Category: Part 3

Assignment 3, Assessment criteria points

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and computational skills

Through Part 3 I have shown my continuing of development in skills and techniques. I have tried various new media which are beginning to stretch my ability, enjoying the process and challenge of using new artist materials. My visual awareness is getting better and composition has most definitely shown improvement as I am now placing my subjects on the paper more accurately.

Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner,discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

I think this has been reasonable, there have been a couple of times where my belief is I could have applied the media better, my knowledge is growing and now everything is beginning to get routine, I have been able to apply some of the knowledge I now have, as in the buildings limited pallet sketch. I followed the golden mean and attempted to produce a piece of work which covered everything I had learnt about depth. using tone, and size. I feel communication of ideas is now beginning to get easier and I have started to find my inner voice to assess my work, which I feel has come with experience.

Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.

I have surprised myself in Part 3,  growing to like a form of art which is much more to do with impression, than the photo real art I usually do. I have tried to apply this by experimenting within my drawing.  Having achieved this by moving away from the sharpness of an object, using tone to  give the eye a view which it can interpret, rather than see a realistic form. I have experimented using various media within this Part, what I dont do and I need to, is more preliminary sketches before  a particular piece of work. This would allow me to collate all information to hand when I come to produce my drawing. At the moment I feel I am still using photographs too much.  Plus across Part 3, I realised photographs are a good tool to use, but work from them lacks the life and detail of a drawing done from sketches direct from the subject. I have been lucky, things I have drawn were local and I could go back and gather further information when needed. However if I was to work further afield I would have come unstuck.

Content reflection – research, critical thinking (learning logs and , at second and third leverl, critical reviews and essays)

I feel I have started to use my learning log as a tool to expand  learning, research and critical thinking. I know previously I have to an extent, but now I have started to feel the benefit of using my log and the way it pushes myself  to reflect on my work.



Part 3, Project 5, Exercise 4 Statues

war horse statue done
Drawing of statue of the War Horse Warrior on the Isle of Wight
Wicker statue of a rabbit and eggs
Statue of a soldier.
mary statue
Marys statue from a local church


This exercise was about looking at statues to hone my drawing skills. Decide what interests me and try to make them interesting. My first statue of the war horse Warrior was drawn from a photograph I took a few years ago on the Isle of Wight. I photographed it with the intention of drawing it one day. I used oil pastels which were difficult to get the fine details I like the metallic affect though.

The wicker statue of the Rabbit was a statue put up in the local town around Easter I wasn’t sure what media to use but found pen worked well. I didnt try to draw the wicker accurately just the impression. I must admit to this being my favourite drawing. It was quickly don’t, even the dot affect, I feel it shows a progress in my work as I can see from all the statues I am moving away from my rigid approach to art which was evident in Part 2.

The soldier is a quick pencil drawing it looks a little untidy, I still need to get greater control at speed. I think I also need to look at drawing faces better!

For Mary I used charcoal and because she was white I placed her on a imaginary background, she was actually high up on a dark church wall. I added the rays to give a spiritual feeling to the piece, but am not sure it was really suited I may of been better leaving it dark. Mary herself was largely drawn using an eraser. I produced the lights and the tones using a rubber and removing various degrees of charcoal. Again I think I need to practice faces as she doesn’t have that gentle look you associate with religious figures.

Part 3, Project 5, Exercise 3, Limited palette study

2nd attempt mill

For this exercise I was to use a limited palette of  no more than 3 colours. Traditionally these are deep brown, sanguine (red brown), black and white, but I was to decide what colours would suit my subject. I could use coloured pencils or conte pencils. The colours I chose were black, red brown, and pale blue, the white in the picture was from the white paper I used. The brown and blue pencils used were Faber Castell polychromos, and the black Derwent Coloursoft and Polychromo. My picture was to be chosen from the previous exercise and developed into colour.

