I haven’t been in a classroom environment for Art for about 25 years and I realise that my way of appraising and assessing is far less creative and interpretive than when I was young. This is most certainly a product of following the scientific route in higher education then pursuing a career in Finance, where there almost always is a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answer at the end of a logical working.

Consequently, from my perspective the discussion with Ilsa had a slightly revelatory quality, reminding me of an approach long forgotten and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m wondering if and how this course of study will impact my professional performance. I’m new to my current role, which is the most senior and commercial I have ever held and I have a feeling it will be a positive influence.

I have re-visited some of the exercises in Assignment 1 with Ilsa’s comments in mind:

Project 2, Exercise 2.

I used charcoal again to depict two glossy white objects on the same dark reflective surface, this time in my sketchbook, so much smaller. My aim was to describe the shadows more accurately and to achieve a better balance of tone that more convincingly depicts that the objects are white.

I think I managed this more successfully than with the bowls but only marginally so. I’m finding that I lose the extremes of tones with charcoal (interim shot below demonstrates this) so I’m going to experiment with fixative as a part of the process rather than just applying to the finished piece. I also need to concentrate on not touching the lightest areas with my charcoal-dusty fingers….

I think the base of the cup is quite successful. I concentrated more on how the thin dark line of shadow disappears from view.

Project 2, Exercise 3.

Line-drawing, being more deliberate with the marks resulted in a far better drawing. And I did this one in public!

Sketchbook….

There is now a page in my sketchbook that makes me laugh at myself…. the dreaded ‘drawing in public’. I started to draw the seam of my jeans so that I wouldn’t be looking up. Then had a word with myself and started to draw the dirty, ellipse-rich crockery on the next table but the waitress came and cleared it away! Foiled!

So I bit the bullet, got the charcoal out and did a really quick and rough tonal study of my own teapot and cup. It’s far from polished but I did it in front of strangers and that was my aim yesterday. So I kinda like it.

Other points mentioned in my discussion with Ilsa were about practicing drawing ellipses and to think about composition. I instinctively loosely group items together and have never considered doing otherwise. Ilsa suggested looking at groups that are spread apart, or are even more tightly grouped. I definitely prefer the tighter grouping aesthetic.

I’m getting better at ellipses… apart from the ‘bendy’ dark grey cotton reel, I’m fairly pleased with this little study. The shadows are still slightly haphazard because I wasn’t intending to do such a ‘finished’ piece; it was going to be a quick sketch like the ‘scattered’ arrangement. This is also my first ever time using coloured drawing pens and I am surprised at how versatile they are. I really enjoyed this drawing.

  

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