Shape, Form, Balance – 3D Maquette

28 September 2022

Taking our image from last week, dissecting and folding to create a 3D form.

What did I picture this as? What was my final piece going to look like? Was it functional? Did it have a purpose or is it just an ornament? A piece of art to look at?

In my mind I pictured this as an abstract sculpture, the shapes I’d chosen in the image resembled elements of a horse and that is what I envisioned. As I folded and tore and stuck the paper together, I was picturing what it could like and the possibilities. It was definitely made out of metal, possibly steel, and the mane would dissect parts of the muzzle and fold back on itself. The you would be able to see through the nostrils and there would be refracted light, the effect of the mane would be through a cascade of water running down the curved metal into the pool below.

On a grand scale it’s a water feature I could see outside a stately home such as Gatcombe House, Burghley or Badminton. Yet I could also see it on a smaller scale in a local park or as a water feature in an inner city courtyard.

The paper maquette is currently hanging with others as part of the wall display at Uni, perhaps one day I will find a way of making the prototype water feature, with the right kind of metal that is shiny yet dull, and able to be textured, and have natural light causing an array of rainbow colours reflecting its surroundings.

So I shall leave you with the sound of water flowing, the warmth of the sun on your face and the sights, sound and smells you would find on a summers day in an English garden whatever it’s size.

Shape, Form, Balance – Tonal Values

22 September 2022

Carrying on from yesterday’s work, we were still using the array of still life objects, only this time looking at tonal values and using charcoal do another still life piece.

I deliberately chose a more industrial object, made of metal, with angles and curves and lots of highlights and shadows. Being objective my perspective is definitely a little skewed, and respecting the different tonal values of the two different metals was hard and did find myself getting a little carried away with some parts and having to hastily rectify them to more accurately reflect the object I was drawing and the angle I was seeing it from. I’m rather pleased I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, there are some elements that I did well, but obviously still have a lot to work on. I seem to keep coming back to perspective. I need to do more of this. I don’t necessarily want to be ultra realistic, but the proportions still need to be more accurate. I have no idea what the original object is, would it have helped if I did? Possibly not, because if I could relate to it there is a chance I would have drawn what my mind thinks it should look like, rather than what it actually does look like from the angle I am viewing. I could have used negative space better to aid with the highlights and shadows, but again this is something I don’t do as a matter of course, so more practice needed.

Another part of the exercise to look at tonal values and high/low contrast, was to take the photographs from yesterday and print them out in black and white. We could reduce, enlarge, cut out elements, replicate as many times as we needed, and create another image. The purpose was really to not overthink it, although trying to remember the design principles and keeping the balance was a little challenging. I enjoyed not really having an idea to start with, yet once I started playing with the images and layering them on the paper I could see a pattern forming and shapes and textures that I wanted to include. There were some repeats that I hadn’t noticed and it was only when Simon, our lecturer, was stood talking through what I was doing and picking up some of the photos himself, that I saw what he did and realised that placing them slightly differently the balance of the tones in the final image looked a lot better.

Breaking this subject down into the simple exercises we’ve done over the past couple of days, has helped me consider my approach to creating ‘Art’. If anything, I’m learning to be brave and not worry about turning things around and looking at them from different angles and perspectives, learning to look at all the angles and stripping away the colour so that you are just left with the tones is really good for understanding composition and seeing things as they really are, not what you think they should be. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to see something in a different light.

A career in modelling?

Clay that is! I have been spending my time since my college course finished wisely and am learning how to model/sculpt with clay. It’s very relaxing and therapeutic.

The Golden Diva

This little piece is based on our little Welsh Section A. Unfortunately there a little crack happened in the final firing process, but it can easily be fixed. I will then mount her in a box frame and place on my wall.

I am lucky to have three horses in my life so have decided it isn’t fair to just sculpt one, and the next project is going larger…

I will keep you updated on the progress throughout the summer.