I was afraid of drawing this as I don’t find perspective easy, but having finished it I am pleased with what I achieved. I know the perspective is not completely accurate but I very much enjoyed drawing the Mill and it came out better than I thought it would. I wanted to try out using Golden Mean and made my chimney the main subject. I liked the way Edward Wesson managed to draw his main subject in detail and surrounding subjects as an impression and wanted to try something similar. I also had to think about the fore, middle and background of the picture, as this was part of the exercise.  My buildings at the front of the picture were just an impression and I feel it worked well, on the Golden Mean the chimney and the front of the mill buildings were the nearest to me when I drew the sketch in the previous exercise, so I drew them in greater detail and they acted as the fore of my picture. Next my middle ground is the buildings leading off to the left of the paper as they were further away from me, these were drawn with less clarity. The background was shown by drawing the trees very lightly to the rear of the buildings, this gave depth to the picture. I omitted cars and other modern items to keep the picture more aesthetic, to add to the nostalgia and the time frame the Mill was built.

I wasn’t keen on the paper I used for the exercise as it was very grainy, and I was trying to achieve a delicate pastel look. It took several layers of pencil to achieve what I wanted and I tried a technique which I had seen before but never used. First I applied a fine layer of colour then using kitchen roll rubbed it into the grain of the paper and then dabbed with a putty rubber to remove shine, this kept the pencil looking fresh and not as overworked as it can sometimes look when many layers are applied. I didn’t quite achieve what I wanted as the picture was still grainy, but it worked better than I  thought it was going to.

If I was to take this drawing further I would like to repeat the process on another type of  paper and see if I can achieve a smoother finish, also I would like to perfect perspective. This exercise wasn’t easy as the Mill buildings are on many levels and cambers.





Part 3, Project 5, Exercise 2, Study of a townscape using line

Mill line drawing.
mill over two pages quick skt
Sketch across two pages


For this exercise I was to use two sketchbook pages to make a preliminary drawing , establish the primary focus and any other shapes and object i thought necessary to make the drawing interesting and unexpected. Make notes about the weather conditions and how they affect my approach to the drawing. Then complete a study using pen and  ink or black drawing pen using my preliminary drawings.

Did my preliminary drawings give enough info for my final piece? Not without a photograph there were too many angles to get correct in the field and the weather way too bad to sit for long, so I did a rough sketch. When home I practiced the chimney.  I had drawn this view before in a quick sketch in a silhouette form trying to get a feel of a John Virtues way of working and earlier in the year from a photo. It is not easy to get the angles correct as the buildings are on various cambers. I would not like to have drawn it from photograph alone as there are certain aspects you cant see. When I drew the chimney from a photo a few months ago, I got the windows in the wrong position, they are not central to the building, but I couldn’t tell from the photo. Neither do I think you get the same depth or angle to your view, you can see and choose in the field. I live near enough to go back and look at the buildings to make sure I was getting certain aspects correct. However if I was drawing something like this any distance from home I would have to wait for better weather in order I could make more preliminary sketches. I made note of eye level and when home drew a red line to make sure I knew where it was and it didn’t get lost among the line.

As mentioned weather on the day was very windy, cold and not bright enough for any real shadow, but at least it wasn’t raining. I knew the direction of the sun on the buildings should be to the right as I have noticed the way it falls on them before and have a photo from some time ago showing its position. My preliminary sketch was done around 11.30am.

If I was to do it again I would work on the shadow more I feel I lack tone within this drawing as my mark if very fine, also I would wait for better weather in order to make more sketches. Unfortunately  doing outside work whilst trying to keep to the set time frame of the course is difficult, there is often no other choice than to work with what you have at the time.

The other thing I would like to work on is my perspective.  I was really worried about doing this drawing and maybe I should have sat in a Cafe and drawn something simpler in the field, but for reasons I cant explain I really wanted to draw these buildings they have a majesty about them. Having drawn them I feel more confident with perspective, although I would be pushing it if I said I felt confident.

