Exercise 2.2 Using collage to be specific about tone

Thoughts, feelings, ideas whilst making:

  • feeling more confident in how to approach this exercise
  • I should have tested out some compositions I have just put it in the middle of the page with thinking. Something to remember!!!
  • As I was selecting shades of green, I was noticing the tonal qualities of each colour and started to connect with placing that shade into the subject, and how this would create the gradient in my drawing. – however I’m finding that the various shades are almost block and whiteout a drawing tool like a pencil or oil pastel there is no blending, which would create more subtle gradients in tone.
  • I’m actually starting to enjoy the process. My own ideas and thoughts are coming into the design as I work with the white going into the green and what I am doing with the paint to slowly piece the two colour together, acting as the shading going into one colour to the next. It is sparking some ideas.
  • So i’ve finished it and I don’t like it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHY don’t I like it? What don’t you like?

  • the highlights on the fruit aren’t strong enough
  • The large shadow area on the let doesn’t sit right on the composition.

I think in regards to tone this piece demonstrates it much clearer than in exercise 2.1. I carefully selected various tones of greens to create a monochrome piece to show the effect of light on the still life subject. I don’t think I successfully created a piece that has more depth. I think the collage still looks quite 2 dimensional. I cant get my head around why this has happened as I think I used tone as best I could in this image, manipulating the various shades of green for shadows and highlights. I wonder if the black pieces are too black and dominate over the piece, which makes them look like shapes of their own and not part of the object. But then I also wonder if this shape and tone relationship is something that was meant to be noticed?!

However looking at the collage from a distance I think the block tonal contrasts start to talk to each other and create a more striking piece because of the black and white that has been used. I found it very frustrating that the tonal variations were unable to blend together, and I think this was something I consistently wanted to overcome which made the process frustrating.

I think exercise 2.1 had more of a 3 Dimensional essence to it and I think this was because of the perspective within the piece. This is harder to get in a still life as the objects are so close together there is no foreground, mid ground and back ground. On reflection maybe to respond to my preference with landscape I should have played around with composition for this piece and created something unusual and perhaps surrealist. The tonal contrasts may have then added to this idea of perspective and depth.

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I’m put off by the fact that it is block tone and the shades aren’t blended together. I completed a rough tonal sketch (the form is awful) with pen and water which wasn’t very successful. A friend recommended I look at the still life in black and white so it is easier to visualise the tonal contrasts. I photographed the still life and edited the image to black and white. This also showed how little contrast I had in regards to tone. (also something to remember and improve on). From this, I created a tonal sketch with pencils and a graphite pencil. I took a look at the course material to make sure I was on the right track and it said, ‘consider making some drawings in your sketchbook which adopt this method of accurately transcribing shapes of tone, rather than shapes of objects.’

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This got me thinking that maybe they don’t want the shading and would like to see more of a focus on shapes of tones rather than a more subtle tonal graduation that you would achieve with blending.

I gave this a go by thinking about my subject in regards to shapes and to simplify the subject. I think I finally achieved this with my simple, black and white collage below. I started to see that by using the simple block shapes for achieving tone, it was almost like simplifying the image each time I approached it. The top image is completed with oil pastel, again focusing on shape but I worked directly onto the paper. For the bottom drawing, I painted blank pieces of paper in a simple variation of tones and then collaged the image together. I think this was more successful to highlight the shapes of tone.

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