Moving into my sophomore year in plein air, I came across a loose drawing I did last year of the expanse along the southern shore from the Bad Tree to the pairing on the southern shore. Which I affectionately, but probably incorrectly, describe as the Copse. It’s an area viewed from the water’s edge next to the visitor’s center on the Northern shore. And it was my jumping off point from solely doing drawings of the island.
The interplay of trees here lead me to more interesting compositions and helped me mature past object based sketches. And as I’ve revisited it, I have a record of then and now. The top sketch is from Oct/November ’12. And the bottom sketch is from a few days ago:
Taking a look at a year then. Some objective differences between the two. The 2012 drawing is slightly more cropped in and probably a month later in the season and a little more spartan. The time of day is different. The recent drawing is at about 11-noon or so, and because of that there is a bit more light on the lower foliage. Another major difference between the two is that the 2012 drawing was a 30-40min sketch; and the 2013 drawing was done as finished drawing… at about 1.5 hours.
The two look fairly similar, so I’m going to discuss a battle of millimeters here. In the new drawing, I’m more comfortable with my materials. In fact, I’ve added ink from a bottle and actual brush work on that drawing (a first that day) and then followed up with brush pens and pens. I’ve got better line weight variation in the drawings now. And subsequently, there are more massed lights and darks. If you look at 2012, it isn’t as musical. Descriptive yes. There’s a similar amount of information between the two, but the variance of the staccato is livelier in the bottom drawing. And the thinner horizontal lines outlining the rock formation on the bottom right helps to separate out from the mark making of the foliage. It’s not as apparent in the 2012 drawing.
Another evolution, is generally trying to make the mark making fall along the same perspective and direction as the movement in the scene. And for that, less flat.
Moving forward, I may need to mount the paper and work with a wetter media. I certainly need access to a larger flat brush to have another note for sweeping foregrounds, negative space and skies.