Drawing one – part 3 – trees

Despite the cold weather I really enjoyed drawing trees. I had reservations at first about drawing winter trees but the lack of foliage seemed to enhance the shapes and form of the trees.  Due to the cold weather I worked fairly quickly which helped me to keep my drawings simple and flowing. The trees were all sweet chestnuts but each had  an individual quality with differing shapes. I conveyed the shapes between the branches with observing the negative shapes and by using some tone. I drew the texture of the trees using marks learnt from earlier in the course. I drew some of the shapes without taking my pencil or pen off the page and following the outlines  by eye. I used mixed media on the group sketch of trees building up tonal values slowly in layers. On the shorter sketches I used pro marker pens, a biro and various grades of graphite pencil.

most of the trees that I sketched were sweet chestnuts as there are more of this type of tree than any other in Greenwich park. I did see some evergreens over the wall in the gardens of the properties outside of the park. I did attempt to draw these but it was harder to focus as they were quite far away. They were smaller trees with scanty green foliage. Which I sketched freely using mainly scribbled marks to suggest the leaves. I didn’t like these drawings as much – mainly because I couldn’t make out  much detail as they were to far away.

on the whole  I really enjoyed working on the project and will definitely continue to draw trees as I found them very inspiring  and intriguing to draw , as the shapes were so vast and organic. The only thing I could do better is to work larger but the cold weather was against me and I had problems with my hands becoming stiff from the cold. I feel drawing trees is a very good discipline to strengthen my  observational drawing skills. I am looking forward to exploring more with outdoor sketching definitely something more exciting to me than drawing still life.



Drawing one part 3 – study of several trees

on another bright sunny cold day I returned to Greenwich park to draw the trees. It was a late February afternoon . It was another cold but sunny day. I drew a group of trees winding around a path. I used hand made pale sepia coloured paper. I used pencil, pro makers , Pitt pens and white coloured pencil. I spend around 2 hours on my drawing . I carefully mapped out the shapes of the trees. Once I established my composition using a viewfinder I then added tone building light and shade slowly. I feel my drawing has captured some of the essence of the grouping of the trees


Drawing one part 3 larger observational study of an individual tree

For this exercise I drew a detailed drawing in pencil of a tree. Again it was a cold frosty late January morning in Greenwich park. Using textured paper and 2b and 6b pencil I drew an interesting shaped mature chestnut tree. I spend an hour plotting the forms and adding tonal values – I feel that I could have spend some more time but after an hour the cold had made my hands too stiff to draw anymore. I feel that my sketch was an okay attempt but feel I may re-visit this project.


Drawing one – part 3 Project one trees

Exercise one is about sketching individual trees. So on a cold but bright late January I set off to Greenwich park to sketch some trees. It was 11am and  The day was bright with a low dazzling winter sun low in the sky.

All the trees in Greenwich park are well established mature trees. Very large and majestic. I sketched the sweet chestnuts. Each tree seemed to have its own unique character and form that I really wanted to capture in my sketches. The solid thick trunks had a scaly ridged texture that almost looks like someone had carved into the body of the tree or a little like the skin of a reptile. The thick branches stretched upwards supporting skeletal and delicate twigs.

due to the cold I worked quickly using my sketch book and sheets of heavy textured paper. I drew using soft graphite pencil and pro maker pens establishing the basic shapes observing the negative spaces. Keeping my drawings loose and fluid I used marks such as scribbles  to suggest the solid structure of the ancient trees. I tried to keep my drawings simple . I am fairly pleased with my drawing and feel I have began to to understand the basic structure and  form of the trees.

Gallery visit – Saturday 23rd January 2016 – FE2O5

On the 23rd January I visited the Morley college gallery Westminister bridge road London.

FE2O5 the name of the show comes from the chemical symbol for ferric oxide. The show that was in its final week was a collaborative exhibition of the work of five women sculptors. The women artists all come from vastly different  cultural background but share a common love of working in iron and steel. The Morley collage gallery is a modern building adjacent to the main college. The exhibition spare is light and airy. I was impressed with the arrangement of the sculptures.

Almuth Tebbenhoff ( b. 1949) has a nice flowing and fluid style her work is mounded into curves that appear to soften the square folds in what I feel was a very feminine touch. The shapes appear to have evolved from square forms. I also liked the one where bright primary yellow colour was juxtaposition against stark industrial grey again adding a feminine dimension.

