Tag: pencil

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, experimenting with textures.

I needed to now look at textures and how to go about using them. It’s not something I have ever really tried before, except for a little collage. I had been looking at variations whilst studying artists and found people often use Gesso and tissue to create a textured surface in which to draw. I felt it may be a good way of producing the effect I wanted. Tree bark pattern is different for each type of tree so taking a few rubbings to get the feel of the marks was one of the first things I did then I tried out various methods on how to create and use the texture.


The first textured work was done using Acrylic paint tinted with watercolour and tissue. It was totally random and I wanted to try out the technique whilst waiting for my Gesso to arrive. I used Charcoal, C. Pencil and Pencil, I liked the tinted background but I feel it will limit the distance in the picture, but I did like the texture on the tree stumps this was effective and felt tactile. So I thought I would extend the texture further back into the picture next time.


I then tried Gesso and tissue to create the background in which to draw, and used oil pastels and coloured pencils to draw on the surface and silverpoint in the background. I felt there wasn’t too much texture  in relation the rear of the picture, so it lost depth, however the foreground was really nice and the affect was how I wanted. The colour was a nice touch, but I  wasn’t sure there was a little too much. The definition on the bark wasn’t good either and  the tree came out looking flat and overworked, so I needed to tone down the overuse of media and try something a little less dominant. I did like the oil pastel in the foreground it gave the whole area a tangled look which was similar to the wood near where I live. Silverpoint did work but it didn’t bring anything to the table graphite wouldn’t in this particular picture.


Next instead of using tissue, I covered the paper with tinted gesso, this was left rough, the brushstrokes giving a lovely textured affect. I really like the deer which is a coloured pencil sketch. Unfortunately for the Assignment I really needed to showcase all that had  learnt in Drawing 1 and this type of drawing wouldn’t show that. However I decided I would to try and better the technique in the future and improve on the above, it is a style I feel will combine with my more photorealistic style and I find it really enjoyable to do.

I then did various experiments using the Gesso and mark making and went through a number of media, both on Gesso alone and on Gesso overpainted with silverpoint paint in increasing layers 1-4.  When mark making I used cocktail sticks, pallet knives, wire, fingers and piping, all worked well enough depending on what texture you wanted, and as I discovered earlier you can get a good effect from the hairs of a paint brush. Most media worked relatively well and had its use, but one thing apparent was there was little change in quality with the increasing layers of silverpoint ground. Silverpoint worked well on the surface but I am not sure I will use it in the final work as its delicate mark feels a little at odds with the heavy texture of the trees.

Assignment 5, studies of deer


Having decided to draw deer I have found two areas where I can draw them in the wild. I was amazed at Dunham Massey how near I could get and how obliging the deer are.  I found it easier than the first deer I drew which were in a field near to where I live, and didn’t like their portraits being done.  The top picture was drawn using pastel and Conte sticks, I have not decided on media, or  if I am using any colour in my final drawing, so I wanted to experiment with a limited palette the drawing was done from a photograph and my sketches. I have sketched two different types of deer, which will explain the difference in their appearance. The Fallow are bigger, the Roe are daintier.

Part 4, Project 5, Exercise 1 Single moving figure

For this Exercise I have been asked to draw the moving figure in my sketchbook, a page a day. I have been asked how well I have done. Well ….this was not easy, however I did a number of sketches of single figures which spilled into the groups exercise. What I have done is choose a selection of some of the sketches as there was too many to put on my blog. I have picked the ones that held emotion and memory, I had no difficulty in looking for quality, as I am sure it can be seen I need practice. This exercise was attempted earlier than most of the exercises already posted before it and I think I can now see my work has improved since these they were done.

To be fair figures are not my thing and I found this incredibly hard, no sooner did I start the drawing, the person had moved on. Proportion went out the window in a lot of cases, as to begin with the speed I had to draw actually scared me. Now I may still be gaining the skill but I enjoy it and will continue drawing the moving figure. It certainly makes you learn and quick.  There was no second guessing if I didn’t get the line  down whilst it was happening I finished the drawing, this means there are several part people. I wanted to leave it like this, as it becomes more of a challenge and means I will try to get better, pride hurts, but it does make you want to improve.

