Last night, I attended what will probably be my last ever Drawing Room session. I shall write about that decision in a separate post [UPDATE: that post is here]. The decision applies to my artistic development generally, and is not specific to the wonderful Drawing Room, for which I’m very grateful.
Yesterday’s session was led by Tessa Asquith-Lamb, and run by Katharine Aarrestad in Sharon Quigley’s place. Like last month’s session, it was held at the Two Roberts exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Inspired by the cubist / expressionist paintings of Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde, we composed images from cutting sheets of coloured paper. The pieces by the other attendees of the session were beautiful – very impressive, with lots of lovely layers of colour and detail. I however was only able to produce this rather mundane and simple graphic (inspired by this):
Over the next couple of months Tessa Asquith-Lamb will be leading 3 new workshops at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre.
I’ve attended a few of these free all-day Saturday sessions in the past, and have always found them very interesting. I attended a couple of fashion-inspired workshops led by Tessa last year (Fashionable silhouettes and Elements of fashion – Still life), and am looking forward to going to these. If you are local, perhaps you might want to sign-up too? I might not be able to make all of them unfortunately, but I’ll be doing my absolute best to clear the time so that I can go!
Sat 17 May 2014
A broad view
Experiment with unusual format landscape drawings and paper constructions in this class.
Inspired by early views of Edinburgh, panoramas and dioramas, enjoy a day of experimenting with viewpoints to create intriguing cityscapes
Sat 24 May 2014
A textural view
Explore collage and rubbings creating texture.
View the city through new eyes and create an imagined landscape of rock, castle, tenement and sky using a variety of textural techniques.
Sat 7 June 2014
An epic view
An experimental class looking at large scale ink and wash landscapes and cityscapes.
Enjoy the freedom of working in ink on a bigger scale, and experiment with mark making to create new views of your city.
Tessa brought in a selection of fashion accessories for us to draw in the morning, and paint in the afternoon. Among all the items I chose an arrangement of a hat, scarf, and a pair shoes. A photo of the original items is shown at the end of this post.
For the pencil drawing, we started with a line drawing and then added more contrast and shading to capture the material textures. I did a little work at home to strengthen the the hat and shoes. This is the end result:
In the afternoon we used acrylic to do some painting. I chose to paint my original choice of items so that I would be able to compare it with my pencil drawing.
A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to take an acrylic course this autumn as I’ve been doing watercolour for a while, and had tried oil. Unfortunately there were no acrylic courses available in the council-run courses for the autumn, so I was very pleased that I could try acrylic in this class.
So, this is my first attempt with handling acrylic:
It was good practice spending time to draw the mixture of textures in this still life composition, and I’m glad to have got the chance to try acrylic. I’ve got some acrylic paints at home so I should try using them now. My thanks to Tessa for the class, and to the City Art Centre for running it.
These are the originals:
The classes are themed around their current Coming Into Fashion – A Century of Photography at Condé Nast exhibition. The morning half of the workshop involved making silhouettes based on photos in the exhibition. In the afternoon we made collages using silhouettes and profiles.
To start with, we looked around the exhibition and picked 2 or 3 full-length silhouettes to sketch. I sketched these 2 seated women from photos by Helmut Newton and Edward Steichen:
Back in the studio we created silhouettes of the images: draw over the sketches onto tracing paper; flip the tracing paper and lay it over black paper; draw over the pencil mark to press it onto the black paper. The silhouettes were then cut out of the black paper.
To do the cutting I tried both scissors and craft knife. Scissors held the promise of creating smooth curves, but I found this easier to do with the craft knife, which also easily outperformed when dealing with the intricate lines.
To finish the silhouettes, they were prepared for hanging by sticking a couple of strips of paper onto the back, and feeding string through the loops. A bead was tied to the end of the string to allow the silhouette to hang straight.
The key to creating nice silhouettes is to capture the details in the outline, for example, the grasp of a hand, or the direction of a glance. Being able to recognise the details brings extra life to the image.
Everyone’s silhouettes came out well:
Mine are furthest left, and second from right:
In the afternoon, we had a wide choice of materials to make collages with. The idea was to create silhouettes and locations for them. If we had time, it was also suggested to try adding a profile to the collage, although I didn’t get around to this.
My first creation was a simple abstract view of a room:
For the second collage I wanted to try using some drawing too, but I didn’t carry off the mix at all well:
I thoroughly enjoyed the class. The techniques are simple, and I can see that they have scope for producing nice images if done well.
It was also interesting to have worked closely with the silhouettes of the subjects in the source photographs. I’m sure I won’t be able to stop myself from examining the silhouettes of people in images for a while, and picturing how they’d look in different contexts. A good sign.