How difficult did you find it to distinguish between light from the primary light source and secondary reflected light
While doing the first exercise, Observing shadow and light formations on a surface, at first look I didn’t really notice the areas of reflected light. It was as I continued to look, and because I was actively looking for them, that more of them became noticeable. The number of subtle areas of reflected light were fascinating to see, as it was to see that the shadow area was also affected by reflected light.
How has awareness of light and shade affected your depiction of form?
I think that it has helped me to make objects appear more 3 dimensional as it is these areas that define form. Shadow or light areas follow the contours of the object and by recording these accurately the form of the object comes to life.
I have found these exercises very helpful. I need to work further on being able to show a wider range of tones and continue to remember the importance of light and shadow in the depiction of form. If they are accurately depicted the image comes to life and appears fully 3 dimensional. If they are poorly depicted then my image becomes much flatter. It has been great fun to look round at various objects that I see and see if I can see how much of the primary and secondary reflected light I can pick up. I will also need to improve my detection and depiction of the range of mid tones becuse at present I still find the mid tones quite hard to separate and difficult to depict without ending up with them all the same tone.
The benefit of looking more closely and trying to translate what I see onto paper should help me as I tackle the next project – Reflected light.
I’ve been doing the course for a month now and this is a review to try and assess how I think it is progressing. Though I am enjoying the course there are several aspects I am finding difficult, that I do not think that I am doing very well with, and which I will need to work on as I proceed. I am finding that I am often working until the small hours of the morning to try and keep the momentum going between doing the exercises, writing the learning log and trying to do a sketch each day. And not surprisingly I am getting really tired and certainly will be unable to keep up the late nights as unfortunately I am not a spring chicken anymore. There never seems to be enough time in the day and everything takes me much longer than I expect. So my time management is something I must work on in the coming weeks. To this end I have written out another timetable that should be manageable if I can avoid procrastination and allow for the fact that at present I am very slow with my drawing, but aim to gradually speed up. The exercises at present take me, I would imagine, much longer than they are supposed to because I am so very slow at drawing. I still find that it is quite a sense of pressure that the drawings will be seen by other people and eventually assessed. If I draw quickly then I lose accuracy, perhaps though if I continue to draw as slowly as I do my drawings may remain quite pedantic and uninspired. I find that it is a difficult aspect to work out. Learning technique is vital. If, however, I become so caught up in doing it “right” does that mean that my drawings will never artistically develop, or does that come once I have a better foundation in technique? When I can turn off the criticising voice in my head then I become totally absorbed in the drawing and time disappears, I’m filled with curiosity and can enjoy the challenge of drawing a 3D object onto a 2D surface. I see things in the object that I would never have seen if I hadn’t started to draw it. That is on a good day. On a bad day I spend far too much time thinking about the drawing and I take a long time to actually start it, when I do start it there is then, at the back of my mind, the thought that I will not be able to draw it well enough. Strangely enough, not the thought that “I will be totally unable to draw it”, rather it is the thought that I will not be able to draw it “well enough”. So to help myself with this aspect I am going to try setting myself time limits for setting up and then keep an eye on how long before I actually put drawing implement to paper and note in which ways I get side tracked onto something else that suddenly needs doing. I also need to note the time drawings are taking and how much of that time is actually spent drawing.
I think that technically my drawings are on the whole improving but I still have a very long way to go with that, and even longer way to go before, perhaps, I start to see any sign of artistic interpretation improving. I am very literal at the moment in my drawings. I like it to look “right” and look exactly like whatever I am looking at but I have to remember that if I wanted a photograph of the object/objects I could take one, it isn’t, however, the aim of the drawing.
I also want to become more adventurous in the drawings that I am doing on a daily basis in my sketch books and would also like to increase the number of these that I do. At the moment I am managing to do one a day but very seldom more than that. Again, I can be far too precious about the sketch books, and far too aware that somebody else is going to see them. In the coming weeks I want to work on thinking less and trying to do more and increasing the range of things I draw and the ways that I try.
Another aspect that I want to work on is the learning log. This is often taking me a disproportionately long time to write up. Part of the problem has been getting to grips with the technology needed to keep the blog, having chosen this method as then my tutor will be able to see what I am doing, and the other part of the problem is that I struggle to put my experiences into words and to assess and record what I have learnt. And I probably use far too many words. This aspect should hopefully improve as I become more practised at doing so. Becoming more accurate at typing will definitely help as well, as will trying to remember to record my thoughts on whatever I am doing as I go along rather than at the end.
I think that I am going to have to accept at the moment that the course is going to take me longer than perhaps I had hoped. I want to learn as much as I can but I also want to develop artistically as much as I can as well. And that means ‘playing’ as much as possible and not worrying so much about outcome, but concentrating more on what I have learnt from the experience.