Part 5 – Draw and Experiment

Option 1 Mark-making and tone

Exercise: Quick sketches around the house

For this exercise I was supposed to make four drawings in each room of my house, turning 45 degrees for each drawing to get different views.

The exercise said to approach the drawings however I wanted to, as long as I made fast visual notes, observed and reflected.

I made quick line drawings with tonal study in most of them.

Living room

Living room 1

 

The above drawing was a fast visual note, which has many errors including the asymmetry of the settee – the left side is lower than the right, making it appear deeper on one side than the other.  The table on the left side is not to scale with the settee: it should be taller and deeper and wider.  The painting on the wall is too low, the boots are too small (in relation to the settee) and the corner wall is leaning over to the right.

Living room 5

The drawing above was successful.  Errors include the chest of drawers which should be wider and all of the wobbly lines which should be straight.  Although the wobbly lines are what comes when making quick observations free hand in pen, I think many of them add to the character of the scene.

Living room 3

I was really pleased with the effect of drawing the view out the window, it created a contrast from the light internal scene.  Errors include the angle of the shelves where they meet the ceiling, which should be closer to horizontal.  The distance between the bookshelves and the window should be wider.  The chairs are not very accurate depictions, the closest one to reality being the one between  the teapot and the bookcase (back left) that being said, the one on the front left is at an angle, so there is foreshortening in that particular chair.

The image below has some curvy wall lines, the scale of the table is far too small next to the settee, the window is too narrow (it should be taller) and therefore the line where the wall meets the ceiling is also too low, and the archway ceiling of the corridor is also too low.

Living room 4

In the drawing below the lines of the fridge are wobbly and angular, while the kitchen counters seem to tip forwards because the lines on the top of the counter tops and the stove are at the wrong angle.  But the height and scale are right in this one, which is good progress.  There are also some errors in the decorative top of the cabinet on the left of this drawing.  I was pleased with how I developed different levels of tone in this cabinet.

Living room 6

Kitchen

The drawing below has tonal observations which I think are good for creating depth and form.  The lack of a shadow on oven door looks like an error but in fact it was shiny and reflecting light from different places in the room and therefore not shaded.

Errors include the left hand back corner wall, which should have been further away.  I had difficulties drawing this area in the room at speed.  There should be more cupboard between the bottles and the oven.  The lines on the extreme right are falling away at an unusual angle which is due to me looking from different angles while drawing.

kitchen 2

The clutter in the kitchen drawings makes interesting viewing.  The image below has errors such as wobbly lines on the cupboards and washing machines, the switches are not in line with one another, the jug is too small and the toaster is asymmetrical .  The wall is leaning over.

kitchen 3

Below I used red felt tip to see how that would look.  I asked people what they thought of it and some said they preferred black because red is not easy on the eyes, while someone else said that they liked the red because it is colourful and bright.

Errors in this drawing are the lines of the back wall which are at the wrong angles, the electrical socket is too small, as is the kettle and the stove top.

kitchen 4

Below: quick study of kitchen.  Errors include lines on top right cupboard, lines where the kitchen counter meets the floor, window lines and lines of the cupboard at the back of the room.

Kitchen 1

Bedroom One

This is my bedroom, it is another room with lots of interesting clutter and debris to draw.  Errors include the wobbly lines and the width of the desk should be wider.

bedroom 2

Errors in this drawing include the light switch being too small and warped, the lines are wobbly.  This is a drawing for which I did not use tone.

Bedroom 1

Below: this drawing has a lot of tone and shadows.  Errors include the lines being loose and imprecise, especially for the plug holes at the top of the drawing.  Drawing was made in the presence of several light sources such as more than one overhead light and a window to the right.

bedroom 3

The drawing below has lots of curved line errors because of the doors,  But this was a good exercise to study the angles of the open cupboard and bedroom doors which are open to different degrees.  There is also a view into the next room.

There is a mark in the top left corner which was a mistake, somebody said they think it adds interest.

bedroom 4

Bathroom 1

In the drawing below the tiles on the left side wall should be the same size (apart from the perspective differences).  The back wall is also at the wrong angle from the ceiling.

small bathroom 2

The drawing below is from an above perspective looking downward.  The lines of the toilet brush holder and the toilet bowl itself are not accurate.

Small bathroom 3

The drawing below is drawn almost entirely from the reflection in the mirror behind the toilet (you can see the top of the lid of the toilet at the bottom of the image).  This was interesting to study.  I am standing in the doorway of the bathroom and in the reflection you can see the sink, taps and towel rail just inside.

Errors include the wobbly lines on door frames, walls and mirror.  The mirror is taller in reality, and the hands are too small.

small Bathroom 1

Bedroom 2

For this drawing I used a combination of felt tip markers and graphite 4B pencil.  I think this was effective for observing areas of tone as well as linear qualities.  The bedside light switches are too small, as are the cushions; the horizontal line of the ceiling meeting the wall bends and turns upward.

Other bedroom 4

Below there are errors in the desk lines and the wall lines.  The cupboard is narrower at the bottom than the top.

Other bedroom 3

This drawing below has a lot of contrast.  The errors are that the lines of the cupboard lean to the left at the lower half, the socket on the wall is too small and the radiator is at angles to the windowsill.

Other bedroom 2

The drawing below has a good sense of space which is because of the shading on the walls.  But the bedside table, picture and lamp are lacking in detail and accuracy, and the lines of the walls are loose and inexact.

Other bedroom 1

Main bathroom

I really like this quick study even though it is full of errors.  The toilet bowl is too small compared to everything else in the picture, the angle of the right wall is not as it should be, and the towel rail is of a range of widths when is should be exact and symmetrical.

big bathroom 4

The drawing below is the corner of the room with the bath in it.  I did more drawing with pencil this time and this makes the contrast incorrect.  The taps should be larger and so should the plug hole.  The lines are wobbly.

big bathroom 3

I like this drawing below.  The lines are all wobbly, the taps are once again too small and the left sink bends away from the wall on the right side.

Big bathroom 2

The drawing below tips over to the left with nearly all the horizontal lines and has wobbly vertical lines.  The right sink is smaller than the left.

Big bathroom 1

Check and Log - Copy (3)

I am pleased with my line drawings and use of hatching and cross-hatching.  I think it was very successful.  Also successful were the drawings where I combined black fine line marker with graphite pencil.  This helped to add another dimension and a different layer of tone.

One of the challenges I encountered was drawing straight lines freehand.

Living room 5

 

In drawings like this example above, you can see vertical lines on the left and right of the drawing (the walls and the chest of drawers) are jaunty and wandering.

I am not happy with this drawing below, I think partly because of wobbly lines and partly because there is not enough detail or shading.

Big bathroom 1

I like this study below because, even though it is messy it shows you the room with the open door, looking out into the hallway and through the doorway into the other room.  There is not much shading, as I gave myself a time limit for this drawing, but there is a range of little details explaining the personality of the room.

bedroom 4

The drawing below was not very successful because the shading on the cupboards was not effective.  It was a very dark area, so possibly I should not have added detail to the cupboard doors, or perhaps I should have added black pen to show darker areas.