I have learned you can never do too many sketches and getting perspective correct can be difficult in the field, I think unless it was a simple drawing at the moment I would need photographs to get all the angles correct.

Part 3, Project 5, Exercise 1, Sketchbook of townscape drawings

townscape door 15320161
Developed with pen work and a colour wash .


For this exercise I was to sketch and make, notes focus on one particular building, for example a corner and notice how the other buildings support your main focus.

Make written notes about my sense of the place and appearance . Take note of eye level for the horizon line. Make a detailed study with a 3b pencil in a 10cm square, showing a section of the building. Draw a second 10cm square,tonal study show in how the light falls across the building.

Make notes about light, its direction,  its strength and  the shadows. Note atmosphere people, use of the buildings. Make quick sketches of the buildings to decide on the most interesting view. Draw the main shapes in pencil before committing to colour. Be selective and draw you own unique view of your chose place. Giving a sense of the actual location.

I chose some old mill buildings, and did some quick sketches on site following up with perspective and detail at home. I chose a row of buildings all adjoining, the small drawing with trees was a little room  attached on the end, I think this was the pump house, it is no longer in use and a tree is taking over is broken exterior. I was interested in this building and thought it would be the one I took further, I liked the angle and did a detailed sketch, making notes of the shade from the surrounding trees and the light which fell on the short wall.  I added the side clear of debris but infact there was rubbish along the shorter side obscuring the wall. Oddly I felt the tree  obscured what I wanted to show not so much the rubbish.The mill is in slow decline, unloved and mistreated. It is an interesting site and although used  by various companies it is decaying, with little money spent on its upkeep, it is  alive, but looking tired and unloved. I wanted to show this and felt the little door in the side of the building I past on my way to the pump house, did just that.  I tried various sketches and made notes beside one of the drawings. Unfortunately there wasn’t much light contrast, even thought is was sunny and around 1.45. This part of the site was in shadow thrown across from surrounding buildings. There were not many people at the site, but a number of cars which were to be worked on, and I had to negotiate this to draw the little building.  It was the last of my sketches I developed  further by adding a colour wash and pen work. I tried a light wash but it didn’t work, so I added more layers which gave a more dramatic effect and worked well with the old brickwork and the low contrast. My pen work was too thick, making marks that were too heavy, so in future if I was to do pen and wash I would need a finer nib. I would also be interested in doing further studies in charcoal with and without a brown tint. Once again I learned that sometimes what we think will work well, doesn’t and it pays to do various sketches and not attack a subject with a closed mind. Also that even the most unattractive of subjects can produce a pleasant drawing.

townscape sketches

building photos


Part 3, Project 4, Exercise 3 Aerial or atmospheric perspective



ariel view2060
Bedroom Window Tonal Sketch


This exercise is about tonal gradation and how the horizon becomes lighter and less detailed. I had to use  media such as charcoal, soft graphite, conte sticks, soft chalky pastel oil sticks and ink. I used all but the oil sticks.

First I wast to establish the horizon and then plot the basic forms of objects in the landscape, analyse the gradation of tone and if I wanted I could use monochrome to create atmosphere and tone.

I had a day at a nature reserve and thought it would be a good place to draw. Unfortunately things dont always go as planned. It snowed the day before and although clear the next day it was bitter. Undeterred I still went thinking there had to be something I could draw. Reality was, the weather was bitter and higher ground was  not accessible. It made drawing almost impossible. The first sketch I did was of the buildings which at various angles and surrounded by reeds didnt really look good when roughly sketched, which I did in my small sketchbook. I used charcoal for this but due to the situation I found it didnt suit the subject plus I wasn’t high enough up to sketch any distance.

building063 uni

I moved my place and managed to get a little higher this time setting about a quick sketch in conte sticks. This worked a little better but the area hadn’t enough of interest to work without full colour,  it was so cold I couldn’t stand it especially as I was ill, so I packed up my things and moved to a hide.

reserve uni 2


The hide gave me some protection  but I had no height and it was an expanse of flat mud banks and water. There were only two birds in the distance and nothing again between foreground and horizon to suit the remit. This was done in graphite, I applied the pen and wash when I returned home.

reserve uni


None of my quick sketches gave me inspiration, a little disappointed I returned home.

