Search This Blog

Welcome to my blog

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Midsummer Drawing Night

On Saturday Kate Hardy organised a 12 hours drawing night, where 8 artists explored drawing as a working process at the project space - Studio 4 based in Chisenhale Studios in London (For more information on the space view Starting at 7pm artists explored the use of mediums from charcoal, pen, pencil and collage whilst responding to themes including continuous drawing, portraiture, natural form, film and birds in flight – completing the last sketch at 7am!
Paper chicks by Lisa Smith, collage, ink and charcoal on paper
If you look back on art history, drawing has been a familiar part of the creative process. Traditionally, printmakers, painters, and sculptors might dash off sketches to practice technique, keep notebooks as a way to gather and organize ideas, or draft formal renderings. With the range of mediums, methods and techniques of drawing that are readily practiced in contemporary art, this drawing session provided us with a chance to use drawing to brainstorm and experiment, to explore ideas, and to propose,  circulate, and chronicle works in a range of drawing media.
Within my workshops I am always preaching observation is key to successful drawing, practice daily and experiment with your materials, however if I am honest – within my own practice I tend to mainly draw with water-soluble crayons, draw when I get the chance (which is NOT every day) – BUT I do maintain a keen observation of my drawing subject prior to any commitment to paper.
What I felt was so successful within this event was the continuous drawing, the continuous change of subject matter, the continuous change of light and the range of mediums to experiment with. Working alongside fellow artists I felt that I could relate and was inspired to respond to their style, ideas, visions and practice. It was a joy to reengage with drawing as a creative process.
Here are some images of the work created over the 12 hour period:
Continuous Drawing - Project 1
The first project of the night was continuous drawing, each artist started of a drawing on a piece of  A2 paper , folding over the image once completed and passing onto the next artist to continue
Admiring the finished pieces

This was a great starting project, to loosen up, get to know the other artists and more importantly to have fun! 
 Portraits - Project 2
Pinning up the blind contour drawings to the studio wall

Portrait work in Charcoal, prior to the portrait work led by Kate, we all completed a blind drawing on the person sitting in front of us. The idea behind this is to take the time to observe your subject so that (in theory) when you start to draw your portrait you have familiarised yourself and focused on key features, shapes and forms

Finished portraits 
Joys Charcoal drawing on me. It's funny how when you draw yourself or if you are drawing each other  -
you always end up looking so stern in the portrait
 Hands - Project 3
The next project was led by myself, looking at hands for inspiration. This light was really interesting at this time and as you can see from the picture it was quite easy to cast shadows. We used our hands to create mythical beasts, animals or observational drawing of hands

Julie making a dove

Joys observational drawings of hands

Mediums available throughout the night included charcoal, pencil, pastels, oil pastels, felts, ink, collage, paint, tape, coloured pencils and pen
Completed hand drawings
 Birds in flight - Project 4
Birds in flight project, this project saw artist explore the use of collage as a drawing tool
Kate's bird in flight mixed media drawing
These drawings were sketched in pen on a pad of paper on a tablet. The idea for this project is that all the drawings will be layered together on the computer to create a unique piece of work

Project 5 - Lunch
We even drew whilst we ate our "lunch" at 2am!
Project 6 - Drawing to Film
Drawing to film,
Watching "Amarcord" (When the puffballs sore!) I really enjoyed watching the film and drawing images that inspired or spoke to me. I drew snippets of scenes and added quotes, shadows in my sketchbook pictured above.

Project 7 - Natural form
My Natural form pencil drawing of a seagulls skull

Drawing natural form around 4am - now supported by large amounts of coffee!

Project 8 - Found Object
3B and 6B pencil drawing of an old shoe, I think Kate said this had been found along the canal,
 such a beautiful object to draw. 

 Project 9 - Found Image

Spike working from a found image.  Using pen on paper

As I had confirmed earlier in the session that portraits really are not for me, I chose to use the heart from the found image above as my inspirational resource. Once again I worked in 3B and 6B pencil

I thoroughly enjoyed working in charcoal on numerous projects which I don't think I have really done since University.  I had forgotten the intensity, the quickness and the raw quality you can achieve with this medium. I think this is one that I am going to have to add to the sketch bag for future outings!

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog and that it has inspired you to think about the mediums that you use and to experiment and explore the wide diverse range of mediums within your practice - at least once in a while anyway!

1 comment:

Erica Lowe said...

Wow, this was an amazing project to have been part of. 12 hours to just draw- I'm so jealous! I think I'll try out a few of the projects myself - I love the idea of making drawings inspired by film. Many thanks for posting this.