So after two days of the mark making workshop, we were expected to go home and further look into development towards our final piece. First step for this would be doing research and so I went ahead and looked at some of the designers on the brief.
Looking at the designers, I realised that the workshops were based mainly on the physical making of marks (to create an image) whereas the act of mark making was more to do with just creating an image in general, so normal drawing was included in this. So as far as I was concerned, I could of whipped up a normal pencil drawing in a portrait but I decided that I would try something different.
In class when we had started looking at portraits through mark making, I had unintentionally, mainly focused on the hair and how different marks could create different texture in the hair. I liked how I didn’t have to be precise with the facial features or include any facial features in general and yet you could still depict who it’s supposed to be. I started then to think of introducing colour and how I could incorporate this into my portrait, leaving the main focus on the mark making/illustration itself. I started this in class with just using pencils around the collages but then going home I wanted something more bold and yet soft. I settled with pastels.
I used the different colours of pastels as a guideline to the different emotions I wanted to display. I was just doing silly/simplistic little cartoons of hair to see how they would look with the different pastel surroundings but then realised they kind of remind me of the auras you get on people and how you can tell a lot about person through their aura and combine that with signature hair styles and you’ve nailed the person.
I then started to think of trying male hairstyles, I’ve never been good at drawing men but I thought I might have better luck with just the hair and I was quite pleased with the results to be honest. Combine the bold colours with the bold style and I would’ve gone with the idea straight to the final board but I had a feeling that when I blow up the proportions to A3, they wouldn’t be as impressive. However I decided to try and have a go with developing the male into three different styles and colours but they weren’t as good as I had hoped and kind of worried me about large proportions so I tried a similar concept but with a female. Same detailed style but trying something a little less messy when it came to the colours – watercolour pencils. Why? Because they were neat and you could colour/draw wherever you pleased in the exact amount of detail you needed and then just washed over a wet paint brush and ‘ta-da!” a more vibrant aura.
The outcome for this came out better then I expected and I was worried but excited to try them A3. I’m not good at drawing in large for many reasons but the main ones being mis-proportions and lack of detail, when you draw smaller it’s easier to fill in the detail but in large I feel like the detail can be lost and everything takes so much longer (which ultimately makes one want to give up faster). I did some small A5 practises of the same three hairstyles I did in my sketchbook and the more I looked at them and coloured them, the more I could explain about them and the easier it was to see who they were, if not what they were feeling.
I didn’t want to go with the basic “green is jealousy, red is anger and purple is royal” thing because that wasn’t what my portraits were about, neither were those feelings my character could feel (I mean maybe royal cause we can all feel like a king or queen at some point). The feelings tied in with the hair style because obviously when you’re feeling a certain way, you change your appearance to accommodate that (example, outfits). So my three emotions were tranquility/peace, passion – in this case love and wild and free. I guess when someone looks at the work they will come up with their own assumption or the art will talk to them differently but at least I know my thought process behind the images.
I think I’m rather happy with my final pieces. They are bold and simple but say what they need to and still somehow fill the page. My favourite would probably be the purple because it kind of sums me up. The detail for me was so easy and fluent when I was creating it and purple being my favourite colour, was a great was to show how happy and carefree I am without showing a face or eye (which people say is the window to the soul and what not but I always draw eyes and it was fun to try something new).