Milena's First Assignment
For this blog I wanted to share with you the first assignment I received recently from my student Milena Blaziak. On opening the folder my first impression was that Milena had been working with enthusiasm, energy and focus. Her initial exploratory drawings were done on newsprint which reminded me of the incredibly intense experience of a Foundation course. Newsprint discolours over time so is no use for drawings you want to keep but is liberating for the same reason when your goal is just to explore and learn as much as you can. I’ve included some videos to scan across her work so that you can see the marks in detail. There is no sound track on the video so no speakers are needed!
Milena’s work is also a good illustration of something I wanted to talk about in this blog – edges.
Lots of interesting things can be done with using outlines. They can be very expressive and can be used to create a dialogue or tension between the flat surface of the picture and the illusion of depth created. On the other hand I find many students have an over reliance on outline when they are constructing a drawing when they were aiming for something different and the result is flatter than they were hoping. What we call an outline is in reality the moment where two objects abut, or more often overlap. It is the moment where one thing is no longer visible and another is revealed behind.
Imagine for a moment that for the natural forms drawing project in level 1 you decide to draw 3 apples speared though their core by a knitting needle – like a fruity snowman. The silhouette of the three apple shape is actually made up of lots of points on the apples at which they disappear from view and these points are at different distances away from you. By joining them up into an outline it is easy to end up flattening the form.
Another good illustration of this is the small films made by Channel 4 using their 4 logo. The films show buildings or objects in space and then the viewpoint changes and the objects align to form the number 4. As soon as they are in position we read the outline as a flat 4.
If your goal is to create a sense of space and depth with objects full of weight and volume, then the key will be to look closely at the tonal differences where two surfaces meet (instances of occlusion) and be careful not to deny that information by creating an outline barrier. Take care as quite often as things turn away from you they catch the light or are shielded from it and have a total tonal turn around at the last minute!
Milena seems to understand this and I hope you agree that her objects nestle together very nicely.