The Eyes Have It!

I’ve been challenging myself to work in ways that are quite foreign to me in this final module. It seems like the perfect place to experiment and see what happens.

This page came about because I found the image on the left buried in a drawer of my desk. I had used a photocopy of my face to roll paint onto the back of a couple of leaves. No paper is safe when I need a sheet and have run out of clean paper!

I never draw like this usually but the challenge was to be loose and use pastel sticks which are like a blunt instrument – you can’t be too detailed as they have blunt square ends rather than nice controlled points. Since I also wanted to mix things up a bit I also used a black pen to scribble in the darkest areas.

You can see the same combination in this close up of the nose and mouth. I blended the pastels with my finger but tried not to overdo that as I think it looks cloudy and messy. The pen lines are almost cartoon like aren’t they? I am someone who draws with tone not line – this isn’t my style at all but it’s interesting!

Here’s a second page with a similar theme. The starting point was another of those scrappy print papers where different leaves had been used. On the right hand page I’ve isolated two of the leaf shapes and drawn the eye into the larger shape. This time I experimented with Derwent Pastel pencils and tinted charcoal pencils. These are great if, like me, you don’t like the dirty fingers you inevitably get if you work with conventional charcoal and soft pastel sticks. I’ve flooded the background areas with watery watercolour paint so that it looses all the stark white of the page and has some visual connection with the colours on the left. The very dark outline around the leaf shapes was a pastel pencil worked while the paint around it was still wet – this made the lines more dense.

I think Module 4 is the perfect time to interpret ideas in a very personal way. My fascination with eyes continues. They are the windows to the soul and, after all we use them a lot when we’re sketching and painting!