Tag: Drawing

Assignment 5


The journey to produce this picture was an enjoyable one, and I have learnt a great deal in its production. I am still in the experimental stage of using Gesso but on the whole it worked well to emphasize and give form to the picture. The one thing I did find troublesome is the shine produce when using graphite on it. I decided to not to add colour in the end in order to hopefully show I have learnt to use tone and can suggest depth with mark making. The whole picture is drawn with various different marks. To work in fine detail would have taken far too long for the Assignment piece, as this is an A1 so an enormous project for pencil work and I have discussed with my tutor my technique and decided to concentrate on the trees  in the fore, using the Deer to help give some sizing. Most of the Fore is done using hatching, however for large areas I used graphite powder and the rubbing out technique. I applied this to some of the trees at the back and will use it again as it gave a good texture.bark

The tree bark in the fore was first done using the powder then shadows were put in with hatching, then the design of the bark was accentuated with a black polychromo then removed some giving a less blocky look.


I decided to leave it to a black and white project, in part because I have never used graphite in such a large picture, and it was more stable than charcoal or pastel which I had used for Assignment 4. I still have to fight myself to not add a lot of detail, but time would not allow a too detailed approach. Having said that I am getting better at using mark as a  suggestion, even though I do feel my work is still half finished. My choice for the drawing would have been on board and then a covering of gesso but due to weight when posting, I decided to use heavyweight watercolour paper. Fabrino Artistico 300 accepted Gesso but I didn’t want to cover the entire area as I was still having problems with the shine even when the Gesso was rubbed down, any build up of graphite or carbon would cause shine, Graphite powder which I used for the background was ok, but it would not build depth of tone enough so I used a black polychromo pencil to get the darks. The trees were deep in shadow one side and it gave them form. Unfortunately the paper has a cream tint and they highlights were not as bright as I wanted.

To begin with I drew out the scene loosely, then applied the Gesso and tissue to the area I wanted heavier texture. I decided to only apply it to the foreground on this occasion as it would have meant a lot of rubbing down to get the smooth surface and as mentioned above I was still working on getting rid of graphite shine. If I use the technique in the future I may try marble dust or sand in the mix. I used perspective lines to gauge the size of the Deer in the picture, trees were not as essential because they come in so many shapes and sizes, what was important was to start off correctly sizing the nearest Deer with the trees. After that I drew perspective lines to the horizon and matched the other Deer in the picture in order to get it correct. This then helped with the tree sizing behind. I also tried to incorporate the Golden Mean  placing the Deer in specific areas, though there are two in the background which were put in just to add interest to the viewer.



I started drawing at the top of the picture, due to its size I used graphite powder as it covers a large area fast, this worked well on the paper and on Gesso, but the Gesso looked overworked if I tried to get the deeper tones on it. I will use this method in the future and it has its place, but if this had been a finished piece of art I would have worked a lot slower. It is hard to get Graphite detail on watercolour paper so it did work well emphasising distance within the picture. One thing I didn’t like was in certain light you can see the change of surface colour between Gesso and paper. However walking around the room I notice something that artists in the past noticed with texture oil paintings, depending on where you look at the areas that had the Gesso the depth of tone changed, so I think I am hooked at trying to perfect drawing on the surface and will experiment further in the future with its application and use.

Overall I am pleased with my final piece, I wanted to produce a drawing that showed what had been learnt throughout Drawing 1, and I think I have done that. What I did struggle with is letting go and allowing, as they say, happy accidents. The foreground showing the texture was developed using tissue and Gesso, this gives the look of fallen branches and other vegetation. However I had little control over how this looked and had to an extent go with the look and work with it. The trees were different, they worked really well and are tactile, I managed to manipulate the bark better by using pallet knives which didn’t seem to work as well with the finer work. I did put random marks a little further towards the middle of the picture, these didn’t work as they were too small to rub down and I found it hard to work them into the picture. Also I got a little Gesso by accident to the side of one of the trees and found it difficult to make that look natural within the picture.  I think in the future I would like to take this drawing further, I would use Gesso over the entire picture and experiment more with it adding some form of grit and try different supports.

Assignment 5, sketches leading up to the assignment

I am working my way to the final piece and what I am going to do. I have decided to go with the textured drawing with gesso but have one final experiment to perform before I actually decide on the drawing. I put Gesso over tissue paper and I also applied it thickly to the area and when drying put marks into with cocktail sticks and a pallet knife, it gave a great affect. The charcoal doesn’t adhere to the Gesso as well as coloured pencil and oil pastel as it is so smooth. I over lay some silverpoint paint to try and give a grittier surface but I don’t think it worked too well, so I am going to try a small sketch this time and sand it to roughen the surface. The oil pastel has depth so in my final piece I am going to place the deer through the wood, however I do like the larger deer in the foreground, so I think I will go with a mix. The near branches look better in texture so I will apply it to the foreground.

