Did you manage to make space move?
I think I have managed to acheive this in my work. I tend to approach these things with a bit of a formulaic mindset and certainly find this helpful initially in trying to dissect why a composition evokes the feeling it does. I felt that rhythm in line, uniformity in shape and size, or at least a feeling of progression creates a calm composition. There is the risk that if a compostion is too calm it becomes boring. As well as the anatomy of a composition, I have enjoyed learning how to create areas of contrast and draw the eye. I did some experiments with old masters, glancing at them and remembering where my eye was drawn and how it moved around the painting to try to understand this further.
What are your thoughts about the drawing you did in stage 3?
Having lost my confidence slightly when I was lacking inspiration in the final part of stage 2, it took me quite along time looking at my sketch work and selecting areas I thought were interesting enough to develop. In the end I was especially pleased with the design work that came out of the fruit bowl sketch. I have been surprised at how many ideas have arisen from a 10 minute sketch I had done for drawing practice. I found the exercises in seperating colour, shape and marks particularly helpful as a starting point when I was stuck. For example, I liked my sketch of the stone ha-ha on Portand, but needed to go through the motions initially to get to a point where I could take it further. It has been interesting taking the sketch work as the starting point rather than being concerned with the original subject. My sketch work since starting this project has taken on a renewed energy, and some of the work done in this exercise has come from sketches done in the meantime.
Were you able to use your drawings successfully as a basis for further work? Are there other things you would like to try?
I think that I have selected well, and I was pleased with work I did on the sunset painting in particular, because I recognised reasons why I wanted to use it, but needed to do some manipulation to give it further potential before taking in forward. I always feel as if there is more I could do at the end of a project, but I try to keep to a timetable and move on at an appropriate time so that I can meet my deadline. The main thing that I think would be interesting to explore is digital manipulation as I haven’t touched on this at all. As I have said previously, I have enjoyed the physical process of moving fragments of drawings around the page, but have seen lots of exciting work from other students using software. I will do this at some point soon I think.
Now that you have a good working method, do you feel confident that you can carry on working this way independently?
I do. I was already halfway there in my sketch work previously, taking elements of different photos and putting them together, and making my sketches interpretive rather than concerned with realism. I do find it difficult to keep a sketch to one medium, and most of my work ends up with oil pastels on it at some point! I have organised my handbag so that I carry a field watercolour set and oil pastels/ink pen/graphite with me when I go out. I have also taken the time to go on more walks and time put aside for sketch work. My sketch a day has been good in ensuring that I am spending enough time on this aspect of my work, and I find development ideas are coming more freely from them.