For my final layer of experimentation I decided to add another layer to make up the hair. I thought that this would add more to the figurative aspect of the prints, but still leave it up to the viewer to decide whether they think it is abstract or more figurative.
I worked on doing another layer of ink for the hair, and for the colour I thought either a dark electric blue or a red/orange colour. I decided to go for the orange as I had already experimented with lots of blues, so went to try something different.
This is what I came out with:
I like how the orange has given an extra yellow-green value here
I think the orange balances well with the sketchy purple tones
I was having second thoughts after mixing the orange colour and thought maybe I should do a red instead but I didn’t want the red to be too overpowering, so I stuck with the orange and I really like it next to green. In fact, against the pink it actually makes a reddy colour anyway!
I really like the contrast here with the dark blues and light pink/orange
To develop my print further, I decided to look for more figurative shapes this time after having worked with fluid, abstract shapes for quite a while. Looking at my prints, I started to look for ways that I could suggest a body shape through the types of shapes I had been using (as well as try out my stencil).
I looked at some figurative drawings for inspiration:
Please see my pinterest board for more: https://uk.pinterest.com/katdemej/transcription/
I also referred back to Gary Hume prints to help me:
Above left: ‘Magda’, 2012 and right ‘Pink Ponytail’, 2009, both Gary Hume.
As I searched my prints for any kind of shape to work with – I noticed an area in the middle that I could make out a face and hair. I decided that this would be my next stage of development and made a few quick designs of what I could add to my print.
I sketched how I could depict an eye and maybe even an eyebrow, but keeping it only suggestive rather than definite. I decided that rather than cutting out different shapes and laying them on the paper (so that whatever area was left with a shape would be inked) I wanted to only colour a specific part of the paper, rather than a wash of ink all the way over, which is what I had been doing all the way through so far.
So, I made a new stencil for an eyebrow and eye and chose a forest-green colour (keeping it translucent) to begin with. This is what I came out with:
I am really happy with my choice of green – I think it is a really nice touch especially in such a small area as I don’t think it would have worked as a wash all the way over the top of the print.
I think the green works the best on the pink one above as it stands out more and because the fourth blue layer didn’t work (as it was too light) I think it really needed something else to carry it – and the green does just that!
I think the purple/blue slightly overtakes the green here but I think that’s okay as it adds a bit of character to the print and doesn’t overpower the blue/pink layers.
This was the lighter print, and I decided to do a full wash over the top layer with an added stencil of one of my figurative drawings. I love the green over the pink and the translucency of both of these main colours works a treat. It’s not too overpowering and they seem to work really well together. I also really like how my stencil turned out – some feedback I got was that it looked like just a shape at first, then a foetus, then like a woman curled up! I think trying to be suggestive rather than definite has mostly worked with this! I think I will experiment with one or two more layers and see how it goes.
While deciding where to go next with my prints, I took a good long look at them all and decided that I wanted to keep some as the calming patterns they were and experiment with the rest.
These are the ones I decided to keep:
I find it really interesting how they are both the same print – yet turned upside down one looks completely different from the other and you wouldn’t know they were the same!
I kept this one because I really liked the delicacy of the colours and the gentle overlapping of the shapes (as you can see below – the layers give multiple values of colours which I think is really beautiful)
I really liked this one too because the ink was a bit lighter after printing on many sheets, so it added a lovely darker glow around certain shapes and had a lighter texture in the main parts, also adding more colour values having used less colours (because of the translucency of the ink) as you can see below:
These are the ones I decided to experiment with:
I decided to experiment with this one because when I printed it I accidentally left the ink on my screen for too long and it dried. So I had to clean it and then reapply the ink, only to find that I hadn’t cleaned it well enough so there a line-wash effect through the lower middle half section, I actually thought it looked nice! But wanted to experiment with this lighter mixture of colours too.
The fourth layer of ink I did on this one was much too light and it didn’t look right at all as I had made the ink too translucent.
