Drawing Experiment: Layered Drawings


by Clara Lieu

This afternoon was an extremely rare event for me:  6 continuous hours of uninterrupted time in the studio. I worked on a second drawing, knowing that my plan would be to layer this new drawing on top of the drawing I did previously.

The hardest part of working on this second drawing (see below) is that I knew that the vast majority of work I did on it would eventually be ripped to shreds. It can be painful to throw out work that you spent a lot of time on, but I strongly believe that being too precious about your artwork can be a severe limitation in your progress. Especially in an early stage in a project, it’s critical to be able to throw things out.  You never know what you might gain in the process.


I can see that my marks with the woodless pencil are becoming much less picky and more confident. I’ve never really used woodless pencils this intensively before, but I can tell that my strokes are bolder now. Even my physical movements when I’m drawing feel much more efficient and assertive.  I think part of this is gaining familiarity with this tool, but also I’m feel a lot less rusty now that I’ve been drawing for a few weeks.



Once I finished the second drawing, I placed it on top of the first drawing. (see above) Placing these two drawings together was really surprising.  I started seeing the drawings as three-dimensional sculptures and thinking about how they balanced with each other. I had some major structural problems with the top drawing nearly falling to pieces, so I started using Scotch tape on the back of the drawings to make sure they didn’t rip in important points.

I actually ended up using lots of Scotch tape throughout the entire piece.  It occurred to me that it wouldn’t be practical if the piece had to be re-constructed every time I wanted to hang it up on a wall. So I put Scotch tape to attach the two drawings together at key points, so that the piece would be able to hold it’s shape.


I really enjoyed the entire process, because there were two layers of tissue paper, I was able to make the piece much more sculptural.  Looking at the final piece, (see above) I do think that the two drawings are fighting each other quite a bit, and that they look too similar.  I realized a better way to balance the drawings would be to have one drawing be more dark and concrete, and for the other to be lighter and more ethereal. When I created the two drawings, I thought about them as separate entities, which is why they ultimately didn’t work together very well.

Still, this was a really exciting experiment. In the next sketch, I’m going to try making one drawing visibly darker and more concrete, while the other drawing will be much lighter and more ethereal.  Hopefully that advance thinking on the construction of the piece will allow for a more effective relationship between the two drawings.


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