Thursday, 5 November 2009

Resuming my Course

I have had several months of inactivity as I have been so busy winding up at work.  I now see my way clear to resuming where I left off.
I have submitted the second Assignment to my course tutor, who was happy to continue with me and I have informed the College that I may be taking rather longer to complete the course than anticipated.  I have completed the first three Projects for Module 3 and feel that I am now well on the way.

These are some of the images produced for Project 9 using all the different brush palettes. Only one palette was used for each of the images. Some were more pleasing to use than others but it was quite interesting to see the different marks that could be made with each of th brushes using colour, fade and opacity to increase the variety of mark.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Drawing at Kew Gardens Workshop

Morning 10 minute sketches

After arriving at Kew Gardens an area of interest was chosen to make some quick sketches as a "warm-up" exercise. These are two examples of the four sketches I did in this time with photographs of the scenes.

Mid Morning 20 minute sketches

We were asked to do some longer sketches, the first of which was done in roughly the same area as the first quick sketches. We then moved on to the rock garden to do a further short study. Examples of the longer studies and the accompanying photographs are shown below.

Afternoon 1 hour 30 minute drawing

After lunch we returned to the rockery area and chose somewhere for a longer study of an hour and a half. This ended up being about an hour and fifteen by the time I had selected my subject. Below you can see the drawing and the corresponding photograph.

All the photographs were taken after the drawings were made in order to record the "real" image and as a reference. I used an pencils and graphite sticks in an A3 sketchbook for all the drawings. I took digital photographs of the scenes at Kew and of the sketches in my sketchbook with a Lumix DMC-TZ2 and used Photoshop Elements to mount the drawings and the corresponding photographs together using the expand canvas feature.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Drawing at The Sir John Soane's Museum Workshop

I had a great day of drawing at the Sir John Soane's Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields yesterday. It was very enjoyable from every point of view. I hadn't visited this museum for many years and had forgotten how interesting it was. The course was a fascinating approach to sketchbooks.

We arrived for a 10:30 start and were introduced to the tutor (James Willis) who gave a talk for the first half hour about Sir John Soane and also explained what we were going to do for the rest of the day. He then took us on a guided tour of the Museum giving us many interesting details about the origin of the exhibits. We had a private view and explanation of Hogarth's Rake's Progress and other paintings etchings and drawings by such notables as Reynolds, Turner and Piranesi as well as Canaletto - just mentioned in passing! During our guided tour we were introduced to Tim Knox the Director of the Museum, who gave us a very warm welcome.

After the tour we returned to the art room where James explained and demonstrated some possibilities for changing and extending our sketch books, using shapes and ideas from the Museum. We proceeded to work on our sketchbooks in preparation for the afternoon's session. Following a short break for lunch, we had a rare opportunity to examine and sketch the exhibits. We all dispersed to find things to add to our sketchbook layers; regrouping in the art room at just after 4pm for a critique of our work, Here are a couple of the layered views from my sketchbook.

I am really pleased with my new all in one printer scanner (Epson SX600FW). I know the drawings are not great but the idea of layers, transparency and overlaid colours is, I think, successful; I can always improve on the execution at a later date. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the day and I certainly felt quite exhausted, but in a pleasant way. The course concluded at 4:30pm.

Although at first glance you might wonder why a person doing CDA 1 was on a drawing course, I will explain that I wanted to meet some fellow OCA students and extend and diversify my experiences and gain some new sources of inspiration. Indeed this course is particularly suitable for students on CDA 1 as it is all about layers, and as you know Photoshop is all about manipulating layers. James' attitude and enthusiasm for the subject and the Museum were refreshing and inspirational; he made this a marvellous course, opening up many possibilities for future work. I am delighted that I chose this course to go on and would recommend it to anyone, whatever fine art course they were taking.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

To all you opera buffs out there

If you have any soul, Andreas Scholl has to be the best countertenor of all time. Listen and enjoy!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Assignment 2: Self Portrait final?

I have been working on the self portrait again; reassessing what is actually required for this assignment, I think that my ideas have been a little off track, judging by the very few examples featured in other peoples' portfolios who are doing or have done this course. I think that this second assignment is still very much a primary scanning assignment rather than a manipulative one. I have therefore treated it as such.

