Your composition should occupy most of the paper’s surface. How much negative space do you have left?
Too much in most instances. I appreciate that negative space is important and can be of visual interest in its own right but I’ve still work to do on filling the page well, planning my compositions and creating interesting backgrounds that complement the objects without taking over. I’ve reflected on this when reviewing the individual exercises.
What have you learned from drawing the details of fruit and vegetables?
I’ve learned that pencil, marker pens, inks and oil pastels can all be effective mediums to use. The different mediums forced me to work in different ways. Fine detail can be achieved with pencil – for example, the complex colouring of an apple. This was more difficult with inks which tended to blend into one another (I was working quite wet). Detail wasn’t easy to capture with oil pastels but overall they create intensity of colour and make an bold impact. I discovered that different textured papers give very different results and it’s good to be aware of this.
I’m learning to steer away from routinely outlining objects with dark lines… the mediums we used in this project all give good definition and an outline is not really necessary – in fact, as my tutor has pointed out, it can flatten an object and spoil the impact of light bouncing off an edge. This was particularly apparent for me with the water melon in the exercise using markers or dip pens.
What did you find most challenging about this part of the course?
Setting up good compositions, filling the page effectively and choosing appropriate backgrounds. I realise that I need to spend more time on the preliminary sketches rather than rushing in. I think I’ve said this before!
I’m not particularly happy with most of what I have produced during this project (although I’ve still gained a lot from it) because of the reasons above but if this course is anything like other life experiences the learning from what doesn’t work well is every bit as valuable as the sense of pleasure when something turns better than hoped for!