At the end of each project in the course, there is an opportunity to evaluate what has been learned during the project. This evaluation is normally in the form of a series of questions/prompts to think and write about.
- How did holding the pen or pencil in a different way affect your drawing? I found sitting at a table made the standard hold, with the first finger on top, feel natural especially for closely controlled work such as hatching. Some of the suggested holds seem to be awkward or you were unable to apply enough pressure to get a reasonable mark. On the other hand, standing at an easel made a “paint brush hold” with the thumb on top feel more natural especially for freer more expressive mark making.
- Which drawing tools suited the different mark making techniques you used? The drawing implements used seemed to be divided into two groups. a) Thick marking tools, such as charcoal sticks and pastels, which were good for shading but no use for hatching and similar fine techniques. b) Finer marking tools, such as fine liner pens and metal dip pens, which were great for fine hatching but more difficult to get variations of line with pressure and to get shading, especially lighter shading. It is easy to understand why van Gogh, for example, regularly mixed his media.
- Did you find that any marks or tools you used matched particular emotions or feelings? When I was doing the doodling exercise, I tried to convey the smooth curves of the Olympic venues. While the buildings were the centre of energetic pursuits, they were themselves very peaceful designs. Curves like this give a place a peaceful feel. On the other hand, to get the feel of the staccato violins of ‘Psycho’ I drew sharp angular lines. They didn’t actually have any angles in the lines as the notes were quite short. But lines with very sharp acute angles would have suggested even more frenzy.
- Which of these experiments have you found most interesting and rewarding? I’ve always liked drawing with charcoal and pen and ink, and disliked pencil as it is too pale and grey. Not surprising, therefore I enjoyed working with charcoal, especially on its side, and using the unsheathed 8B graphite pencil on its side, together with researching van Gogh’s pen and ink drawings the most. There were surprises though. I enjoyed using the crayon which I hadn’t done for over fifty years (except as a resist when using water colours). Also, I was able to get more variation of mark by using different pressure with the fine liner pen than I had expected. One surprise was that the willow charcoal stick was only a very dark grey compared with the black of the compressed charcoal stick. There were certainly techniques I used which I will use again at the appropriate time.