In continuation of my search for subject, markings, and techniques, I did studies on figurative drawing (portrait, face) in my sketchbook.
My goals were to understand:
- the techniques for working with powders, pigment and scalpel
- how to work translucent
- techniques of collage and dé-collage related to distortion and disguise (paper, tissue)
- context: approaches of a few artists (see my visual research)
A4 sketchbook – indoor figurative: variations mixed media
It was quite an endeavour to study a portrait and facial features in the context of disguise, distortion, and simplification. My earlier visual research helped me to understand different angles. However, I have the feeling that I should dig deeper to understand certain features and varieties of markings in combination better.
What marks are more successful?
- Looking at disguise:
– layering with tissue or paper (# 2, 6, 16)
– through different layers (translucent) and markings the effect of disguise can be manipulated. Although too dark markings on the top layer can destroy the effect.
- Looking at distortion:
– tearing-off, scrapping-off glued paper layers (dé-collage). By this edges of the glued paper become a dominant edge depending on the amount much markings I put on top (#2, 5, 7, 8). Using japanese paper makes it easier to tear-off.
- Looking at translucent techniques:
– layers with transfer paper (#13, 18, 20b, 21b) and/or japanese paper. Transfer paper is more difficult to manage (keep it flat). Although pretty translucent per se. Japanese paper is easier but less translucent.
– baby wipes are quite a dense material, it works better to disguise (#6, 16)
- Looking at ambiguity:
– use of wrinkled paper for variety in markings (#8, 21)
– scribbling marks alongside sharp edges and disappearing edges (#7,8, 12, 18)
– drawing in a reverse mark system (white on black) can create a concealing space
- Looking at visual effects & atmosphere:
– a water repellent shellac under layer makes wet marks more drop-shape like (#16)
– using a broad brush with gouache creates atmosphere and directional brush markings (#20)
– marking on top of a wrinkled paper creates texture as well as ambiguous marks (#8, 21)
Overall I think the following sketches are more successful, either in its simplicity or ambiguity:
#2: simplicity of scratched marks
#8: ambiguity of edges
#12: simplicity for form perception, ambiguity of markings
#13: atmosphere through translucency of ground and top markings
#16: ambiguity and simplicity
#18: simplicity in sense of form and layering (although the top marks are too heavy)
#20: atmosphere and ambiguity of markings
#21b: translucent and ambiguous markings (although the top transfer paper need to be glued close to the drawing)
What marks are more less successful?
- Overwork with pigment, gum Arabic and scalpel
– just a dirty grey something (#3, 4)
- Not ambiguous markings with enough distinction (# 4,5,14)
- More attention to sharp and blurred edges (#11)
- More attention to ambiguous markings in relation to translucent techniques. Be careful in layering techniques and amount of markings in order to obtain a desired effect.
- Try other translucent techniques without collage (e.g. white gouache washes as I did in previous parts)
- Increase bodily awareness while drawing
- Facial texture as a tactile approach (see project in Maslen, Southern, 2011)
- Re thinking translucent techniques in combination with powders with focus on simplicity
- Maslen,M., Southern, J. (2011) ‘The Drawing Projects: An Exploration of the Language of Drawing‘ London: Black Dog Publishing