Revealing pictures

For the next couple of months at least, the Drawing Room has relocated to the Scottish National Gallery, to coincide with the new GENERATION exhibition of the last 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland.

The session I attended yesterday was led by artist Thomas Whittle.

In the exhibition, we looked at the works of two artists: David Shrigley’s woodcuts and some of Callum Innes’ “Exposed Paintings” series in which he removes layers of paint he previously applied. These share the idea of taking away to reveal a picture, so that is what we explored doing for ourselves in the session.

Starting with a foundation layer of colour (pens), we then added another layer of charcoal and/or graphite. We then removed some of that top layer using an eraser to show the colour beneath.

This is my practice image. Inspired by the previous Drawing Room session, I wanted to try using words:

140710 bleak

I liked the fuzziness of the edges of the letters, obtained with the rubber eraser I was using.

For my main, larger image, I wanted to employ the fashion illustration techniques I’ve been learning:

140710 figure

It didn’t come out as striking as I was aiming for. I used a base layer of triangles of colour, and had hoped it would give an effect like a costumed Venetian figure – but it did not. To achieve what I had in mind, I think the triangles would have had to have been a lot smaller so that they could actually be seen in each revealed stroke. This would’ve been beyond what could be achieved in this short session. Something to explore later if I wish…

As a byproduct of the above works, I produced a lot of charcoal dust. With this I produced another bit of “art” – in quotes because there was no thought to it, but the result is suggestive and received a few comments.

140710 waste

I enjoyed the session and have learnt another technique I can use in my art. Good result.

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