These are the preparatory sketches leading up the final piece of assigment three.
The task was to draw a piece which shows a landscape, an outdoor scene, incorporating both natural and linear (man-made) features. The aim was to be to create a drawing demonstrating a sense of space by appropriate techniques of perspective.
I settled on a view across our local lake, which I had sketched from various viewpoints before. For one the lake presents an expanse of water, for another to the west there is an opening between the mountains (the valley in which the lake lies runs east to west)
The prep work done served to answer a couple of specific questions:
a) what precise view to choose
b) how to deal with the immense flat expanse of water, so that its depth becomes obvious (how to use aireal perspective on water …)
c) what features to include (dealing with foreground, middle and background)
In addition to the prep sketches, some of which were done from memory, I took a number of photographs of my chosen scene from various points, including detailshots. My aim was to get pictures surrounding my intended drawing and not a photographic image for me to copy.
Some remarks on assessment criteria and further things …
Demonstration of technical and visual skills:
I employed a range of materials and techniques: in the top half mainly dry media, i.e. conte-crayons, pastels (for the colour) and charcoal. In the bottom half “wet” media dominated: a foundation with a bluish wash, drawing in with ink and pen and water-soluble graphite (with the exception of the pencil hatchings). The approach to composition was quite “traditional” in sofar I tried to be conscious about the fore-, middle and background. In the background the sky is all important as it is reflected also on the waterplane.
Quality of outcome:
In choosing to use different techniques for the two halves of the picture I am treading dangerous waters. It has been one criticism for the Assigmnent one that using different approaches for different parts of the drawing was creating a collage-like effect. The danger being in my view that the drawing appears disjointed, which might be the exact opposite of what I actually intend. In the present assignment I hope to have avoided such counterproductive disjointedness.
Here comes one big todo … (which I can only hope to work on in the long run). I chose a view which is often firmly in the realm of kitsch: a sunset behind a lake. A view which is also a very popular motif for our local amateur photographers and tourists alike. The immediate question is why? Why is it interesting to add a further image of the scene? What do I try to achieve, apart from drawing an assigment piece because it has been asked from me?
Of course, as I live in alp-region of Germany, mountain-scapes are already very popular motifs for all sorts of painters and it feels overwhelming when trying to look at the landscape yourself.
What helps, I find, is being clear about my own agenda, about the nature of my own perception. Am I trying to find some mystical significance in nature, perhaps like the romantics (e.g. Caspar David Friedrich), or should I try to rid myself of all such thoughts and aim at a “neutral” look (which I might never achieve)?