Significance of some of the elements within the final image:
The camera:
Although cameras are featured in many of the images seen in other peoples' work, and certainly by no means an original idea, it has been included here in preference to a photograph. I have been taking photos since I was 5 years old, a camera was the first thing I ever asked my parents to buy me. I have had many cameras in my life ranging from antique bellows cameras to SLRs, this is merely the most recent one that I own. I rarely get rid of a camera, I sometimes give them away but I never sell them; however, I have had at least two stolen. Taking pictures is an intrinsic part of my life.

Old drawing of human chromosomes represents my profession (Clinical Cytogeneticist): From C.C. Hurst, The Mechanism of Creative evolution, CUP (1933)

I still feel the other areas I have been exploring are interesting but more to do with the next module than this one. As I have received almost no guidance from the course tutor I will just have to judge for myself what I think is the right thing. Maybe there is no right or wrong thing.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Log v Blog

I have now had a response from my tutor who has said that I need not include critiques of others' work as this is only for the purpose of group tutorials. I clearly do not have to submit this to him at this time; however, if I would eventually wish put CDA1 towards a degree would my course work be sufficient? I don't know.

I do keep a paper log as well as this blog and hope that if I do need this aspect of the work, my log will be helpful, as I will be looking at others work and commenting on it there. All I would worry about then is, if it has not been assessed throughout my course, I would not have had the feedback necessary during the course, if it is then found to be lacking.

I am fairly academic as I am a scientist by profession and am used to criticising and being criticised, so I am may be in a slightly better place than others would. However, this is not my area of expertise and I may fall flat on my face!

Not quite sure what to do about this situation.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Assignment 2: Self Portrait

I have now started work on Assignment 2: Self Portrait. I have thought a lot about how I want to portray myself and I have spent some time making some sketches; taking photographs of myself and my possessions as well as scanning stuff in. I also understand from the course notes that some criticism of others' work is necessary and I have e-mailed my tutor today for some input. I hope that I will be able to complete this module by the end of February. Now I just need to put it all together to make a final image!

I have reorganised the slide show to show a sequence of thought processes. I am now thinking along the lines of footprints, hand prints etc, not in the literal sense but in the abstract sense of my impression on life and life's impressions on me.

I have also started to look at self portraits made by other people and have been making some notes in my paper log. This assignment, I notice, requires not only self criticism but also assessment of other's work including a statement on how other students completed the tasks. I have e-mailed my tutor, as instructed, but, as yet, have not heard from him. It is only a week, but I hope he sends me an answer soon as it is holding me back.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Project 8

As you can see I have been rather busy catching up trying to complete the Projects for module 2 so that I can get on with the serious business of Assignment 2. This project was also a bit repetitious as I have been making contact sheets and printing images using the Photoshop Elements program already, for my hard copy Journal. I have tended to use Picassa 3 to upload pictures and sldeshows into this blog as it is particularly easy (see previous posts on this and all my other blogs); however making a website in PE is also relatively easy and all I have to learn now is how to upload it to a website! First create a Website.

Any Clues?

Project 7

Making a collage was covered rather well in Module 1 in my opinion. This project was much the same. I have already combined straight lines in the form of threads and torn papers folded papers and my own artwork in several images already so I was not very inspired to create more collages with no real purpose except for creating a frame. I did, however, make one new one with old Christmas wrapping and a Paul Smith gift bag for this project in order to say that I have completed the project:

This was then framed by increasing the canvas size according to the instructions:

From frame collage

I also used one of my images from Module 1 which includes some of my original artwork to show how "framing" enhances the image.
From mix

From frame collage

I now know how to increase the size of a canvas.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Project 6

Just picked up after the Christmas break. Not much of a break for me as I was working almost throughout the whole two week period; lovely on the tube as nearly no one else was travelling in. Still life with fruit seemed to be what was required of this project. Can't say that I found it all that inspiring and somewhat repetitious of the first module. I want to move on to the next project quickly so am not going to spend too much time here. I played around a bit with brightness, contrast and resolution with one of the still life pictures.