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Under the Spread - A New Version of My Major Drawing from 20 Years Ago


Under the Spread - A New Version of My Major Drawing from 20 Years Ago
73cm x 53cm, black biro and watercolour pencils on acid-free paper.
Date produced: August 2006

This drawing was produced as a way of somehow ‘completing’ the major drawing I had started and worked on for some time during 1984.

This drawing has been done directly from the tree as much as possible as it is now (on-site), but several branches had been cut off since the drawing done 20 years ago, so the original drawing was used as a reference for those branches.

I used biro and coloured pencils, to keep production time down to a minimum (still took several weeks), as opposed to the time required for a production based on pastels and conté (several months for the level of detail required). I kept the drawing to a similar size to the other drawings in this project, which made the drawing size of the tree less than half the size of the original.

Grids were carefully created (set out with the aid of a computer) for the ground plane and sky space to provide expression of the wide-angle space, and to enhance the expression of the bough extending forward directly overhead. The coloured pencil work is designed to enhance the expression of form and space - a form of the exaggerated aerial perspective I like to use.

Including the artist’s drawing and hands was an idea that was going to be part of the original drawing. They are part of the wide-angle view. I feel that adding these helps to add some sense of size to the drawing, but the wide-angle view tends to make the tree feel much smaller than it really is.

I am very happy with the result.

 

 

 

Detail 1:

Under the Spread - A New Version of My Major Drawing from 20 Years Ago - Detail 1

 

 

 

 

Detail 2:

Under the Spread - A New Version of My Major Drawing from 20 Years Ago - Detail 2

 

 

 

 

Detail 3:

Under the Spread - A New Version of My Major Drawing from 20 Years Ago - Detail 3

 

 

 

 

Detail 4:

Under the Spread - A New Version of My Major Drawing from 20 Years Ago - Detail 4

 

 


 

Another related artwork:

 

Moreton Bay Fig Tree, with Bough Passing Overhead


Moreton Bay Fig Tree, with Bough Passing Overhead
170 cm (w) x 156 cm (h), black biro on 15 separate sheets of brown paper.
Date produced: 1984-1986

This is the developed part of a major drawing attempted of the large Moreton Bay Fig tree in North Adelaide. There were another 2 rows of 3 sections below what can be seen here, but there wasn’t much work to be seen on those 2 rows so they weren’t included.

This was drawn entirely on-site. I used biro, to allow for plenty of fine detail. I felt that the drawing had to be large to have some chance of capturing the level of detail in the wide angle of view (about 180 degrees horizontally) that I wanted to show. The idea was to provide a large amount of detail throughout a large drawing, to suggest the large size of the tree.

The solution I came up with for producing such a large drawing was to do it in sections, that joined together to form the one large image. The section containing the centre of the tree required many weeks of careful drawing (because I was using biro for the whole drawing; there could be no erasing).

I was happy with the drawing at the time, but it got to a stage where I felt tired, and doubtful as to whether it was expressing what I really wanted. I was feeling impatient. There were many other interesting things to be attempted, and this project was dragging on longer and longer. I felt at the time that the drawing should be done again, with stronger lines around the forward projecting bough. I didn’t start this second version, although I did do some reasonably quick but full-sized mock-ups to test the idea of strengthening the projecting bough. I didn’t fully complete the first major version.

I can look back at that drawing now and feel very happy with what was attempted and with what I achieved. I now know that good work usually does take a lot of time, and I am at a stage in my life where I feel more at ease with taking the amount of time necessary to do the job properly.

I initially thought that a second version of this drawing (plus adding colour for increasing the expression of spatial arrangement), should be done using different media - pastels and charcoal(?) on a single large board (about 1.7 metres long by 1.2 metres high). I know that I could do such a piece. However, I also knew that it would take too much of the precious project time to do it. I came up with a compromise approach - using biro and coloured pencils on a smaller single sheet of paper (see the previous piece shown above).

 

 

 

Detail 1:

Moreton Bay Fig Tree, with Bough Passing Overhead - Detail 1

 

 

 

 

Detail 2:

Moreton Bay Fig Tree, with Bough Passing Overhead - Detail 2

 

 

 

 

Detail3:

Moreton Bay Fig Tree, with Bough Passing Overhead - Detail3

 

 

 

 

Detail 4:

Moreton Bay Fig Tree, with Bough Passing Overhead - Detail 4

 

 

 

 

Detail 5:

Moreton Bay Fig Tree, with Bough Passing Overhead - Detail 5

 

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