Sheila Vollmer ( b.1961)  use of iron in her art has an industrial feel but her use of geometric shapes felt very intimate to me. The pieces were painted a steel grey. She also had utilised objects to produce very physical work. I particularly liked how she had used a discarded skirting board and reassembled it into an almost functional piece of organic art blending into the gallery space. The works had a very physical presence.

Katherine Gili ( b.1948) seemed largely concerned in capturing movement.her swirly figures seem infused with raw physical energy. Although solid pieces they appear to have a fragile quality. The material despite its solidity  seemed to have an enthereal quality

Victoria Rance ( b.1959) uses cast steel and silicon bronze to produce large decorative and intricate art. ‘Space for a woman 2015 ‘ comprises a large circular steel frame almost resembling a church pulpit. The frame is decorated with a cut out decorative repeated flower motif very reminisce of geometric Arabic art. Another interesting work is another large piece ‘attic 2015’ copper plated steel , zinc and copper. Decorative leaves ( I counted 165 ) adorn the large golden coloured frame. The piece is angled against the wall suggesting a gateway or a hiding place. I particularly liked the way the art work caste interesting shadows against the white painted wall. As a complete contrast to the large works  Victoria had a fascinating work on show in the window entitled ‘other worlds 2015’ the piece was made up of small palm sized sculptures of animals including a seal, sheep , rabbit and hybrid human animal creatures with a tree with bare branches. These intricate figures I found fascinating placed in the window they appeared like tiny talismen.The art work had an unworldly quality I found I was drawn to it and went back and looked at it several times during my visit.

Charlotte Mayer ( b.1929) had a pure organic natural quality using landscape her work was very visual with a real sense of presence within the gallery space. I particularly liked ‘earth fire 2015’ a bronze piece resembling a cross section of the globe built up over several intricate sections. ‘Tree of hope 2008’ was a Beautiful piece of work constructed in polished shiny light reflective steel. Almost hypnotic I was drawn to the organic and flowing shapes.

The exhibition ended with a very interesting short film that explored each of the artists inspirations and influences. What I found interesting was that although they all came from different backgrounds they all said that their respective childhood was very important to their developments as artists.

I really enjoyed the show it was different and refreshing. The show to me seemed very feminine with themes around nature, childhood , identity and space very much evident. It was refreshing to see a group of women using heavy materials to produce intricate, beautiful , organic and decorative pieces of art





Re-working assignment 2

imagei was not at all happy with assignment 2 and taking onboard my tutors comments – I decided to re-do the assignment working from the beginning discarding the work and subject matter that I had already done.

Looking back at my previous work I was torn on wether to develope my animal studies or look at still life.

Starting afresh I decided to do a still life with both natural and man made objects.

i began with sketches in my sketch book – looking at some possible compositions using large vine tomatoes, some beetroots and a pale coloured China jar. I also added a large multi coloured scarf. later I added a large brightly coloured China tray and took away the scarf as the scarf hid all the shapes as I wanted to explore the negative shapes between the objects. I experimented with grouping and angles changing around my compositions . I did a charcoal drawing looking at tonal values using the scarf ,but again I feel that the scarf did not add to the composition in any way. I did a series of colour sketches Using a range of different media including gouache and oil pastels. I did a large gouache sketch picking out abstract shapes using colour. I did a gouache on coloured paper of just the jar and the tomatoes . I did some drawings with coloured pencils on orange paper that contrasted with the purple of the beetroots. I experimented with landscape and portrait views. I did some quick linear pencil studies and a detailed tonal study of the tomatoes using different grades of pencil building up layers to suggest form.

after much evaluation including sleepless nights. I decided to use pastels as my medium and use the China tray rather than the scarf. I placed my objects in the tray and after a lot of thought  placed the tray on an angle on a wooden board as I liked the combination of shapes. I used A2 paper and carefully build up colour. I used marks to try and suggest the roundness and form of the fruit. I added lighter tones last. I found the jar a challenge as I struggled with the tones and shadows.

My throughts are a bit mixed as still life is not a genre I usually would pick but felt I had learn a lot from studying it earlier in the course. There was a lot of decision making in the progess deciding on composition and medium. But despite the challenges I did eventually enjoy experimenting and taking time to evaluate and look at my work. I still have reservations about the final piece and feel I may still revisit it later on. I feel I did learn a lot re-working the assignment and that I am ready to move on.