It was a quick study, I am pleased with the jars, bottles and kettle on the work top.  As a line drawing I would be pleased with it, but the tonal aspects of this drawing are not successful.

kitchen 4

I liked drawing lots of clutter and objects, in my room and the living room.  I think that makes a drawing interesting.

Exercise: Composition

Four quick preliminary sketches establishing shapes and mapping tone.  I used soft pencil as it was one of the suggested mediums.

This view is facing south from the living room, and it creates good contrast and geometric shapes.  There is some foreshortening in the chair and the table.

Composition 1

The drawing below is the East view, through the kitchen from the living room.  There is foreshortening in the counter top and draining board, of which you cannot see the top surfaces.  It is also my first drawing in this exercise which is portrait format.  This gives it more opportunity for vertical lines.

composition 3

The image below is the West view from the centre of the living room, with the windows to your left.  There is foreshortening in the corridor and the chair.

composition 2

The view below is another West view from the East side of the living room, with some foreshortening in the chair furniture and corridor.

img453

Below is a south view drawing with coloured pencils, developing composition ideas relating to the foreground and the background.  Using coloured pencils adds warmth to the image; the colour depicts a different element of the view and the character of the room.

coloured pencil composition study

Below is an east view in pencil, continuing to develop ideas to do with foreground and background.  I think that having objects close up as well as in the distance makes a dynamic composition.  The foreground is interesting, while the middle ground puts the foreground in perspective, leading your eye to the background.  It makes for an interesting picture because you can fit a lot in.

Living room 2

Below is another west view from the east corridor looking through the living room all the way to the dark place which is the west corridor.  This is another portrait format drawing, this format works really well for this view because there is more to see vertically than horizontally.

Living room from hall way

At this point in the exercise I thought I should loosen up and relax, because I have started to become precious in my pursuit of accuracy, and my quick studies have become long, careful events.  So I decided to try a different approach, using a selection of media and working freely and quickly.

img450

The above drawing is made using ink and brush and is an east view of the living room.  This was actually a really productive exercise because working this quickly you really record what you see.  Each drawing is very different from the next.  It is a good way to really get to know a view, to break it down to its basic pieces.  Shapes, lines, areas all boiled down to their simplest forms.  You record what you notice in the first second, without over thinking or analysis.

img449

 

The drawing above I added coloured pencils to, and some collaged paper from the inside of an envelope.  The different colours were added very quickly, but they do represent different areas of the room, furniture, spaces, shadows etc.

img451

Above you can see was first drawn in coloured pencil, followed by ink wash, followed my more pencil to fill spaces of colour in.

img452

The drawing above is made in semi-continuous line, with different colours to help organise the different layers of silhouette and simplistic line drawings.

img448

The drawing above is a dramatic drawing of the hallway leading to the door, with negative space surrounding it.  This creates a focal point which helps you to concentrate on one small part of a view, and sort of change the way it is perceived.

Working fast and loose and letting the media lead me really helped me to open my imagination to the possibilities of the exercise.

*

The image below is another compositional study in 4B graphite pencil.  It is a portrait format drawing focusing on line and tone.  The shadows are quite dramatic because I am facing the window.

img473

For the drawing below I used coloured pencils and graphite, exploring hatching and tone as well as colour and line, this was a valuable experiment, drawing attention to certain areas of the image and creating dynamism.  This is also a portrait format drawing, and I am really pleased with it.
img474Below is a study made using limited palette oil pastels.  The objects in the foreground have context, while the background is more ambiguous and abstract.  This drawing is more simplified than graphite drawings tend to have been, and is an example of an alternative approach to composition.  I am really pleased with this image.

img475

 

Check and Log - Copy (3)

I enjoyed this exercise and thoroughly explored my ideas about composition.  I liked experimenting with putting different objects of varying quantities in the foreground with the room in the background.

img473  Living room 2

 

img475

 

 

I tried out using oil pastels, which had a fairly unpredictable, stylised outcome (above), coloured pencils, inks and graphite pencils.  I really liked using coloured pencils, they worked very well with graphite, adding brightness and detail to certain areas, creating a focal point and a sense of depth. (below left)

Coloured pencils also worked really well independently, creating really interesting images with line, shape, tone and colour. (below right)

img474          coloured pencil composition study

I had fun experimenting with media, blocking in areas with ink wash, working fast and loose.  This was useful for breaking down a view to see it in blocks of space, shape and line.  This helps you to see the structure, outlines and format.

I found it valuable to try a range of different compositions in landscape, portrait and square format.

Exercise: Tonal Study

Soft pastel.

Soft pastel on textured coloured pastel paper. A3

I made this pastel study (above) using soft pastel dark blue.  I used hatching and smudging to blend with my fingers.  Because of the time of day there was lots of natural light in this drawing, making the darker areas more striking.

This exercise didn’t suggest using ink and wash, but I wanted to try it out anyway.  The drawing below is an A4 quick study of the areas of tone in my view.

img695

 

I have been looking again at the introduction to Option 1 – Mark-making and Tone, and I made some pencil studies just looking at how objects and forms relate to each other.

 

img706

I like the thought that objects and items in a room or corner “create their own mini environments with their own particular formal and tonal interest”. I feel I would like to focus on that thoroughly, on a smaller, closer level.  It is easy to get swept into drawing a whole room with large empty spaces of wall or floor being the focal point, when the relationship between smaller objects or forms is fascinating also.

img707

Below: two expressive tonal graphite drawings, A3.

DSCN2961 - Copy DSCN2966

Check and Log - Copy (3)

For this exercise I first made an A3 drawing in soft pastel, followed by a drawing in ink with wash, and two graphite drawings, as well as some small studies.

I was pleased with my soft pastel drawing because the medium was good for blending mid tones and connecting different parts of the drawing.  To be critical I think there needs to be darker tones, and lighter highlights, possibly with a chalk or white paint.

Soft pastel.

I was pleased with my ink wash drawing also because it has a dramatic light and atmosphere.  Ink wash is good for drawing a shadowy room because it show how natural light moves and has an uneven surface from travelling through trees and windows and all sorts of things.

img695

In my first graphite drawing I used rubbings of a wooden table surface to draw the surface of the table.  This was really successful.  I made this drawing in an experimental way, looking at the darker areas and lighter areas and not working closely with detail.  I think it creates a dramatic image.  I returned to the mark making exercises in the earlier part of the course to help open my mind.

DSCN2961 - Copy

 

My second graphite drawing was layered with graphite, I covered most of the page in graphite and removed layers and replaced graphite.  I used dotted lines and scribbles to develop layers of tone, and used my fingers to blend.  This was a really good way of creating complex surface texture because you can partially erase marks.  I was influenced by Frank Auerbach’s drawings.

DSCN2966

Exercise: Line and wash

Ink and watercolour wash on a page from a map book (A3)

Ink and watercolour wash on a page from a map book (A3)

Ink and watercolour wash on A2 cartridge paper.

Ink and watercolour wash on A2 cartridge paper.

Felt tip and watercolour wash on A3 paper.

Felt tip and watercolour wash on A3 paper.

