Assignment 2


Bored with fruit, I looked around for something completely different and I decided to draw some cactus for Assignment 2. After looking at various compositions, I chose to go for a close up, that would capture the 3 textures of the different cactus. I have been struggling with still-lifes, as I have been drawing things I wouldn't normally be interested in, and I guess I am naturally more interested in patterns and textures, so having to draw shade and tone, of say an apple is something completely new and unnatural to me. I felt the close up of the cactus would make the image more interesting, as it would be more abstract and focus on the patterns.

I also liked the way the cactus were all green but very different colours, and was interested in seeing if I could capture these different colours in the limited shades I had. After looking at different media, I decided on watercolour pencils, as I felt I could add more detail than with pastels.

I tried to use different mark making techniques on each cactus. The first one was coloured then water added to give an even tone, then I added cross hatching pencil to give the shape and shade of the long stalks. I feel this worked really well, and the paler parts really emphasis where the light was hitting.

The second one was more focused on the diamond pattern of the cactus. I drew the diamond shapes in, then used more water to create the point on each individual diamond. Water and a white pencil was then used to take colour away and add white for the sharp thorns.

On the third cactus I wanted to emphasis the long ridged shape, so I drew the length of the cactus in long sweeping moves, gradually blending pencils as the ridges met.

I added the background in, in a very wishy washy way, so that is it clear there was something behind, without taking anything focus away from the cactus.

The image could still do with improving in terms of different shades (maybe investing in a greater range of pencils would help) and detail, but overall I'm very pleased with the drawing - considering where my drawing skills (and more importantly confidence) were when I started! It feels much looser than when I first started, and drawing is beginning to flow much easier.


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