Colour in the Cookhouse

We started off the second drawing week with an exercise looking at colour in more depth. Working in the cookhouse room was really refreshing, with the abundance of light pouring in through the massive window and the open space. I personally prefer to work on the floor or to the wall as I feel more free and open rather than stuck at a desk. This workshop was very helpful to me as within my tutorial Kathy liked the neutrals I had explored within stitch and suggested I thought about bringing in some contrasting colours in preparation for the next technical block. Going back to my objects and visual research, having collected many more fragments from before I had developed a growing area to visual research to pull from.

Claire, encouraged us to begin by mixing up the exact colours, moving away from the generic and focusing on creating matches that convey the specific mood of our object. We also considered how different media could create these colour qualities with watercolour giving a much lighter fluid line than that of the matt plastic of acrylic. This showed exactly why it was so important to be prepared with different media and tools for drawing. As I saw in the previous technical block in stitch, the materials explored in drawing lend themselves to the further materials to explore within the technical making processes.

By mixing these colours within small colour palettes I also thought about the proportions of one against another. Whether this was through a slither of red in the midst of grey rock or the rich layering of tones of blue, greens and brown within my crystal plates. I explored the greys and peach tone colour palette above with the stitch and found it very inspiring to work with as it lent itself to the subtlety in my processes. Going forward I would really like to be bolder and explore some larger bright areas of colour, whilst still also maintaing this sensitivity.

From these palettes I was able to push forward and use this information to begin drawing. Having explored the colour in such depth the tones I had to work with felt fresh and vibrant whereas I felt stuck in a bit of a rut before, with some colours becoming lack-lustre or dull. I am always trying to maintain and express a curiosity in my drawing, with my aim always to be using drawing as a means to understand the object I am looking at. I try to do this through a consideration of marks but also as I went to onto draw I also considered the papers I was drawing on and the effects that they brought. As I made these drawings I used the ideas I had explored within the mark making exercises in the first drawing week but pushed it further to consider shape and the composition of the object outside of the confines of the box. With some of the drawings I wanted to explore the whole form however within others I tried convey a selected area of interest such as textured detailing. For me some drawings are more interesting in their ‘unfinished’ states, where a mark or line breaks off suddenly or fades away. This is also significant as I consider the beauty in what is ‘incomplete’ or has broken off.

With these ‘swatch’ style drawings below I was responding to the fragility and translucent qualities I saw in some leaf forms I had found fallen on the ground and collected. By creating many drawings on different types of surfaces I wanted to consider the depth of textures and marks that featured within the crisp layers of the form.

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