Figurative Photography


A sideline idea that I have considered for a project brief this semester is photographic images featuring dance and expressionist gestures in Self Portraits, to either paint from, or manipulate digitally to take to print or as stand alone pieces. These are thumbnails that could be possible poses for me to try.


Gaining drawing confidence

By means of tracing outlines and copying shading techniques from other artists, I have developed these detailed drawings to my own unique styling – smudging and erasing lines to create contours and textures. I intend to develop confidence in my drawing skills by working in this way. Its a start! Two of these sketches were composed by morphing 3 individual components into one image, and I feel that in doing this, they really become my own.

Sketching ideas

Two ideas are currently running parallel to each other:

  1. Relationships between people and creatures
  2. Self portrait photographic shots

Generating Ideas

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The process of thumb nailing is new to me and allowed me to explore different options that would have otherwise remained in Neverland. I have highlighted the interesting ones that could be further explored, but still feel disconnected to any of them really. If anything at all it was just a good way of exercising my drawing practice. I felt irritated and angry during most of the process, and I feel resentful about being told to adopt thumb nailing as regular practice by my tutor. Firstly, I really don’t like to be told how to do my creative process, and secondly, I would much rather spend time developing ideas in an open ended sketch book and spend more time developing different compositions in photoshop with detailed drawings, using various media. With that said…lets get onto sketching and leave my self-limiting ‘I can’t draw’ beliefs at the door.

Before the day is done

These sketches were a must before the clock strikes midnight. Here I was thinking I didn’t have time to complete the objectives that I set myself at the beginning of this brief – (see previous posts).

Evaluating the Process of ‘Adaptation’

I thoroughly immersed myself in the conceptual stages of this brief (in previous posts) and found I could have stayed there for longer than 2 weeks. The reason why I was so engaged is because I finally broke through my barrier of ‘not being able to draw’. Drawing in 3D, then the process of transferring images into 2D sketches using a light box, has been so insightful as to how I can foresee myself developing my drawing skills in the future. I have always struggled with perspective and scale, and this trick of the trade has opened up more possibilities for me to learn and become comfortable with a pencil in hand.

I am pleased that my intuitive capabilities were not disregarded but rather enhanced in this brief. Even though this meant that whilst I was engaged so deeply in creating with my hands, I forgot to stop and photograph developmental stages to add to my documentation later. I have learnt to trust in the creative process, knowing that things will develop naturally on their own accord, without my needing to have an expectation of any certain outcome.

My major turning points in this project were a new perspective on drawing that I feel confident in, the inspiration to use Adobe Illustrator as a drawing tool and ultilising the Intron Press to print these designs onto silk and aluminum for feature wings, and the beaded wire alternative to constructing the bugs, giving them an elegant but also mechanical juxtaposed aesthetic.

My only disappointment in this brief has been the low tech quality of my hard sculpture handcraft skills and box frames. If I had longer to refine my skills that were developing towards the end of my process, I would have replaced some of these creatures with more sophisticated models and built wooden shadow box frames with glass casing. I predicted that this would happen, and found it easy to accept as a part of the process as an artist. Many of us are actually our harshest critics. Wouldn’t you agree?

I have completed this project with an awareness of the difference between a low tech or sophisticated outcome and presentation. This making the end product either suitable for selling or not. My ambition is to develop my skill-set to the level where I can create works suitable for selling to customers. I have many ideas to explore in the next two years of degree studies – none of which feature insects of this kind. But I am grateful for the experience of creating them, as it resulted in acquiring very valuable insights and skills that will serve me well in the future.

Concept Drawings

I intended to practice my drawing skills with this project, and found that through these charcoal sketches of the 3D marquettes, (in previous post) my confidence in my ability has improved. Even though I don’t have enough time to draw every outcome in this series, at least I have overcome my block of putting marks down on paper.