Assignment 5

Assignment 5

I played around with several natural items, including seed heads, flowers and things found on the beach. I ended up deciding to draw a shell, because it had interesting colour and texture - as well as having the benefit of staying in tack (and not changing) through out the time it will take me to complete assignment 5!


I made small sketches in my sketchbook from different parts of the shell - from a full image, to close up of opening, close up of pattern, a pencil sketch from the pointy end, rubbings from the shells ridges, a print from the shell's stubby end, sketch to highlight the shells formation and print taken from that image (it was kitchen roll I used to blot). Sketching this way made me really see the shell differently, and highlighted all the different parts, which in close up isolation you wouldn't think all belonged to one single shell! I also noticed the markings which showed how the shell "grew" in sections.


These line drawings started with blind (and almost blind, as the completely blind were terrible - to the point of missing the page!) drawings of the shell. I used these as a way of focusing on the main shapes and parts of the shell.

I then draw a basic line image of the shell (stumpy end on) in aquamarkers, and added water to give the idea of the bumps and groves.



I used a thick graphite stick to sketch the tone of the shell. I find it really hard to see the tone of a black and white object - picking out the darker (shaded areas) from the dark black areas ... so realise this task would of been much easier with a single colour or lighter shell!


I played with colour by coping the position of the line drawing above and used contrasting colours to highlight the ridges and  groves in the shell. Whilst I think the colour combinations clash too much, but the different colours really make the shell become 3D - especially in relation to the flat line image above.

I also drew the shell with single lines, trying to follow the contours of the shell. This was originally done in colour (trying to use the lightest for the parts that dipped in and the darker for the bits that stuck out, but it didn't work well at all - and after taking a black and white photo, I think it may look better than the colour version.


I used an old fashion magazine to create this collage. I originally used blues in the background then added the shell colours on top, but this looked too obvious (blue = sea), so I found some sheets of vellum? in the magazine, so cut them out and fixed onto the blue background to mute it.

The main parts of the shell of made up from stripy brown images (window blinds, wooden slates etc) which reflect the stripes on the shell well ... but in hindsight I'm not sure if the collage is a bit too literal, and maybe I should have played a bit more and produced something more abstract?


Looking back over the drawings, I have learnt a great deal about the make up of the shell and the detailed patterns and colours within in. I would like my final drawing to be more abstract, focusing on the structure and main features of the shell. I also enjoyed using different colours that those in the shell, as well as the more rustic nature of the pastel.

Therefore I explored making marks with lots of colours, in the rough shape of the shell, using the darker colours to hint at the ridges.


Pastels were used to give an idea of the colours and ridges of the shell. I was pleased with this drawing, as pastels haven't always been successful in the past. I used a sandy coloured paper, and let the background show through in places, to give the drawing a more natural / rustic feeling.

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