Exercise 2.8: A Subjective Drawing

In contrast to the previous exercise, I now needed to create a collage using one of the other words from the same list of prompts to develop into a subjective picture. This image didn't have to be accurate to the object and allowed for more experimentation and personal interpretations.


I chose the word Umbrella from the list and started with a spider diagram focussed on descriptive words. After exploring different adjectives I initially chose protective as the word that I wanted to move forward with, but after re-reading the task I reminded myself that it had asked me for an object "...not describing its function or purpose but its particular qualities". I felt that even though the word Protective can be used to describe the surface of an umbrella in a similar way to words like Waterproof, overall I interpreted it as a more functional description for what the item does rather than something as tactile as my other words from my diagram.

My alternative choice was the word slick, a word that I feel effectively describes the shine of a soaked umbrella out in the middle of the rain. I began on a mood board around the theme of Slick using a combination of plastic bags, bin liners, gift bags, magazine cut-outs and printed photographs from the internet. Fashion magazines turned out to be great for this purpose, with highly reflective sequins and leather contributing to a slick appearance.

When the mood board had been filled, I consulted my sketchbook from exercise 2.6 to help me decide upon best materials for the look of my collage. Metallic card intrigued me as a potentially striking choice as water soluble paints pooled and separated easily on the surface to make still oily looking effects even when dry. I outlined a simple umbrella shape with gouache and left it to dry while I selected images and materials from my mood board to decorate with.

Reflective materials can be tricky to photograph and almost impossible to scan, but I found a useful solution for this problem later on.

I used some of the same images and materials from my mood board to layer onto my drawing with the four larger sections using a gift bag, fabric textured collage paper, the sequin dress and some bin liner. The other materials I had selected were then carefully places as patches in areas where there could be a change in light.


By re-activating the gouache with water, I could manipulate the lines underneath and add distortion, giving give rainy liquid effect. After placing a clear plastic layer over the top of the collaged section of the umbrella, I masked off the area underneath while I flicked and sprayed yet more messy gouache rain marks over the piece.

Some of the text from a warning sign on the handle added a bit of playfulness and colour that didn't feel too out of place as the image was appearing quite cheerful despite the amount of rain.

To photograph the final image, I placed it flat on a table and used a lower camera angle to take a photo with very minimal glare and no reflections on the page. I then digitally manipulated the perspective back to a top down view and was surprised discover that it hadn't distorted or harmed too much of the image quality.


I really like how the final image ended up looking. I think this collage represents my chosen word well and it's a very different approach to how I'm used to making something in what has been one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable exercises for me so far.

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