I decided to make use of my time at home by deepening my understanding of organic forms and improving my hatching skills.
The first helps with the latter. I held different types of produce in my house, turned them over and looked from different directions, to practice envisioning mass, cross-contour lines, and overlapping planes. Knowing these features is critical to the accurate translation of three-dimensional forms to two-dimensional shapes and lines.
After getting a sense of their form, I sketched them from different angles and lighting scenarios to explore hatching techniques. I considered variables like line weight, line length, line density, and the relationship between lines and the form. I also tested different levels of hatching neatness, sometimes drawing loosely with broad strokes while other times drawing with meticulous attention to detail.
This series is comprised of my best drawings from quarantine. These four drawings are my most detailed and dynamic. They highlight the hatching lessons I’ve learned over the past five weeks.
The markings on the sheet of paper were left by broken hair ties soaked in India ink. I stretched them until they snapped, causing them to sling into the air.
Hair ties always break at the seam. I exploited this to manipulate their flightpath so that they consistently hurled toward paper.
For each sheet, I attached the paper to a wooden backboard with painter’s tape. I situated the backboard in the seat of a chair, using its back support to prop the backboard so that it was upright and facing my direction. I stationed the chair and backboard about ten feet away from me.
On my kitchen table, I attached a C-clamp to function as a launch point. The clamp’s fastening mechanism doubles as a sturdy rod. From here I stretched the hair ties. To maximize consistency and to avoid injury, I used a hex wrench as a handle.
I prepared a number of ink baths with different tones and saturations. For each hair tie, I dunked it into an ink bath and quickly looped it over the C-clamp. Here, I made sure to position the seam toward me, away from the canvas, and split evenly across the hex wrench. The seam placement was critical; it is what gave me moderate control over the hair ties’ direction. When I pulled them to their breaking point, their tension was distributed evenly. The result was a fairly accurate shot towards the direction that was opposite from where I pulled. I repeated this process, landing frenetic inky marks on the page, until I felt the composition was complete.