The most difficult part of my midterm piece was actually coming up with the grid system that I would use to divide it. At first, I was going to make the borders of the grid obvious, which would divide the piece into individual sections. However, I instead decided to use the metal structure in the middle of the still life to divide my paper. I then figured out my composition in a way that would allow for a harmonious dynamic throughout the work, and then I came to the realization that my midterm was not as divided as I had hoped. To resolve this problem, I downsized the size of the midterm into a rectangle, and with the remaining space, I created a border in which the subjects of my piece would be blacked out.
I believe that my usage of negative and positive space could have been improved, but my strongest usage of this was with the ropes and their border counterparts. The contrast of the undefined ropes and the solid color of the border added a strong contrast that I believe was needed in the piece. Also, my usage of pen ink in the flowers provided an aesthetically pleasing difference in the negative and positive space within and around it. Speaking of contrast, I believe that the shading of the bird and the rock formation was too similar to the point where they almost began to blend together. If I could do the project again, I definitely would have lightened the bird so that the contrast between it and the rock was more drastic.
In my midterm, I made the background black with the usage of India ink. I was initially not going to do this, but I believe that that choice was what ended up making this piece so successful. The only other place I used India ink was in the metal structures; I diluted the ink with water so that the solid color didn’t get lost in the background. As I said before, the flowers were done with a pen, but every other aspect was done with the other black and white materials in my kit. The lightbulb and the bird were done in graphite, although I added charcoal to the bird in some spots to increase the contrast. The cow skull and rock formation were both done in charcoal, charcoal pencils, black conté, and vine charcoal. The nest of the bird utilized a technique I used in my six small drawings assignment— I blacked out the shape with Sharpie and then added in detail with the white conté over it. Although I am fairly comfortable with these materials, the paper that I was working on made it feel as if I was using them anew. I came to like the paper later on, but figuring out how to manipulate the paper into properly doing transition values was challenging.