My final Gesso experiment was done pretty much the same way as before but I rubbed it down with sand paper. This worked well and the pencil adhered well. The drawing which is the middle one above wasn’t best compositional piece I have done, but I was short of time and needed to try the media and technique. It worked well so I am now going to do a few sketches now in regards to composition.

Part 5 Review of previous assignment self assessments.


I have looked through and read my assessments and don’t have a great deal to add. I I have progressed steadily through the course and my best work was Assignment 1. 3/4 and then 2, in that order. I think time, workload and misunderstanding of expectation and personal problems, was the reason Assignment 2 was the least impressive. Assignment 4 I worked really hard at, I spent a large amount of time making drawings and researching artist for this and really felt I had learnt a lot. My skill level is still below that which I would like with figure drawing and I realise I need a lot of practice for my work to flow and to be able to draw a person from memory. It has become habit to draw people whilst I am out and I am surprised how much I have grown to like trying to capture the moving figure.

Looking through my work I would like to use assignment 2 as my starting point and concentrate on my own enviroment. I know I can do better, the subject matter means a lot to me and I have always enjoyed drawing animals. Still Life would probably be the best subject to gain a good mark, but I know I can do that and need to stretch myself. I want to learn and improve my style.

I found great enjoyment in the drawings I didn’t have to worry too much about every detail, in fact I went a little too far with the line drawing in Assignment 4 because I was enjoying the exercise. Working away from the detailed work I do in my private work and using a freer mark will make me, I feel, grow as an artist and bring more enjoyment to the process. I have always used art as a relaxation tool, but on my more detailed work I lose some of that pleasure in my push for accuracy.

I live in a farming area and would like possible to combine Part 3 outdoors with animals from Part 2 so will try and experiment with studying not only the animal but their enviroment as well. To begin I may do some live sketches of animals and enviroment.

Part 4, Project 6, Exercise 1 Facial Features

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Look at people (including yourself) in the flesh, in magazines, TV and other places and study the individual features. Practice drawing in my sketchbook a couple of pages per feature – different kinds of nose, eyes, ears, lips, chin, hair, eyebrows etc. If this helps use an enlarging grid to scale up a found image. Bear in mind that tonal variation, hatching an curved lines help model the form of facial features in the same way as they do in still life or landscape.

When you feel fairly confident draw an entire face.

I was not to worry if my lines and marks overlap and become untidy, and shouldn’t erase don’t erase mistakes. The workings and reworking’s are part of the thinking process and show are to show my tutor that I understand where you I went wrong and worked to put it right.

I was on holiday when I did most of this and had nearly run out of space in my carried sketchbook, so used loose sheets for most of it, although it is difficult to keep tabs on how much work is put into this when I am drawing people all the time. I used various media in my drawings and tried two sketches of a full face one in the main a line drawing of Miss Marple (Joan Hickson). The second was a version of my daughter who was posing with expression for a photo she was having done. This was drawn using charcoal and largely a tonal piece.

I have drawn all at a relatively quick pace  as I know this is one aspect of drawing I am not good at. I don’t seem to have a brain that can compute quickly, but am pleasantly surprised my speed/accuracy ratio is getting better.  This is a  good exercise to show the difference in shape, tone, size of a humans features. I feel now that I would like to try and draw faces with less line and more tone. I never thought I would be inspired as humans have never been my chosen topic of drawing, but I am enjoying Part 4, and have treated myself to a book called, Figure Drawing For All It’s worth by Andrew Loomis.

Part 4, Project 5, Exercise 2 Groups of figures


For this exercise I had to people watch human movement and interaction.  I had to observe different kinds of people how they stand, interact what they carry, etc I had to do a few small and quick sketches on the spot or take a few discreet photos and try to keep the atmosphere of the scene in my memory until I got home, trying to recapture the movement, drama, noise etc in your sketches.

