Saturday, 10 August 2013

Exploratory Practice

Although my contextual research is by no means complete,  I have started to work with imagery in order to begin the design process.

I started with the statement that occurred to me while sketching a crab cage on the beach.....

The strength of the line is in the tension......the tension is in the shapes of the bodies

The 3 portraits are of the main characters that I have been able to research so far and who have been the catalyst for the direction of this piece.

From these first sketches I have made many more, looking at distilling the shapes that the ladies are making as they put the tension into the rope. 

This sketch was a very quick one to establish the shapes that the bodies were making. It has been digitised after the original sketch was made and photographed, from my sketchbook. I like the addition of the single figure top centre.

I then took this idea further with a series of just basic lines of each person.

I have also simplified the the portraits......

The more I sketched the more I noticed....

These ladies didn't wear performance clothing, like today, it was just their everyday overcoats, shoes, nylons and head scarves.

Using the image below I started to work on an idea using a sheet of recycled map velum, as I think I will use a transparent technique for this piece using light to illuminate it.

This was a charcoal sketch that has been digitally manipulated and is the inspiration for this design which starts with this....

I decided to put the rope in red as it's fundamental to the story, representing strength, unity, trust, pride and work

Here I've added tissue paper to accent clothing and give texture to the ground level.

This is the  finished idea, it has been washed with Dr Ph Martins radiant concentrated watercolour, sunshine yellow. It has been shot against a window to allow the light through.

And this one has been photographed on the easel board so the colour and textures  are more intense.

These initial sketches and designs are a simple visual interpretation of ideas that have developed as a result of my in depth research into my chosen subject.

As my understanding of the subject becomes greater I can then narrow the perspective down again and start to make some decisions as to the form this piece will take.


  1. These are great, wonderful strong figures

  2. these figures are almost ghostly....haunting. I am so in awe of the depth of your deserve a huge pat on the back.

  3. Wow! This is looking brilliant Sharon. Your sketches are great, and I love seeing how you're developing them, thinking it through and working out what's the essence of it all.