I completed this exercise on 05/06/12 and I found that I really struggled with it. I’ve taken a long time to get it completed, working on it over the course of 3 days. This is an aspect that I am really going to have to work at. I am taking far too long with some of the exercises, in fact with most aspects of the course. I am very slow with drawing and find it difficult to write the learning journal, being also very slow with that. I am finding that a lack of confidence is really quite inhibiting a lot of the time.
It took me a long time to settle on an arrangement of objects that looked okay. I tried for a mix of heights and to put together things that seemed to make quite a nice shape. I found it difficult to settle on an arrangement and kept changing my mind and trying something else to see if it looked ‘better’. I think that my propensity for procrastination very much came to the fore. I think in some ways I was so worried about drawing and then colouring it that I fixated on the arrangement instead. Again, I am going to need to try and tackle this for future exercises as it is so easy for the time to disappear and find that I have not actually achieved much during that time. I was pleased when I finally settled on an arrangement but not sure as to whether the items were a good choice or not. (Please see figure 1)
I spent a day on and off doing the drawing. I found that I drew the washing powder box too wide and too tall to begin with and needed to adjust it. I also found drawing the ellipses on the lids of the cans very difficult and needed to redraw these multiple times. I still haven’t managed to get them right but they are the best that I can manage at present. Loads more practise is obviously needed there. I also found the egg box difficult to draw and that also needed quite a lot of adjustment. I try and continually relate objects to each other while drawing but I still find that I can become so caught up in trying to draw a difficult shape that I don’t then check in all directions and that is another aspect that I will need to tackle. I felt reasonable happy with the drawing so it was on to adding colour. (Please see figure 2).
I decided that I would use watercolour pencils and used a mix of Creatacolour aqua monolith and Daler-Rowney watercolour pencils. It took me another day on and off to do the colour stage. I found it difficult to know how to portray some of the tones in colour and again this is an area that will need more work. Hopefully the next section of the course will help me with this. I enjoyed trying to work out what colours to use and seeing how they layered up. I found it quite difficult to get the colours very dark. One reason being I was nervous to go in too heavy. Another reason was that I found that I could only add so much colour to the paper before the pencil seemed to just skip over the colour and not add anymore. Running a water brush over that section then seemed to enable more colour to be added. Possibly paper with a little more tooth may have helped. I found it very difficult to reserve the white paper for the smaller lettering and in the end used white ink with a dip pen for this. I was nervous of adding the shadows and feel that I could have been a bit more adventurous with them and made them a little darker. I found that it took me a very long time to build the layers of colours up, so I was very slow with this stage. It was fun seeing the effect that washing over the colours with a water brush had. The colours immediately deepened and appeared more vibrant.
Overall I am quite pleased with the finished drawing A3 sketch book p.11 (please see figure 3).
I think though that there are several things that I would like to do differently another time. I sat head on to the still life and didn’t actually try any other positions. I set all the possible arrangements from the same view point and there may have been a better compostion looking at it from another angle. I need to remember in future to think about that and check various possibilities. I also need to experiment with different types of paper and become more familiar with how different materials act on them. My ellipses need further work, particularly the lids of cans, so more practise is needed there. The drawing appears quite ‘soft’ and I will need to work out how to help objects stand out a little better. I would also like to become a little more adventurous with my set ups. I think that my final composition is probably rather boring. But I am pleased that I have completed it and loads more to learn.