Exercise 4 Monochrome

After a week or so deliberation as I’m so stuck in a rut regarding ‘still life objects’ now, I decided to draw my boys’ bicycle leaning against a tree for this final mono exercise. I find that my drawing skills come and go as such….it seems to be much about confidence and this week I seem to have lost this completely. With a loss in confidence comes a loss in confident lines, and as a result my drawing suffers enormously. Ive been trying to do a lot of figure drawing and faces in my spare time and these have not been going so well, and I think this is why my confidence has dipped.

As a result, this exercise has turned out so so, as I will explain below.

Firstly I did a few sketchbook scribbles of the bike against the tree, mostly with the idea of working on a square piece of paper for this exercise. The last drawing worked really well where it spilled out of the picture frame, which I really liked. It also gave emphasis to the huge wheel in the foreground and made everything else ‘go back’ as such.


I had a play with pastel and was thinking about the spikes on the bike wheel…I love the textures this drawing has created, but know deep down I won’t have the patience to work like that on a big scale, keeping all the lines immaculate.


Next I had a go at doing a watercolour or gouache base and sprinkling salt on it – I saw elsewhere other people had good success at this and it created lovely textures, but sadly with mine it didn’t work at all. Perhaps it was the colour pigment I’d chosen? I scribbled some bike images over the top in various mediums and listed them under each picture.


Next I had a go at how I would depict the tree, and most of these were successful drawings – but I like drawing trees so was not surprised by this. 5

And lastly more little drawings of bikes and compositions and mediums.67

I then decided to go big for this drawing, and selected an A1 piece of paper, and pasted on newspaper again, painting over it with white gesso for some back ground texture. I then roughly draw in all of the elements of the drawing with charcoal, pastel and compressed charcoal. Sadly the bike was totally out of proportion – the front wheel was not big enough, the back wheel was too big.  The frame was too long. I also didn’t like the landscape composition. I did like some of the messy marks though.


I then had another go with the drawing, using the same basic principles, but somehow this turned out so tidy and neat that it just doesn’t work for me at all. The composition is okay, the bike proportions are okay, it is just flat and plain. I’m wondering whether this is because it is how I feel about the exercise also. I have no problem with monochrome and enjoy that idea, it is more that I am just feeling flat about this part of the course now. I need to move forward. Lastly I cropped the image to where I imagined it to be.


I am annoyed that I didn’t use my idea of having the front wheel popping out of the frame as such as I think this would have given a better idea of proportion. I am also annoyed that the drawing has turned out so tidy which is just not me. I would like to think I’ll re-visit this but I know I am not going to, as I really need to move forward now and start drawing rooms around the house before I pull my hair out. One positive from this exercise is that I am very much enjoying using mixed media which I have pulled from the previous exercise. It is really quite satisfying.

I have now sat on this for a few hours and decided to do a little bit more work to it. I printed out an image of it in the house, and played around with the edges and taking the front wheel off the end of the page. There are two results, and i’m now trying to work out how I can alter the final piece to reflect these.

Whilst I prefer the cleaner of the two images (taking off the newspaper bit to the left) there is something nice about the newspaper too. I would also have to add some paper to the bottom of the drawing to draw on the extra bit of wheel. But the most part would be the cropping of the rest of the drawing which I can only really do if I take out the newspaper. The bike certainly looks better and it creates a more interesting picture with the top and right hand sides cropped off, losing the handlebar.


4 thoughts on “Exercise 4 Monochrome

  1. Georgina – you are supposed to enjoy yourself and not worry so much. You sketches and final drawing are a credit to you. Great work!!


      1. I will start part 2 at the end of May and look forward to the still life bit – I want to concentrate on flowers/plants which hopefully will give me a wide variety – including the vases/containers and a variety of backgrounds. Your bike was an innovative still life – not stuck with the usual fruit and crockery!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s