Yesterday’s challenge was to draw a view of a shark’s mouth. The photo provided was great but it looked very hard to do and I didn’t feel like spending an hour or so staring into the mouth of a Great White Shark (note the backward pointing teeth to ensure you can’t wriggle free). It was supposed to be an exercise in depicting different textures. I chickened out and draw an egg in an egg box – two very different textures, but I focused so hard on the texture I got the scale of the egg wrong compared to the box.
Today’s challenge (following our lively discussion of what it was like to try to draw a shark’s mouth) the organiser told us to draw something that frightened us. Suddenly working with the shark seemed a lot simpler than trying to explore the issue of what I might chose if I were to work on something that truly frightened me, especially since I’m about to go out and have lunch with my lovely embroidery chums and I want to be in a good mood for that. So, I went back to the photo of the shark.
It is a difficult image to capture well. Looking at the photo the teeth seem so large and clear and pointed, but trying to get them to have the same impact on the drawing was impossible. I switched to aventurine blue glass powder rather than black for this, and used some ivory coloured glass as I have used up most of my white with these drawings ( I could have thrown them away each day and used the same glass, but didn’t want to). Blue because it would feel like cold water rather than just depth. I did add a touch of black powder in the middle of the mouth near the end.
One of the things I have learnt to do over the last week is to carefully sift extra powder in small areas of a drawing. At the beginning of this month long exercise I sifted a thick layer of powder over the whole piece of glass and worked with that. Now I am learning about subtlety. A fine layer of powder, a sketch, add a bit more powder, refine the whitest areas, repeat…trying to get the teeth to pop out of the image. Not entirely successful, but a very good exercise.