The overall aim of this art (part 3 Expanse) is to develop my observational drawing skills and especially within the world around me. As well as the usual challenges of concept, composition, technique etc there are additional things to think about what you don’t encounter with an interior or still life. Such as the practicalities of drawing outside, the unbounded nature of the scene, the lack of control you have as an artist.
The project focused townscapes. The purpose is to explore different elements of expanse/landscapes than the previous primarily organic scenes.
This exercise focused on drawing statues. Drawing statues from different angles and with careful observation of what I actually saw rather than thought I saw.
Knowing this exercise was coming up and wanting to do a painting for a friend as a thank you I did a painting of the statue of King Alfred that stands in Winchester. I include it here as part of my wider work but to be honest, this wasn’t doe solely for the course and I would definitely call a painting rather than a drawing. That said it is painted with a strong use of line and shape.
I wanted to split this into 2. Firstly to look at the use of tone and secondly detail.
To give a bit more interest I used an old piece of watercolour paper that had got spotted and splatted at some point. No real reason but I thought the energy in the splats contrasted nicely with the stability of the statue.
Rather than a specific artistic influence, I had in mind the traditional artistic training of using statues to learn shape and tone. I think this forms part of the atelier method.
The painting completed earlier in the year was successful I think. The striking composition, limited tonal range and use of colour resulted in a dynamic powerful feel – fitting of King Alfred. Looking back at it now I could have done more work on the folds of Alfred’s cloak – that seems a bit too undulating and regular.
Specifically for this exercise, I didn’t have a lot of time and that showed – both what I did draw and that I didn’t have time to do more studies. The use of pastel on the tonal study became too think and heavy – I was having o go darker and darker to keep the tonal range.
The close-up pen studies were a great opportunity to study some tricky shapes and viewpoints. More care in lining up features on the face (central line is off for example) and the shapes of the foot needed in the future.