This has been an interesting assignment, a very timely suggestion from my Tutor and much appreciated opportunity. I was really lacking confidence in my drawing and sketchbook work and feel much more positive having completed these exercises. My preferences on sketchbooks and materials also became clearer.
4.1 Making a sketchbook
I didn’t like the concertina type sketchbook, it was stiff and unwieldy, starkly white and smooth. Sketching from memory was difficult and frustrating for me and it was far more satisfying to sketch from life. It was very apparent that regular sketching improves skills. I was very slow and need to work on quick sketches. I didn’t particularly like working with fineliners or black media in this case and found the aquarelle pencils very versatile.
4.2 Customising a sketchbook
I loved working in a old book. I liked the size, how it felt in my hand, the quality of the paper, the rough surface, the creaminess of the pages, the deckled edges.
It was enjoyable exploring Patrick Heron’s still life style and particularly his use of colour. I was pleasantly surprised by how much pleasure I got from painting and really like gouache as a medium.
4.3 Collating a sketchbook
This also suited me. It was very flexible to work loose leaf, working with the textured papers was very satisfying, as with the last exercise, I liked the smaller size, the ease with which the A7 papers sat in my hand, the colour, texture and feel. I had so many ideas, I was a little overwhelmed and perhaps lost focus, getting carried away with the recreating the qualities of visual and actual texture and forgetting about adding pops of colour and translating more aspects of Dorothy Caldwell’s work. I wanted to stitch to create texture but wasn’t sure if that was the point of the exercise. I fretted about whether I should be sketching more but loved it all and could happily have dyed, printed, discharged, stitched and explored for a few more weeks. I feel indebted to those who have shared their knowledge on blogs and pinterest so generously and eloquently, making the task of researching Dorothy Caldwell’s work so accessible and enjoyable and helping me to develop a love for her work.
All in all, an enjoyable and useful interlude to my ‘Creative Approach’ studies.