Personal Study 1 Essay

Submitted By sophie120497
Words: 1787
Pages: 8

The title of my personal study is “Animals”. Initially I wanted to study the symbolism of animals. This led me into looking at birds especially, because they can represent human qualities such as bravery etc. which I was interested in exploring further.

However, the inspiration for my personal study was a combination of my love for animals, and the photographer Raymond Barlow. I wanted to involve birds within my study but didn’t want to simply just paint or draw them. I wanted to achieve something that was more complicated in design, and more challenging. Raymond Barlow’s photography immediately caught my eye as the pictures were exciting and intriguing, and they also portray the birds in their natural habitats which could reflect some symbolism, for example one picture explicitly shows a bird catching their prey and this symbolises dominance and strong characteristics.

I began by looking at the artist John Shaw as I was fascinated by his use of materials such as: coloured inks and coffee. Also I really liked the posture of the birds, as for example the owl looks brave and majestic, which links perfectly looking at symbolism of animals. I liked the way he elevates the birds through the expressive, vibrant use of colour which at the same time really attracts the viewers attention. In addition I explored the intensive mark making, as the technique of juxtaposing energetic colours with dark, vigorous pen marks is really interesting. This almost highlights how animals, can be deceptive, by being perceived as vulnerable when really they have strong characteristics. In addition, I then look at pieces where he had combined animals together, making them look similar to hybrids which really interested me, and sparked of my idea of looking at amalgamated creatures.

Keeping with the theme of fantasy creatures I went on to study Gaia, who creates detailed animals combined with human body parts to create mythical hybrids. I wanted to involve hybrids within my work, as I liked the idea of creating my own weird and mysterious creatures. I wanted to achieve work that was mythically inspired but not extremely unrealistic. I really liked the way that the animals look so realistic through the technique of overlapping pen to create the effect of fur and various features. I also became passionate about the delicate detail that I explored through the circular mark making used by Gaia. This then inspired me to experiment with precise detail, creating pieces which would be thought provoking and draw the viewer’s attention. In addition, I really liked the pose of the hybrid mammals as they portray strong, protective characteristics.

While carrying out further research I came across L7M whose paintings are avian in nature through expressive colours and vigorous mark making. As I began to study his work I became really enticed by the warm colours that create a positive and interesting atmosphere. In my eyes, L7M challenges the presentation of bird forms through the overlapping of shapes presented in his work. Also I really liked the view point of his bird forms because they are from a side point of view they make the bird form look more realistic. In addition, L7M inspired me though the use of spray paint within his work. The technique of overlapping the spray paint created an effect of feathers which also make the bird forms look really interesting creating a stimulating atmosphere for the viewer. His work is very expressive, with free applications of colours and the mark making seemed very appropriate in the depiction of birds.

As I wanted to look further into animals symbolising human characterises, I decided to study Ericailcane who creates hybrids, with a touch of surrealism. My idea was to study the hybrids and explore how they showed the characteristics of the animals. I really liked the way that the drawings were really effective through the weird and mysterious atmosphere that was created. In addition, I also liked the delicate