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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Drawing on Familiar

Exercise One

In this exercise I decided to step away from the usual spaces that are filled with people, and took to nature for the open space and a different kind of subject; horses. In my local area we are fortunate to be in walking distance to beautiful open spaces where fields roll on to the next. In the centre of a very long countryside road that circulates, are fields that hold horses. It is a familiar place for me as I enjoy taking this walk often and seeing the horses as the group together and chew the grass continuously. What isn't familiar, however, is actually drawing horses, so this felt like a good enough challenge, and dare I say a challenge a underestimated!

I had spent a few hours there, watching them as they grazed the field. I watched them for a while, wondering where to begin. Starting with my light 2H pencil, I slowly sketched them realising very quickly that it wasn't the right tool for the job. They moved quicker than expected, and where I had started with spending time on trying to draw them, I learnt that I needed to change my tactic to keep up. It made me think of life drawing where you are challenged with the rapid warm up sketches usually at the beginning, you have to adapt your drawings, gather information the best you can, which is what I thought would work best with the horses. They moved little, but it was continues.

I switched to a coloured pencil (brown visible on the top page) which kind of helped with getting blocks in rather than lines. It was useful to get the body shape without the details, but it still didn't feel right.

I finally brought out the Posca 0.7mm pen and that is when this session lifted. My lines were quick and rough, I cared less about the page and the outcome and just aimed at reading the information quickly. Once I did this I actually felt I did better at get more of the horse in before it moved. I had also felt more relaxed by this point so to make my life a little easier at some point I would move with the horse trying to keep the view I was drawing so I could record more.

I would like to have spent another session with them now that I had gotten the first attempt out. It was interesting to see how quickly I had to adapt with the horses and how this felt very different when drawing people. There's kind of a predictable understanding with human now that I have tried this on several occasions, you can anticipate when they move. As it was my first time drawing horses I hadn't anticipated the amount of movements they did. When walking they are usually standing together, barely moving!

It was a really fun exercise which I will very much try again!

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