I actually did all my sketches on site as I was on holiday at the time. I followed the same method as with exercise one. The first sketches were  on a crowded beach, people were moving and although it wasn’t strictly drawn an interactive group, it was much to large and busy, it was a group of people enjoying the pleasures of the beach in their individual manner. Drawing 2 was a group of people wandering around a shopping area. Drawing 3, band members on a break enjoying conversation and a cup of tea they seem to have the figits though and I couldn’t get them finished. Drawing 4 were people waiting for a boat at the quay, there was no form of queue just a slowing wandering group of people enjoying the view of passing boats, a small dingy can be seen in the top right of the sketches. This and Drawing 5 are not strictly the group as described but they were in the area at the same time, so they even though they may of been drawn as a single figures, they were together in the same area at the same time. They too were far too mobile and too great in number to capture in the moment. Drawing 5 were pleasure golfers, families couples etc all using the same golf course but drawn as individuals in no particular order. Drawing 6 and yes more playing golf, you would think I was a golf fanatic, but actually I don’t play, I just like sipping coffee. This was a family group who seemed to take their swing more serious and I had a little more time to draw them. The shading was done after the drawings so not strictly completed at the time

I know only 3 drawings were actually drawn as an interactive group, but I felt they the other 3 were good examples of an interactive group of people caught in their moment. In picture 5 the little cat had gone around visiting all the golfers in turn so I included it within the picture as it formed part of the atmosphere.

This exercise asked how successful was I in my attempts to retain an image of a scene to draw later, as I followed the first option of this exercise and did all my drawings on site I can’t answer that, however I will try this option of the exercise at a later date.

As with exercise 1 I feel I need a lot more practice with figure drawing at speed. Surprisingly I have enjoyed it, I think because it is a challenge and I found it difficult. Equally I can’t help feeling embarrassed at my inaccurate drawings. Its a must do better for me I think, having said that I think I managed to show movement atmosphere and interaction within the sketches.

Part 4, Project 4, Exercise 2, Three figure drawings


For this exercise I had to do  a standing, seated and lounging figure. The aim is to practise making interesting studies of the figure to show I have understood the basic structural principles and my ability to incorporate them using whichever style or approach for my subject. I took time as requested, sorting out a position and viewpoint, walking around my subject also making a few quick sketches, these were quick. I also used exaggerated foreshortening in one picture as I quiet enjoy the almost comedic look of a person when foreshortened. It can be seen used in this way by Jenny Savage and although I dont like the look of all the flesh on display, I do like the concept. I achieved this exaggeration because of the viewing angle. It was impossible to draw this without a photo because of the position I would be in to get the view.  I think the least interesting one was the seated figure which was drawn using graphite. This for me was the hardest drawing as I find the seated figure difficult to do and for the life of me I couldnt get the proportions correct, I went wrong and could not redeem the picture with the trousers being too narrow, and the face incorrect. I moved onto the pastel picture which I think is accurate, my subject is only short and was stood slightly angled to the side , this gave a foreshortened effect on the shoulder and leg to the right of the body. I was pleased with this sketch and liked the energy in the picture even the the figure was still.

The lounging figure was the one I exaggerated the foreshortening on, it was easier to do as when low to the ground the foot became enormous. I used a pencil as a measure and the foot appeared to be half the size of the person, giving this over exaggerated size effect. My subject was twisted to one side which did give the whole picture a distorted view. Possibly it would have looked lest contorted and abnormal if I had positioned my model facing me. I do think this came out well though and enjoyed the process. This was done in pen and wash using Paynes Grey watercolour.

Overall I think I did relatively well, but I do still have a lot to learn in regards to the accurate portrayal of a human. To make sure I was within the size and proportion, I did draw out the figures in heads before I started as I had seen done in a book written by Andrew Looomis, Figure Drawing For All Its Worth. It is without a doubt easier to draw a figure with a mental vision of the naked body shape. It helps with the hang of clothes and the proportions of their body. I also find the position more achievable if I draw a stick figure first. I am getting better and more accurate as can be seen throughout Part 4, as I have a much better grasp of the size and proportion of a human. However it can take various attempts to get these proportions correct on paper, as can be seen above with the seated figure and the trouser legs and feet which are both sized incorrect, being too small.

Part 4, Project 4 Structure, Exercise 1 The Structure of the human body




For this exercise I had to loosely sketch some of the structures that make up the human body. Look for images online, library and our own body measurements and mechanics;

Looking closely , work upwards, start with your toes, sketching small sketches of  various body parts  until finally reaching the skull.

This is a very open ended exercise and can be time consuming I looked at the bones and muscles including my own body, used images off the internet and in books. Researching the structure of our body properly takes time so I drew an example of each part of the body, some included the muscles, some the bones, the rest the contours and shape. I finished the exercise with the skull, rather than draw it small I opted to do a larger version. It didn’t take long but gave me a little breather from  trying to study all the components that go into making our bodies. I felt the time needed to do this exercise properly would be immense and the whole thing should be treated as an ongoing exercise throughout my career. It is not something you could learn in a matter of hours.

Project 3, Part 4, Exercise 4, Energy



For this exercise I was to ask my model to adopt a dynamic position, lifting an arm, twisting the hips, turning the head, stretching the arms or walking. Work on sheets of A3 paper using charcoal, brush pens, or other tools that allow for broad and sweeping marks, quickly sketch the figure. Tr to convey the sense of energy in each pose. I wasn’t to worry about details but concentrate on the sense of movement in the figure. I was also to experiment using abstract marks that depict movement in my sketchbook.

