☆Simon Herron: On Drawing

☆Lecture 10!

  • Date: 14/03/12
  • Lecturer: Simon Herron
  • Topic: On Drawing

Simon Herron this week talks about drawing and the importance. He teaches architecture at the University of Greenwich and is the son of Ron Heron who is well known for his work ‘The Walking City’. Simon also mentioned about growing up in a dysfunctional family. This lecture was somewhat similar to that of Nic Clear’s, which was also about drawing (and animation). I was intrigued to find out whether Simon shared similar views of drawing in comparison with Nic as they both specialise in that area. He emitted a rather friendly and down to earth impression and would frequently insert a joke here and there, I liked his sense of humour.

I also liked the way he would occasionally compare certain things as examples of how technology has developed, such as how the idea of drawing has evolved to this day. It was interesting to know that back in the 1960s when people were confined to drawing as a contrast to today where we have many editing programs to enhance our drawings and add special effects if desired which makes things so much more convenient. Simon presented some examples of the processes in making drawings, the majority were done by hand without the use of computers and editing. He had this special technique which involved first drawing on tracing paper, photographing and then photo reproducing it again using a printing technique called TTS which stands for  ‘true to scale. The final stage was to create a collage. The method of taking photographs of the original drawings and reproducing it from the negative to create an image was a good idea and the outcome looked really professional, still preserving those intricate details.

In spite of all the editing programs available which allow designers to speedily edit drawings and manipulate them into extraordinary looking images, I still prefer the idea of hand drawing. To me, drawing is always the first step of the stage in developing ideas. This is reminiscent of the words of Nic Clear where he argues that architecture couldn’t have come before drawing, one could not exist without the other. As young graphic designers sketching and drawing are always the first thing we settle to do, in many ways these so called rough ideas are the first step in depicting communication.

I enjoy drawing very much, it is one of my hobbies and I am always trying to improve my skills whether by hand or using Photoshop. This reminds me of a project where I chose to create my own manga comic book; I remember choosing to draw and ink the pages all by hand instead of using editing programs as I wanted to preserve the original images. Of course contradicting this, I know that digitalising with Photoshop would provide many benefits and may be more convenient, not to mention a faster process, yet I prefer to adhere to traditional methods.

Simon showed us his student’s work, these were highly detailed drawings of how they can become physical and capture the purpose of the drawing. Examples included drawings done with fire, cigarettes and matches where it becomes a space for experimenting

He also talks about showing drawings through the use of collages where he uses layers and layers of sellotape. These layers he would build up and scan and photograph frequently to show how the drawings can be elaborated to create something new and interesting as a collage.

I agree with Simon that the act of drawing generates and draws out the creativity within individuals and gives them experience. I think that drawing will always come first for me, with a pencil and paper would be interesting to see what different things people can create on that page; all we need is a little imagination to activate it.



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