Monday, October 15, 2012

Artists Book next phase; ballpoint pen drawings exploring folding of paper (art of origami

Final ballpoint rendering of folded paper page.
white blotches are gaps left  for perforated circles - 

see small image below.
1st phase ballpoint pen
drawing of paper page. 

This post explores the integration of my passion for drawing and my quest to create and authentic artists book. Featured on this post is a step-by-step account of rendering a folded paper page as part of my reference and conceptual development for an artists book. New ways of seeing, illustrating and exploring the codex of the book (as art product) - a continuation of my theme; celebrating the handmade in a digital age.

2nd phase of ballpoint pen drawing of folder paper page.
pencilled circles will be perforated to reveal images
 on the next page.
I teach drawing to Jewellery students, mainly to use drawing as a tool in the design, development and manufacture of products. Thinking through drawing in the development of a concept, the design development of a chosen idea (applying the design principals) and the realization of the final jewellery pieces in technical drawings as well as presentation renderings. However it is at the foundation level (at first year) that students are introduced to the basics of drawing (before designing), observing and rendering from life, organic objects as well as mechanical and manmade objects. 

One of the exercises (learning activities) introduced during the foundation program is to facilitate the transfer of skills associated with the rendering of a broad spectrum of tonal values in the modeling of complex forms and shapes. 

The project brief introduces students to the art folding paper, especially the book by Paul Jackson – Folding Techniques for Designers From Sheet to Form. Follow the link provided pleat farm to access a review of this amazing design tool, complete with images and supporting text.

Paul Jackson has been a professional paper folder and paper artist since 1982 and is the author of 30 books on paper arts and crafts. He has taught the techniques of folding on more than 150 university-level design courses in the UK, Germany, Belgium, the US, Canada and Israel. These include courses in Architecture, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Textile Design, Jewellery, Product Design, Packaging, Ceramics, Industrial Design, Fine Art, Basic Design and Interior Design. He has also taught many workshops in museums, arts centers and festivals and has worked as a folding consultant for companies such as Nike and Siemens. As cited at pleat farm, an amazing site that explores pleating in all forms, shapes and sizes across all disciplines - especially architecture, fashion and lighting and furniture.

4th phase 

The learning activity (project brief) encourages students to design and construct a paper prototype in a variety of sizes and then to render the product exploring a variety of drawing materials including pencils and ballpoint pens (demonstrated here). They have to render the planar forms and shapes accurately before they apply the broad spectrum of available tonal values - to capture the folded paper product – from light to dark (depending the strength of the light source). 

The exercise introduced students to modeling simple forms and shapes (planar constructions) before embarking on more difficult organic forms and shapes. Planar constructed paper product makes for interesting drawing exercises when light from a light source is cast on the product – the variation of tonal values is immense and presents a significant learning challenge for foundation drawing students.
Background for the artists book – exploring the folding of paper.

My intent was to explore the book’s pages, both as perforated and rendered, integrating the art of drawing, sculpting in paper and printing. For my first exercise I chose a paper folded prototype that is simple to render and relates to the size of my pages, creating the illusion that the actual page has been altered, folded to resemble an origami product. I started the drawing by rendering its form and shape to scale (outlines). Then step-by-step I modeled the planes, starting with the darkest areas, working towards the lightest planes – as featured here on this post.

Actual drawing technique - pointers

The right pen - It is vital that you select a ballpoint pen that does not dispose of its ink to freely - creating ink blotches on the paper that can spoil the overall quality of the rendering, especially when illustrating such a simple product as illustrated here on this post. I work mainly with the fine Big pens – asking the manager of a stationery shop if I could test all the pens and select the best of the bunch. I recommend that you present your drawing book to the store manager (gain their support) before embarking on testing all the pens in the store.  They normally marvel at my work - making the task of asking that much easier.

Another important point is drawing on a small scale to be in a position to turn the book or separate pages to master the art of cross hatching when modeling the forms and shapes (shadows).

I also recommend that you use a heavier paper, a 150 -250 grams. This allows the drawing to breath as mentioned on a previous post. It is also possible to them build up layers of ink – very much like burnishing a clay pot (ceramic product). It is almost impossible to overdo the amount of ink on good quality paper. It will always reduce to lines when enlarged using a Photostatting machine or when scanned and altered digitally. 

Final phase before cutting out the circles -
perforated circles to reveal the images on the next page.
The next phase is to explore the rendering on the folded pages as well perforating the rendered page (Circles to be cut – light spots in the drawing) to reveal images on the next page – to feature in the next blog entry.  

1 comment:

Wyn Vogel said...

Wonderful rendering - amazing patience!! Will look forward to seeing the end results - book etc!! Cheers!!