Line and wash drawing on an old road map.

Line and wash drawing on an old road map.

Check and Log - Copy (3)

I have used hatching and cross hatching to shade areas in my line drawing, as well as washes of colour.  For this drawing I worked on a page from a road map book, which added another layer of linear qualities.  I was pleased with this drawing because I think that filling in parts of the drawing with colour and leaving some areas just with black pen creates a good effect.  And I like the outcome of working straight on with pen, and having mistakes left under corrections, for all the world to see.  This was another experiment with composition, having objects on a table in the foreground; the wash of colour helps to divide foreground and background.

Ink and watercolour wash on a page from a map book (A3)

 

 

This image (below) is less successful.  I am happy with the limited palette washes but I think that portrait format is not very effective for this view.  There are lots of scale errors in this drawing too – the picture in the background is not wide enough and the little table is much too small.

Ink and watercolour wash on A2 cartridge paper.

I am pleased with the drawing below, it has wax resist, ink pen and watercolour wash.

Felt tip and watercolour wash on A3 paper.

 

The drawing below was a quick study made with ink and brush on a map.  I am pleased with it as a preliminary study, although I think the middle ground and background don’t have enough contrast.

Line and wash drawing on an old road map.

Exercise: Experiment with Mixed Media

Watercolour line drawing (Approximately A3)

Watercolour line drawing (Approximately A3)

This is a very exciting task which enables you to look at the emotional side of a space, the personal context and things.  I have not been working with a title but some of the examples in the textbook (“my clutter” etc.) have been in my mind.

Pencil crayon using expressive marks.  Size approximately A3.

Pencil crayon using expressive marks. Size approximately A3.

 

Red pen - drawing without looking at the page (blind contour).

Red pen – drawing without looking at the page (blind contour).

Mixed media oil pastels and watercolour.  Approximately A3 paper.

Mixed media oil pastels and watercolour. Approximately A3 paper.

Oil pastel.  Approximately A3 paper.

Oil pastel. Approximately A3 paper.

Mixed media oil pastels and watercolour.  Approximately A3 paper.

Mixed media oil pastels and watercolour. Approximately A3 paper.

Mixed media oil pastels and watercolour.  Approximately A3 paper.

Mixed media oil pastels and watercolour. Approximately A3 paper.

A4 watercolour oil pastel and pencil crayon drawing.

A4 watercolour oil pastel and pencil crayon drawing.

Watercolours and oil pastels with flicking paint.

Watercolours and oil pastels with flicking paint.

 

Pencil crayons and oil pastels with watercolour wash.

Pencil crayons and oil pastels with watercolour wash.

Oil pastel line drawing with watercolour wash.

Oil pastel line drawing with watercolour wash.

Negative space drawing.  Watercolour and coloured pencil.

Negative space drawing. Watercolour and coloured pencil.

Check and Log - Copy (3)

 

For this exercise I explored the different media opportunities and referred back to ideas in the first part of the course about mark-making.

I used watercolour and brush for the drawing below:

Watercolour line drawing (Approximately A3)

 

I am really pleased with this drawing as it has a delicate quality from being all made out of different coloured lines.

I used pencil crayons and felt pen to make further drawings, exploring the media options before combining them together.  I made a blind contour drawing which was good for describing the character of all my clutter in my bedroom (red pen drawing below).

Pencil crayon using expressive marks.  Size approximately A3.  Red pen - drawing without looking at the page (blind contour).

Here you can see I have used oil pastels and watercolour to draw my room.

Mixed media oil pastels and watercolour.  Approximately A3 paper.

 

I found it really exciting to fill in some areas with washes and leave others just white paper and line (see below).  I explored different colour combinations and made quick expressive drawings, loosening the accuracy to capture the essence of the room.

 

Mixed media oil pastels and watercolour.  Approximately A3 paper.

 

I found dark blue oil pastel worked really well with yellow watercolour, and blended in with blue watercolour.

 

Mixed media oil pastels and watercolour.  Approximately A3 paper.

 

I was really pleased with the image below.  I used pastels, pencil crayons and watercolours and the different media worked really well together, creating contrasting textures because of the nature of the different media.

 

A4 watercolour oil pastel and pencil crayon drawing.

 

The drawing below was mainly focused on colour and shape.  I experimented with flicking to apply paint, which had an abstract outcome, definitely worth revisiting, although not entirely successful in this instance. Although, having said that, I did find it useful as a learning exercise, and in this drawing I worked in oil pastel on top of watercolour, (instead of adding a wash of watercolour over a pastel drawing) which was good for layering and a new and different effect.

 

Watercolours and oil pastels with flicking paint.

 

For the drawing below I used oil pastels and added a wash of black to get a negative effect image.  The drawing is flawed as far as accuracy goes, (for example the bed is wrong) but as a method of media combining and observing the personality of a space I think it is very successful.

 

Oil pastel line drawing with watercolour wash.

 

For the drawing below I used a fine line pen and watercolours.  It is a negative space drawing.  It is successful, although the angle of the bed is again not correct.

Negative space drawing.  Watercolour and coloured pencil.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_contour_drawing

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Reviewing work so far

Make a brief entry for each exercise and assignment undertaken so far detailing successes and any problems that you have encountered.

Part One

Project: Making Marks

Exercise – Holding Pens and Pencils

This was a successful exercise because I explored the marks which can be achieved using charcoal and graphite.  In this exercise I have not used  different tools with inks, added washes, or used layering very much.  It was a good first trial with a selection of different marks.

Exercise – Doodling

I really enjoyed this exercise.  I especially liked making different sized ovals and circles, as well as scribbling.

Exercise – Mark-making Techniques

I think this exercise was good, but I think that it would have been good to use a large sheet of paper to just go wild making marks on, all over (like in the doodling exercise) and then perhaps cut out different areas and make a grid in that way.  I think there are many other techniques and marks than I have collected here.  Many other media, also.

Project Enlarging an image

Exercise Enlarging an existing drawing

For this exercise I worked images from size A5 paper to A3 paper.  The drawings are successful; my tutor said they would have been more successful if I had used more detailed originals.

Exercise Enlarging a simple flat image

Again this image is A5 up to A3.  I am particularly pleased with the shading in this drawing.

Project Using texture

Exercise Experimenting with texture

I am very pleased with this exercise because it has variety or marks and media.  The different marks in these drawings have different voices and personalities.

Still life Negative space and perspective

Exercise  Observing negative space and perspective

This exercise was successful and I am pleased with my drawings.

Project Still life – Natural and Made objects

Exercise Still life sketches of made objects

I am really pleased with the drawings made in this exercise.  I developed my skills with hatching and stippling, as well as exploring ideas about shapes and composition.

Composition of Natural Objects

This exercise was very successful because I again developed my skills in composition thumbnails as well as hatching.  I also created a good sense of three dimensional form by using line to develop surface tone and shadows.  This was an unusual way of creating a drawing for me, but it turned out to be really effective.

Exercise: Study of light reflected from one object to another

This study was fairly successful with interesting results.  The only problems I found were that the white chalk on blue paper did not create such a contrast from the darker areas as it would if I had some white paper left white.  Or perhaps even white oil pastels.

