Narrative

Final assessment!

Here is my studio space all ready and set up for assessment!
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Adding a dab of colour…

After working on both black and white paper it was suggested to me to try a coloured background.  So I created a multi coloured back ground and a washed background.

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The multicoloured background with black figures painted on it had an element of primitivism to it, I really liked this.  Whereas the washed background didn’t feel like it worked as well.

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Making do.

I couldn’t get hold of a black sheet of A1 until tomorrow so I decided to use my time wisely and make do with my left over white sheet.  I decided to create an inverse of what I had previously painted on a black background, so here it is:

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I do feel that the two would need to be displayed side by side for the painting on the white background to look as good as it can, whereas the painting on the black background stands out well even if it was shown alone.

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I’ve decided I don’t like white.

When I looked at my collection of recent work altogether something just didn’t look right.  The white background I’d been using to paint people on didn’t seem to fit with my heavy biro drawings of streets, it was almost like they were two different peoples work.  A different coloured background was my first option and I chose black A1 paper.  For my first attempt I used white and grey oil pastel and I really liked the mix of colours, it kind of looked like lots of ghosts.

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I wanted to take it another step forward with the new background, so I decided to try it in acrylic paint.  I used white and two shades of grey and the result was so much better, the figures stood out a lot more.

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Here’s a close up of a section from it:

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Trying to solve order.

I found in my larger drawings I had begun to separate the figures and I’d been arranging them which was against what I had in mind. So I went back to A3 but I really needed to get back to the rushed way I was drawing in my sketch book and when I was picking out key characteristics I’d noticed and focusing on them. The way I went around this was to watch videos of people giving tours around their city streets, this way I not only had seconds to draw the people passing but I could also capture how quickly they were travelling and, in scale, the distance they were from the camera/me. This solved my arrangement problem as I didn’t get much of a chance to look at the paper so I drew them where they were on the screen, even if that meant many areas of crossover.

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A radical change in scale!

To develop my previous people watching sketches I felt I needed to get them out of the sketchbook and on a larger scale, so I chose to go from A5 to A1.  I began by sitting and taking pictures of people passing me and then going back to my studio and drawing them. This is the result:

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But by changing from life to photos my sketches became orderly and meticulous.  The different source had completely changed the style and I didn’t want that.   So I tried again but this time I looked out of my studio window to draw the people who walked past, this is the result:

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Half way through drawing this it started to rain, so everyone began to put their hoods up. I made the mistake of thinking about this and so I stopped and waited for the rain to finish, when in actual fact I should of carried on as I was recording human nature so shouldn’t have been thinking about the composition. This was another thing I needed to change so I decided to try again and this time I used the people walking past in the background of peoples Disney family photos, a kind of ‘Ghost’ you could call them.

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Lets give it a bit of colour!

After I’d been out and done a few more sketches I decided that because this was the opposite of the mundane , dark views I’d previously been drawing I should add some colour. The key figures I remembered drawing and the colours they had been wearing I selected to roughly fill in with watercolours. I purposely didn’t give all the figures colour to allow some to stand out more than others. Here are the results:

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People watching.

My recent project has involved taking people out of an image and purely drawing the landscape in front of me. I’ve done this to try and introduce a sense of loneliness into the drawings as my starting point was homelessness.  Today I decided to try the opposite and draw the people who pass me on when i’m sat on the bench but also without a landscape. It turned into chaos, but organised chaos in my eyes as when you look close enough its not too difficult to distinguish each individual on the paper.  Here are the results:

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Having another go at one of my memorable childhood activities.

The Narrative exhibition may have passed but I want to carry on working with this idea. It’s something I’ve really gotten into, I find all the stories and research I have to do really interesting. So my next plan was to transform my Biro drawings into etchings; but I needed a step in between to test how they would look. This is it, a scraper foil engraving art piece:


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Remember those engraving art things you did as kids? The black paint covered the silver or multicoloured foil beneath and you would scrape off the lines to make a pretty picture. Its one of those! But on a blank piece instead of one with a ready made drawing.  I really enjoyed sitting on the bench doing this, required a lot of concentration, because once you’ve scraped an area off it can’t be undone.