Sunday, February 13, 2011

Value and Grid

If drawing is the way in which we rationalize the world around us, then the use of a grid creates an order that our logic-brain (logic-brian lol) loves so much! Interesting paradox though, when using a grid, the mind gets bored and the holistic side of our brain takes over. But I digress . . .

20 hours later and I'm finished my value study drawing for my class. The assignment was to take a photograph, photocopy it to make it a greyscale, draw a 1/4" grid over it, enlarge it to a 1/2" grid on a large sheet of paper, then render the values of grey using a symbol or set of strokes. This is an approach to art making the Chuck Close uses. It is a labour intensive process . . . but it was also very meditative.
Temple at Didyma, 18" by 24", graphite on paper, 2011

I loved the character in the stones and find symbols of the decay of human civilization fascinating (ie. old factories and abandoned strip-malls). I chose the symbol of the square to render the drawing because the square makes reference to the larger grid. I left the grid lines showing to reinforce the measure of space on the picture plane. I thought it would also be interesting to take random (actually intuitively chosen) portions of the grid and was going to create a second drawing using only those pieces. I found it more amusing to leave the pieces on the same page; placed off to the side of the main drawing. I like this effect. It creates a puzzle that the viewer tries to piece together. I also find it interesting that the isolated squares create an abstract image of their own accord. While I was rendering the squares, I could let my mind wander a bit and then snap back to attention when a more complex square was next in line. I used a good range of pencils: 3H, 2B, 4B, and 6B. While working on each individual square, I lost sight of the whole so I had to make a second pass to correct and reinforce the contrasts in tones. I tried to be as meticulous as possible with this drawing. It’s not my temperament to work this way but it was an interesting experience.

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