Reflective writing

Through the sessions

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Figurative Modelling: Victoria & Albert museum visit

During this weeks trip to London I visited the Victoria and Albert museum. The priority was to explore the top floor of the museum where all the ceramic work was displayed. It was interesting to look at the history of ceramics and how different people in different ways. I also found looking at the different ways ceramic objects are made very informative.

Coming from an animation perspective I was drawn to the small porcelain figures of people, they reminded me of small puppets but in such detail. Considering that these figures were made from clay, I found that the level of detail within the clothing was to a very high standard. As I was looking at these pieces I couldn’t help but imagine how they could have been made. I was fascinated by the amount of detail that was achieved within the pieces on such a small scale.

Some of the more abstract vessels were also very interesting to look at. This piece in particular was extremely eye catching. The black colour of the piece really made the texture more apparent. The texture was very striking, at first it reminded me of an off-road tyre of a car but at a closer look it was clear that the texture was from the clay breaking or the aftermath of what strain had been put on the clay before it was fired.

Figurative Modelling: slab building

This week I had my first go at slab building. The process was fairly simple, it involved rolling out a piece of terracotta clay thick enough for it to potentially stand up. I then glasses the clay, and proceeded to make marks into the clay with a sculpting tool.

My first design was a portrait of the person sitting opposite me that I drew without looking at the paper. This drawing was very suggestive and odd looking. I then re-created this drawing on the the clay slab. Here is a photo of the end result.

All the slabs from the group were placed beside one another in an arrangement. In relation to my practice,from a distance all the unique portraits reminded me of a piece of animation. The individual slabs resemble different characters within the group.

Working with Plaster

After sewing my pieces of fabric together I then went down to the plaster room where I would make a plaster cast of my hand. This process was also fairly simple. It involved measuring out and mixing the plaster, then pouring it into the mould. If I was to do this again, the only thing that I would do differently is that I would draw out a bigger limb onto the fabric because when the shape becomes 3D it gets a lot smaller in size. Here is a photo of the plaster when it it setting into the fabric.

Figurative Modelling: building a head

This session entailed using clay to build a small head. The process was fairly simple but proved challenging at first. My first attempt failed when the form began to collapse. The reason for this was because I focused on building the shape of the head rather that the basic shape. I started again using small bits of clay roughly pinched together and the results were very successful. Here is the basic shape of the head.

From this rough form I then refined and with extra clay, built up the facial features. Here is the finished result where I started to draw into the clay objects that I though would be relevant to the head itself.

Figurative Modelling: drawing and Modelling from the figure

Following on from last weeks session of life drawing, this week started off with a similar exercise. This week however some of the later poses lasted around 3-10 minutes which allowed me to draw the model and the try to capture characteristics of the body such as flesh.

After this I then went on to sculpting from the model using clay. Personally I found sculpting easier than drawing because I was able to able to be more suggestive with the clay and then I could use the remaining time to refine the clay according to what I can see. Here are two examples of the work I produced.

I found this 3 dimensional aspect very interesting in comparison to traditional life drawing in 2D. I found that I could better represent the physicality of the body using the clay.

I then made a drawing from this sculpture to look how it differed from drawing from a life model.

Field: Figurative Modelling

The first week of the Figurative Modelling field project was very interesting. I began with an afternoon session of life drawing, which involved quickly drawing the model in various poses. Firstly the poses were held for 10 seconds which gave me little time to draw, however this short time limit pushed me to obtain as much information as I could and to mark it on the paper. The poses gradually lasted longer giving me more time to capture aspects such as; flesh and skin, balance point and towards the end, a characterisation of the model herself.

Here are some of the drawings I produced using charcoal on newsprint.

It is evident here that the drawings captured the model better as they went on. I believe this may be because I have learnt from some of my mistakes from the previous drawing as well as becoming more confident with the marks I make.

I feel this has shown me new ways of looking at a figure for example, when looking at the model I tried to visualise or find the balance point where by then I could base my drawing around. This exercise has greatly improved my observational drawing skills.

Shadow play Field project and my Final piece

During the Field module the most interesting part in my opinion was the ‘Shadow play’ project. I was drawn to this project in particular because I enjoyed creating the clay sculpture at the end based on the shadows. When the Field module came to an end I decided that my individual piece would be inspired by what I learnt in the ‘Shadow play’ project.

The main aim for the project was to play around with lights and projectors to cast interesting shadows. The next step was to generate some sketches from the shadows and construct a maquette from cut cardboard. The final part of the project was to sculpt a small clay sculpture.

Initially I planned to make a figurative sculpture in which i could shine light onto to project a shadow. However I wanted the shadow to reveal something different to what the sculpture was physically.

My final idea was to construct a sculpture using cardboard cut outs of figures falling-relating it to my Inside/Outside theme. From what I learnt during the Field project I applied it to my final piece and I was very pleased with the outcome. Once the piece was finished I experimented with different types of lights and projectors to achieve different shadows. I found that the LED light worked best.