Exercise: Shadows and Reflected light and shade 

This study was successful.  I made use of different mark making techniques, layering as well as blending and removing tone with a rubber.  ( The latter technique is good for creating a surface which resembles that of glass.)

Exercise with lines and other marks, first using pencils and pens. Then using oil pastels, soft pastels, wax crayons and inks with a range of tools.

I think this exercise was very successful, most successful thumbnails being the pencils, pens and inks, where I have discovered a wide variety of lines and marks.  The less successful boxes, I would say are the pastel drawn trials.  I have found a range of different marks to make using pastels, but I think the range I have discovered here is limited.

(Further experimentation (possibly at a larger size) might be useful)

Basic shapes and fundamental form

Exercise – Boxes and books

This drawing were successful and with further practice in later exercises I gained confidence in book and box drawing.

Exercise – Jars and Jugs 

These drawings were very successful and I can see that the lines improved as my confidence improved from drawing more jars.

Project – Tone and Form: formations of light and shadow on a surface

Observing light and shadow formations on a surface

This was interesting and I discovered ways of layering different graphite marks to get different effects of light and shade.

Tonal studies

I really enjoyed making these thumbnails and the larger drawing, working and developing my hatching skills to create the illusion of three dimensional form.

Exercise: Supermarket Shop

I thoroughly enjoyed this exercise, I made one black and white line drawing and one ink line drawing with colour filled in.  Neither of the drawings include tone, and working straight on with ink means that the incorrect lines are visible.

Assignment One

This assignment was successful because I utilised the skills I learned during the course so far, such as hatching, blending, working with pastels, inks and washes, creating the illusion of three dimensions with tone, mark making and thumbnail drawing.  I made plenty of initial studies to get a good understanding of the subject.

Part Two:

Observation in nature: Project Exploring coloured media

Exercise: Exploring coloured media

This exercise was successful.  I explored a range of media, marks and blending techniques. I used hatching, stippling to layer and blend colours.  I used pencil crayons, inks, soft pastels and oil pastels.

Project: Detailed observation

Exercise: Line Drawing detail

This exercise was successful, I used a felt tip marker.

Exercise: Getting tone and depth in detail

This was successful as an exploration of shading techniques.  I combined hatching, cross hatching and stippling.

Exercise: Stipples and dots

This was a fun and slow drawing to make.  I enjoyed making a picture using something other than line.

I also made drawings of composition thumbnails and studies of different marks, tones and textures.

Project: Still life

Still life group using line

This drawing was very successful because it was good at capturing the fragility of the plants in the still life.  The image on the weblog has a shadow down the centre in a vertical line, which makes it look like a folded paper.  This is because the paper is A3 and so I had to scan it twice on my A4 scanner.  It is not folded.

Still life group in tone

My still life tone drawings if stones were made using oil pastels.  I worked on white paper and then I worked on paper with words on it.  These are successful at drawing surface texture as well as the shadows making the illusion of solid three dimensional stones.

Project: Drawing fruit and vegetables in colour

Exercise: Using hatching to create tone

I explored hatching with different media in this exercise, which was interesting as I previously associated hatching with fine lines.  I used ink and brush and coloured pencils.

Exercise: Using markers or dip pens

This was an interesting experiment because it led me to explore colour at the same time and I layered different marks on top of one another, fine and broad line hatching, cross hatching and stippling, markers over dip pens and vice versa.  It was excellent.

Exercise: Drawing using oil pastel

This was successful, using textured coloured paper.  The white highlights on the vegetables and tomatoes was very successful and I used the light and shadows to create the illusion of three dimensions.

Project: Drawing plants and flowers

Exercise: Negative space in a plant 

This exercise was very successful.  I enjoyed it and I used my imagination to extend the task instructions.  I filled in the negative space using graphite stick, fine line hatching and subsequently, the scene which was in the negative space.

Exercise: Plants and flowers in coloured pencil

I also really enjoyed this exercise.  I made extensive colour tests using watercolour pencils, before drawing a vase of flowers on a large sheet of paper.

Exercise: Drawing with other colour media

This exercise was successful and exciting.  I explored a range of mixed media including coloured markers, ink pens, pencil crayons, wax crayons and graphite pencil.  The different combinations of these, as well as the combinations of lines, patterns, filled in shapes and negative spaces made for unusual interpretations of the still life.

Project: Drawing animals

Exercise: Grabbing the chance

This exercise was very successful; I made drawings in a range of sizes and media.  I made quick studies and drawings which took long periods of time.  I observed details as well as movement and personality.  I used a variety of mark making techniques.

My larger drawing was sadly not as successful as my quicker studies because I included the background and this distracted from the figure of the dog.

Exercise: Drawing a fish

This was a successful exercise in which I used coloured pencil dots and dashes to draw the scaly fish.  I also made drawings using ink and brush.  I explored filling in the negative spaces and working on paper with text.

Assignment Two

I would say that the drawing I made for this assignment was less successful than some for the drawings I made for the exercises.  I think looking at this drawing now that there needed to be more tonal contrast between the background and the plants in the foreground.  The textures, colours and lines in detail are successful, but the over all image has not got the illusion of depth or form.

Part Three

Project: Landscape drawing

Exercise: A sketchbook walk

This was a successful exercise, I made four drawings in graphite.

 Exercise: 360° studies

This was a successful exercise, I worked in blue felt tip marker.  I found it challenging to work under a time limit.

 Exercise: Drawing cloud formations 

This exercise was successful because I made lots of different drawings in a range of media including oil pastels, soft pastels, collage, pencils and pencil crayons.

 Exercise: Plotting space through composition and structure

This exercise was successful, but my choice of a landscape view was not perfect for the particular exercise.

Project: Perspective

Exercise: Parallel perspective: an interior view

I had a lot of difficulty with this exercise because I had trouble working the parallel perspective lines with the lines in the drawings.

Exercise: Angular perspective

I found this exercise equally challenging because I found it difficult to use the lines of angular perspective.

Project: Townscapes

Exercise – Study of a townscape using line

I really enjoyed this exercise, I made studies in pencil and in ink.  It was an exciting task to draw natural forms with man-made structures.

Exercise – A sketchbook of townscape drawings.

I liked this task because “a sketchbook of drawings” gave you a span of a lot of options.  I tried making thumbnails of different angles and perspectives, close up and far away.  I made detailed studies, ink and brush studies and coloured pencil studies.

Exercise: A limited palette study from your sketches

This was interesting as I had not previously had much experience with limited palette studies.  I worked with coloured pencil crayons and conté crayons.  This was a successful exercise because even though I made some mistakes and I corrected them.

Exercise: Drawing statues

I enjoyed this exercise and it was successful because I made lots of drawings with a sense of perspective.  I also made drawings where I explored the potential of different media and coloured papers and found papers.

Project: Drawing trees

Exercise: Sketching an individual tree

This was a successful exercise.  I made a collection of small studies, two medium studies and two large studies.

Exercise: Larger study of an individual tree

This was successful because I made an A3 study of a tree, and then I went on to make further studies of the tree, exploring oil pastels and collage papers.

