Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thoughts on Drawing by Ingrid Zhuang

Throughout my childhood and adolescent years, I have tried to pick up many interests and hobbies, such as dancing, playing a musical instrument and playing a sport. Out of countless trials and failures, drawing (and anything related to drawing) is the only hobby that I started in early childhood years and still continuing to this day. I have a rather timid personality, and expressing my thoughts in words is the most difficult task. This is also the reason why I enjoy drawing (or any type of visual arts). For me, drawing is a form of expression and a way for me to communicate with others. The process of drawing—researching, coming up with a narrative, selecting a medium, composition on canvas (paper), angle of subjects, the way of applying techniques (lines, values, negative and positive space, perspective, etc.)—is intimately connected with the thought process. How to apply values to evoke a sense of ominousness? How to employ positive and negative space to connote the unexpressed?

Relating to the first blog post, I focused on Rubens’ sketch of "Le Jardin d'Amour".

“I was amazed by it; as not only did I simply find it beautiful, I found it impressive that he used the technique of sketching the work in relatively high detail but leave the face of the girl in profile as nothing but an outlined space. The perfect composition of negative and positive space was so innovative (at that time period) as well as pleasing.

Like Rubens, I also like to work with composing positive and negative spaces. In my opinion, negative space sometimes conveys more meaning than what I’m actually drawing. It is not simply a “background” in the composition, but plays an active part in expressing the unconscious side or the conscious side when intentionally focused on creating the negative space.

One of the world’s most famous graphic artists, Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) inspired my interest in paying special attention to the negative space in my drawings. Although his work are mainly woodcuts and lithographs, Escher’s impossible structures, (such as Ascending and Descending, Relativity, his Transformation Prints, such as Metamorphosis I, Metamorphosis II and Metamorphosis III, Sky & Water I or Reptiles), embody techniques that could be applied to drawing. Escher’s work draws the viewers into layered and endless loops, which elevate them to nth dimensions. Shapes craftily mingled in patterns and perspectives seamlessly knitted in a whole. His work is so rich and simply calling them “optical illusions” could not do them justice.

Below are some images of Escher’s work.

I also tried to mimic his style once; it was very difficult.

I have attached my piece "Elephants & Doves" at the end for people’s entertainment.

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