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Within this City project, I was asked to create two final pieces individually, one inspired by the fine art painting project and another that reflects the ideas, thoughts and new processes that I learnt during the collaborative process. As a collaborative we made drawings and stop motion animations. It seemed obvious to me that for this second piece I would like to create an animation that includes drawing to fit in with what I have learnt and worked on with my collaborative group and to portray the hidden loneliness of city life. The collaboration work we made as a group has already informed my individual work and I have started playing around with animations showing loneliness in the city.
I thought the experiment I made where all the people were cut out of a photo one by one apart from one individual was quite interesting and had a lot of scope for progression and so I have decided to make a stop motion animation incorporating the manipulation of my photographs to portray inner city loneliness as a final piece.
I have included two aspects of loneliness in the city within this piece. The imagery where all the people are cut out/scribbled over/painted in portrays the fact that you might as well be alone in the city when surrounded by others because you interact with no one. If the only people you see are the passers-by of the city then you are going to be highly lonely because you would never converse with anyone face to face. The imagery where only one person has been singled out conveys the fact that you are insignificant which heightens the feeling of loneliness and that to all the other people you might as well not exist. Also, singling one figure out portrays them as being alone within an urban environment.
Within this piece, I have experimented with manipulating photos in a variety of ways to show loneliness. I have also included drawing within the piece and the use of tracing paper and paint. I think this piece is very successful and consolidates all the photo manipulation work I have produced throughout the whole of the project. These photo alterations inspired my paintings and kicked off my ideas to create this body of work so it seems only fitting that they make up one of my final pieces. The track that is playing behind this animation is “The lullaby of Loneliness” by Aaron English, chosen for obvious reasons. I have uploaded my final piece to YouTube so it is shared with the public and I can gain feedback from the users of the site. I think this piece is successful in portraying the hidden loneliness of city life and demonstrates a skill that I have worked on from making animations with my collaborative group.
In this workshop, We looked at David Hockney’s book “Secret Knowledge”. Within this text, Hockney talks about how Vermeer and Renaissance artists used optics and mirrors to aid them in creating accurate portraits and art works. There was a highly interesting timeline in this book which opened my eyes to how new technologies affect art and the way artists work. Until 1839, artists only had the use of optics such as mirrors and lenses, in 1839 the first fixed photographic camera was made which made the use of optics in art more elaborate. The 1930s saw modern art spring up and interestingly so did television and then computers which gave possibility to digital art.
In this workshop we looked at 3 mechanical aids to drawing: Camera obscura, Camera Lucida and Projection. We worked with a kind of Camera Obscura using a lens and a mirror to project an image onto paper than can be drawn from. We got into pairs and drew each other using this method, one sat opposite the camera under light and the other went into a dark space and drew them for just 2 minutes.
Here is the result I achieved below: It was incredibly difficult to draw accurately because you couldn’t see the lines you were drawing very well.
We also worked with projection in this workshop and used flash photography to produce images of each other to project onto the wall and draw on top of to create accurate portraits. Below are images of my partner drawing me and my projected portrait of her.
After drawing one image of my partner, I decided to project another one on top and draw it to create an abstract kind of outcome. Projection is a modern-day aid to drawing, but is it cheating? you are not really drawing the image and I feel as if it becomes more the creator of the piece rather than an aid. However, this was a useful exercise in helping me developing my portrait skills and facial proportions.
Lastly, we explored the Camera Lucida. The Camera Lucida is an optical device that enables you to look at something in front of you through glass and it reflects the image onto the paper. Unfortunately, using an authentic Lucida was not possible so we used a modern-day version in the form of an App on the Ipad. The result I produced from working this way is shown below:
I’m not really sure how I feel about mechanical aids to drawing. I think if you are an artist purely making art for a commercial sale and need to make many successful pieces in a short space of time it is quicker using these methods and I guess would be beneficial. However, technically this is not your own drawing, it is like tracing something and if you are an artist like me, distinguishing your own style and creating art that has a personal reflection on you, it may be classed as cheating and the personal element is gone. I found that even the portraits I created in this workshop, even though I enjoyed creating them, were lifeless.
