Tag: Mixed Media

Part 4, Project 6, Exercise 1 Facial Features

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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.

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 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.



















Part 3, Project 1, Exercise 2, Larger observational study of an individual tree

For this I was to do a more detailed observation of a tree so I started with two sketches of two different Beech trees, I chose to do the study on the tree which whose roots remind me of the tentacles of an Octopus. Local children have a swing attached to a branch and have used it as a swing for years. I decided however it was the roots that I wanted to do the study on, I find them magical to look at. I used A3 Cartridge paper and it was a toss up between Charcoal, Graphite or Ink and Wash. I don’t use Ink and Wash normally, so decided I wanted to experiment with that as my medium. I started with the line and found myself wondering how to show the detail. The bark was smooth, but had blemishes and colour changes which I needed to portray. I tried to wet the tree and then apply ink with a brush. I didn’t like the effect it was too uniform. I then reapplied the line and picked up a brush full of clear water and brushed along the still wet line letting the ink spread from line to center of the trunk this worked well, but still not right. I tried lifting some of the ink with a brush to create highlights and texture, but felt I needed a more patchy effect to show the texture, so dabbed damp areas with tissue lifting away some ink. This worked well. I let the picture dry, but was still not happy, with the bark texture, so I went in again with water and made some areas quite wet, here I dropped in ink and allowed it to spread lifting it from areas I wanted to keep the highlights. This gave a really good affect.  I still needed to add some lines and marks which appear like fine cracks and blemishes in the bark, I tried two method. One I dropped water into not quite dry ink and it caused the ink to feather as wanted but too much so, so I had to manipulate this with a damp brush to get the correct affect. The other way I added line and mark was to draw it in with my ink pen,  and wash over it, this was done near the roots. Finally I added a couple of blotchy washes to the ground and then fine line and mark to  give an impression of surface. The sky I chose to keep clear in order to give the tree the prominence and the focus I wanted. It was a dull day so I had to guess at shadow especially as the surrounding trees cut out  a lot of natural light so I placed it to the back right of the tree.

I felt the texture of the tree went well and showed the blemishes and bark tone changes I was after.

What I didn’t like was the thickness of line on the roots, so if I was to do it again I would try painting shadow in with a wash rather than let it spread as I kept having to reapply the line to get the darker areas of tone I wanted.

This was a great learning curve as I have only drawn with simple line and a wash before just enough to show shadow and only on a couple of occasions. I found it reacted like using watercolour and that with careful use it can be applied in many ways to create line and tone, the manipulation of the ink from various methods such as removing ink with paper, brush or water ,can create highlights, whilst tone can be created by mark, application and manipulation. I really enjoyed using it this way and would like to practice using the medium further.



single tree


single tree 2212single tree 3213

Part 2, Project 6, Exercise 5 Mixed Media

For this Exercise I was to use a range of coloured media such as oil pastels , watercolours, ink and coloured pencils. I could incorporate small areas of collage.  I was to work on a large sheet of paper  A2 or A1 divided up into two or four boxes. Alternatively work in your sketchbook. I used my sketchbook and did two drawings .

I was to glance through the studies I had made so far and see which had the most successful pictorial effect, work either from direct observation of my interior view or from one of my exercise studies.  I had to mix media I was less familiar with and experiment with several studies of the subject looking at it from different viewpoints. I didnt follow this  as due to time constraints I was only going to do 2 drawings and I wanted to do an interior picture similar in style to one of my researched artist Bella Foster    http://bellafoster.com/work/index.php . It was done with graphite and watercolour, from a totally different angle than in my sketchbook which showed some shelves in the Kitchen looking into the dining room door giving just a small glimpse of the dresser .  The way Bella Foster works is totally alien to me and would be a real experiment. I felt I would be taking on too much if I did a more complicated view, so I chose a more difficult one for my second study, which was my bedroom to landing previously quickly sketched from a different angle. The second drawing I did was pastel, charcoal and graphite on an odd paper called Fisher 400, I had never used this paper before it is like sandpaper. I learnt not to blend with the finger or you would loose your finger tips!

In my first picture showing the dresser I tried to use blocks of colour in the same style  as Bella Foster, I havent used watercolour so strong before and neither have I painted anything so flat. I was uncomfortable with the whole thing and felt, although I had a good colour scheme, my picture lacked something making it look more like something I would have painted at the age of 7 years. If I was to do it again I would possible add more around the edges of the dresser to give the picture greater interest. Overall I found this hard to do, but it was the reason I felt compelled to do the picture, because it was way out of my comfort zone.  I was told to think of a title when producing my work for this one I chose Simple Things.

simple things

For my second study as mentioned I chose my bedroom to landing sketch but worked it from a slightly different angle showing my coats hanging on the back of the door. I changed subjects as I felt the dresser would have been two simplistic for the exercise I was doing and needed to stretch myself. Again it was a real experiment, this time because of the paper. I had never used this paper before, didnt know how the colour would go on, or how it would blend. I didnt try it out  beforehand as I wanted the actual drawing to be the experiment, as mentioned above. Overall I liked this sketch but would if done again,  leave it until a sunny day in order to get more interesting shadow. My Title for this picture was Time For Rest.

Time for rest

Part 2, Project 6, Exercise 4 Line and Wash

For this exercise I was to select a range of media including pen, soft pencil oriental brush pen, charcoal and oily pastel. Work on any scale. I was to warm up but drawing continuous line in different media without looking at the paper. Keep a loose approach and keep working until I feel confident with each medium. Then work on creating interesting tones by using one or two colour washes.

I don’t have an oriental brush pen so I used all the above but substituted the brush with a Graphik Line Pen.

I decided to draw a lamp from my previous exercise rather than a scene, and had no problem with any of the media used as I am relatively comfortable with them all. The lamp was drawn from a low viewpoint and produced only looking at the paper to place the first point of my pencil or media being used. I was surprised because they all came out relatively the same to look at. I am sure it says something about my brain to hand action, but hate to think what. I then washed the lamps with two colours, grey and blue. Three were done with the light from the lamp only and three were done with a side light. With the object area being so small and a the wash quick it doesn’t show a great deal of difference within the shadow areas. The top three lamps are the ones lit from the lamp itself. The washes were all quick but applied in different ways. My favourite ones were both the pen and wash lamps both were done with one wash. My worst one was the wax relief I don’t think it worked very well, probably because I have never done it before and hadn’t applied the wax well. If I was to do this exercise again I would try and make the lamps bigger to give more scope with the wash. Overall I enjoyed this exercise it was fun just letting go.

lamp 1