Sketching was not something that came naturally to me. I sketched only to express myself. Later when I looked around, I saw the ideal way of sketching and what a textbook language of a beautiful sketch looked like. My sketches never evolved after 6th grade. The same basic form of the surroundings is what I would capture. Sometimes just the overall shape and arrangement. As we grew older, the sketches of people around me became visually more pleasing. The shading of a sunflower was one drawing that I could never do. My friends gave elementary drawing exams but I did not think I could meet that level of representation. It was only after admission into an architecture college that I realized what sketching is and why we sketch.
Sketching is a visual representation of your ideas. It needs to be correct and not beautiful. It needs to be proportionate and not pretty, lastly it needs to be presentable and not appealing. The idea of sketching is to put it down before thinking. It is a great way of having a conversation with yourself. There is a certain way we look at things or at least we think we look at things. A tree is always drawn with a symmetric foliage and a truck however, all trees are different and most importantly, none of them are symmetrical. Visual and spatial representation built a strong backbone for expressing what and how I see people and myself. Not just the features and characteristics but also expressions and behavior. Self portraits, portraits of family members and body study sketches made me think about human behavior and its relation to the surroundings.
I noticed how self portraits had more character than the other portraits, maybe because I was aware of my thoughts and feelings and tried to represent them either through the medium or through the nature of the strokes. However, it was only when I changed the medium that I was able to depict this to some extent. The portraits of the family members captured come of their expressions, but like I said, the self portraits spoke a language the other portraits did not.
The body study explored how we inhabit space and how we form relations with them. Our body subconsciously builds experiences and memories with familiar surroundings. We know the height of the cupboard, the position of walls, the parapet levels and the steps. Even if not the same element, we have had experience with similar elements sometime in our lives. Our muscles relax when our brain knows what we’re doing and guides the actions.
These emotional and subconscious actions and behavior also define the space. The design decisions are largely affected by these relations of people to the space. Understanding this relation forms the very basis of any design decision. Not just physically but also emotionally we inhabit a space. These set of drawings helped me to analyze and understand the relations and representing it was another step further. This representation included different representation mediums. White background with monochrome sketches was the medium I chose, specially charcoal because it had a flow. Charcoal as a medium does not allow time to think, it captures simply what we perceive. Black background was a very bold choice and it did not occur to me how much it could impact the representation. Using it itself is an expression and a character. Using a darker background is surely something I’d want to try to see how much it highlights and brings out the expression.