Project 1.3: changing the scale

Aim: “to explode (!) notions of scale and experiment with an extreme change of scale… before you start work, spend some time thinking about the implications of manipulating scale in drawing composition…” (Coursebook, p. 22)

Following on from the exercise previous and the discovery of photocopied templates, I juxtaposed two differently scaled photographs (one of the wall installation, one of a single A4 image) together. Once I posted it, I realised that I had rescaled these two by placing them in close relationship to each other — the scale of networked images is generally device-dependent, so it very much depends on the viewer at what scale they will encounter an image. Yet: by placing them next to each I was making a statement of their scale being equal, effectively equating a 20x12cm sketchbook page with a ca 90x120cm wallspace:

digital collage of wall installation and single drawing (rescaled by juxtaposition)

As next item I decided to redraw the brief sketch of the distribution of darks between the two filing cabinets on A2 paper. For this, I decided to work with the same drawing implement (mechanical pencil) — I had started to become interested in the different of scale for different drawing tool (see the marks of the coloured pencil on the squared blanked in the larger drawing on the left above and then redrawn on A2 paper with the blanket much larger; for the latter, the c/pencil marks are not nearly as effective as on the smaller scale within the initial drawing).

I worked on a flat board and off a small photograph at relatively low lighting. I reworked the drawing a bit further in daylight (but it still remains sketch-like as to the definitions within the shadow itself).

Shadow gap, A2, mechanical pencil (B2), photographed to include paper shadow on left edge
Detail of Shadow gap, optical zoom.

This drawing can further be reworked and upscaled: e.g., to focus entirely on the detail crop and redraw in A2, again possibly with mechanical pencil? Would I focus on the actual marks of the source drawings or the actual shape of the shadow?

— these iterations thus remove the drawing further from the initial object/ observation. Just as the photograph of the whole sheet adds another shadow layer (of the sheet of paper) to the drawing, a further zooming into the detail poses questions as to whether the drawing marks become the focus or the initial object.

I continued this project focus considerably and it informs to a large extent my assignment piece and submission, see the post here [update link].



  • my focus of investigation has become twofold:
    • the distancing or even removal from source object/observation through iteration (and I don’t mean merely working in series as this but a more systematic zooming in, peeling away)
    • change in scale by defining the relationship between different objects/ drawings; this is crucial when considering digital circulation and engagement with the material as actual viewing size is almost entirely audience dependent (by means of their viewing device, browser, browser zoom etc.).
  • downscaling is the most common practice in drawing: often the sketchbook operates on a smaller scale than the observed setting; working bigger thus generally presents a strategy of ‘moving closer to the subject’; yet, my inclination is to say that moving beyond life size is not that common for most settings. In terms of the shadow gap drawing the gap is possibly life size at its base in the A2 drawing (but the dimensions of the cubes are altered, i.e. made more square than in actuality).
    AP: check actual dimensions of gap and cabinet.


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