Experiments with self portrait

In preparation for my final piece I first want to experiment with different portraits using unusual reflectors. Today I have done two.

Reflection in shaving mirror

First I did a series of self portraits using a shaving mirror to look to get unusual images of my face. I did 5 poses with my face distorted in different ways. It was quite interesting to see your face in an unusual way, and made you look at features like you may not have done before. Getting proportions right was impossible for this but I did measure. It was nice to have the freedom of not being too fixated on correct proportions, and I think the image does still look like me.

Reflection in a filled wine glass

I then moved on to drawing my face reflected in a filled wine glass. This was quite an interesting pose as it mainly tonal, and the features of the face were masked, such as the eyes. I concentrated on shape as there was no detail to capture, and i also added in the reflection of the glass which added interest.

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Exercise: Tonal Study

I now had to do tonal studies.

Charcoal

For this tonal study I use charcoal. I think some tones are a little and I should have pushed this harder. I used my eraser to draw in the light on my face. I think I’ve captured a good likeness of myself, even if I do look miserable.

Permanent marker and white chalk

I thought I’d experiment and I wanted to use permanent marker to create the darker tone, in a similar way to what I had done for one my my final pieces in module 4. I also used chalk to show the light tones but this hasn’t worked out very well at all. I think may have worked better on different colour paper.

Charcoal and white chalk

On my tutor’s advise from the the assignment 4 feed back I brought an A4 pad of more natural tones, so that I could experiment with shade on a mid tone. I chose gray paper and used chalk and charcoal to depict the tone. I also hid under a table with a candle lamp to get a good light contrast on my face. I like the effect of this as will definitely be buying a bigger pad of similar colours, and use a mod tone support for my final piece. I haven’t quite got my face shape right on this piece.

Before I decide on a final piece I am going to do some brain storming and experiments for different self portrait ideas.

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Exercise: Using Colour

I had to work with a model or develop an existing drawing and draw an expressive portrait of the subject.

Pastel

On the left is a self portrait I did on module 4. I really like this and feel I have captured a good likeness of me, although I don’t like my expression. I look very stern, but I think this tends to happen when you are concentrating on drawing yourself.

pastel

I really don’t like the portrait on the right and it hasn’t turned out very well at all. The shape of the face is wrong, the length is too short and my chin is just wrong. I did this before using the 5×7 grid guide. On a possitive I think I have captured features well.

Mixed media

For this piece I used oil pastels, blue paper and silver foil on purple pastel paper. I like it and think I’ve got proportions right and captured my image well. I think I could have progressed it more and done more too it. I am planning to do another one with collage and mixed media to push this idea forward more.

Coloured pencil

I did this portrait on A4 paper using coloured pencils. I used purple as shade but think I should have used blue instead. I have tried to use blue over the top. Also I think I should have used smoother paper. I had to redo the mouth after assessing it as it wasn’t wide enough. I also think my face should have been wider.

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Research point – part 3

I wanted to look at a few more artists and the way they used line.

Klimt, Gustav (1862 – 1918) Young Woman, 1917 [pencil on paper[ [b/w photo]. [Online images]. Private Collection. Available from http://www.bridgemaneducation.com [Accessed 17 August 2012]

Klimt, Gustav (1862 – 1918) Reclining Female Nude, c.1914 [pencil on paper[ [b/w photo]. [Online image]. Private Collection. Available from http://www.bridgemaneducation.com [Accessed 17 August 2012]

Gustav Klimt – Klimt is becoming one of my favourite artists. His line drawings are very energetic and the lines are not always flowing and smooth, but it still gives me a sense of the mood and emotion he was trying to capture, if not add to it. Klimt’s images were very sexual and this is included in the sketches he did.

Matisse, Henri (1869 – 1954) The Dream, 1943 [pen and ink on paper]. [Online Image]. Private Collection. Available from http://www.bridgemaneducation.com [Accessed 17 August 2012]

Henry Matisse – Matisse’s lines drawings are very simple and not necessarily describing accurate proportions but is still easy to see what he is describing and get a sense of emotion from them. He is part of the Fauvist movement, and his images are also quite Naive in nature too.

 

I’ve looked at several different artists and styles.  this has prompted me to recreate some of my previous sketches in the same style as them, and try to improve my own personal line drawings. I would like to make them more flowing and simplified.

