Through the cocktail glass

Through the champagne glass.jpg
Charcoal and glue, 19 x 19 cm


The idea was to try and smear charcoal to blur like the view through the cocktail glass. Unfortunately it didn’t really smear well and then I added some loose charcoal powder which stuck in the damp glue and gave some interesting detail when I tried to smear it, but not the blurry smear I was after.

So this technique might be useful in drawing for creating a rough texture but it didn’t work for this image. Possibly using a rewettable medium and then smearing water over it might work.

Incidentally don’t iron paper with damp glue even using a protective cloth. You can see the resultant delamination of the paper above.

Another drawing tester

This is my interpretation of the towel close up. A fine grid centered with a loop. In order to create tone I have not included the loops in all boxes. I got to this by thinking about the multiple small lines in the work of Alex Chambers, but along the way I remembered John Franzen and I know this influenced the grid. He creates wonderful drawings made up of multiple vertical lines, each one feeding of the imperfections of the line before. It’s like a meditative process by which he imbues his drawings with his feelings and emotions, as well as bigger concepts related to the cosmos and infinity.


Towel  – Pen, approx A6 size

I’m just doing thumbnails to start with, to see what works and then I’ll move on to bigger works. My small drawing looks clunky, but I wonder how it would look on a much bigger scale. Other things to consider are that although the paper is light it is not white. I think that the bright towel would be better reflected with a clean white background.



John Franzen.JPG
John Franzen

<>Viewed 16 June 2017



Still debating

I’m a bit concerned that my choice of objects is too literal and more about the actual object than its qualities. For example for swimming I am choosing a towel. It has a link with swimming that is not really related to its formal qualities but more related to its use. I have however chosen a towel that has a flowery tropical pattern on it, typical of a souvenir tourist towel, so in that way it represents the bright pattern associated with tropical tourist.

To represent tacky souvenirs, I have simply chosen a snow dome, to me the quintessential tacky souvenir, so in this case I guess it does have the formal qualities of shiny, bright and clique-ed content that I associate with tacky.

For bright sunlight I am using the yellow massage ball. This is better because it’s not as literal.  I have chosen it because of it’s qualities of bright yellow, pointy bits radiating suggesting rays and round shape.

I’m thinking I’ll combine lush rainforest and humidity in the one object now by stuffing a carafe full of local fern from the garden. In that way I hope to convey the oppressive feeling of humidity in a tropical jungle.

Cocktail glass with blue cocktail represents the qualities of blue-green tropical waters on its surface, whilst encased in the form of a cocktail glass, the essential tourist drink.

The detailed pattern of shells and coral will be represented by actual shells. This is just literal but adds a necessary component to the collection.

Actually looking at these I think they should meet the brief and perhaps I should stop procrastinating and actually start some work 🙂


Selecting objects

Now I’m back home I should start selecting objects to draw for Assignment one.

Going to select objects to match the following characteristics of Tropical Tourist:

Lush rainforest – Fern fronds

Sea life – coral, shells- Patterned shells that I bought or I could use my nautilus shell. Not sure if nautilus shell is tropical.  Just looked it up. What I have is the shell of Argonauta nodosa (paper nautilus) and this is actually a species of octopus. The shell is actually an egg casing and it’s largely not tropical but found in cooler areas. So the shells I bought in the souvenir shop will have to suffice to suggest shells and coral. I have coral pictures too but can’t take actual samples.

Blue/green water- Blue curacao cocktail

Humidity – Really struggling with this one. The feeling of thick air in the jungle is what I’m after.  Thinking I have a small carafe that I could put a lid on and put dirt in it to allow condensation to collect…. maybe, I’m not sure. Consider presenting the fern fronds in the carafe and sealing it for a while to get condensation.

Bright sun – Drawing things outside with strong shadows, or alternatively I have a yellow massage ball that looks like it has sun rays coming from it. Also looks a bit like a beach toy.

Tacky souvenirs- Turtle “snow dome”

Cocktails- Plastic cocktail glass

Swimming- Bright flower pattern towel

So maybe towel, fern in carafe, blue cocktail in cocktail glass, turtle snow dome, patterned shells, yellow spiky ball.  Six objects but some of them combine two things.

Tomorrow I will photograph them and try some arrangements.

Some initial imagery to start Assignment One

I collected some objects from the souvenir shop here on Hamilton Island thinking that they would serve as my source objects for drawing. But then I read the brief more thoroughly and I realised that I should really be identifying the qualities, as well as objects, that I think of as tropical tourist, and selecting objects based on that. To that I end I did the brainstorming in the previous post.

Now I’m going to add some imagery from our current tropical holiday, that start to illustrate my sense of tropical tourist.

Cocktail in the lounge while the piano plays

One of the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Tropical Tourist is cocktails. Not sure what this says about me but they seem to be the ubiquitous resort drink.

Dead coral from the beach

Tropical holidays in Australia usually mean coral and snorkelling. This is a piece of dead coral washed up on the resort beach. I have photographed it but have then put it back on the beach because it’s an offence to take coral. Notice also the interesting pattern from the towel behind

Gift shop souvenirs

This is my collection of souvenirs from the gift shop. I purchased shells because you shouldn’t really take them from the beach in a national park.

Lush forest

Humid cloying heat and lush greenery with buzzing insects speak of tropical to me. It’s actually not that warm at this time of the year but you can still feel the humidity. Lots of new growth on Hamilton Island at present as a very destructive cyclone went through the area just two months ago.

Colours of sunset

Palms, decimated by the recent cyclone, fringe the waters of the coral sea


Thinking about Assignment One

I’m choosing Tropical Tourist as my theme for this assignment. Mostly because this jumped out at me straight away given that we are currently on a holiday in the Whitsunday’s in Northern Australia.

Brainstorming what Tropical Tourist brings to mind for me:

Bright sun, blue-green calm water, lush greenery, coral, fish, shells, sand, seaweed, warmth, humidity

juxtaposed with

Cocktails, seafood, tacky souvenirs, loud music, towels, thongs, pools, bright coloured patterned clothing, hats, shops

An uneasy combination of natural beauty and commercial excesses