14/8: Suspense – Evaluating and giving my work a context

Completed drawing  – ‘Suspense’ – 10 hours drawing time

It’s been 4 weeks since I started to create work on colour paper. It’s a very different experience from having white in the background. Small flecks of colour that come off the pencils is more noticeable.  A putty rubber is excellent for picking these up without smudging them across the paper.

Working with the materials

I’ve also had to focus more on both light and dark contrasts; it’s quite a task not to make it look dull and flat, as this is so easy to do. I’m still looking for a vibrant pollen yellow that has a thick consistency when you apply it. I can find it in any of the major brands and cannot be achieved through mixing either. I feel a bit like Yves Klein when working with colour pencils. I’ve found that some colour pencils come out thicker and brighter, some aren’t suited to darker background even with a white layer underneath them. I’ve used a range of pencil types and not stick to one brand; what I’m doing with colour pencils requires painterly methods.


I’ve always liked Lichtenstein’ s paint brushstroke paintings, i.e ‘Big painting No.6’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Painting_No._6. It’s a parody of the abstract gesture; a breakdown of what painting is about; a freeze frame of paint in action. My leaves reflect some of the forms in this painting. In reality, leaves move with the breeze. Here they are motionless, suspended. They have a very calligraphic feel.

I’ve also been reading ‘Chromophobia’ by David Batchelor. This book is about the use of colour and it’s status in culture. In the book, he links colour to danger, insanity, a surface layer, a covering, cosmetic. My piece is saturated with strong colours that are not going to be to everyone’s liking. I’ve taken a risk in using the plumb colour in the background; Taking what is usually seen in a more harmonious environment, and preserving it inside a more artificial and closed space.