Friday, 24 February 2012

Assignment 1: Project One Stage 4 - Working from your Sketchbooks - Exercise 1

For this exercise I chose four images, two from sketches, two from earlier projects. I decided to have another try at the bogwood, this time using a wax resist technique and trying an intentionally unrealistic colour scheme (using a rainbow of colours).

I selected the shape of the galaxy from earlier in the project, this time working with printed "teabag" papers, cut into small triangles, to interpret the spiralling shape.

Image three was an interpretation of body art from my sketchbooks. It is based on henna tattoos, interpreted using paint and glitter.

The final piece was also from my sketchbooks, a simple shell. The shell had a lovely ridged texture and I chose to capture this in paint.

I don't particularly like any of these interpretations. It was useful to try the wax resist using different colours as I'd considered earlier, but the medium didn't really allow for sufficient detail to capture the woody texture.

The spiral is ok but not particularly inspiring. Likewise the tattoo intepretation is ok but not really texturally expressive.

Of the four, the shell is the best option as the paint allows the light and shade to bring out the textural qualities of the shell.

I may repeat this exercise at some point using different subjects to see how this affects the results.

Assignment 1: Project One Using Marks to Create Surface Textures Stage 3 - Exercise 2

For this exercise I chose three items:  A woven basket, a piece of bogwood and a piece of coral. I drew each using a variety of media.

These were my results...

I found that the woven texture of the basket was particularly difficult to capture convincingly - I used Letraset Promarkers, Aquarelle watercolour pencils (and a rubbing with crayon that has gone missing!). I struggled with this one.

The bogwood was also quite tricky. I used pencil, watercolour and a combination of gouache applied with a decorating brush and wax crayon rubbing. Of the three, I like the appearance of the gouache/wax. The rough bristles of the decorating brush came the closest to the texture I was looking for and the colours are the best of the three examples.

Surprisingly the coral was the most interesting and satisfying texture to interpret, despite the piece being almost completely white. Perhaps this meant I had to focus on texture without being distracted by colour. I worked in fineliner pen, a 6H pencil and, to see how a less precise media would work, pastel washed with watercolour. Of thes, I like the pen best because of the intensity of the texture but I think each could be interpreted nicely in stitchwork.

And here are photos of the pieces:

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Assignment 1: Project One Using Marks to Create Surface Textures Stage 3 - Exercise 1

Exploring surface textures. 

For this exercise I chose two images and used four different combinations of media to reflect the textures in the images.

The first was an image of a rice field from the Guardian and I chose (from left to right):
  • Watercolor paint wash and letraset marker pens to pick out the finer detail of the rice plants in the paddy fields.
  • Oil pastels.
  • Coloured pencils.
  • Aquarelle watercolour pencils used both as watercolours and as pencils for the finer details.
Of these, I much prefer the watercolour/letraset combination. The subtlety of the watercolour captures the soft tones of the background sky and fields. The pen, on the other hand, brings out the delicate but distinct stems of the rice plants. The aquarelle is a close second, the pastel an interesting variation for a more abstract interpretation. The colored pencil didn't really achieve the variety of texture I was looking for.

The second image was of a star galaxy from an amazing book about astronomy. For this I chose:
  • Acrylic gouache paint overprinted with lustre paint applied by dipping and printing with a bottle cork.
  • Watercolour paint accented with natural food colour.
  • Oil pastels.
  • Coloured pencils.
 I liked each of these interpretations although they are quite different. The watercolour used for the second interpretation has the look of a wreath of plants but is quite pretty albeit a rather loose interpretation of the image. Likewise, the coloured pencil (far right) is a rather pared down interpretation but captures the swirliness of the galaxy.

Overprinting with the cork has brought out the appearance of the gases surrounding the nebula in the first interpretation. However, my favourite is the pastel version as the smudgy nature of the pastels blends the colors to give the impression of swirling gases, but has more depth and intensity.

And the original images?

The full image..
 And my selection...

Whirlpool Galaxy...

And my selection....

Assignment 1: Project One Making Marks - Stage One/Two - Exercise 4

Another stash-dive for fun media and trying some new techniques...

Here I've experimented with wax crayon, acrylic paint, oil pastels, pencils and watercolour paints.

I've tried a range of techniques: Rubbings with crayon, wax resist with watercolour, using an eraser to create patterns by removing areas of pencil, scratch-patterns with a craft knife over pastels and wet acrylic paint, printing with sponge and acrylic paint and printing with a piece of waste plastic and acrylic paint.

Using the eraser on the tonal pencil was more effective than I expected. This could be varied further with sharpened or shaped erasers and a range of different patterns. The wax resist was interesting as the paint left speckles on the crayon in addition to being resisted by the wax. Using a wider range of colour under the paint would be fun to try.

Assignment 1: Project One Making Marks Stage One/Two - Exercise 3

Extending exercise 1 by working with different media and techniques...

Coloured pencils, felt pens, watercolour wash, lustre paints applied with a cork, watercolour pencils.

Bubble wrap, tissue paper, gold paint, inks and paints. I used the inner part of the template to create the outline on the red tissue paper with gold paint. I cut the bubble wrap with a craft knife and coloured over it with pens. The pen sank deeper into the paper backing in the cut areas creating the darker orange lines. It seemed a shame to waste the outer part of the template so I coloured it with more pen.

Here I chose a different background but used the same template shape. I experimented with chalk, oil pastel and gold paint, working both using the inner and outer part of the template. I like the interaction of the dark background with the metallic paint and the bright white of the pastels. The use of sharp lines of pastel and chalk give strong, lively shapes.

More bubble wrap! This time painting onto the bubble wrap and using it to print with onto tissue paper. Also sponging inside and over the template shape with acrylics. Bottom left is a watercolour sample, with the colour dropped inside the template shape.

I dug deep into my stationery stash for these and found lots of interesting colours, shapes and media to play with. The first and third pages work best for me, although the red/orange combinations are interesting. The colours in the final page don't work for me at all!

Assignment 1: Project One Making Marks Stage One/Two - Exercise 2

More work with a variety of pencils within a stencil shape...

Three different areas of tone within each stencilled shape, dark, mid-tone and light.

It was interesting using the pencils at different angles to achieve effects from fine lines through to broad swathes of pencil.

Assignment 1: Project One Making Marks Stage One/Two - Exercise 1

Using marks to express words:

 For this exercise I used a range of pencils, from hard 6H to soft 6B, working with the pencils at different angles to achieve sharp lines, soft lines, smudged areas and shapes.

I'm sure this should have been simple but I found it surprisingly difficult to achieve lots of variation. Some words were easier than others: Sharp, hard and sad are, I think, my favourites.