woensdag 13 juni 2012

Colours and Reflections

A little while back I completed a drawing for my youngest daughter entitled "Baking" - she loves to bake, so this was the perfect subject. It's a still-life of baking utensils. How I dislike the term "still life" - it immediately conjures up images of dull pots and ugly vases sitting lifeless in murky brown indecipherable backgrounds! But that's just me. I know there are many beautiful still life paintings and drawings out there, but those words "still life" just imply "dullness" to me. It's a word thing more than a reflection on art.

Speaking of reflections, I had great fun doing the baking drawing. The greatest challenge and the most exciting part was trying to capture the light, colours and reflections in the metal objects - the bowl, tins, cutters and most of all, the aluminium foil. What fun I had! There's no describing the pleasure I get from turning part of a flat piece of paper into an object that just jumps out of the paper. And since there's no describing it I'll just show you a few photos of the drawing in it's beginning stages.

After taking the photo from which I was going to draw, the initial thought is that it would be impossible to get a good result. How do you draw light? But getting down to it, you realise that you draw the colours and the shades - the negative
space in fact - and then it becomes possible.

The next challenge was to get the smoothness of the silcone baking tray right. It was orange all over! But looking more closely I came to realise that there were different shades of orange and subtle changes in shade all over the tray.

This photo shows all the pencils I had used by this stage. Incidentally, the piece of paper with all the writing, under the pencils, is a list I keep, as I work, of the length of time I draw at each sitting, so I have an accurate record of how long each drawing takes to complete.

The small tart form and biscuit cutter were both fun and challenging. Again, the shine and reflection was achieved by paying attention to the colours and shade. There's actually more blue and grey in those tins than you would expect on first sight.

Here you can see how by adding some very dark shadow along the scalloped edge of the tart form, even though using mostly the same grey pencils, I managed to differentiate the tin from the background. It's all in the depth of colour and the pressure applied to the pencil.

Another tin and a couple of bun cups on their  way to completion. Many more pencils have been added to the pile I've used so far - there are surprisingly many colours in that shiny tin! I used a few shades of brown and some black and grey to get the table top in the corner right.

Anyway, that's how it works! At this point I got so absorbed I forgot to take more photos.

Ok, ok! I have described the fun I had a bit, but the greatest pleasure was getting the drawing finished. After 72 hours, here's the result. There's magic in a simple box of coloured pencils! :-)

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