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Representational drawing VS. spontaneous mark making part 1

Drawing is a fundamental part of any artistic practice, for me as a printmaker it is how I create an image and manipulate a copper plate. On my foundation I learnt about the real importance of drawing, however I was also shown the many different variations of drawing. In the early stages we did architectural drawing, history drawings and life drawing. I found this a challenge because I have always lacked confidence with my drawing. At A-level I felt very inferior to others around me because of how I perceived their skills compared to mine. However in Year 13 I adapted more of my own style through mark making to build up a representational image.  I did this in my final project and found a real interest in pointillism. This has been something that is relevant even in my work now a year later.

This September I start my degree at Falmouth University where I’m doing the BA (Hons) Drawing degree. I chose to do this as opposed to Fine Art because at foundation I found printmaking and I know this is what I want to do, however I still lack confidence with the technical element of my drawing skills. I chose to do drawing, as I know it will push my practice and me and teach me about the true value of drawing. I have really started to appreciate that there are so many ways that ‘drawing’ can be interpreted.

I started to explore this with my final project for foundation. I explored the emotional idea of mark making. I wrote all about my final project in another blog post, which can be found here ,this response was very personal, which was something I always try to convey through my work. I found I was able to convey the sense of chaotic feeling through repetitive mark making. This gave me a sense of comfort as I found the whole process meditative. This made me appreciate the idea of the drawings I did at A-level in a new light because it has given me some answers as to why I find repetition and pattern so appealing in art. It is the repetition that provides a sense of certainty. I would describe myself as a very impatient person. I like the idea of a physical process and that is why printmaking appeals to me. I am constantly on my feet, moving around and I’m actively involved with what I am doing.

When people see my pointillism drawings I’m met with ‘you must be so patient…I could never do that’. However I am sitting down for long periods of time drawing but because the process is meditative and repetitive, I really enjoy it.  I think these drawings are the combination of what direction I want my work to go in the future. I want my work to show more technical skill combined with my interest in mark-making and texture.

Part of my foundation, which I found daunting, was the idea of life drawing. I had only done it a handful of times before starting.  It is something that I think has been the most valuable part of the course. Every Friday we would have it and each session the purpose was different, we were told to express the model in a variation of styles. The tutor we had was great because we got individual comments on how we could improve. It was something I looked forward to going to each week because I had a way of documenting my improvement. By the end of the course I had a collection of drawings from the beginning and I like to think that I have improved. I know my confidence has and that when I do it next year I’ll be able to continue to improve.  At the end of each session we would also get feedback from other students (always a daunting matter) but hugely beneficial as it meant we could we everyone’s individual style.  I learnt a lot from the others around me.


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