 Exercise: Study of several trees

This exercise was successful because I made lots of mixed media preliminary studies of groups of trees, and then made a large oil pastel study.

Assignment Three 

This assignment was successful.  I made extensive preliminary studies of different viewpoints and media.  And I was successful in completing the outcome of the assignment.

 Part Four

Project: Proportions

Exercise – Quick poses 

This was a successful exercise and I made a collection of drawings in graphite and ink and markers.

Exercise – The longer pose

This exercise was successful.  It was a shame the figures feet were not in the picture.

Project: Form

Exercise: Essential shapes

This was tricky but it turned out well with practice.

Exercise – Essential elements

I enjoyed this exercise.  I developed my skills in hatching.  I also learned more about conte crayons and drawing with a stick.

Project: Gesture

Exercise: Stance

I found it tricky to make drawings in time frames between two and five minutes, but I got more confident as I practised, and I found using different media helped.

Exercise: Energy

I found this exercise interesting, I used coloured markers to draw.  This was a successful exercise.  Again they were timed drawings, but I had practised drawing at speed in the previous exercise, so I found it less daunting.

Project: Structure

Exercise: Three drawings

This was a successful exercise.  I explored three different media working quickly as well as more slowly which helped me to learn the advantages of each media for particular situations.  Particularly in this exercise I developed my understanding of using shade to create form.

 Project: The clothed figure

Exercise: Fabric with line and form

This exercise was valuable as a focus on fabrics and textures.  I found that many of my drawings came out quite abstract.

Exercise: Form and movement in a clothed figure

I found I was more successful in this exercise than the previous exercise.  Drawing fabrics on a clothed figure was distinctive from drawing fabrics on a chair.  I used a range of media as well as experimenting with collage and rubbings to make textures.

Project: The moving figure

Exercise: Sitting and waiting

I really enjoyed this exercise.  It was challenging and fascinating to draw people in everyday life.  I used a selection of media including oil pastels, wax crayons, felt tips, inks and coloured pencils.

Exercise: Fleeting moments

This was a successful exercise.  Drawing people at the bus stop was interesting with good results.

Project: Self Portrait.

Exercise: Drawing your face

This was a pleasant and successful exercise which I worked into extensively because I found it particularly engaging.

Exercise: A portrait from memory

This was a successful exercise.  It was interesting and challenging.  I used a range of different papers to draw on.

Assignment Four
1. Line and shape

This assignment was successful.  I made a selection of preliminary drawings to decide which position to draw from and which medium to use.  I found that broad marker would be most appropriate for this particular drawing.

Assignment Four

2. Tone

Again for this part of the assignment I made preliminary studies in a range of scales and media.  I made thumbnail composition drawings and large stick and ink drawings on different backgrounds.

Initially I thought that ink wash was the best medium to use for a tonal drawing, but I found that this medium doesn’t blend effectively and unintentional marks were unavoidable.  So I used pastels for the assignment drawing instead.  This assignment helped me to thoroughly understand tone in a way which I had not in the past.

Project: Self Portrait.

Exercise: Drawing your face

Several quick sketches of your head.

Several quick sketches of your head.

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Over all shape of head without neck.

Over all shape of head without neck.

Draw the shape of your neck repeatedly in your sketchbook. Keep altering your drawing if it does not seem right.

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This exercise seems peculiar to me – I hope I understood it correctly.

Exercise: A self portrait

A self portrait using graphite pencil stick.

A self portrait using graphite pencil stick.

The drawing above has a lot of lines which you cannot see very well at this scale, but if you click the images they get enlarged.

Self portrait: A3 pastel drawing on pink textured pastel paper.

Self portrait: A3 pastel drawing on pink textured pastel paper.

Pink pencil crayon study

Pink pencil crayon study

For this drawing I used a deep pink and a pastel pink pencil crayon.  I used line to build up the shape of the head, neck, shoulders, face and hair, then I added tones to give the impression of form.

A3 blue ink drawing using ink and brush - I used a broad brush in response to feedback from my tutor.

A3 blue ink self-portrait – 1 uncropped

A3 blue ink drawing using ink and brush – I used a broad brush in response to feedback from my tutor.

I have made four self portrait drawings (A3 in size) using blue ink.  I wanted to thoroughly explore the media.  After making four drawings I realise I have only just touched the surface of the potential of inks, but it is a good start, I think.

I am including photos of each page twice – one cropped and one not cropped.  This is because it is important to show the whole drawing entirely, but also because the pages got very curled by the water and ink, so it is a little distracting to see the space around the distorted page.

A3 blue ink self-portrait - 1 cropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait – 1 cropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait - 2 uncropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait – 2 uncropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait - 2 cropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait – 2 cropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait - 3 uncropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait – 3 uncropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait - 3 cropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait – 3 cropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait - 4 uncropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait – 4 uncropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait - 4 cropped

A3 blue ink self-portrait – 4 cropped

These drawings were a good opportunity to explore the effects of water and inks.  It demonstrates and the possibilities of media which is unpredictable as well as being fairly permanent and immediate.  You are forced to make quick decisions which make marks which cannot be undone or rubbed out.  They make dramatic images.

***

After reading about Degas’ work I came across his painting “Self Portrait in a soft hat”.

Degas - Self Portrait in a soft Hat, 1857-58

Degas – Self Portrait in a soft Hat, 1857-58

This opened up the idea to me that a self portrait could be varied depending on things like wardrobe, which had not occurred to me before.  So I decided to explore making a series of self portrait drawings around this idea.  (I suppose that other things you could emphasise in a self portrait would be props, background or colours for example.)

Self portrait in white T-shirt. Oil pastel on A3 textured paper - paper is yellow.

Self portrait in white T-shirt.
Oil pastel on A3 textured paper – paper is yellow.

Self portrait wearing my glasses. Self portrait in oil pastel on A3 textured paper - paper is yellow - cream, but this does not seem to show in the picture. Self portrait wearing my glasses. Self portrait in oil pastel on A3 textured paper - paper is yellow

Self portrait wearing my glasses. Self portrait in oil pastel on A3 textured paper – paper is yellow

Self portrait wearing a purple hat. Self portrait in oil pastel on A3 textured paper - paper is yellow

Self portrait wearing a purple hat.
Self portrait in oil pastel on A3 textured paper – paper is yellow

Self portrait wearing a coloured headscarf. Self portrait in oil pastel on A3 textured paper - paper is green and you can see it better in this picture.

Self portrait wearing a coloured headscarf.
Self portrait in oil pastel on A3 textured paper – paper is green

In “Self portrait wearing a coloured headscarf” I have drawn in details of the room behind me.  I think this gives the drawing more depth and adds colour and context, which is positive.

Making these drawings has been a good experience in developing media techniques as well as enlightening as to how much possibility for drawing there is in drawing the same subject (yourself) over and over again.  I feel I have barely touched the surface.

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Self portrait in a hand knitted beret.

 Exercise: A portrait from memory

Practising features of the face:img021 img022Eyes and glasses:  I keep drawing the eyes too big.

