I wasn’t happy with my first attempt at this exercise so later I had another go – A3 this time as I didn’t quite have the stamina for another A2 pencil drawing. The problems I experienced before were mainly due to poor composition and the choice of unwieldy flowers that were unbalanced and unpredictable.
This time I chose a simple arrangement of ‘mini lilies’ (their real name escapes me) in an old glass bottle. I added a couple of pears because they are lovely and the colours complementary.
Composition and backgrounds are weak points for me so I took some time to think and experimented in my sketch book. I opted for a graduated background and added a picture against the wall reflecting elements of the still life arrangement. Initially I considered including the complete still life in the background wall picture but this looked too fussy and cute.
This picture is considerably better than my first attempt at the exercise but still a long way from filling me with a sense of glowing pride and satisfaction!
The graduated background helped to pull the delicate mini lilies and the big bold pears together. I’m not sure how well the background picture on the wall works… I’ve not drawn it very well compared to the rest of the picture. Looking now perhaps a picture of green bottles might have worked in a more subtle way.
The lilies had become lost in the background at one point and I outlined them lightly to give them definition… but I had my tutor Simon’s feedback on assignment one echoing in my head as I did it as I know it can flatten a picture. I couldn’t stop myself but I did make sure I used a light touch, particularly where the light comes in from the left.
I’ve been avoiding drawing glass, so I’m glad to have tackled the bottle and got over another phobia as it doesn’t look too bad to me.