Part Two, Project 6, Exercise 5 -Mixed media

Assemble a range of drawing media including coloured media such as oil pastels, watercolours, ink and coloured pencils. You might also incorporate small areas of collage (using found images, scraps of newspaper, etc.). You may need a heavier paper if you intend to use watered down PVA glue or flood large areas with wash. Glance through the studies you’ve made so far and notice which have been most successful in terms of pictorial effect. Work either from direct observation of your interior view or from one of your exercise studies. Try mixing media you are less familiar with and experiment with several studies of the subject, looking at it from different viewpoints.

I looked through the sketches I had done in exercise 1 of this project and decided I liked the concept of this sketch of my husband’s gym.  I like the clutter and the way that things are not arranged aesthetically, but practically!  It is actually in our basement so there is limited light down there which I though i could also play with.

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I worked from the sketch rather than the actual interior view as I thought this would give me more freedom to play around rather than getting caught up in facts!  I did a couple of experimental drawings, mainly to explore the potential of oil pastels.  I discovered using oil paint thinners to melt the oil pastel into the paper and which also intensified the colour which i really liked.  I also liked mixing lots of colours to create tonal areas of lots of mixed hues.  I also liked the slightly ethereal effect in the lighter sketch and how the running machine blends with the background.

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“Steve’s hideout” oil pastel and soft pastel on A3 smooth 330gsm Aquafine Daler Rowney hot pressed watercolour paper.

There is a lot of experimentation in this picture which at times I really struggled with.  I had an idea what I wanted but not how to use the medium to achieve it.  There are distortions in the shapes of the bike and the running machine and I have drawn the window incorrectly, but I enjoyed exaggerating the light streaming in through the window (which i real life it can’t really do as the window is submerged a little below ground!)  I hope that the light creates a mood though- gloomy, a bit of a secret place- but warm and welcoming.

I went a bit overboard on colour and nothing is as it really is in real life!  the vibrancy and the awkward, unwieldy nature of oil pastels seems to encourage the use of vivid bold colours, for example in this picture of a lady by Greg Mason Burns http://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Oil-Pastel-of-a-Lady/411235/1662175/view.  I still have a lot to learn about how to keep that intensity and bold vibrancy.  I was finding that putting the pastels on thickly resulted in strong colour, but also in clumping, while using the thinners to smooth it down also wiped away some of the oil pastel layer.    In the end I added a top layer of soft pastels to create light streams and to intensity some of the colours.  I am pleased but frustrated with this but have raised issues that I now know I need to research, experiment and overcome in future.

Assessment criteria points

  • Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills (35%).
  • Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas (20%).
  • Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice (25%).
  • Context reflection – research, critical thinking (learning logs and, at second and third level, critical reviews and essays) (20%).
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