On this one, the ink looks a bit sketchy and not as clean-cut as the others, as I think I wasn’t putting enough pressure on the squeegee, as well as with these three:
And as you can see in more detail here:
However, I have to say I did get some very nice outlines too:
I also decided that I din’t want to include the keyline after all. I don’t think it needs it and it adds a very harsh effect that doesn’t fit with the fluidity of the shapes, and would overwhelm the many colour values gained from the translucent inks.
For more inspiration I looked at more figurative, but still quite abstract, artworks for example landscape art. I found “The Lady of The North” – Northumberlandia and liked how she is made up of organic, fluid shapes yet you can still tell that the sculpture is of a woman (from a birdseye view anyway).
So I decided to create my own version of a figurative person, here are some practices:
I will make it into a stencil and see if it works on my print.
I started this exercise by listening to most of the songs from the list we were given, and drawing whilst listening to get a feel for any possible narratives.
It took me a while to decide what song I wanted to transcribe, and I looooovvvveeeeeddddd Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower, but I thought rather than just picking a song because I liked it, it should also be for its narrative qualities, so I went for something I wouldn’t normally pick or listen to.
Big Time – Peter Gabriel, is what I chose. The song is all about the artist making it ‘big time’ in the city and consequently everything else getting bigger as well as the amount of possessions he owns and so forth.
After some brainstorming I thought about taking my narrative in a less realistic direction (a human trying to make it in the real world) and play on the fact that these types of journeys often take a long time. Therefore, my narrative would be about a snail, typicaly slow-moving, on its way to the big city!
My sketches/narrative plans:
I thought the boldness of the snail shell had potential in terms of making a visual narrative. I decided that the snail, whilst being small itself, would come from a very small snail village as the lyrics go ‘The place where I come from is a small town,
They think so small’ and ironically I wanted the snail to look very tiny while making his way to the big snail city – to show just how big the city was in comparison to where he used to live.
I watched some animations for inspiration – these were very humorous and I wanted my narrative to be more light hearted so it really helped me to come up with a simple storyline.
Anyway, here is my final illustrated story:
I am really happy with how this turned out! As he journeys his way down the river, toward the city, things start to turn gold and eventually he does too and I think this is often the illusion that people get from Hollywood – that it is the land of dreams and you have to go there to make it big. So the snail makes it!
The beginning of this workshop taught me to really look at an object when doing observational drawings and how to incorporate their textures within this. These were my objects:
I found that taking a picture of the object and then zooming in was something that really helped as well.
Identifying the texture an object has was difficult at first e.g. how do you draw the texture of a sharpener? However I think over the duration of the workshop I gradually started to see textures a bit more.
Studies of my objects:
I decided to enlarge my sharpener study:
I found it interesting working with the different textures because this is not something I normally do, particularly with everyday objects because it’s just not something I think to look for. I think it definitely makes the sharpener look more interesting, however after some feedback during the group crit I realised I had visibly rushed the bottom/bottom left part of the sharpener (with the cross-hatching). Some more of the feedback suggested that the lines down the left hand side go in a different direction to the way the sharpener is facing which gives it a slightly different dynamic which is interesting, as well as the angle which is slightly dramatic.
In hindsight I would have been looser with it – like this for example…
…as I feel my drawing is a bit too tight and I got a bit too carried away with the cross-hatching and could have just used this technique where the texture was most prominent on the actual sharpener.
Also because it is a mundane object I think using a looser style would have made it more interesting to look at. My favourite part though is the screw bit in the middle (I think the texture of the wall actually helped me out a bit here) and the only thing I would change is adding more dots, I tried to do this with my graphite pencil/charcoal like how I did on my initial study but it didn’t work as well on a larger scale.
This workshop has helped me with my drawing techniques and taught me how important it is to really look at an object in detail before you start drawing it, because you could end up with a vastly different outcome either way.