BA7 Progress – Less is More

I’ve been brainstorming and sketching out some ideas for this final outcome, seeing as the deadline is worryingly looming at the moment. I can safely say I think I’ve experimented a bit more with this project than I have in previous projects, as I mentioned in a post a while ago, I tend to struggle with making myself not settle on a final idea early on in the project. Feedback from tutors has usually been focussed around the ‘lack of experimentation’ in my sketchbooks and outside my sketchbooks (must do more of this!).

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But, back to this project…

After using tracing paper to play around with the idea of literally ‘masking’ the animals I focussed on, I found myself more and more drawn to the ‘layering’ element of using the translucent paper.
A lot of people who I’ve spoken to in BA7 are using tracing paper at the moment, it definitely seems to be an accidental theme with this project among everybody, so I then tried to move away from it getting too hardwired into the project, I wanted to avoid having it in the final outcome (despite still considering it as a possible material in the bestiary for BA8). But I still liked the idea of looking through layers. Scalpel it was!

I cut out some windows in thicker card and layered the card on top of the spider drawing. The placing of the windows was taken heavily into consideration; the windows mustn’t reveal that there was a spider underneath, it just had to show texture, perhaps the audience would interpret it as an entirely different animal? I really liked this experiment, the idea of concealing the appearance of the animal to allow the audience to make a judgement which is not based on its aesthetic appeal (or lack there of).

Then, the wonderful feeling of an art block hit me for quite a few hours… I felt the ideas goes dry again… in my frustration I turned to my Pintrest BA7 Inspiration Board  and found myself more and more drawn to the anatomical drawings. I don’t know whether this was because I was in the scientific-illustration-zone since completing the draft for my extended essay or whether I just have a taste for creating something accurate or true to life as a break from abstraction and conceptual work, but I went with it.

I hunted down some reference and imagery to help me create the drawings below and indulged my scientific illustration cravings.

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I really enjoyed drawing these! The change of surface and the dry media worked excellently to create the effect I was after. I’ve never really tried drawing animal skeletons before, the shapes and angles of the bones feel strange to draw, I’m so used to the proportions of humans, I was constantly feeling like I was doing something wrong. But in a way this helped me to draw them correctly. I focussed on what I saw in front of me, not what I thought it should look like, which is a common downfall with creating images of something you’re familiar with or something you’ve drawn before.

The final visuals of these outcomes works well on a contextual level too. By taking away all detail and external aesthetics of the animals, I’m essentially removing the negative and positive connotations behind the fur and the scales etc. Its another way of communicating what I was trying to communicate by covering up the image of the spider, its removing as much as possible so it still retains its general shape but doesn’t display any of the ‘offending’ characteristics that the negatively views animals possess.
For example; the crocodile skeleton doesn’t have the scales or the distinctly ‘angry’ looking eyes, its just the bare bones which have far more potential to be interpreted in a more pleasant light by the viewer. If I were to juxtapose the skeleton image with something of a positive, pleasant nature (perhaps something around domestication? Portraying the skeleton as part of a pet or a friendly animal?) then the viewer would be more inclined to look at the animal the skeleton belongs to as a ‘cute’ and likeable character.
I’ll definitely going experiment with this idea, seeing how well the juxtaposing works to cover up the connotations.

I plan to play around with these few drawings, perhaps generate a few more on slightly lighter toned paper and with some wet mediums, just to see how they work when compared to the graphite and chalk I used for these ones. I’ll be looking into type heavily over the next couple of days as well, I’ve left it until the last minute again… oops. But hopefully if I do some extensive experimentation with it I can find something which works just as well as if I’d been looking at type for the last two weeks. I have a funny feeling that it’ll be hand drawn type which will work best for this. I will avoid the cliche indie type that appears to be in fashion, however. (The ironically ‘bad’ thin line type which is circulating into every format.)

Will update soon!

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