I've been going back to basics with my work as I start on a new series of drawings and paintings. My last series was a collection of natural disasters and ecological wonders from around the world, such as disappearing lakes in Egypt, melting ice shelves in the Canadian Arctic, and expiring archipelagoes.
I was my next series to hone in on one specific theme, rather than an overarching title. I want my work to explore natural disasters, but not just from one perspective. I want to give detail, I want to take my work to new depths.
With my current drawings, I've been focusing on the flood disaster in the US in October 2012. I have been finding source material from satellite imagery. In the image above you can see my latest piece in progress. This is potentially a preliminary sketch for a large piece. It's still a work in progress, so I haven't worked out it's final designation.
As the drawing progresses, I have been adding tone to the flooded areas to give contrast to and form to the flooding. I haven't decided yet as to whether this form of shading works best with these drawings. I have used tone to give a sense of physicality, depth, form and three-dimensionality. However, would not a flatter form of shading, which gave a more even layer of colour, work better in relation to maps?
I am unsure about the finished look of the drawing. The lines and contours of New Jersey seem to disappear, to fizzle off like a fantasy land. I'm not sure if the white space around my image works in relation to the object I am portraying. Also, I have added physicality, tone, to the wet elements of my map: the ocean on both sides of the land, and the flooded areas. I have given a sense of three-dimensionality to something which is transient, fluid. Whereas, I think the areas most appropriate to tone would be land.
I think this piece is a good starting point from which my new pieces can develop from. Ideas about composition, tone and editing need to become a priority, as recently I have put these elements to the back of my mind.
I need to sort out composition and scale before I move on to colour, and start painting again.