Shape, Form, Balance – Traditional Hand Skills

21 September 2022

Creating a still life line drawing using pencil. Sounds easy, yet it isn’t, I found myself struggling to pick an area of the array of still life objects and recreating.

What I have learnt is that instead of letting other people just move pieces I was considering drawing, in fact had even started drawing I should really have said something. However, on the other hand if I was painting a plen air scene on a busy bustling city street, I would have to adapt to changes and focus initially on the more static elements of the scene in front of me first. So maybe it was a good thing, that I chose to hide in my shell and not create a fuss.

This was my first choice and the weird looking shape on the left is what was moved, and I had to draw from memory it’s original state as part of my composition as I’d already started drawing elements of it. Needless to say the perspective is wrong, it doesn’t even represent what it was. However, you wouldn’t have known if I wasn’t honest and told you, but I think all of this is because I am not comfortable drawing still life, I’m not comfortable drawing what I see with other people around me and able to look over my shoulder and immediately comment. After the summer break, I found it hard settling into the whole learning and my art is on display enviroment again. There were some stools, a piece of wood, a fir cone, figurines, a wire fruit tray to name a few of the items in my image. My perspective is off, it usually is when I’m doing these kind of pieces.

I didn’t really add any shadows or highlights, or consider tonal values. The exercise was to recreate the shapes and forms and the result is a flat image.

I created another image, this time I concentrated on the array of ballet shoes propped against a board on tin foil. I felt more at ease drawing these, I used simple lines to create the sense of folding and creases where the shoes had worn and held their shape. Many reasons why this image is less flat, I have more interest in the subject matter, I connected with the shoes as I used to dance. Or maybe, I just let myself tune out the fact that there were other people around, so I was less self-conscious and less distracted.

I think as well as having more of an understanding of art practices I need to do more of, this exercise has also highlighted other things I should work on, on a more self esteem, personal level. There isn’t really a wrong or right interpretation, unless you are being photo realistic, art is just a reflection of what the artist sees and feels, and the story they want to tell. Also, the more I create and do, the more relaxed and confident in my outcomes I’ll be.

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