I am currently near the end of earning my BFA in Drawing at The Metropolitan State College of Denver. The work below are from the latest upper division drawing class I took this past spring. I would be interested in any thoughts you might have about my work.
....more to follow!!
I can't say I'm quite sure as to what's doing on in your piece, is it abstract?
Thanks for the comment. The reason why this work may appear to be abstract is due to the light stylization of the content. In addition, because (I think) I have more of an "establishing-shot" going on, there is no real focal point that would help viewers read the composition. *oops*
What I wondering is how would I keep the sense of an enveloping environment, but present it in a way that doesn't confuse the viewer.
I would think that this work needs color to truly be successful; what do you think?
This does look a little more abstract than representational, at least to my eye. To show an environment I believe you need to convey a sense of space and this requires a "sky". Not necessarily to say it's REALLY a sky, but the "sky" is what allows for the foreground and background separation to be understood more easily. This, in my opinion, requires a contrast of values between elements you want in the "front" and elements you want in the "back." This will also give us a horizon (whether or not it's really the horizon created by ground and sky) where foreground and background touch 2-dimensionally, as well as shows us 3-dimensionally where our eye can no longer see.
Your piece is comprised of a full scale of values that appear all throughout, thus minimizing the contrast of light and dark between large shapes (such as "ground" and "sky"), and in return not allowing me to see a "sky".
It's not to say that I dislike this piece, however. I find interesting parts everywhere and it's a visual thrill with contrast in certain areas that draw my eye around focal points of the canvas. Through your mark making I'm able to understand a difference in texture between the various shapes you've created and I find myself curious as to what medium you're using to create this.
Hope that helps. I'd like to see more of your work if it's available for viewing.
I can see your point about the composition needing clues to help orient the viewer in the composition. If you look at the other drawings in the album hopefully they will prove that the compositional issues are a problem only to this piece. Hence that's why I thought adding color might solve a lot of readability problems. (I guess my attention to where the light of the sun is bursting through the canopy and reflecting off leaves, walkways and the tarps covering the tree houses did not come together; oops.)
As for the medium used, the drawing was created on BFK RIVES paper using pencil to workout the "structure." Then I made the drawing more permanent with a couple of Pilot pens from an office supply store (ha ha). Next, I used charcoal sticks, pencils, with electric erasers (plus others), and blending tools to achieve the final result.
Hey Will. I'm not sure if you're understanding how abstract and confusing this image looks to the average viewer. I've been looking at the image for several minutes and it almost feels like looking at those stereoscopic illusion pictures. I see lots of cool textures going on everywhere and see some hints of actual elements like a tree or two and what looks like wavy rivers.
I'd actually be curious to see what it would look like if you colored it, as you've suggested.
As it is now, it's just a wall of texture, as if I'm looking at an interesting closeup of a rock.
maybe it's a forest with roofs?
"I thought adding color might solve a lot of readability problems"
No, it never really helps. If the tonal composition does not read, adding color is not going to improve it: tone is the defining component, color is an addition. Resolve the issues with tone first.