Friday, 18 January 2013

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

"Appraise and demonstrate a breadth of knowledge relating to contemporary drawing practice"

I feel the work I have completed so far has helped to develop my drawing skills in a number of ways. At the beginning of the Drawing for Concept Artist's module we were tasked to re-imagine a DC Comics character, called OMAC, into a much more modern day superhero design that could be seen in recent superhero movies such as The Avengers. I felt that the creative process of this project pushed me immediately into thinking about important aspects of costume and narrative design for my superhero character. I enjoyed the iterative process that came from listening to feedback which was helpful in how it helped to shape my idea from something quite juvenile into something much more conceptual and interesting.

In addition to this I feel that my drawing has already improved from the many life drawing sessions I have taken part in within this module. After a lengthy time without direct drawing classes I felt incredibly rusty at the beginning of the term. This was helped in turn by getting back into studying the human form intensively in class, looking closely at the anatomy of our life models and experimenting with different drawing media to create observational pieces. I feel my skills in this area have definitely progressed when comparing my recent drawings to the pieces I created at the start of the year.


The Victorian Doctor's Bag project asked me to look at and study a number of inanimate objects and present them in a finished piece. I found the latter very enjoyable as it challenged me to look into the finer details of certain objects, studying them individually to find interesting compositional and form elements that would help create a final piece built from meticulous drawing studies. This project helped to build on skills that I already used in my artwork, e.g. the use of photo-texturing, and work to combine them with the observational side of drawing.

In addition to this we were tasked to create a number of imaginary skeletons that would still look feasible within a conceptual setting. I tackled this by studying animal skeletons and diagrams which were then incorporated into my work. This was a challenge at first as I primarily started with a number of line drawings, something which proved to be confusing and difficult to accomplish with such a intricate subject matter. To fix this I looked at the task in another way, blocking out areas of bone in Photoshop to attain a firm frame and silhouette and then adding line on top. This proved to be a much more enjoyable way of working and it seemed much more successful. 

"Identify resources and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques required for a range of drawing tasks"

Through this module I have used and experimented with a number of different media types, including digital, traditional, pencil, pen and charcoal.


Thursday, 17 January 2013

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive & Intellectual Skills

"Evaluate Historical and Contemporary Practice in Drawing"

The act of drawing has transformed through the years. From traditional pencil and paper sketches by the masters Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt, modern technology now allows us to create and draw in many new ways. Concept and digital artists can now design pieces in hours that would take months to produce centuries ago on a canvas.

The above pen and ink self-portrait by Rembrandt demonstrates the use of line by using fluid mark-making. By building a number of loose lines to create tone and build form Rembrandt successfully depicts himself traditionally on paper and then again through etching. Both of Rembrandt's pieces here show immediate ways of recording and observing objects on a media that can be held in the real world immediately. The tangibility and texture of the work here shows a rawness to the images created, they are transposed directly from the artist's mind to the page with the only middle-man being pencil, pen or other recording object that they are using.

Study of Sargent's Henry James by myself, created in Adobe Photoshop

In comparison to modern day practices, drawing has changed because of the tools that are now used to create artwork. Instead of pen and pencil on paper, now technology allows us to use drawing tablets to transpose strokes and lines straight into a computer. By using a pen and tablet connected to a computer program like Adobe Photoshop, artists can replicate a number of different media types without ever having to buy or use them in reality. An artist can create marks similar to that of pen strokes, adding soft, blended tones with an airbrush next and finalise the image by zooming into minute detail to achieve a high level of quality.

On the other hand, the tangibility aspect of Rembrandt's sketches is immediately lost as the end result is essentially trapped on a computer screen. Without the use of a printer or a projector the pieces created cannot exist in reality. In addition to this, digital practice loses the feeling of texture that drawing and painting creates. No matter how a media is replicated in digital technology it will be without the realistic feedback while drawing or painting that makes it blend, mix and mark against a page or canvas. The finite nature of pen and paint being used in reality is also lost as whatever wrong mark the artist may make on a computer can be undone immediately  losing an element of development that can be seen through extensive traditional practice.

"Synthesise Observation, Existing and Acquired Knowledge in the Production of Original Imagery"


I feel the Doctor's Bag project demonstrates this learning outcome the most as the development of the final image relied on the creation and observation of objects, bringing them together into an original composition. By studying the various elements that would make up the final image while also incorporating digital painting practice a standalone piece was created. In addition to this, the imaginary skeleton task had a similar development process from studying various animal skeleton resources and molding them into the new ideas seen above.