Every summer since my oldest daughter finished kindergarten, I have tried to have some sort of fun departure from normal creative activities around Chez Stern. One year we tie dyed t-shirts, another we attempted papier mache. A few years ago I declared July a month of silence, with no TV during the day, except to watch the occasional DVD from Netflix (I rented the series of films by Ray and Charles Eames that summer, so much fun). We always enter August refreshed and ready to get back to our regularly scheduled program, albeit with a new twist from what we’ve learned.
One of the exercises mentioned in Learning by Heart is to make 100 drawings of something, I believe it was a weekend exercise. With that in mind, and inspired by going through my work for the three shows I am currently exhibiting in, I set myself an assignment.
This is the first still life I set up:
The enamel ladle is from Marty’s Grandma Rita, the towel is an old Martha Stewart towel from KMart, and the bulbs are used Print Gocco bulbs that I loved and couldn’t throw away.
All the drawings are on 11 x 17 white drawing paper from Crafts 2000. For these four I used a Derwent 2B drawing pencil.
Detail. You can see where I started to shade in the ladle. I haven’t yet decided how detailed I want these renderings to be.
For the next three drawings I chose to focus more on the lightbulbs. As I drew, I worked on noticing small details, like how I could see myself reflected in the bulbs.
You can see the different ways I chose to express the shadow in this detail.
Drawing three, emphasis on one bulb.
Drawing four, the minimalist approach.
Having done these three drawings yesterday afternoon, I can see the appeal of rendering something repeatedly, as I did notice more detail as I went along. I also am thinking of the various ways I could do the drawings, not all of them need be realistic, of course, and I can use different drawing materials to work with. I decided to take a break after this piece and start fresh the next day. This is going to be an interesting challenge.