Jay’s Workshop: Objectivity in Image Making

Today we have a workshop where each one of us was given a part of a painting of The Elder by Pieter Bruegel to draw under 4 kinds of conditions:

  1. 20 minutes to draw in pencil
  2. 3 minutes to draw just the outline in pencil
  3. 10 minutes to paint the colour components with watercolour
  4. 10 minutes to draw and change the gender/clothings/characters in the picture with pencil
  5. 20 minutes to paint in only black and white image done in step 2

The objectives of the workshop was to, quoting Jay,

  1. ‘consider the idea of objectivity in your own image making’ in the sense that ‘illustration is a functional form of communication‘; and to
  2. explore how limitations placed on the way you produce an image and how repeating a similar image (with the intention to improve/adjust/reinvent it) can encourage detachment.

My Personal Responses during the Workshop:

The first section was initially exasperating because of my usual lack of discipline to practise drawing but as soon as I got onto the ‘flow’, it was good and it proved so with the 2nd section.

I actually liked the 3 minutes constraint most because it got so adrenaline-pumping; all I could think was increasing my speed and getting the image done. In a way, the time constraint was good because it helped me with my vision in picking up the most important element first as there was no extra time to spare. Also, the effect of ‘practising makes perfect’ was so apparent during the 3-minutes draw after the initial 20-minutes draw; you could feel the effect of muscle conditioning.

3rd section was cool; fauvism came into my picture in the sense that I was imaging blots and blots of colours before we actually started.

4th section was horrible for me because I had trouble changing genders/clothings/characters. I think it had been my lack of visual images of how things look so i find it hard changing their context. However, it was really interesting to see others’ works and the effects of how such details could actually change the original image and their context.

Finally, the last section was painting in black and white. It was a means to learn to explore negative and positive space. And like what Jay mentioned, in such situations of limitation where we were to focus on one rule under the time constraint, there was no time to worry about other concerns; I basically was just thinking about how to maximise the black and white space most effectively for the composition.

After thoughts:

Like what Jay mentioned, I have to agree that it is really rewarding to have a relationship with the image you are trying to make as you explore the process on paper; in which, during the process, you could improve your communicative skills by researching appropriately and focusing your visual exploration towards an end goal.  Personally, because I am the kind who tend to work out images in my head, at the end of the workshop, I could feel the effects of the workshop more significantly and there was actually a sense of amazement and achievement from all the drawings done for the workshop.

In fact, I do feel the importance of physically making images and exploring the process once in a while when I do work my image out. I could see the possibilities more evidently…. I guess i need to be more hardworking in my image-making process :S

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Jay’s Workshop: Objectivity in Image Making

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