Posted on 09/04/2013

Photo taken on September  4, 2013

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Space, the (First and) Final Frontier

Space, the (First and) Final Frontier
The exercise in the textbook was to make a folder filled with at least ten examples each of the three categories of space in art: flat, illusionistic, and ambiguous. The idea is to begin understanding how the five elements of drawing/painting art (shape, value, line, texture, and color) are used to construct the artistic space. Since the book is used in drawing courses, it seemed more sensible to include the psychomotor and go ahead and attempt to represent the three categories in a single drawing done by myself.

There is stark flatness (very little to zero sense of volume) in the rooster itself. The entire drawing was framed with black ink and when done and scanned, it was “cut” vertically with the left side being distorted and a drop shadow applied in order to demonstrate ambiguous space, along with the building windows. The leaves on the ground are leaves glued to the finished drawing along with fake gold leaf. These, along with the upper right window are my attempt at the illusion of three dimensions. Of course shading a portrait, an apple, or a pear will do the same thing. But this was interesting to try to put all of it in one image. It required a level of understanding that I didn’t have before.

This exercise also introduced me to Francis Bacon (the modern one, not the one from way back) about whom at least one curious thing is that he had no formal art education and didn’t finish regular school. This, combined with too much pills and liquor and what seems like some type and degree of mental illness, makes me think he would classify as an “outsider artist” but his work is not conveyed in that way. And it isn’t art for the faint of heart. Yikes. No children’s books in that guy’s future (if he were still alive).

I used a photograph as a reference for this drawing. It was taken by the Great Aunt Donna when she went to Guatemala in Summer 2012. I am betting she’ll remember it when she sees this picture. Of course I wasn't trying to exactly duplicate the photo. Why do that when I already have it?

After the drawing was finished on the table, the computer became the pencils and markers. It was used to cut the drawing and distort the left side. I applied a texture (sandstone) to the green/blue/grey wall to accentuate the uprightness as opposed to the darker ground that the rooster is walking on. This could have been done at the drawing table as well by wetting a rough cloth (like an IV drain sponge) with Various Ink clear blender fluid, but it seemed wasteful when I knew the computer would do it just as well. The rooster is actually the same size proportionally as it is on the photograph. But the angle of the left side of the painting makes it look larger and closer which was the intention. ERJ saw the drawing in an early stage. For me, the drawing works pretty well when viewed from six to eight feet away. After becoming so familiar with the reference photograph, the poor rooster started seeming like some avian version of Sisyphus. I don't know what kind of chicken he is.

Graphite pencil, markers, ink, colored pencil, fallen leaves, fake gold leaf, scanner, and computer were used for this exercise. I used Canson 150lb illustration paper versus Stonehenge but it really doesn’t accept too many layers as easily.