I didn’t have a model for this occasion so I used New Master Academy’s models. I did each one in about 5 minutes each. I used wax pastel, charcoal, graphite, pen and ink. Pen and ink wasn’t so successful as my pen didn’t work correctly and  ended up using a fine liner.  My media was used with quick strokes and my subject was drawn in a dynamic pose. The ballerina was an exception I used a photograph for that one as I had seen the pose a few days before the exercise and thought the pose was elegant and showed the beautiful curve a human body can hold. I enjoyed this exercise and felt the lose drawings were helping me concentrate more on the shape of the body and its proportions.

I then did a series of exercises in my sketchbook first using single marks of curves and graduating on to quickly drawn lines and infill patterns using curves and swirls. Finally I thought I would put them all together. I looked at a webcam of Falmouth Harbour, where energy could be seen emanating from various areas. Seagulls, waves, sails, trees, water, people which were all moving and showing  movement. I made an artwork that portrayed all the energy I could see within about 20mins of viewing the scene. I used various media and started by blocking a faint background with charcoal. Watercolour was used very weakly dripped on the paper to give runs indicating movement within the scenery and showing a little colour. Then next step was to add the shapes of waves, birds, people, boat sails masts etc. I did this using various media depending on depth of tone, thickness, and application. The exercise was finished with further watercolour drips. I was pleased with the explosion of movement and enjoyed developing the scene as it was fun and carried less of a need for accuracy, it was more about movement and being pleasant to the eye.

I learned that movement can be depicted by various means, the subjects position, but also the way a line is shown and the addition of accent points around a moving part and to an extent the media use itself as in the watercolour drips.




Part 4, Project 3, Exercise 2, Essential elemants


This time I was to draw a sequence of six different poses lasting ten minutes each

Adjust the light so that it hits just one side of the model, to emphasise the three dimensional form. Take time to look at the model and identify the darkest and lightest areas. Remember the basic shapes and begin to shade in the darkest tones.Build up the different tonal values with loose hatching and or broad sweeps of dark tone. Leave the white paper without marks for the lightest tones.

I was to draw the whole figure but nor worry about the detail.

First of all it was a lot to ask of someone as slow as myself, as it happens I dont think I did to badly. My model was unavailable so I used a site called New Masters Academy. They do times sessions of live models. I chose six different ones all showed movement, and gesture from the central axis, except from my downward lying lady. I actually surprised myself with this, maybe it was because they were still also they hadnt got clothing to distort the shapes. For me I think this is a personal best as I did get closer to the correct proportions. My shading was relatively accurate, I used a water soluble pencil for all sketches using line and hatching, then with a water brush I laid over a wash to grade the shading. If I was to do them again I would try ink and wash but I wasnt confident going into this Exercise so played safe. I think I managed to show movement within my drawings, maybe the were not as detailed as I could have drawn but all in all I think I didnt do too bad.









Part 4, Project 1, Exercise 1, Fabric and form

For this exercise I was to throw a piece of clothing or length of plain fabric across a chair to make folded and soft layers of fabric and then, using an appropriate medium for each make two 15 minute sketches, one using line only and the other concentrating on tone. On the line drawing I used graphite and darkened the line where the fold area was in shadow. For the tonal drawing I also used Graphite Pencil one 2b and worked the tone by applying more layers when needing shadow.

material folds line drawing

material folds with tone

I then had to loosely divide a large sheet of paper into 8-12 cm squares and draw 5 minute sketches of different parts of the fabric. Look at the shapes cause by the folds.

I used various media as was suggested choosing, Chalk Pastel, Graphite Pencil, Pencil and Ink, Watercolour Pencil, Wax Pastel, Charcoal, Ball Pen, Felt Tip.

5 min farbric drawing

The approach to how I drew the folds and shapes, was different according to the media I used but all started with a line drawing in Graphite first.  I thought I would find the media that could be smudged, or blended in some way would give the best effect and largely that was correct, however each one had its merit depending on the effect wanted. The Ball Pen  had a pleasing linear effect which I may use in the future, and the Felt Tip actually looked better than the others when viewed from a distance. Out of all the media I felt the Wax Pastel was the less pleasing which surprised me. This could be the way I applied the Pastel, or it didnt work well within a small area, so I decided I would try Wax Pastel on a larger drawing. It was applied very quickly and still worked loose. I liked the effect and may try a similar drawing again but be more precise with application and spending longer in achieving the affect I am looking by trying a more layered effect. I certainly feel used in such a loose way a bigger drawing works better.

material folds 3123