The next day I decided to draw an aerial  view from the window of one of the bedrooms,  I was able to sit quietly and concentrate on perspective and tone. After having attempted quick sketches the day before I could see this views content was more suited to the exercise, so I decided to work in my A4 sketchbook, but draw in pencil first. I had to have several attempts at the perspective before I felt confident enough to fill with tone. The village is an old one and many houses built in stone so I wanted to give an aged look. I love the drawings and paintings in minimal colour like this one by Harold Riley  especially this one of Peter Rubens and some of the old pastel drawings.  I chose three shades of pastel and charcoal. I loved the affect and felt the tonal gradation worked well but I still have a long way to go with perspective, I find I get bogged down with angles and forget the drawing.

I liked this exercise and found it challenging. I have learned just because things look good by eye they don’t always make a good picture. Plus getting bogged down in perspective can stop you seeing the picture as a whole. Another thing  I learnt was to put in the vertical lines first, as this helps get the perspective correct. I made a mistake of not doing that with the conservatory and made a mess and had to redo it.


roof shot
A difficult picture to get




Part 3, Project 4, Exercise 2 Angular perspective

For this I had to draw a building corner-on and I had to draw the receding lines as accurately as possible with two point perspective, using vertical or horizontal reference to ensure the receding lines are drawn at the correct angles. I then had to draw in receding lines to my determined eye level. My subject is an old cattle barn from a field nearby. I found this particularly hard exercise, as  when I added my perspective lines I found there was a need to alter my drawing a couple of times, in order to get it as accurate as possible. My receding lines went way of the paper so I had to plot them carefully.

One thing I learned from this exercise is that the end drawing is not just about lines meeting eye level, it does well to remember, your subject has to look like the object you are drawing. I got way too bogged down with lines and angles.

I think this is really a case of practice makes perfect and will spend some time along the way practicing perspective as often as possible. As with my previous drawing, perspective lines are green, eye level is red.

sketch building 3054


My next part to this exercise, was to look at a drawing by  Sir Muirhead Bone, and  draw a simplified version in my sketch book to check the accuracy of the drawing. I started by placing the receding lines on the picture given as reference, I then drew a simplified version in my sketchbook using the lines and eye level I had found from studying the drawing. I must say the buildings perspectives seemed to be very accurate. One problem I had was drawing in an accurate eye line, was knowing where the Sir Muirhead Bone had drawn it from. For this reason I plotted the perspective lines first, as I had an idea where they were, and found they all met in a specific point which allowed me to plot the eye line more accurately. I enjoyed doing this as it was a good exercise to help with my visual recognition,  as the buildings had various linear points of perspective withing their architecture. As before on my own drawing eye level is red and the perspective lines green. On my printed sheet I kept all lines in pencil.

sketch building 2053



Part 3, Project 4, Exercise 1, Parallel perspective, an interior view


For this exercise I was to draw a view inside through a  doorway. Look for my eye line. I was sitting so I estimated this was just where the red line has now been drawn. Without the use of a ruler I was to draw the perspective. I have drawn this view earlier in the course but I live in a small cottage and there isnt any other choice. Even with this previous practice my straight lines leave a lot to be desired. For some reason I was really nervous about this exercise and I am not sure why.

When finished I was to check my perspective by drawing the lines in using a ruler, which I did in green.

Well I wasn’t as far off as I thought, but wasn’t totally accurate either.

It is interesting exercise to see just how close/far you can be just using your eye. I wasnt that confident before sketching this picture and am still not, as this is the hardest part of drawing for me.  I learnt from this exercise that if you want complete accuracy in your drawing you are better using a ruler to guide you.