In this drawing from memory I made his face too wide and his eyes are not right either.  I think this might be due to drawing his glasses too small from memory.  His hair was short shaved, so I think next time I draw that sort of hair I will use dots or dashes, to illustrate the texture.

In this drawing from memory I made his face too wide and his eyes are not right either. I think this might be due to drawing his glasses too small from memory. His hair was short shaved, so I think next time I draw that sort of hair I will use dots or dashes, to illustrate the texture.

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This was the second portrait from memory of the same person. I found it easier to draw him the more preparatory studies I made.

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Another memory portrait, drawn just after meeting someone.

Another memory portrait, drawn just after meeting someone.

Click here to view my research point for investigating artist self portraits.  

Check and Log - Copy (3)

Which drawing materials produced the best results?  Why? 

Oil pastels, because they can make colour and tone and line very easily.  They are adaptable and you can layer them.  I liked using inks but I think the inks did not work so well as the pastels in this context.  Inks have good linear qualities.

Does your self portrait look like you?  Show it to a couple of friends or family members and note down their comments.

My family think that my “Self portrait in a purple hat” looks most like me.

Self portrait wearing a purple hat. Self portrait in oil pastel on A3 textured paper - paper is yellow

Self portrait wearing a purple hat.
Self portrait in oil pastel on A3 textured paper – paper is yellow

They also said that my head is a little bit too small in some of my drawings.

Did you find it easy to convert your sketches into a portrait?  Were your preliminary drawings adequate?

I found that it was tricky drawing from memory, my preliminary drawings were not adequate at first, so I went back and did some more.  It was difficult to draw the shape of a face the way I remember it, and so this affected the appearance of the person’s face.  I will practise this task further.

Project: The moving figure

Exercise: Sitting and waiting  

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People talking around a table make lots of gestures with their hands, so it is a good time to draw them.

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Coloured pencils are good for drawing people as an alternative to graphite pencils.  They have a range of different qualities of line, depending on how sharp they are and how much pressure you put on the pencil.

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People in crowds.  The drawing below has people in the foreground and background, moving down a busy street.img969 Man eating crisps.  I used pencils at the beginning of this exercise, before exploring a wider range of media.  You have to be really quick drawing people eating, but the movements they make are repetitive, so you can return to a drawing again and again.

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This sitting person caught my attention because she looked happy.  The children below are holding hands.  This makes them move out of their central axis.

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Below are some ink drawing studies.  I made these studies from the television, mostly studied faces and expressions on this page.  Television often gets right up to people’s faces.

notebook (2)The woman below was in a magazine, this was good for studying the angles of the hands.
notebook 3I think working in colour, like in the image below, it is easier on your eyes than working in black because it is less contrasting.

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The man above was outside a restaurant, his hand is on his head to adjust his sunglasses.  The women below are whispering together.

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Below is a woman carrying a big handbag.  She has an angular stance.

img009 img011 Here I was working with a graphite stick which I held differently than a pen or an ordinary pencil, using the broad side to get a different effect.img010 img012

 

People relaxing on a bench.  It is good to draw people who are sitting on benches.  This caught my attention because the women looked comfortable and thoughtful.

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Below and above are drawings with people using their hands.  When people use their hands I think it’s a fascinating thing to draw.

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Above and below are people waiting.  Waiting people are good for drawing because they have varying postures and they usually stand still for a while.

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img019 People in a shop, above.  People in a cafe, below.

I used coloured fine-liner for the woman on the left, and pencil crayons for the woman on the right.  I enjoyed making this drawing because I just kept going with it.  I was drawing quickly, and I found that I had drawn her head disproportionately from her arm and shoulder, so I worked on top of my original drawing and fixed the problem.  I like that you can see the smaller figure within the corrected, larger figure.

In the fine-liner drawing I explored tone with hatching, cross-hatching and stippling.  This was good practice.
img027My  tutor has recommended I try to use chunkier media such as oil pastels . So I have been trying them out for this exercise – it is a challenge to break the habit of using pencils for exercises and studies.  It is exciting to use pastels for quick drawings like this, because they create more dramatic and interesting images than a grey pencil might.img030  I have also explored brush and ink at my tutor’s recommendation – ink and brush, though unpredictable, creates striking pictures.  Compared to pencils you can make lines with personality – you cannot help making lines with personality.img033  I have been practising with felt tips and I have discovered that you can make a brilliant selection of marks with them,  because each one is different.  The broad dried felt tip creates a grainy, frayed line while a finer felt tip can make a narrow inky mark.    Some of them are old and blobby, or damaged giving an unusual line forms, or fading and returning and fading again in the process of a drawing.

My attention was caught by the blue woman below because she looks so thoughtful.  She was in a magazine.  The other woman, a ballerina fascinated me because I find ballerinas fascinating generally, because of the unusual poses and outfits that they wear.

 

 

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People who are reading (above) I find really interesting to draw.  It is a good narrative image which suggests ideas and possibilities.

Below I used oil pastels.  I really like working quickly with pastels.

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My attention was caught by these men (below) because they look so happy, and they just make you think about narrative ideas and there are so many possibilities for something with narrative potential.

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Above and below, I was interested in drawing these people because they are reading, and it is such a serene thing to draw.  It sparks your imagination because you want to know what they’re reading, why they’re reading, where are they, who are they etc etc.

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Below is an inked background with white oil pastels drawn on top.  I’m pleased with these drawings, and the uneven background adds mystery to the image.

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I am pleased with the stance or posture of the two men on the page below.  I used different media – felt tips and pencil crayons – but they are really successful drawings capturing the sense of the people and the atmosphere.

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The drawings below are from a magazine.  I thought it was a really good posed photo to draw, so I drew it first in wax crayons, quickly, and then again in felt tips, not so quickly but not slowly either.

I am pleased with the effects of both, but especially I think the felt tip drawing was excellent.  This is because I used three or four different pens, and I used a broad pen for the man and a selection of finer pens for the woman.  It worked out really well, just by chance.

 

 

 

 

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Left side, felt tips broad and fine.

Left side, felt tips broad and fine.

I have been exploring felt tips lately, to see how you can use a selection of them and they have a variety of marks to offer.  For this drawing I used a broad brown felt tip and two fine green felt tips, I think it is really successful.  Felt tips are good for layering in a line drawing.

Right side, felt tips broad and fine.

Right side, felt tips broad and fine.

Sitting and waiting1 sitting and waiting11

The woman above is eating breakfast.

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sitting and waiting2 sitting and waiting3 sitting waitning

Man at the art gallery

Man at the art gallery

People at the art gallery

People at the art gallery

People looking at the art

People looking at the art

People in the art gallery

People in the art gallery

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My dad reading a book and a magazine at the same time, while eating his breakfast

My dad reading a book and a magazine at the same time, while eating his breakfast

Exercise: Fleeting moments

I have some good opportunities to draw fleeting moments at my work – I stand behind a counter and I can see all around the shop at people browsing.  Mostly people only stand still for a moment, so I have to draw very quickly.

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These drawings are done in biro, so they are not very easy to see, but if you click them they get bigger and easier to see.

