Draw an outdoor scene of your choice. Try to find a view that includes some natural objects – trees, shrubs, pot plants, fields, garden plants. Also try to find a view that will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of aerial or linear perspective – in other words a view that has some demonstrable depth to it. Look for a view that offers an opportunity to draw straight-lined objects as well as items drawn from nature: buildings, walls, fences, gates and so on.
Do some preliminary drawings in your sketchbook to experiment with the composition. Try different versions, eliminating and moving objects if necessary to create a pleasing composition. Make some sketches to practise getting the perspective of the scene right. Next do some broad sketches in charcoal or diluted ink and brush and trial other media before you select which to use.
I started this assignment by trying to find a scene I was happy to draw and inspired by, but which also fitted the criteria described. I did a variety of quick sketches- both line and tonal- to explore various options, of which a couple of pages are shown above.
I finally settled on a view of the same building I used for the small sketches in exercise 1 Part 3, Project 5, Ex 1. Looking past the tudor style building there are a row of small cottages in contrasting stone. The cottages recede into the sort of culvert which is dark with trees and the whole is in a gulley as trees and rocks ascend behind them. It made it very tricky to catch the building in good light as the light tends to come from behind for much of the day and with the recent grey wet weather, the light was making it look very flat and dreary. I finally came across a day when the light was adding to the scene and creating a sense of atmosphere, so I took a number of photographs to help me to capture it in my final piece of work. The watery wintery light was shining on the windows and white plasterwork of the foreground building, creating shades, whilst the cottage receded into dark shadow along the path.
I also played around with a couple of loose, bold approaches exploring which view to use and how I might use interesting media and effects in the final work. The colour sketch was a far cry from what I was trying to achieve as it completely lacked subtlety. However, I did enjoy the loose wash effect in the ink/wash drawing.
I started the final picture by taking time to get the perspective of the initial drawing accurate. Linear perspective came into play both looking along the line of the cottages, and also looking up towards the roof of the foreground building. I was a little undecided about how to start the work but decided (with reference to the sketches above) that using pen and ink for the tudor-style building and a contrasting finish on the cottages would be a good approach.
I am interested in the effect using washes creates so I thought I would try to create a sense of shade by using a watercolour wash as a background. I also used water colour to detect the clouds in the sky so they would appear loose and fresh. I worked up the tudor frontage using pen and ink and an indian ink wash in a number of layers, then used a combination of colour pencils and crayons for the stonework. In places I used some ink wash to darken and deepen shadow.
Mixed Media on A2 Mixed Media Paper 250gsm
I am very pleased and surprised by the finished drawing. I was pleased by the looseness of the pavement and the deep shadow around and beyond the last cottage, which contrasts with the light freshness of the windows in the foreground. The whiteness of the paper lifts the white plasterwork and there is a definitely sense of shadow and sunlight. When I did this it was during Christmas, so i decided to include the village christmas trees on fixed the front of the building- complete with lights/ baubles! It was a happy accident really as I think the green lifts it and helps link the whole subject together. At the back there are plants growing up the walls and there is green algae growing the the brickwork. The sign was also green!
I believe I have successfully put theory into practice here. The perspective looks correct to me and there is a definitely sense of the cottages receding. The atmosphere along that path in winter is rather dark, damp and cold- I would like to think I had captured that. The windows and doors in the cottages are quite rustic- while those in the tudor style building look more refined -the widows are reflecting the sky and some of the trees- there is a hint of that.
I was very pleased by my choice of media. I was amazed by some of the effects I managed to create using just coloured pencils, by blending and creating layers, and using mineral spirits to merge colours together. They were effective in creating textures of the stonework and plants/trees and the grey tones were not overly bright in trying to capture the sense of atmosphere.
Demonstration of Technical & visual skills- I think compositionally this assignment demonstrates an understanding of various elements studied in part three. It shows perspective, depth, has an interesting composition,and successful use of a variety of media. I spent a lot of time developing ideas for this by living with it in the back of my mind over a few weeks, which helped enormously with he end result.
Quality of outcome– I feel I achieved what I set out to do- in fact I feel I delivered more than I expected to be able to. It was a subject that interested me and as I could relate to it and feel it strongly I think this was expressed directly in the visual communication of my thoughts and emotional response.
Demonstration of creativity– I find it very hard not to have a fairly detailed approach in my finished work. In this case I feel it works however, as looseness and imaginative effects are evident in some areas of this picture, while in other more restrained areas I had to experiment to create affects using the chosen media.