Nature and the impact of humans on the environment has always been an interest of mine so I thought it might make a suitable subject for some of the drawings in this unit. For this exercise I visited Deal beach and collected a range of organic and non-organic items to draw.
I selected a broken shell, piece of chalk and a flint pebble for my quick drawings so that I could select one item for the final exercise drawing. I initially picked the flint pebble as I liked the shape. I then did a couple of drawings using colour pencils to determine the position of the flint – vertical or horizontal and tried out a couple of other media for the drawing (ink and fine line pens). In the end I decided the flint pebble did not have sufficient detail to make it an interesting subject for this exercise. What it did confirm for me was that I wanted to go in close to the subject to break that concept in still-life drawings of objects on a table.
I therefore reverted to drawing the shell. I choose this broken shell as it symbolises for me the state of the environment today – the animal which once occupied the shell is dead and gone; and, the broken nature of the shell signifies the state of the natural environment.
I drew the shell close up so that it almost fills the page and used a range of hard and soft pencils to bring out the detail and tone. Whilst I think overall the drawing is fairly successful in capturing the shape of the shell, on reflection I do not think there is sufficient contrast in the tones to define the form fully.
Following this drawing I then drew the image again with conte sticks but this was not successful; I think it is because I am using the conte sticks like pencils. This image has been included in my sketchbook pages and I have started a short exercise in learning to draw with conte sticks as I would like to improve my technique with this media.