Above you can see a person bending down to look at things on the shelves.

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People looking around  the shop at things on shelves and hangers.

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Below is a drawing which was of a woman looking at the bookshelves.

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Looking at books on lower shelves (below).img974

 

The drawings below are made with felt tip markers, at a bus stop waiting for the bus.  I really enjoyed making these drawings.

People waiting for the bus.

People waiting for the bus.

This man was talking to the woman in the drawing above, who had her back to me, so he was facing me, but looking at her.  This gave me the opportunity to draw his face.

Man talking while waiting for the bus

Man talking while waiting for the bus

Even though he was not looking directly at me, I stopped after drawing him three times, to avoid suspicions.

Man talking while waiting for the bus, again.  And a building.

Man talking while waiting for the bus, again. And a building.

Below is a drawing of a man on the bus.  I like the wobbly lines created by the movement of the bus while I was drawing.

Man sitting on the bus.  The bus made the drawing wobbly, which gives an interesting quality of line.

Man sitting on the bus. The bus made the drawing wobbly, which gives an unusual quality of line.

I like drawing a journey like this, because I feel like you really capture little pieces of life.  Below is a combination of red felt pen and graphite pencil.  I used a red pen because that part of the bus really was red.  the rest I drew in pencil, because I thought it might make an intriguing limited palette drawing.

Man sitting in the front of the bus.

Man sitting in the front of the bus.

Waiting for the bus again, in the town centre.

Waiting for the bus again, in the town centre.  (The drawings in red on this page were made mostly after the figures were gone.  From memory.)

Waiting for the bus again, in the town centre.

Waiting for the bus again, in the town centre.

Waiting people have all these different postures and poses.

On the bus again.  Ladies.

On the bus again. The figure in sunglasses was drawn from memory.

Man from the television.

Man from the television.

This man I drew from the television.  I realise now that his left ear is in the wrong place.  Probably because I was drawing so fast.

Little girl in shop looking at toys.

Little girl in shop looking at toys.

People eating in a cafe are good to draw because many of them sit still for a lot of the time.

People in the cafe.

People in the cafe.

Below seemed like a really good scene to draw, because it was two people sitting around a table.  It was a lot to draw quickly though.

Two men in the cafe.

Two men in the cafe.

Click here to see my Research point: People watching page, where I have made a record of my observations. 

 

Check and Log - Copy (3)

How well did you manage to create the sense of a fleeting moment rather than a pose?  

I made my fleeting moment drawings of moving people, so they had to be drawn quickly.  You can see from the lines and the unfinished drawings that the figures moved away or changed position while I was drawing.

In many of the drawings I kept my pen moving while I looked back at the figure.  This created unusual results, like facial features continuing off the head, and moustaches leading over the lips and across the cheek.

How successful were your attempts to retain an image and draw later?  

I have had some success with remembering an image to draw later – some faces I saw of people standing in the street as a bus (I was on the bus) paused and then drove on.  I am pleased with these drawings.

Were you able to keep to a few descriptive lines to suggest the person’s movement or were you tempted to keep introducing more elements into your work?

I think that moving people are difficult to add a lot of detail too, unless they keep repeating the same movements over and over, they are just gone.

I found that my fleeting drawings have an abruptness to them, which does not appear to welcome further tampering.  The quick lines capture the movement, and the more details you add, the less motion the drawing conveys.

Project: The clothed figure

Exercise: Fabric with line and form

Fabric with line and form

Fabric with line and form

Fabric with line and form

Fabric with line and form

Above are two drawings of a dressing gown on the arm of the settee.

For this drawing below I used ink and wash.  This is a study of a large sheet thrown over a sofa.  I am pleased with this drawing because water and ink is very good for drawing the different tones in the ripples of the fabric.

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Below is another ink and wash drawing, this time of a zip jacket on a chair.  This was challenging to draw but I think it turned out well.

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Below:
Five minute sketches in five centimetre squares.

Upon reflection, I think perhaps I zoomed in too far in my five centimetre squares.  I have sketched  different parts of the fabric, and I have drawn areas of light and shade.  But I think they emphasize texture rather than form.  Three of them focus on folds.

I think they were helpful, nevertheless, because I developed my ideas about how to draw clothing.

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Exercise: Form and movement in a clothed figure

Oil pastel on textured beige pastel paper. (A3)

Oil pastel on textured beige pastel paper. (A3)

Study of the clothed figure.

Study of the clothed figure - oil pastels on green textured pastel paper. Arms folded. (A3)

Study of the clothed figure – oil pastels on green textured pastel paper. Arms folded. (A3)

Study of the clothed figure - blue acrylic ink on A3 cartridge paper.

Study of the clothed figure – blue acrylic ink on A3 cartridge paper.

Study of the clothed figure – below is a study I made using collage with ink and brush.

It is an A3 drawing and I used texture rubbings I made from the surface of the ground outside my house to make the texture of the towelling dressing gown my model wore.

I stuck down the rubbings in the area of the figure, and then I drew my drawing over the top.  I used tissue paper and a blank page from a novel for rubbing the textures with graphite.  Even though the textured papers spread out beyond the edges of the dressing gown, I think this is an effective way of portraying the surface of the cloth.

The clothed figure

Check and Log - Copy (3)

Did you find it easy to approach the figure as a whole or were you distracted by details of the sitter’s dress?

I did not find it difficult to approach the figure as a whole, because I asked my model to wear plain clothing.  Most of the figure was covered by loose fabric.

How did you create volume in the folds of fabric?

I used different mark making techniques to observe texture and shadows, and I think the grading of tone helps to show volume.

Does the finished drawing give a sense of the figure beneath the fabric?

Yes, the shadows in the folds of fabric around the knees, the shadows in the stomach, and on the fabric on the arms all contribute to the sense of the figure; even though you can’t see the forms of the knees and things, you can get a sense of the knees because of the folds of the fabric.

How would you tackle a drawing like this again?

I think I could do with practising this sort of mark making in oil pastels, I imagine that you could create further levels of tone and texture using more than one colour, etc.

Project: Structure

“The fundamental structure of the figure is the skeleton.  It is worth taking time to study the skeleton to understand the mechanics of the human figure.  Pay particular attention to the formation of the body – the shoulders, torso, limbs, hips, ankles, elbows, the neck and the head

Research point – Look at anatomy books, or do a web search for anatomy images and see what you can find.  Make notes on how you can use this information to improve your figure try to do an anatomical drawing yourself.

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Exercise: Three drawings

Standing pose

Very quick sketches

Very quick sketches

Very quick sketches

Very quick sketches

Two minute drawings of the standing pose

Two minute drawings of the standing pose

Two minute drawing

Two minute drawing

Two minute drawing study.

Two minute drawing study.  This drawing has arrows to show where she leans away from her centre of gravity.

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Above is my A3 sized one hour drawing of a standing pose.  I used dip pen with water based ink, with hatching and cross-hatching.  I am really pleased with the way I have managed to describe the surfaces and soft curves of the skin as well as the more angular places on the back, shoulder blades and feet.  I find making several preliminary studies helpful before making a larger, more detailed drawing.

