2.7 An objective drawing


The brief was to make an objective (technically accurate) drawing from a pre-defined list of subjects.

Keywords from the brief:

  • Visually explore
  • High degree of visual accuracy
  • Technically controlled
  • Use marks to describe texture
  • Vary line quality to suggest contours

Objective illustration

The subject I selected was ‘shoe’.

I chose to draw a trainer because it is visually quite complex and made from several synthetic materials/panels allowing me to explore different mark making.

An ‘objective’ photograph of the subject
Adidas trainer – objective drawing. Drawn from life.

What I learned from the exercise

What went well

  • I think adding the photograph of the subject above the drawing in this page causes an interesting tension and raises questions about what objectivity really means. As a viewer I find myself shifting from one picture to the other making quality judgements by comparing the accuracy of the drawing against the photograph.
  • It’s impossible to be truly objective. I found I had to make choices all the time about levels of detail and what to leave out to make a successful picture.
  • The trainer was an interesting drawing challenge. I found the laces were the fiddliest most time consuming bit to get right.
  • I think the variety of marks in the drawing are quite successful in communicating the different materials used to make the shoe.
  • I thought using a Rotring pencil throughout would be limiting but actually it was possible to achieve a good tonal range; from black to light grey.

What I would do differently/better

  • I was toying with the idea of using pen and ink with a fine nib. It would be interesting to explore how to represent the different textures using this approach. I think I would need to have been more inventive using this alternative approach.


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