create my pieces. The Pieces below are the pieces that i feel successfully demonstrate my improvement from the beginning of the year, all the way through to the present day. While i certainly wouldn’t call fig 1. A bad drawing, it was very much within my comfort zone, using a sketching pencil, using construction lines to build the figure, while the drawing is good and high quality, it doesn’t really look like Mel, Whereas in Fig. 4, the Drawing is a lot more use, using Charcoal and a rubber to create a drawing that is much more believable and looks much more like how Mel actually looks like. One Artist who i studied to help me improve in this department was none other than Leonardo Da Vanci, while studying his work i noticed that he almost never used construction likes, or even edge lines for that matter, Da Vinci created Lifelike images using almost exclusively shading and focusing on negative space to draw. The difference between my own and Da vinci’s works caused me to question my own ability, and inspired me to try new styles and adapt a looser style. As you can see throughout the year, i tried to use less and less construction lines, and tried to draw what was actually in front of me, rather than what i thought i was seeing.
Because of this success, it has encouraged me to change my style when i do go back to using pencils and Pens, at the start of this year, i was very much the perfectionist and would waffle on a single curve for minutes of a time, while not having the whole form in. While when i got the lines right the drawings looks nice, however the image wouldn't necessarily be proportioned correctly, and or the image wouldn’t resemble the person i drew. However, reviewing my portfolio you can see the further through the year i get, the more and more lose the drawings become, as i realised that it was more important the get the form of the character in first, before allowing me to be a perfectionist and drawing all the little details that don’t make the image believable. To me, some of the images look as though the quality has declined, however this is certainly not the case at all. The lines are a lot more loser, making the drawings look scruffy, however the purpose of the life drawings is not to create beautiful illustrations, but to help me get the form of what i see in front of me, and to help me create the most faithful and accurate representation of the image, of which i can go back into at a later date, and create a much more neater and finalised Illustrations.
While at the beginning of the year i would have shunned this thinking, believing that the neater the drawing, the better it must be, i have come to realise over the course of the year, that i’d actually rather have a messy drawing, that represents the scene in front of me, rather than being a perfectionist, and drawing something that looks very pretty, even if it is wrong. Because of this i am proud of what i have achieved over the year. I want to continue this mindset into the future, and apply it to more and more aspects of my life, hopefully improving my other modules.
In Conclusion, While i have many aspects of my artistic abilities that i still wish to improve, i believe that my mindest in which i approach life drawing has changed for the better, by studying other artists, being given crits by my peers and lecturers, my ability as an artist, has not only changed, but has also improved. My Versatility in my use of mediums has expanded greatly, and i wish to keep expanding in the years to come, as i have come to find that art is a lot more fun when you draw something that challenges you and pushes you to be fun and creative, rather than drawing the same things over and over again, granted i would get better, but where is the fun in that? There are issues with proportion and composition that i need to continue to address, but i have years of drawing ahead of me, and with the things i have learnt throughout this course, i can continue to study and improve my weaknesses, becoming a better and better artist.
Bambach, A. (2017). Renaissance Drawings: Material and Function | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [online] The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Available at: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/drwg/hd_drwg.htm [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].
Leonardoda-vinci.org. (2017). Flower Studies - Leonardo Da Vinci - www.leonardoda-vinci.org. [online] Available at: http://www.leonardoda-vinci.org/Flower-Studies.html [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].
Wisse, A. (2017). Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art. [online] The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Available at: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/durr/hd_durr.htm [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].