I have never really felt inspired by the still life genre, although I am looking forward to having this view changed when I do the research point in Unit 2. There is something about selecting a group of objects and setting them up as a composition which does not appeal to me. Perhaps it is all those pitctures of fruit and dead animals that have coloured my view of still life.
For this exercise I decided to draw groups of objects just as I found them. Nothing was moved or changed in creating the drawings. What I did have control over was the angle at which I viewed the group. The first two drawings are of items in my kitchen food cupboards and the third drawing is of kitchen waste waiting to go out into the recycling bins.
This drawing is on brown craft paper in ink. Drawing on anything other than white paper is a new departure for me and I quite enjoyed the experience .I wanted to show the contents of the jars, tins and packets as well as the containers. I like the ends of the sardines showing in the tins, the nuts in the bags and the sagging of the pasta bag. However, I think this is probably my least successful drawing in this exercise. You get no real feel for the textures of the container or contents; it may be the medium was the wrong choice for this exercise.
This next drawing is on heavyweight smooth drawing paper using an H2 pencil; this is a more successful drawing. Whilst the contents are harder to see (most were liquids apart from the peppercorns) I think the drawing better conveys the texture of the containers – the stainless steel pepper and salt mills; the glass of the vinegar bottle, the OXO tin, etc,. The different types of lids are also better represented and the jumble of different containers stacked within the cupboard is a better composition. I especially like the different text fonts on the labels. I strayed into shading on some of the containers to separate them from each other and give an indication of form and texture.
The final drawing of recycling waiting to go out to the bins is on a brown fast food carrier bag using Conte crayon. I would never have considered using this as a support before beginning the course but I really like the result. It seems quite appropriate to use a bag from the recycling for an image of recycling. Whilst some of the perspective angles are not correct I like the way the face of the ‘Colonel’ comes through the image and this is mirrored by the drawn faces of the cows on the milk cartons. I also think the bits of text on the bag add to the overall result as does the folds of the bag. .
This exercise has certainly opened up the possibilities of using different supports for my drawings and the unexpected effect this can have on the final image. It has also shown me that still-life groups can be found anywhere and do not have to be arranged.