Exercise 2: Foreground, middle ground, background

As the title suggests, this exercise is all about establishing a fore, middle and background. I took that very same approach in my previous image, I thought this time I would attempt something that while still covers off the learning in this exercise diverges slightly from the guidelines.

I wanted to try to use the middle ground as the focal point, obscuring the focus from the fore ground to suggest depth, the technical challenge here was trying to recreate the blurred depth of field, like you would get if you was using a camera with a large aperture.

I layed out a horizon with some diluted ink, allowing it to dry and settle in pools, wanted a ground like texture and this seemed to work nicely on other attempts with this medium.

Again I blocked in the tree in the background with a fan brush soaked in diluted ink, I didn’t want this to be to bold and dark, I wanted it to appear distant and misty.

next I worked with a large graphite stick the blurred foreground branches, i worked it into the paper, I didn’t want any had edges or clarity, this was to be a blurred soft focus. It didn’t really work, it lacked structure and fidelity, it wasn’t immediately obvious we was looking through tree branches, I contemplated starting over but wanted to have a think about why it was failing or I was destined to recreate a mistake ion the future.

I squinted and blurred my eyes. looked at photos that used the shallow depth of field technique and decided that i needed to tighten up the shapes, I had distorted them too much. I fetched some white acyrylic paint and thought it would be worth a salvage attempt, even if it was just to experiment. The paint went on and muddied a little, the graphite stick I had used was the water soluble variety, it was not a totally awful result as the moisture in the paint mixed with the graphite it took on a new life.

The final image, isn’t what I quite had in mind, but I wasn’t too opposed to the end result, my attempt to fix the drawing had given it an almost double image or ghosted effect, a little like when you look at something cross eyed.

I felt I had learnt some good lessons from the exercise, even one or too that ended up as a bit of a surprise. I was ready to call the image complete and move on.

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