Large scale drawing – 13 hours


After exploring through a series of A1 pieces I felt I needed to push the limitations of drawing and myself even further by making a large scale drawing – this is something that I have never done before, I was out of my comfort zone. I decided to extract the most successful gesture from my previous pieces to show development, this, I decided would be the loop. Immediately I felt out of my depth as I wrestled with a large roll of paper as I attempted to mount it onto the wall trying to get it straight. Working large scale was hard work, even masking off the area to draw in proved difficult as I struggled to get a straight line, using the masking tape I was able to stretch it across the paper to get a straight line. I knew this drawing would take a lot longer to complete in comparison to my other smaller pieces, and so, I decided to record the time it would take. Using a tally next to my drawing I was able to keep track of the hours I had spent labouring over the piece.I felt the tally was suitable as it has connotations of a prisoner carrying out their jail sentence counting down the years until their freedom, I was the prisoner of my drawing, a laborious process. A love hate relationship developed between myself and the piece, I loved creating this free flowing pattern across the expanse of the paper, the scale meant I could really immerse myself into the life size drawing. However, drawing hours at a time proved difficult, sending me into a trance like state. The drawing process induced a mental numbness which was triggered by the intense concentration it was taking to repetitively inscribe loops onto the large piece of paper.



As the drawing started to grow on the surface of the paper I became really inspired by the different organic shapes that were being created. There was a real contrast between the positive and negative space, between the textured and smooth of the paper.













Here is a close up showing the varying tonalities that I was capturing with my pencil, this was achieved by using different grades of pencil. The harder pencils (HB, H, 2H) creating the lighter silver tones which I used in contrast with the soft pencils (2B,6B, 8B) – this created deep dark tones. This technique created the pattern within the drawing, as the different tonalities clustered together creating movement within the piece.



I wanted to create varying depths within the drawing by inserting different sizes of loops, this would make it seem as if the gestures were coming out of the paper, almost as if you could touch them. Furthermore, I wanted it to be obvious to the viewer how the piece was created through repetition of the loops. By doing this cross section in a larger loop I feel it really draws the eye into the drawing













And so, after 13 hours of drawing I finally completed my first ever large scale drawing. I feel it has been a success, the scale of the drawing really does work in its favour. The viewer is directly effected by its presence due to its size, it has become physically present within our space. One viewer said ‘I just want to dive into it and swim around, become immersed into the drawing’ in this sense the drawing becomes a window into another world. People ask why have you just used pencil ? I feel using pencil has a direct relationship to drawing, I want the viewer to be aware that the piece has been created by drawing, instead of using paint in a drawing manner which would then be considered as a painting ? I want to raise the status of drawing so that it can be considered equal to painting within the ‘high art’ realm.  Furthermore, I feel the viewer can relate to a pencil drawing as we as humans have all had experience of drawing with pencils, it gives a real nostalgic feel.




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