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Research point – part 2

Today I continued to research artists and the use of line in their work

I  moved on to look at the work of Jacques Louis David, looking at his studies and sketches. His use of line appeared very precise and purposeful. Every line was very intentional and described the form of the body, clothing and face, it’s movement and also gave a sense of character and feelings, especially in the portrait drawings. He used line to also describe the light and shade of the subject he was drawing. I also found that he did not need to use a lot of lines to describe the subject, yet captured the details. I love the energy he creates in his drawings

David, Jacques Louis (1748 – 1825) Bacchante (pen & black ink & grey wash & pierre noire on paper). [pen & black ink & grey wash & pierre noire on paper] [online image]
[online image]. Louvre (Cabinet de dessins), Paris, France. Available from: http://www.bridgemaneducation.com
URL [17th August 2012].

David, Jacques Louis (1748 – 1825) . Colossus of Monte Cavallo (black pencil on paper) (b/w photo)[black pencil on paper]. [online image]. Louvre (Cabinet de dessins), Paris, France. Available from: http://www.bridgemaneducation.com
URL [17th August 2012].

 

Next looked at Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. He uses line to really capute the shape of the clothes and body. There is also a real sense of proportions and despite being made up of line the images feel like real people. I don’t feel a sense of 3D form as much as I have with other artist’s I have looked at but  really like how he describes the folds of the clothes. The images appear to be studies of the negative spaces as much as form, shape etc.  Despite being line drawings he captures the personalities of the sitters.

Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique (1780 – 1867) Madame Ingres Mere (1758-1817) 1814 [graphite on paper]. [Online image]. Musee Ingres, Montauban, France. Available from: http://www.bridgemaneducation.com [Accessed 17 August 2012]

Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique (1780 – 1867) The Hon. Frederick North, 1815 [pencil on paper]. [Online image]. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Available from: http://www.bridgemaneducation.com [Accessed 17 August 2012]

 

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Research point – part 1

I was asked to look at the work of a range of artists and make notes about their use of line.

I first looked at David Hockney. His drawings are made up of single continuous lines, describing the shape of the body, furniture and clothes. Some images really capture the negative spaces of what he is drawing which I feel leads to a more accurate sketch. I found his line drawings very inspirational. They are simple lines but very effective, and something I wish I could achieve in my own line drawings. I think I tend to over complicate with too many descriptive lines sometimes, but I really like Hockney’s minimalist yet detailed approach.

Hockney, David (born 1937) In Despair From Illustrations for Fourteen Poems from C.P. Cavafy [Etching on paper]. [Online image]. Tate, London, UK. Available from http://www.tate.org.uk [Accessed 16 August 2012]

Hockney, David (born 1937)
Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, Mrs Laura Hockney, Bradford 1972
[Pen and ink on paper]. [Online image]. Tate, London, UK. Available from http://www.tate.org.uk [Accessed 16 August 2012]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I looked at Edgar Degas. I found he used looser lines in his sketches, but again, he only uses a few to capture what he is describing. For example the image , he really describes the jockey, and also his facial features / expression. He varies the the thicknesses of his lines to describe shade and tone. Degas didn’t just use one medium for his line drawings, but a combination, such as charcoal, chalk and pastel. He uses the mediums not only to describe the lines of the body, but also where the light hits, to create a sense of 3D form.

Degas, Edgar (1834 – 1917)
Study of a Jockey [pencil on paper]
[Online Image]. Private Collection. Available from http://www.bridgemaneducation.com [Accessed 16 August 2012]

Degas, Edgar (1834 – 1917)
Half Length Nude Girl, c.1895 [charcoal heightened with white on tracing paper]
[Online Image]. Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK Available from http://www.bridgemaneducation.com [Accessed 16 August 2012]

I also looked at some line drawings Alberto Giacometti and noted that he had a different style in his drawings. He tends to use busy, scribbley lines to describe busy his subjects, but still captures the personality of the person he is drawing / painting.

Giacometti, Alberto (1901 – 1966)
Drawing after an Egyptian Sculpture, 1952 [ballpoint pen on paper]
[Online Image]. Collection Fondation Alberto & Annette Giacometti Available from http://www.bridgemaneducation.com [Accessed 16 August 2012]

Giacometti, Alberto (1901 – 1966)
Portrait of Sir Robert Sainsbury, c.1958 [oil on canvas] [Online Image].Collection Fondation Alberto & Annette Giacometti Available from http://www.bridgemaneducation.com [Accessed 16 August 2012]

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Exercise: Line drawing of the whole figure

This gallery contains 3 photos.

For this exercise I had to draw a line drawing of the whole figure. I first did a pose of me standing up. I don’t think this turned out quite right, and I made a few mistakes on the arm by making … Continue reading

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