Exercise 22: Line drawing detail

Using a fibre-tipped pen, select an object with interesting detail.  On a sheet of A4 paper, create a line drawing of the object.  Look at the patterning, thickness of line, texture and shape as well as the overall composition.  Don’t do any shading, just a continuous line drawing.  Try not to lift your pen from the paper.

garlic in fibre-tipped pen

garlic in fibre-tipped pen

For this exercise, I chose a bulb of garlic that had been split open, with lots of papery ‘skin’ to the left hand side.  Using a Micro Uni-Ball pen, in the first drawing I was focusing mostly on the proportions of the garlic, relative to itself.  In doing this, however, I forgot to take note of the scale of it on the page.  It ended up a bit small, so I did a second drawing, which I think filled the page more successfully (although still not the full A4).  In concentrating on the scale, though, I lost my way once or twice, line-wise.  By observing more closely, however, I found my way back most of the time.  It was hard not using shadow or tone, particularly when it came to distinguishing between different parts of the object – the bare clove, for example, as opposed to the papery outer casing.  Both had faint lines, which I included, but consequently, they are hard to tell apart without a difference in tone.  I used broken line to indicate the shape and form of the garlic. I retraced the lines that most emphatically described form, but on reflection I’m not sure that was a wise move.  My intention was to make the shapes easier to distinguish, but I feel that was based on insecurity – the original lines, whilst possibly ambiguous, had more integrity.  Despite the smaller scale, I still prefer the first drawing for that reason.

garlic 2

garlic 2

Accuracy varied between the two drawings – each has something better/worse than the other.  Any inaccuracies were due in large part to trying to stick with continuous line drawing.  Also, using liner pen, once you’ve made a mark, it’s hard to change it.  Maybe I should have restated ‘correct’ lines where I thought they should have been?  I decided not to, though, as I didn’t want to clutter up the drawings.

These drawings were interesting to do, although I was a bit concerned that they looked a bit ‘wobbly’, and less beautifully ‘finished’, than some by other students, but I think that was a consequence of sticking to the continuous line drawing technique.  I only lifted my hand once or twice, when it became stiff, but I went back to the same spot upon starting again.  This technique allowed a deeper exploration of form, I found, which compensated for the less than precise result.  It encouraged me to focus more on the subject than on a particular image in my head.

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