Exercise: A subjective drawing


Take another object and write a list of a series of words to describe it. In this drawing, you are not describing its function or purpose but its particular qualities. Is it shiny, hard, soft, fluffy, delicious or antique? These adjectives are subjective – there is no wrong or right – whichever words you select will be appropriate because they reflect your interpretation and understanding of the object.

Words that describe an “Umbrella”:

  • Soft
  • Hard
  • Silky
  • Smooth
  • Segmented
  • Loose
  • Tight
  • Wet
  • Dry
  • Multicoloured
  • Long
  • Round

The word chosen for my basis is “Segmented”. Below are my searched reference images for my chosen word:

I created the linework to my image in Adobe Illustrator. I wanted to exaggerate the segments and divide the umbrella into lots of shapes and angles. I always think of an umbrella slackening the becoming taught when used in harsh weather.

I then added colour and shadows to the image, exaggerating the segments with lighting. I wanted to use a bright colour to make the umbrella pop. I then created a dark background with rain and a slight visual metaphor with the protected area of the umbrella being lit differently to the rest of the image.

Final Image


I found the research for this exercise to be problematic. Choosing a single word from my descriptions and then researching it didn’t seem to offer me much in a way to finish my final image. I understand that a subjective perception still has to look like the object, but I felt by being pinned to a single word for reference didn’t work for me. I felt like I was being asked to make a subjective image (my interpretation), but in the way the brief wanted me to.