I discovered this week that every assignment piece from Drawing Skills must be submitted for the final assessment, as well as a selection of sketchbook work, preferably including relevant preparatory work for each assessment. While this seems logical, it was also a surprise / shock because I had thought that only one drawing plus sketchbook was to be submitted and that the rest would be digital (i.e. learning log). During this course, I have filled almost five A4 sketchbooks, plus added other work to other sketchbooks (there are 8 or 9 on the go) including one and a half A3 sketchbooks… I dread to think what it would cost to post these to the UK! After an email correspondence with the OCA, I am going to submit those A4 sketchbooks which include the preparatory work for assignments, which will come to around 4 kg. In addition, I will send a portfolio with all of the assignment pieces.
My tutor has suggested that I rework the A4 assignment and add tonal detail to the A5. I have redrawn the tonal figure drawing from Assignment 4. This post documents the process. Below is the original drawing submitted for Assignment 4. In particular, the feet are much too small and their positioning is not quite right. The marks are also very dense and I would like to introduce more a more relaxed, open network of marks. I had also wondered what the image might be like using colour.
First of all, I recreated the position and sketched in the A4 sketchbook, using a yellow Art Bar and Inktense pencils in a dark red and brighter green. The proportions are better, although one foot is off the page… I chose to include the sketchbook in the image, which was kept in the final drawing because the act of drawing provides a more active focus and is an improvement on the passive gaze in the image above. However, this was later a challenge to draw because the final drawing is in A2 and I had to memorise angles and proportions with the smaller book and then incorporate these into the larger drawing. The colours introduce more life into the subject and reflect my feelings about the different seasons and lighting conditions in which the two drawings were made.
The shapes made by the legs could be more prominent and create sharper angles, especially as they are closest to the viewer, so should make more impact. I sketched the shape again:
Using the same colours, I embarked on the A2 drawing. I had intended that this would be the final drawing. However, although the foot is a good size, the head is too big in relation to the feet. The foot on the right is also not well drawn. The shoulder on the left seems too short. The hip on the viewer’s left lacks solidity. The figure overall appears distorted.
On the plus side, the tonal contrasts are better and the marks are much looser. I had worried that if the drawing were very loose that it would be difficult to depict the figure but the marks have conveyed the posture. The knee position is also better and the book feels supported by the thigh.
Reluctantly, I decided that I would have to have another go. I made another sketch in pencil in the sketchbook. Every time I got up to have a break, it was difficult to recreate the position exactly. Therefore, I decided that the position would have to remain constant for the duration of a drawing even though it might differ between sketches / drawings. The figure below looks a bit masculine and young but the shapes work and it has energy. The proportions of feet to head are better, although the “resting foot” on the viewer’s right is too flat.
Here is the final drawing which I will submit. I used a pencil outline before adding colour. The foreshortening is better – the figure feels more compact. The hip has solidity and the proportions of foot and head have improved. I have changed the position of the cushion, so that it is similar to the position in the original drawing and frames the head. After completing the drawing, I left it overnight. On returning to it, I checked the tonal contrast by converting a photograph into monochrome and subsequently added more low tone to create more foreground contrast. The colours in the photograph do not give a completely accurate reproduction – the tonal contrasts in the drawing are more subtle. I also adjusted the line of the hip on the right of the drawing, which I checked while drawing but it now seems too wide in the drawing, middle-age spread notwithstanding. I am afraid that I will ruin what is here if I continue to fiddle and have reached a point where I must let this drawing go. This is the best that I can do for now.
A monochrome version of the above shows improvement in tonal contrasts although I acknowledge that this could still be more pronounced.
Here is the original assignment drawing and the one that I am submitting in its place (although I shall send both). The original drawing has a light that I have not managed to into the second drawing although this may reflect the very different lighting conditions. The one on the left was drawn in low-placed artificial light, coming from the right. The new drawing was made in natural light, indirect sunlight, coming from a window to the left. I like that the subject is much more dominant and more “immediate” and seems to communicate with the viewer in a way that doesn’t happen in the first drawing.
After a few more days and returning to the drawing once again, the foreground is bare and needs something. I added some gentle marks to suggest the texture of the woven woollen rug and a little more tone to areas in shadow, which is an improvement. Probably difficult to appreciate the difference but here it is anyway: