Project 1: Developing Visual Research

The first part of this section is to create 8-10 drawings based on our chosen still-life.

The still-life I created was based on the theme of medicinal plants as outlined in this post. A photograph of the included plants and materials can be seen below

Inspired by early taxonomy sketches I used pen and ink to create this sketch of a dandelion and its leaf. The colour was added by rubbing the flower or leaf onto the paper.

I was intrigued by the variety of tones and shades of green in an Aloe Vera leaf and so tried to use watercolour and neocolour to recreate this mottled effect.

I was intrigued to experiment with neocolour rubbings of sage leaves and overdyed the sheet with procion dyes in colours inspired by the bright pops of colour in the still life.

I was drawn to the way that the red pot of the chilli plant complimented the dark green leaves and as red and green are complimentary colours I tried a pastel drawing on red pastel paper.

I wanted to experiment with the contrast of red and green as these are not colours I usually would put together. I used a Gelli printing plate and for the first layer I covered the plate in red acrylic and used leaves as a mask to create the red background. The second layer was created by covering the plate in green acrylic and using the leaves in different positions as a new pattern of masks. When the paper was removed the second time, the leaves were lifted and, rather than clean the plate, I tried to replace the print in the same place so that the pattern from the leaves was printed. It can be seen that I didn’t register the plate to get the print perfectly lined up but I like the interest created by the negative spaces left. I used pastels to outline and blend the background so that the veining was more evident.

I used an old store card to create multi-toned lines in acrylic and the corner was used to create the spots inspired by the centre of a passionflower. The print has been made on a tea stained amitriptyline patient leaflet. I chose this leaflet as amitriptyline is often used to treat depression as passionflower is said to help and I tea stained it as a reference to the few cups of tea it takes me to wake up properly in the morning as drowsiness is a side effect.

I have been aware over this course that I haven’t worked on a particularly large scale and so when I acquired a long ream of brown paper as packaging I decided to use it to sketch the peppermint plant in pastels and tinted charcoal. As the paper was perforated at regular intervals I was able to easily fold sections of the paper upwards as I worked. The final sketch has ended larger than A1 but as I was only ever working on a manageable section at a time, there wasn’t the physical restriction on size according to my reach.

For my final piece at this point (I intend to do a few more sketches once the echinacea plant and some of the others have bloomed) I decided to attempt a collage. I have never been a big fan of doing collage however those I undertook in Exercise 3.4 have made me more openminded towards using collage as a starting point. I chose to make a collage of a passionflower and used a Gelli printing plate and acrylic paint to create the materials. Much of the printing was done onto newsprint and I used a dilute, pale green acrylic onto the amitriptyline patient information leaflets as this allowed the text to still show through. Using collage also allowed me to work on a larger scale as the finished size is approximately A2 but I was able to break up the image into manageable sections.

[All links accessed on 11/07/19]

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