Abstract Biomorphic Drawing and Painting Project September 2021

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

I’ve now settled into my new art studio and I was also recently given a drawing table as a gift too (thanks Emma), which has made larger drawing so much easier. Getting back to basics with my drawing and painting has been an eye opener. Something had changed while I was completing my Ph.D. I had new interests in what I wanted to create, a different outlook on life, I appreciated the value of art for my own and others’ sense of wellbeing and I had noticed I had a slightly different style to what I was producing before. I was making different marks, appreciating different colours and forms, and producing something, I felt, that had moved my work onto another stage. I am still in the stage of experimentation but I am already pleased (and surprised) with what I am producing. Personally I’m always interested in seeing artwork in stages so I kept a visual diary of this project I completed last week…

Abstractdrawing2
Beginning of a biomorphic drawing by Gillian Hebblewhite via Flickr. Image Source.

I started by using a technique called automatic drawing, drawing quickly, loosely and what felt right without consciously intervening to correct myself in anyway. I then started to look at what I had drawn and worked into the drawing by added in blocks of tone to start to create forms and a composition I was happy with.

Abstractdrawing1
Adding in blocks of tone to areas of the biomorphic drawing by Gillian Hebblewhite via Flickr. Image Source.
Abstractdrawing5
Continuing to work on the biomorphic drawing until the composition felt right, by Gillian Hebblewhite via Flickr. Image Source.
Abstractdrawing4
Close up of the biomorphic drawing by Gillian Hebblewhite. Image source.
Abstractdrawing5
Completed biomorphic drawing by Gillian Hebblewhite. Image source.

I then set about creating a mixed media painting based on this drawing. I started masking off a section on good quality acrylic canvas paper and applying a base layer using a mix of ultramarine and burnt umber (always gives a nice warm grey) acrylics before starting to try and replicate some of the drawing’s main composition. I didn’t need it to be an exact copy, as I still wanted the freedom to change and add to the painting. Happy accidents were welcomed and happened along the way. For example, some of the lines I drew and rubbed out showed up as nice light wispy ghost lines when I started working over them with acrylic washes and graphite…

painting2
Close up of the biomorphic painting at an early stage. The pencil lines I’d rubbed out earlier showed through the acrylic washes – which I quite liked. By Gillian Hebblewhite. Image source.

These ghost lines had almost disappeared as the painting progressed – so it was nice to have images of the painting at it’s earlier stages. After sketching out the basic composition I started working into it with acrylics: titanium white and the base colours (ultramarine and burnt umber), black Indian ink and graphite…

painting1
Starting to work into the biomorphic painting with acrylics, black Indian ink and graphite, by Gillian Hebblewhite. Image Source.
painting4
Painting continues to progress. By Gillian Hebblewhite. Image source.
painting5
Close up of biomorphic painting still being worked on. By Gillian Hebblewhite. Image source. Via Flickr.
painting6
Close up of biomorphic painting still being worked on. By Gillian Hebblewhite. Image source. Via Flickr.
painting8
Close up of Biomorphic painting almost finished. By Gillian Hebblewhite. Image source.

Finally the mixed media painting was finished…

painting7
Biomorphic mixed media painting by Gillian Hebblewhite. Image source.

… and the masking tape border was removed…

Biomorphic Painting by Gillian Hebblewhite, September 2021.

What was nice about this process was the ability to start off with automatic drawing and not knowing and trying not to think about what the final piece would eventually look like. I often do quite a bit of preparatory work before any painting and without this it felt more free. The hardest part for me was finishing the painting without over working it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s