Part 4, project 5, exercise 2: Working from drawings and photographs – squaring up

Updated on 23 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

20 November 2016. I know that I probably should not say so, but this is an exercise with a low appeal to me. I am aware that the use of a grid helps with the faithful enlarging of an existing small-scale drawing or photograph, but the connecting of points on or between the lines of the grid make me lose all spontaneity.

22 November 2016. Today I found a photo, which I think is well suited for this exercise, and it has got both my smaller son and my husband in it, which makes it attractive in itself (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. The photo to be used in this exercise

And here a scan of a print of the same photo (hence the blue shift) with a 1 x 1 cm square grid added by me (Fig. 2):

Figure 2. Scan of photo with 1 x 1 cm grid added

Since the print size is 27 x 20 cm, I decided to make a painting twice that size, otherwise it would have become unreasonably large for the purpose.

23 November 2016. After a late-night session vesterday preparing the grid, I made the 54 x 40 cm pencil drawing today on watercolour paper (Fig. 3-4):

Figure 3. Preparing the grid
Figure 4. Pencil drawing on the grid

This sketch I covered in a carefully diluted and tested layer of light warm grey to allow the sketch to shine through (Fig. 5).

Figure 5. Preparing the background

24 November. Today I added more layers, but I do not seem to be making a proper connection. The grid gets in the way, it also stops me from making reasonable decisions about the choice of colours – it feels like “colour by numbers” (Fig. 6):

Figure 6. Fighting the grid

Next I added some more detail and the two persons, after which my inner warning voice told me to stop (Fig. 7):

Figure 7. End of experiment

28 November 2016. I left this exercise for three days to decide what to do with it.
I think now that there is a good reason to leave it for now to return to it at the end of the course: On the one hand the grid feels like a cage to inspiration at this particular moment in time, on the other I can see in the painting a strong transfer of energy between my husband and my son, which I would not want to destroy now in an attempt to finish the exercise in time for submission of Assignment 4. Further progress report to follow.