Reflecting on Part One – Line: Ex. 1.1 – 1.3

Ex. 1.1 Right Hand, Left Hand

Initially I struggled with this exercise, as I had to observe and draw objects without using tone. The first drawing (above left) was done in graphite with my right hand – my dominant hand. Something was not quite right with the expression of line. I then drew the same objects with the same media, but this time with my left hand (above right) That was when it clicked; I understood the purpose of this exercise – to develop observational skills in expressive, non-representational drawings. Drawing with my left hand allowed me to explore the object through line, without worrying about the outcome. As a result the drawing is more expressive and has character.

I repeated this exercise with different objects:

This time, the lines drawn by my right hand (above left) were freer than before. I still preferred drawing and the results with my left hand though. Having to concentrate more on coordination with my left hand gave the drawing a natural, impulsive quality. There is also a naivety about it – it is playful and childlike.

I continued to draw the same objects using my right hand, and then my left hand, but with different media: pen, charcoal and crayon.

I expected to prefer the outcomes of the drawings done with my left hand, as I had done when using graphite. I didn’t. My explanation was with the fluidity of these media – it impeded the quality of the lines drawn. The lack of friction caused me to rush the drawings with my left hand, and the outcomes are less rich because of it.

The last stage of this exercise was to draw one object on A2 paper using unconventional tools or media. Having previously enjoyed working with masking fluid and unconventional tools during the mark making warm-up exercises, I opted for this.

Overall, I found the lines made with masking fluid and unconventional tools too thick. A lot of the qualities that made the marks interesting from the warm-up exercise had been lost when drawing an object. I found these drawing uninspiring and characterless, with the exception of the one drawn with a twig (above, second in from left) and only because its simplicity reminded me of a vector icon.

The approach I prefer from this exercise is drawing with my left hand and using graphite, as I like the childlike quality of the drawing, and the playfulness this method creates. I also favoured the fluidity of drawing with my right hand and using pen, as more detailed and expressive observations can be made this way than with charcoal and crayon.

Ex. 1.2  Continuous Line Drawing

I used graphite and pen for my first continuous line drawing (see above, bottom left) I liked the fluidity of the lines made and how it emphasised the curves of the whisk. The lines drawn also resemble thread curled and shaped on paper.

I repeated this exercise using different media including acrylic paint, pen, permanent marker and correction fluid (having run out of white ink) and used the ‘prompt’ words from the previous mark making exercise, to reinterpret the continuous line drawings. The words that I found to be the most effective were ‘flowing’, ‘slow’ and ‘steady’. I found using paint for continuous line drawing highly effective due to its fluid nature (see above, top left corner) It creates more abstract interpretations that are really expressive. I even liked the effect where the paintbrush begins to run out of paint – as if the line is telling a story. The line can be followed from the beginning to end, and reminded me of traditional Chinese calligraphy.

Using continuous line was extremely satisfying, as the outcomes are so expressive and full of personality. Each whisk drawn is individual and charming; the overall feel to these drawings is one of liveliness.

Ex. 1.3 Drawing Blind and from Memory

The first word that springs to mind when drawing blind is ‘freedom’. Drawing blind allowed me to ‘learn’ how to interpret the object and understand its structure through line, without worrying of the outcome.

Drawing blind (see above left) resulted in abstract interpretations – none of the drawings align, yet you can still tell what they are meant to be.

After only one minute of closely observing the pizza cutter, I proceeded to draw it from memory (see above right) I found that I began to re-imagine some of the textures and qualities of the object, for example, on the blade of the pizza cutter: there are no ridges in its actual form, but I remembered that it was sharp, and ended up drawing lines to represent this. Drawing from memory resulted in simplistic interpretations, which are childlike and charming, similar to the drawing made with my left hand using graphite.

I find it difficult to have a preference between these two drawing methods. Instead, I think of them as ways of learning how to draw an object and making it your own.

(To view all pieces from Ex. 1.1 – 1.3, please click here and scroll down)

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