For this exercise I decided to re-visit something I had recently scribbled in my sketchbook, some random drawings from my imagination that ended up turning out quite nicely.
At the time there was no rhyme nor reason to these drawings, but having discussed the initial drawing in an online chat with other course mates, ideas started to emerge about the reason for these unknown children, and connotations were lent towards war children, or that they are sad in some way. The stories that could be attached to this drawing are endless, so I decided to have another go at this in large.
All of these drawings are on very large pieces of paper, the first had a bit of a shine to it so I couldn’t get the depth in the charcoal that I wanted.
The second drawing is on tracing paper which I love, but the composition is not as haunting as that first drawing. I think the figures were too big in relation to the paper, which means its lost the delicate nature of the original drawing.
The last drawing was also large, this time with the original gesso painted onto the tracing paper, and then drawn over with charcoal. I also used biro as in the first small drawing, however the size of the drawing means that this is lost, and I do need to find an alternative to biro when I’m working on this scale. I also felt the smudging wasn’t the same as in the original drawing. I’m wondering whether an ink under wash with charcoal lines over the top might work better.
The drawing is on tracing paper, so the photos show the different backgrounds at the time. The first background is the wooden board that I draw on.
This background is me putting the tracing paper up against a glass window and letting the light shine through it. Its given the gesso a dirty colour which is interesting, and also shows the brush work of the gesso.
And lastly, pinned to a plain white wall.
I do like this drawing – but I feel the biro is lost on it, so I need to find an alternative, and also the composition is much better in the initial drawing. This group of figures needs to be in the top right of the page, leaving the bottom blank.
Prior to writing up this idea/exercise, I kept thinking about how I could improve these drawings, and how they could be perceived by viewers. I have recently been having issues with the fact that my work doesn’t MEAN anything – there is no narrative to it generally (my landscapes) and this has always really upset me. What you see is pretty much what you get. So when I drew this drawing I did it with an empty head. However, a narrative can be seen by the viewer, and this can be further helped by giving it a title. My initial thoughts on the first drawing were war children, refugees, children that were lost, hence the sad fragile feeling of the drawing. but on drawing more of these, more titles kept popping into my head, and I have listed these below for my own future reference. It was so interesting to hear that I could add a narrative AFTER creating an image, and that it wasn’t necessarily important to be creating with that narrative in mind. This has also opened up huge areas for me, as it means I can just create without that narrow corridor that I was previously thinking I had to work through.
Possible titles for future drawings.
Lost in utero, Over my shoulder, Helicopter parent, Lost ones, The other children, Expectation, Identical twin, Twin to Twin transfusion, Vanishing Twin Syndrome, They went, The others, The ones we lost, Pressure from above, Cosseted.
Some of these hinted towards twin pregnancies, and having had twins myself and having the worries during the first trimester of pregnancy, the not so good drawing of the child with the shadow behind them really brought out those feelings.
This whole exercise has opened up a whole new area for me, and is something I could possibly develop further in the future.