OCA DRAWING 1 cappotti d'oca


A blog describing my learning journey on the OCA Drawing 1 course

3 April 2011

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After much deliberation, I decided to withdraw from this course. I was strugglilng and it was pointed out to me that I needed to do much more in the form of studies, prelim sketches etc. It became too much.

Thank you to everyone who looked at my work.

30 March 2011

P2 Project Detailed Observation - Check and Log

I seem to have been at this stage for ages. I have been. It's taken me a long time to get through this section because I decided that to improve my skills, I would benefit from redoing the assignment 1 exercises and also that my learning log needed jazzing up.

My learning strategy is to alternate new assignment 2 exercises with old assignment 1 exercises. This seems to be working.

So now to the Check and Log questions in this section.

Which drawing media did you find most effective to use and for which effects?

I found that drawing pens are good for recording detail but are very permanent and if you make any mistakes you can't correct them. They produce even width lines and are good for shading and stippling.
I found graphite very flexible and easy to work with. I've now invested in quality pencils which are better because they have strong leads and you can maintain a sharp point. You can also use an eraser to correct mistakes. I found using the watersoluble pencils good fun and I liked the effect the faint colour wash made.

Did you enjoy capturing details or are you more at home creating big broad brush sketches.

I enjoy capturing details  more than big broad brush sketches. I like concentrating on the detail of a small area.

Look at the composition of the drawings you have done in this project. Make some sketches and notes about how you improve your composition.

A technique to improve composition would be to choose good objects, preferably interesting ones, make sure that the proportions of the objects work well together, consider the placement of the objects, look at lines created by the objects, balance positive and negative space, add contrast, remove unnecessary distracting details and balance colours carefully.

Did doing a line drawing get you to look at space more effectively.

Yes. I also found that drawing in a larger space ie A3 meant that more detail could be captured.

Overall I am pleased with what I learnt my going back to the basics of Assignment 1 and being more observant in this section.

27 March 2011

Another attempt at P1 Study of light reflected from one object to another exercise

Another go at Assignment's 1 Study of light reflected from one object to another exercise. Pleased with the results.

Study of light reflected from one object to another

23 March 2011

P2 Contrasting Style Research - Two artists who work in contrasting ways

I m trying as much as possibel to include in research artists whose work I am able to see & study  for real. For this exercise my two artists are going to be Piet Mondrian (tight and rigorous) and Ludwig Kirchner (sketchy and expressive). At the Tate Modern I saw Kirchner's Bathers @ Moritzburg and Modrian's Sun Church in Zeeland. Unfortunetly neither of these pieces of work are in Bridgemaneducations's online library so I have included other examples of their works instead.

Piet Mondrian


Piet Mondrian (Pieter Cornelis Mondiraan 1872 - 1944) was a Dutch artist born in Amersfoort. He was associated with Ven Doesburg in founding the De Stijl movement in architecture and painting. He began by painting landscape in a traditional sombre Dutch manner but after moving to Paris in 1909 he became under the influence of Matisse and cubism. He then began painting still lifes which are analysed in terms of the relationship between outlines and the planes. In the hands of Mondrian these became increasingly abstract so that eventually the patterns became more important than the subject itself. During World war I he discarded the subject altogether and concentrated on constructing grids of simple black lines filled in with primary colours. These rectilinear compositions depend on their beauty on the simple relationships between the coloured areas. He was a great theoretician and in 1920 published a pamphlet called Neo-Plasticism which inspired the Dutch philosopher Schoenmaekers. He went to London in 1938 and from 1940 lived in New York. Mondrian's work has been a major influence on all purely abstract painters.

Ludwig Kirchner

Cows and Hills, 1913 (w/c on paper)


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880 - 1938) was a German artist born in Aschaffenburg. He studied architecture at Dresden but became the leading spirit in the formation of Dresden, with Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, of 'Die Brucke' (The Bridge) (1905 - 13, the first group of German Expressionists, whose work was much influenced by primitive German woodcuts. His work was characterised by vibrant colours and angular outlines. He moved to Switzerland in 1914. Many of his works were confiscated as degenerate by the Nazis in 1937 and he committed suicide in 1938.

P2 Stipples and Dots exercise

Had 3 attempts at this to try out different drawing pens / fibre pens. The first drawing was of some leaves of a spotted laurel , the second a bowl of strawberries and the third, a few strawberries just on a table.

Stipples and Dots - Spotted Laurel

Stipples and dots - bowl of strawberries

Stipples and dots - strawberries on a table

20 March 2011

Richmond Printmakers at 20 Exhibition

As I learnt yesterday, you don't have to go too far to see a good exhibition. This one was the Richmond Printmakers at 20 Exhibition (http://www.richmondprintmakers.co.uk/)  hosted by The Stables Gallery at Orleans House, Twickenham (http://www.richmond.gov.uk/home/leisure_and_culture/arts/the_stables_gallery.htm).

It was an anniversary exhibition to celebrate 20 years of creative activity. Past and present Richmond Printmakers displayed their work and workshops demonstrating the many different methods of printmaking were also on offer.

My favourite a print called The Heron by Tessa Charles (http://www.tessacharles.co.uk/). I loved the subject, the colours, the design. The whole print was a delight to see and I was sorry that all copies of it had been spoken for.

The Heron by Tessa Charles, printmaker

16 March 2011

Tate Visit Collage

Picking up on  point my tutor made in my Assignment 1 feedback that it would help me to look at art asking the question 'how did the artist do that' rather than observe art as a connoisseur, yesterday I made my first visit to the Tate Modern (London). Whilst I have seen the outside of this magnificent building many a time as I've trotted up and down the Thames on many a river cruise with the grand-children, I've never seen the inside. I was lucky enough to go with a friend who is an artist and she guided me through.

First of all we saw the Ai Weiwei Sunflower seeds installation- all 100 million of them! The installation itself did nothing for me until I saw the accompanying film which put the whole thing into context and explained how each seed had been individually sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. Quite something.
Sunflower Seeds in the Tate Modern

I had prepared for the visit by making a list of artists that had been mentioned so far in the course literature and noting which ones had works being exhibited in the Tate. I was able to see quite a lot of works from Picasso to Matisse from Max Ernst to Juan Gris and it was a huge revelation to view art as my tutor had suggested. Seeing for example the Frottage pieces of Max Ernst (The Entire City - oil on paper laid on canvas and Dadaville - Painted plaster and cork laid on canvas) was extremely enlightening and I learnt the difference between seeing art for real and as an online display.

Sadly there were only a few drawings on display but there was one by Picasso (Faun Revealing a Sleeping Woman - Etching and aquatint on paper). Although I appreciated the techniques that had gone into creating this masterpiece, I'm afraid it did nothing for me - probably because I just didn't like the subject - a faun.

But we did get to see Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust painting which was sold at Christie's in New York last May for a world record price of $106.5 million (£65.5 million) and is only on temporary loan to the Tate by its private owner. It of course makes you realise that when great masterpieces, particularly ones in private collections are on show, you need to grab the chance to see them.

All in all, I had a great day out. It was a great learning experience and has whetted my appetite to see more. below is a collage of photos I took of artwork that caught my eye.

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