We’re all familiar with drawing scenes, but that’s not all that a sketcher can do to capture perceptions, or to share observations. In this workshop, we consider two alternatives – which focus on the parts before us rather than the whole, and allow for us to talk about things differently. We explore two age-old vehicles of visual communication: the vignette, and the visual list.
A vignette is an irregularly shaped image on a page – one that doesn’t extend to the edge of the paper. Vignettes isolate and focus attention on a particular subject that’s before us. We see them in books in magazines all the time, but what are the design principles behind them? In this workshop, we’ll learn how vignettes, visually, are like letterforms - interacting with the white of the page (negative space) and responding to a viewers need for a sense of gravity. We learn too, to carve out vignettes before us, in order to focus interest and communicate clearly.
First we’ll sart with introductions and a brief discussion about the topic at hand.
We’ll talk about the interesting observations made by participants thus far on their trip. (Best works are always made as an expression of enthusiasms and interests.) We’ll wonder, what are possible personal subjects worth exploring in this workshop? The group will then set out from our host institution to hunt and gather sketches that support our interests in two ways and in two sessions: vignettes and visual lists.
We’ll start by examining vignettes and seeing how they work. We’ll look at examples and the instructor will demonstrate some approaches. Sketching and applying our new knowledge will follow.
In our first, short session we’ll create studies, paying particular attention to blocking out simple silhouetted shapes in monotone.
Following our session, we’ll regroup and discuss results.
Then in longer session we’ll create a more refined, more finished drawing, perhaps from a previous sketch. We’ll use materials of our own choosing and focus on creating a “telling” image through our vignette.
Finally, we’ll gather to examine the participant’s works and talk about the results and lessons for the future (critique).
The second half of the workshop will build upon the first – using small, vignetted “spot” drawings to create visual lists. The instructor, again, will show examples of thoughtful and well-composed sketches that gather interesting observations to form a singular, interesting statement. In this session, participants will create a single, more substantial page of sketches. They’ll hunt for subject matter to investigate, and gather them onto the page in a systematic way.
Through it all, we’ll be focusing not just on the how of sketching, but also the what, and why. We’ll come to understand that drawing is a means of writing as well as showing.
Picture design, drawing, communication, selection and visual authoring