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 3, Exercise 1 Basic Shapes


For this I had to arrange my model at a slight angle in a chair for an hour or so, consider the angle of the central axis that runs through the seated figure. Notice twist or bends and block in basic shapes. Look carefully at which planes of the body are receding and which planes of lines are parallel to the edge of my picture plane. This is to help establish the bulk of the drawn figure in relation to the space around it. The model had to be drawn from several positions remembering to measure  with each pose. I was to Identify the possibility of foreshortening and make written notes.

For some reason I didn’t do this one well. I have begun timing my drawing. and these were all done withing 10mins except for the boys which I did from an old video. I freeze framed this and took 12 mins. I did this as my model was short of time and had a bad case of the fidgets. I think to a point that is why I had difficulty and proportions were not correct, the more straight on views had some foreshortening in the thighs, on one side view there was a little in the far foot, but to be honest an hour for 5 or 6 drawings is still fast for me. I feel a little like a driver who has got his L plates and is just starting to go solo. Not because of my drawing inability, but my inability to draw at speed under pressure. The picture I drew in Charcoal of two children, was far more accurate than the ones I did of my model. Having said that they did sit still within the frame and that might be the reason. I re did the front position drawing a second time as this looked more like my model was getting up out of the chair. I used a line almost stick like and then fleshed out the shapes, this worked better. I still think I am not blocking in shapes as well as I should. All in all I think I need much more practice at the human figure, especially foreshortening and front view figures, which could probably look better from a different view maybe lowering my viewpoint and foreshortening the thighs a little.

Part 4, Research point effect of foreshortening

mum 2

For this Research I was to try lounging on a couch with a mirror facing me from the foot end, then draw my body as I saw it in the mirror. My feet should be huge in comparison with the rest of my body. This effect is called foreshortening I then had to find any images were an artist has used foreshortening to create a particular effect.

Jenny Saville is a good one for this as she uses foreshortening in her figure drawing which accentuates the flesh.  This can be seen well in this painting called Plan.


Also there is the Grid reference illustration published by Albrecht Durer where he depicts someone looking through a string grid and transferring what they see to a drawing surface which had a grid on.


Part 4, Project 2, Exercise 2, A longer study

model 1139


For this Exercise I was to find a pose my model was comfortable with and they could hold for an hour. Draw small marks onto the sheet of paper indicating the outermost points of the figure. This is to give me confidence that I get the proportions correct. I would like to put a cough in there as, I would not use the word confidence. it helped but I still feel I am a mile away from feeling comfortable with drawing people accurately. I dont want the posed picture so I asked my model to sit relaxed and just chill out. I think she did me proud especially as this is not her day job, and although not strictly a teenager now gave me the look I was after.

I think the I managed the characteristic of the pose well, and although the models weight looked correct, I feel my proportions are still not accurate, the arms a legs are slightly out of proportion.  I  think I need to practice more drawings of people at speed,  I work relatively slowly and would have got things accurate with time, but if I was to take too much time I would fall behind.


Visit to the Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester


It was a great day a the Museum, I went with another student and we spent several hours wandering around. I loved the water colour work of Joseph Mallord William Turner, the light captured in his pictures is amazing,  but one of my favorites pictures was one by Thomas Hearne called Castle Acre Priory, which I managed to sketch. Its not the most accurate as I only had a pencil, sketchbook and very little time but it is such an idealic scene.


One exhibit that I found interesting  was that of Tebor Reich textile designer.It was opportunity to see a journey of his work, looking at his photographs, through to him developing his patterns from both positive and negative prints and putting them onto material. In the main he was inspired by patterns in nature and went on to develop them in to some memorable patterns.



There wasn’t enough time to do an in depth study of a particular work as the museum was changing exhibitions and there was a lot of people milling around the few available, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and I came out with some very beautiful cards for my sketchbook. One of a painting by Albrecht Durer, St Eustace. I didnt get to see any of his work sadly it would have made my day as he is one of my favourite artists.