23 July 2018

100 drawings in a day - course at City Lit

The pace on this day-long course, as you might expect, was fast and furious. Well not exactly furious - concentrated is a better description. Or hectic, at times.

We started out with a pile of paper and various mediums - pen, pencil, graphite, pastel, charcoal - and had each brought an object, an image, and a piece of text. 
Drawing our object (30 sec, sometimes with non-dominant hand)
- and each time the objects were passed along

Combining my "sprinkler" with neighbour's headphones - 30 sec,
then move the position of objects

Repeat - 10 seconds! - sparse, strong lines
 After the flurry of timed drawings, we had 3 minutes to trace off elements -
I didn't want to cut up that sheet, so quickly did another to cut up. Then we arranged them -

Everyone circled the room looking at other people's work, then rearranged someone else's work. Back at my own table, I found ...

Another tour round the room, defining smaller compositions within someone else's work -
 A kind stranger identified these compositions in my work -

Then we disassembled everything and recombined in a new work. I was influenced by the first rearrangement -
Now it was time to use our image, drawing it in combination with our object, which we moved to different parts of the image -
Masking parts of the image - I used loose paper - and then passing it to a neighbour; she had used masking tape on her notebook, and the next exercise was to draw the masking rather than the image -
I'm not unhappy with the one on the left
After this, masking tape took centre stage - we used it to draw our image, or part of it, on a huge sheet of paper in what seemed like 30 seconds but may have been 3 minutes, then exchanged images and did it again. Next step, add pen or pencil marks to each of the taped images to elaborate them -
Working very quickly!
Then, remove the tape from one of them and make a new image. You can see where the tape came from, and it's the basis of this augmented work, made the next day -
The rubbing is from this image, also augmented, with extra tape that held the drawings in a roll for taking home -
Amazing how clear and/or expressive a rubbing of something as flat as masking tape can be!

At some point we had traced from our image onto four small pieces of tracing paper, trying to capture details -
 ... and then laid them out in a way that pleased us -
Candidate for future development
Individual explanations of negative space gave some time to play around with a combination of images and use of darker areas to create negative space ... if, indeed, that's what was going on...
 Then, or perhaps it was at some earlier point, or later point - everything was getting rather confusing!! - we drew around and cut out the shape of our object from a paper with "any old text" on it ... and used that text to make some sort of composition, and transfer it onto tracing paper. I think I didn't follow the instructions to the letter, but like the idea of words drifting through the air....
Very little, made with very little

Words drifting into a sort of sunset ... rubbing with pastel (messy!)
By the time everyone else was rushing round the room finding surfaces for rubbing, I had only enough energy to use what was within arm's reach -
Graphite stick and chalky pastel

Different grades of sandpaper

Finally, the wrap-up - choosing two pieces to lay out on our table. The photo cuts off part of the "10-second" piece, but you've seen the whole thing earlier -

Made during a quiet time (left) and early in the day (right)
Two other pieces that I'll keep are the graphite drawing of the masked image and the four-layer detailed tracing. Everything came home with me, so that the sediment could settle and I could review the day -
Most will be recycled - it was about the process, and about
the energy in the room generated by tutor, students, and the pace
Four drawings to keep, and two techniques for future use in making "works on paper" - rubbing sandpaper for shading or crumpled masking tape for random texture, and tracing layers of detail. 

Plus, I feel quicker and freer - ready to make big, dark marks....


Charlton Stitcher said...

What a fascinating day that must have been! Drawing so fast and lifting only the vital elements (as you see them) from an object is something to try. I will find my timer and give it a go ... timer needed or I’ll cheat which would negate the whole thing I guess.

Heather Dubreuil said...

Thank you for sharing this process, Margaret. We six friends plan to get together for an August retreat, and this will be the perfect activity for an afternoon.