Part 3, Project 3, Reflection


Here I have been asked to reflect on what I have achieved with my work done on the last 2 exercises.

How did you simplify and select? Were you able to focus on simple shapes and patterns amid all the visual information available to you?

I find it hard to simplify as I am used to drawing things in great detail. It is choosing which mark to use and how to go about using it. Although I do feel I am getting better at doing this. In the first exercise I removed a lamp and a bin to simplify the scene and I decided on the lifting technique. I don’t have trouble too often with shapes and patterns unless it is very busy, then I lose perspective. I don’t use a grid but would consider doing so if it was a busy scene.

In the second exercise I removed a tree branch as it didn’t fit the composition. I simplified the detail in the foreground and didn’t put in every stone, and I also took out some of the detail in the rear view just giving an impression of the bushes and trees.

How did you create a sense of distance and form?

On exercise one I reduced the detail in the background and the pattern of the cobbled edging drew the eye in decreasing circles which gave the foreground depth. The cobbles grew smaller and less defined the further back they went. Also the size of the bench against the wooden posts was defining.

On exercise two this was similar in that I had put in less details and gave the mountains  a blue hue to show visual atmospheric interference. There wasnt a great deal within the middle ground to show depth except for wave size and colour, there were three rocks which got smaller the further they were from the eye, however they could just have been smaller rocks. So if I develop this picture in the future I will add the odd boat in the middle.

Were you able to use light and shade successfully?

Not in the first one as it was so dull and under trees shadow was difficult to get. On the second picture of the lake I felt the shadow worked, but it would have been good to have had some larger areas  of shadow to give the picture a little interest.

What additional preliminary work would have been helpful towards the larger study?

For the first exercise I did more preliminary work, as I live nearby, which meant I could go and see it in the flesh so to speak, I think you get better detail when you have a location sketch to work with. I also spent time on drawing the bushes in colour, but I would have liked to have tried with just charcoal and have spent  more time getting the circles better.

The second exercise I would have like to have been on location to do another sketch to get the position of my drawing better. I have done one ages ago but it was only small. I would also like to have had some sketches of boats to refer to so I could have used one in the middle ground.

From these exercises I have learned that taking preliminary sketches from location give a better understanding of your subject thus giving you a better idea of composition and how to apply your media.



Part 3, Project 3, Exercise 2 Foreground, middle ground, background

view for uni


I had difficulty with this as I had to put 4 scans together and the picture warped when applying the water to the watercolour pencils. I had to choose a sketch or photograph establish a foreground, middle ground and background.  Use A3 paper, pencils, graphite and water-soluble pencils.

I chose to use a photograph of an area I return to every year in the Lakes. If I was able to draw it in the field I would have chosen a slightly different  view as the foreground looks little angled due to the rock position. I made a pre-sketch of the water to get its appearance correct, I also had a small field sketch in graphite which I had drawn last year of the same Lake different viewpoint.


water 22049


My foreground is the bank of the Lake and just a little of the water. I used heavy marks to show shade and cleft in the rocks and shadow.

Mid ground was water which was hard to depict depth, was drawn using the size of the ripples on its surface and colour towards the bank, you could see the brown surface under the water so it looked more brown/blue in appearance.

Background was just after the start of the land at the back, so I used colour and less detail as it receded into the horizon. On the left, the land was nearer that the right so I included more detail and heavier shadow.

I drew this picture using graphite and then applied a few layers of watercolour pencil, then a wash. This action removed my actual sketch marks in areas, so I lost the graphite detail, some were put back at the end, with graphite and coloured pencil.  I don’t like the texture watercolour pencils give, probably because I haven’t mastered the technique to use them.

I feel I managed to fulfill the brief, but if I was to take this drawing further I would chose another part of the Lake, or add a boat or two to emphasize the middle ground even more and give the picture some interest.