Stage 1 was an introductory and preparatory stage. The aim of the project overall was to develop an eye for design. The first exercise was straightforward, but instructive and was provided an opportunity to understand how tot make ‘space move’. Moving squares around in a defined space enabled me to see what configurations made the space static and provided stability and how the shapes could be moved to create energy and tension. It was helpful in understanding what we so often do instinctively and to help to analyse what is going on when we feel a drawing or composition is not ‘right’. The image from my project sketchbook shows just two of the completed exercises. The image on the right being relatively static though not completely so, with the one on the left causing the eye to move across the diagonal and back and providing more energy.
Stage Two was a series of experiments in masking off areas of images to create different arrangements of shape. Working in both my project sketchbook and on A3 sheets I worked with a variety of images. I wanted to choose images that were different from each other and looked at an arial photograph of a river delta, some Tiffany glass and the internal architecture of the V and A library. I did get a bit diverted at times and found myself focussing on line rather than shape. By the time I moved on to exercise 2 I had my ‘eye in’ and was more confident in looking at shape, both positive and negative shapes. I worked from some collected images of Aegean buildings, an interior wrought iron staircase and a palace in Spain. Interestingly it wasn’t until after I had completed the exercise that I realised that they were all images of architecture.
Moving on to exercise three I chose a landscape and masked of a section that allowed me to look at shapes in both buildings and the natural landscape. I found the task of preparing for drawing by isolating colour, texture and shape quite challenging. Colour and shape seem more obvious and straightforward whilst isolating texture I found more tricky. I went back to the work I had done on texture right at the start of the course and that was helpful.
In exercise 4 I had to choose a subject to draw and paint from life. I decided to do something very different from man made objects or the built environment and collected together some fish and some vegetables rather in the form of a still life and created some drawings of the object together and some masked off selected areas for further exploration. I found the preparation useful by identifying colour, texture and shape and was clearer this time about how to approach this.
Moving on to section 3 the activities were designed to help us develop design ideas from our own drawings. I really enjoyed this section. I realised on approaching it though that I am not doing enough of my own drawing. I am not confident in my drawing ability and it is easy to put off but this stage of the project let me explore how any drawing or mark making, no matter how unpromising can be further developed either in terms of shape, colour or texture and how it can be used to create design and composition.
I selected 9 of my own images, either drawing or mark making, from which I chose particular sections to focus on. I then further edited these down to 4 images which I used for further development work. I used a variety of media and styles and tried to be expressive in the development work. I believe I now have a working methodology to enable me to go back to my day to day sketchbook and work in to and from some the pages there to develop them further.
One example of that is shown here where in addition to the work for the exercise I developed a small drawing of an ivy leaf in my everyday sketchbook applying what I had learned about development and design.
Review of Project 4
As I have referenced in this post I believe I did manage the exercise on getting space to move. It was helpful in thinking about positioning images and areas of drawing on the page and in relation to other elements. The drawing I did at stage 3 was quite stilted to start with but became much more confident and expressive as I worked my way through the project. I particularly enjoyed the development work and kept finding ideas which could be translated in to stitch and textiles. I also think I have developed some approaches to reviewing and reworking my everyday sketchbook and will now start to produce work in it of a different nature. I am very much looking forward to the second half of Part Two which will provide the opportunity to apply these concepts and ideas to textiles