Exercise: Viewpoint

I chose the word summertime around which to make my collection of objects and made a mindmap to start the exercise.

The beach and seaside theme was strong in my mind mapping so I chose to use items from a toy miniature beach scene. I arranged them together to make the scene and took photographs from different viewpoints.

Once I had taken photographs from different angles, I then positioned the frame differently so only part of the deckchair is visible. In the first photographs above, I didn’t think too carefully about where to place the objects but cropping out some of the deckchair made the arrangements of the other objects more important. I reduced the number of objects so prevent the image looking too cluttered. I placed the objects at differing angles to the lines of the deckchair to explore variation in shape. I think this is most successful in the first photo (top right). However, I also rather like the line of the flask running parallel to the lines of the deckchair in the 2nd photo. Perhaps I could have explored this further.

Next I zoomed in on different items in the collection. I think this worked well in creating hierarchy in the image. The bucket and spade are the more ‘action’ part of the scene, while the deckchair is lazing in the background.

I then repeated the process of exploring viewpoints by drawing thumbnail sketches of my summertime items.

I found it difficult to decide which of the viewpoints most conveyed the idea of summertime but eventually chose the one above right. Compositionally, I prefer the viewpoints that crop out part of the deckchair and this thumbnail also has the icons of summer, the bucket and spade, in the foreground with enough of the deckchair visible to be clearly understood. I also think this viewpoint has a narrative. A parent could be relaxing in the deckchair while children make sandcastles at their feet. Some of the other sketches just looked like a collection of objects arranged in different ways.

I then drew my chosen design in a larger size with the scale proportional to the original thumbnail. The exercise asked for this line drawing to be descriptive, but I wasn’t sure how descriptive it needed to be so I just included enough line to make the elements recognisable without adding any unnecessary detail.

I then made a second drawing which was still just the basic outlines but had a little more character in the illustration. I found it easier to deal with the scaling up by drawing the objects more realistically first before creating a second more stylised version. I prefer this second drawing but am still unsure whether I have made it descriptive enough. It could benefit from some sort of background or horizon line. I did think about adding a wavy ‘sea’ line behind the deckchair but decided to keep it focused on the objects.

It wasn’t part of the exercise to add colour to my visual but the simplicity of line made it perfect for trying out a more graphic approach to colouring. For a first, very quick attempt, I think it is quite successful for the majority of the design. I don’t think the round bucket works though. This is an area I would like to explore further.