After producing a collaborative stop motion with my field group, I was inspired to create animation within my individual project. Here is a quick stop motion experiment drawn in my sketchbook portraying the hidden loneliness of the city, where the person is “surrounded by others but alone”. I hope to create more of these and maybe work with animating my photo manipulations or cut out photographs.
I decided to attend a life drawing session today. Within my city project, my work is becoming highly figurative which is challenging for me and not something I am used to. I felt that life drawing would help bring me up to speed when working with proportions and drawing the body and it was an incredibly beneficial exercise. We started the session with a few 5 minute poses to get going:
I started by loosely sketching out in charcoal and adding watered down black ink on top, I wanted to get a feel for the figure and the proportions of the body.
I spoke to the life model about my city project and that it involved drawing crowds of people or painting many figures in one piece. She helpfully suggested that we did some quick memory drawings, so she posed for 40 seconds while I observed and then had to draw the poses from memory down on the paper. It was incredibly difficult but a valued exercise as people don’t stay still for long in the city and this method will definitely help me draw them more accurately. It taught me to take more time to observe what I am drawing.
After a few goes, it was really interesting to see how much I managed to remember and draw down. The two pencil drawings above are my two most successful memory drawings in my opinion. This exercise forced me to study the details and proportions of the figure in a lot more depth and has with out a doubt benefited my figurative drawing skills. The life model suggested that I did a moving life drawing, where she imitated walking in two minute poses and I just drew them down next to one another, which created a highly interesting result, shown below:
After I had drawn these poses and gotten more comfortable with drawing the figure, we moved on to drawing 20 minute poses where I had the chance to draw in a lot more detail and I am incredibly happy with the results. I would go as far as to say that these may be two of the best life drawings I have ever created and I was very proud that I could see the development in my drawing skills.
Attending a life drawing session has been an incredibly valuable experience and will definitely aid me in my progression through my city project. I feel more confident about drawing figures. Because the drawings were timed, I didn’t have time to worry about the outcome and it made me consider proportion and experiment when drawing the figure more naturally. For any one who feels like they are challenging themselves drawing figures like me, I would definitely recommend a life class.
Here I have attempted to illustrate being alone in the city, and feeling overwhelmed by its mass structure and buildings through combining the drawing of simple city outlines and my photography of people in the city.
I have experimented with a few different medias when creating these kind of collages including pencil, fine liner, black indian ink, nut-brown ink and ball point pen.
I think the outcomes show the figure to be isolated and I like the contrast in detail and complexity between the drawing and the photography. I am enjoying exploring displaying urban loneliness artistically and even though these are simple images, they do portray being alone in the city.
To recap, on our first meeting, we met and produced some A3 initial collaborative drawings, that we decided would eventually become part of a book that we produce together. Today, after finishing the final edits to our animation and uploading it to YouTube, we met up to work on the book some more. We started by producing A3 sheets of drawings that relate to our own individual projects, to show where we started and how we got a feel for each other’s drawing etc.
We then thought about all the research we had done to come up with the ideas we have and started documenting artist research and animation inspirations in the form of printed imagery and hand written text. In terms of collaboration, we each wrote something on every page, it’s nice to see all of our different hand writing on a page together and the different thoughts on things and comments people made on sessions we have undertaken and things we have made and researched.
After that, we thought about how this book was perfect for documentation and we included images of us doing collaborative drawing and pictures of us working as a group. Again, we added hand written text and took a step back and looked at all the pages we had created. At the moment, we have lots of a3 pages to create the book and it is looking like it’s going to be a highly valued document.
We are excited to add more imagery into it and for the textile members of the group to bind it or thread it into a complete book. It will definitely make a treasured item to accompany our large drawing and animation as it shows are journey and contains a little piece of each one of us.
We also had a tutorial this morning with tutor contact and we were pleased to learn that they were really shocked by how well we were collaborating and commended us on our work. They helped us along with ideas for our next animation and commented on how well the music complemented our animation and described it as quite magical. They encouraged our existing ideas and helped us finalize them. We are looking forward to more guidance and feedback when we see them next time with new work.