Sitting pose

For the sitting pose I decided to use watercolour and brush.

structure sitting

Structure - Sitting

Structure – Sitting – This drawing has arrows to show where the model moves away from her centre of gravity.

I made a quick study in pencil to check proportions and things.

Centre of gravity - quick pencil study.

Centre of gravity – quick pencil study.

Quick drawings - sitting pose

Quick drawings – sitting pose

I had some trouble getting the proportions, lengths and angles.  So I decided to draw in pencil first and then work in on top of the pencil with watercolours.

Structure - sitting.  Longer preliminary drawing.

Structure – sitting. Longer preliminary drawing.

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Above is my one hour A3 sized drawing of a sitting pose.  I am pleased with the different tones that I was able to make, which give the figure a three-dimensional appearance.

Laying down pose

Oil pastel study on newspaper.

Quick study – pastel on newspaper.

Oil pastel study on newspaper.

Quick study – oil pastel on newspaper.

Oil pastel study on newspaper.

Oil pastel study on newspaper.

Oil pastel study on newspaper.

Oil pastel study on newspaper.

Longer preliminary study - I used yellow pastels to plan the drawing and a red pastel to draw stronger lines.  The two colours together work really well and have a three-dimensional effect.

Longer preliminary study – I used yellow pastels to plan the drawing and a red pastel to draw stronger lines. The two colours together work really well and have a three-dimensional effect.  Drawn on painted newspaper.

Longer preliminary study using green this time - I decided to see how a different colour would affect the drawing.  The green works well with the yellow, it is slightly less dramatic than the red.

Longer preliminary study using green this time – I decided to see how a different colour would affect the drawing. The green works well with the yellow, it is slightly less dramatic than the red.

Lying down pose

Lying down pose

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Above is my one hour drawing in oil pastels of a lying down pose.  The foreshortening in this pose is very noticeable.  The bone and muscle structure is prominent in this pose because of the angles of the body and the limbs it is a good demonstration of anatomy.

pastel zoom 2 pastel zoom

Check and Log - Copy (3)

How accurately did you depict the overall proportions of the figure?

My longer drawings of each pose are at the correct proportions, my preparatory studies are not.   I found making the preparatory studies was helpful to develop my understanding of the structure, the joints of the bones and the shapes of the body.  By the time I came to make my final drawing of each pose I had drawn out all of my observations of what I could see in different studies.  All the studies, even though many of them are not accurate, helped me to translate what I saw into lines and shapes and tones.

Did you try to imagine the sitter’s skeleton and muscles?  Did this help you to convey the figure’s structure and form?

I did try to imagine the sitter’s skeleton and muscles, and this helped me in some ways because I saw the figure in a different way than before, I was better able to understand the forms of the different parts of the body.

I found it difficult to locate the skeleton and muscles in some of the models, because those things were not immediately visible.

The lying down pose had the most visible bone and muscle structure.

Project: Gesture

Exercise: Stance

“Look for the line of gravity in a standing figure.”  The exercise says to draw a series of quick poses lasting between two and five minutes.  All of my drawings are four minute drawings.

Exercise - Stance

Exercise – Stance

Exercise - Stance

Exercise – Stance

Exercise - Stance

Exercise – Stance

Exercise - Stance

Exercise – Stance

Exercise - Stance

Exercise – Stance

Exercise - Stance (I am sorry for the darkness of this image, but the brighter picture of this drawing was dazzlingly white, and therefore hard on the eyes.)

Exercise – Stance 

Exercise - Stance

Exercise – Stance

Exercise - Stance

Exercise – Stance

At first I used pencils because I was cautious about drawing the figure.  Those drawings are pale and tentative.  Below are some studies in oil pastels on coloured pastel paper and then below that there are some studies in blue ink made with a brush on coloured cartridge paper.

Stance. oil pastels stance, brush and ink stance, brush and ink 3 stance, ink and brush

Exercise: Energy

Exercise - Energy  Fine felt tip pen Five minute drawing.

Exercise – Energy – Fine felt tip pen – Five minute drawing.

Exercise - Energy  Felt tip pen 5 minute drawing

Exercise – Energy – Felt tip pen – 5 minute drawing

Exercise - Energy Broad felt tip pen 5 minute drawing

Exercise – Energy – Broad felt tip pen – 5 minute drawing

The drawing above has a sense of movement and energy, like the figure is reaching for something.  I ran out of page so I could not draw his whole arm in.

Exercise - Energy - Broad felt tip pen - 5 minute drawing

Exercise – Energy – Broad felt tip pen – 5 minute drawing

Exercise - Energy  Fine felt tip pen Five minute drawing.

Exercise – Energy – Fine felt tip pen – Five minute drawing.

The above drawing has a lot of mistakes in it, but it was the final drawing I made in this exercise and I think it has a lot of mistakes because I relaxed and started drawing with real energy.  Upon reflection this drawing has the most  sense of energy of all the drawings in this exercise.  In my opinion.

Check and Log - Copy (3)

How well have you managed to capture the poses?  

I think I have captured the poses successfully in these drawings.  I think the time limit of these exercises really helped me, especially to draw the energy of a pose in the Energy exercise.  I think the Stance exercise went well too.

What could be improved?

One of the main problems I found was that drawing quickly with a focus on energy and stance, some of my drawings are not accurately measured: legs too short or too long or too wide, etcetera.  I think this is probably because they were my first drawings, and with practice I will be able to focus on proportion, energy and stance all at the same time.

Another thing which could be improved is to draw more of the figure, because some of my drawings have nearly only an outline.  So I need to practice drawing, gain confidence then I might be able to do more in two or four or five minutes.

Also I was too cautious in the first few Energy drawings, which didn’t capture energy very well.  I think drawing people as they are moving might help me get used to drawing with more urgency.  The example in the course book is Marcel Vertes’ The Tango, which suggests that he was drawing the people while they were moving.

Marcel Vertes The Tango

Do you think that your figures are balanced?  If not where did you go wrong?

My figures are balanced.  My drawings for the stance exercise are quite successful, apart from some of the figures being too wide or too short legged.  I need to measure thoroughly before drawing.

The other issue I had was with foreshortening, on a pose with knees bent and facing me diagonally.  The problem with this drawing is also that there is no background to give you a sense of what is happening.  It was just a four minute drawing, and I think I got a fair sense of the pose drawn, but there is something not right about that drawing.

How did you go about conveying a sense of energy?

I made quick lines which sweep and curve naturally.  That is what I have found most successful so far.  I plan to look into other ways to convey energy in a drawing.  Drawing a dynamic pose was an important factor in whether a drawing had a sense of energy.  Unless you called stillness an energy.

Other notes

I am really pleased with my kneeling man drawings, reaching up, resting elbow and hunching over, I think in these drawings I have really caught the poses.

I think that one of the most successful drawings from the Energy exercise is the woman with both hands on her head and one foot with the toes pointed.  This was my fifth drawing for this exercise and I was less cautious (as you can see from all the mistakes).  Despite the mistakes, this drawing has a lot of energy because I was more confident drawing the lines.