Thursday, October 22, 2015

FIRST SAMPLES IN TEXTURE AND SURFACE RELIEF

For my first exploration of texture and surface relief I used my collage of Louise Bourgeois' face from my sketchbook.

This is a detail of the original photo with wrinkles and features retraced in black felt pen. Black lines are similar to furrows or cracks on a piece of soil.
And on the right is the collage made from following the main lines.
The black network looks more abstract even if a face is still recognizable and it could be viewed like grooves in the land or streets in a city map.
Below is my experiment at creating a relief on my sketchbook.



I painted a layer of gesso on a page and glued in it the main shapes cut from heavy Vilene. On top white emulsion to get a uniform look.

Along one side of the shapes I punched holes with a needle to make them stand out better.

As I told Sian I would like to develop my research theme of faces as maps and viceversa also in jewellery so I thought I can use the same image to create a brooch or a pendant. I reduced the size of the B&W collage to approximately 7 and 4 cms and cut it out from a piece of hard wax, obtaining a fretwork. These are the first stages. More on this when I get my silver cast back from the foundry!


For my second attempt at texture I used a gothic wooden sculpture from my "heap", copied it in black and white, enlarged and used the area at the top, with the hair and the headdress.



Area enlarged showing different parts to develop into textures.




Interpretation of the area at the very top using acrylic gesso as a background, tarlatan cloth, cotton balls for their fluffiness and some Japanese papers.




This is a combination of textural samples on the same sketchbook page trying to translate the other areas of the image.




When I turned the page I discovered a chance textural effect left from stitching on the yarn string. I do not know yet if it will develop into anything but I like it in its simplicity and choose to leave it as it is.



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

MAPPING A FACE

For my first attempt at 'mapping' a face I chose a wonderful photo of Louise Bourgeois in her very old age, by the famous photographer Alex Van Gelder, but for copyright reasons I'm not uploading it on this blog.

I first drew from it with my left hand and not looking at the page, only at the image. I only looked at the sketch when I was finished. It's a very difficult exercise but really interesting. Also if it was impossible for me to obtain even the vaguest resemblance it was a way of exploring this face in a more intimate way.


FIRST SKETCH IN PENCIL



SECOND SKETCH WITH A FIBRE PEN

In this one I start to see a suggestion of the eyes and the mouth, perhaps also of the ears. I love this exercise, also included in the book Drawing Projects, and I shall repeat it again with real people during my vacations! I am not sure that they will be very happy ....




THIRD SKETCH OF THE SAME FACE

This time again I did not look at the photo while drawing but I used my regular right hand and I felt much more comfortable. I also start to see a real face.





PLEATS AND WRINKLES TRACED


In this case I am trying to find the main lines in the face and moving towards a map. I did not use colour so far because the idea was to look only at patterns.




A MORE ABSTRACT VERSION


Here I recreated the main lines traced on the photo in photocopied paper using a cutter.




Friday, July 31, 2015

FIRST SKETCHES OF FACES

In these days I have been reading and getting inspired by the truly wonderful book suggested to me by Sian - 'Drawing Projects' by Mick Maslen and Jack Southern. I'm using it as a tool to get into the habit of sketching and as a warm up. Here are some first sketches of faces in my Ipad photo library, based on projects of the book.


DRAWING WITH A PENCIL HELD LOOSELY


These are sketched holding a pencil at different lengths, halfway, at its point or attached at a stick of 30 and 60 centimetres, or a mixture of them as in the bigger drawing on the right. The idea being losing control on the pencil the further away it is held.

SKETCHES WITH TWO/THREE PENCILS
Two pencils, or pencil and biro/fibre pen.
Three pencils and eraser

TACTILE SELF PORTRAITS

This is really a very inspiring exercise and I think I shall repeat it again! With eyes closed, you touch your face with a hand and draw what you feel with your other one.

Using pencils

Using a fibre pen


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

FACES AS MAPS AND MAPS AS FACES


A CHANGE IN DIRECTION: FROM MASKS TO FACES

Time has passed and my personal theme has evolved with it. As I wrote to Sian I made a lot of tentative starts but every time I had a feeling I lacked a real sense if direction. I looked and relooked at images collected and noticed that they were most faces not masks anymore and that my interest had shifted.

I started to think at faces like maps that can be read with their features, wrinkles, expressions, attitudes, and at what they are saying of people's past life, places they are from and personal stories. I also thought at the common experience of seeing faces in landscapes, clouds, spots or in the casual arrangement of objects in space.

Sian really helped me out with her words: "Moving from the theme of masks to one of faces could be seen as moving from the negative to the positive aspects of the human face: masks conceal and disguise whilst faces expose and reveal". I think this is so very true and is exactly in tune with my feelings.

She also mentioned to me a wonderful and very inspiring book with plenty of drawing exercises based on the human face,


'Drawing Projects' by Mick Maslen and Jack Southern ISBN 978-1-907317-25-5


which I bought and am starting to use.

Sian asked me to start a new spider map. This time I just let my thoughts go and follow their way without adding images. Like the first I did on masks also this one is sketched onto a square Evolon sheet of around 90 per 90 cms so I had a lot of space to write.
To create a connection between my old theme of masks and my new one I am posting a double drawing/collage that I have in my sketchbook and that I feel is related to faces:

It is a double spread of a Peruvian mask (on the left) and mixed fabrics and oil pastels (on the right).