Exploring drawing media – unit 2 – collage – exercise 2.1 – using collage to explore and extend mark-making

The aim of this exercise is to use collage to explore and extend mark making. Also to use discarded off cuts from my old drawings. The suggested subject is a still life using a couple of objects focusing on form and texture.

I decided to use for my still life a pewter hare ( with one ear, the other one had snapped off) the hare has a rough almost pitted texture that reflects the lights and darks  , I almost chose a silver metallic penguin cocktail Shaker. As a contrast the penguin has a very smooth and highly reflective surface. For my third  object I added a small piece of white satin fabric.

I then gathered together a range of discarded drawings, I also did a page of random marks using a graphic pencil.

I spend some time looking over the drawings looking for interesting marks and shapes , I then cut with scissors  and ripped my drawings into different sized strips.

I spend some time sorting my drawing scapes into tones and marks. I also took some time exploring a composition. I did a couple of very small sketches before beginning my drawing.

I used A2 paper used  landscape , I roughly sketched in my still life. Using PVC glue and a brush I slowly built up my drawing layering on my paper materials . I used my iPad to “draw” the shadows using a drawing app I did a page of grey colour using my finger to make the marks then printed the sheet out.


I have some previous basic experience of collage making and enjoy the way the medium is very versatile and allows me to experiment.

Looking at my final drawing I was fairly pleased with my outcome. I would never have used collage in this way and really learnt a great detail from following the exercise. Matisse referred to his paper collage patterns as drawing with scissors and I was pleasantly surprised that collage can be used to explore mark making. I felt that  the exercise allowed me to produce a very expressive drawing. The exercise was very intricate and time consuming but did make me realise just how collage can be and that is can be a part of the drawing process. I did a couple of drawings using a range of graphite pencils but feel that they lacked the drama of my collage. I feel in the drawings the tonal values  are very flat and lack depth or structure  – I feel I didn’t quite manage to capture the denser or deeper tones I found the collage process very exciting,and liberating  – I feel it has endless possibilities. I also liked the way that the exercise allowed me to reuse old drawings and allowed me to focus on looking at and dissecting a drawing – looking at it in an entirely new way.


Exploring drawing media – my response to tutor report for assignment one

I am grateful for a very helpful, insightful and fair tutor report .

I am really enjoying the course and I am finding it very exciting and rewarding. It is clear than I now need to focus on my learning objectives as I am looking towards assessment towards a BA in drawing. I need to push myself upwards as this is my final level one course. I really want to learn and expand my techniques to achieve a good outcome.

This is my response to areas mentioned in my report:

– Demonstration of technical and visual skills, quality of outcome, demonstration of creativity: I really enjoyed and learnt a lot from the experimental exercises. My drawing style is about mark making using gestural marks to express my vision and to capture an essence of what I see. I do need to draw more, and experiment more with varying my marks. A year ago I sprained my left wrist ( I am left handed) – I could not use my left hand so explored drawing with my non-dominant hand. It was challenging but actually an interesting experience. I do a drawing each day at night as I am an insomniac. I use a small sketchbook for these sketches. I will include my little sketchbook with my new post out.

FLUID MEDIA FINAL PIECE – I totally agree that some areas of my drawing is patchy – I was a bit struck with the assignment and I do feel this shows. I need to be clearer with my outcomes and plan more. I agree I needed to really push and develop the drawing process and experiment more with varying lines and structure to produce a much more powerful drawing. Looking at the drawings I can see that the final drawings are under developed and sketchy. I will definitely re-work the assignment.

DYNAMIC GESTURE- I struggled to fully engage with this exercise and I agree the piece does not work or achieve the exercise outcomes. I really need to plan my work and push the outcomes to the limits. I need to spend more time assessing my work against the instructions and spend more time decision making. I definitely need to revisit tonal values. I definitely struggle with shifts in scale and sizes due to an aspect of my dyslexia and I get very frustrated that I cannot overcome these issues.

SKETCHBOOK- I enjoy using my sketchbook and find it fundamental to my working practice but I tend to struggle using it when starting a new course so I need to overcome this.

CONTEXT LEARNING LOGS OR BLOGS / CRITICAL ESSAYS – I really enjoy the contextual element of my studies and despite some issues due to dyslexia I find the written element a useful aid to studying. The tips that my tutor has suggested are very useful and I will definitely refer to them from now on. I have no prior experience of writing about art so I am pleased that I am making progress on this component. I agree that looking at drawings in the flesh is essential and I am due to attend some OCA study trips including looking at drawings in the study room at the British Museum and I am going to see the Modigliani show at the Tate modern in February. I also take a sketchbook and draw and write about the show on trips. I am also going to see some Louise Bourgeois works on paper at a local independent gallery in March.

The big draw 2017 drawing event at the Royal society of sculptors

At the end of October I attended a Big draw event at the Royal society of Sculptors in Kensington. The 2 hour drawing session was facilitated by ‘Wildlife drawing’ and focused on drawing small mammals. During the two hour event I had the opportunity to draw Meerkats, Pygmy Hedgehogs, a sugar glinder and some rabbits.

All of the animals were lively and moved quickly so it was a good exercise at working rapidly. I tended to use my hand and wrist quickly to capture the form and sculpture of the mammals. I used water colour graphite pencils and a wash brush to add tone as this medium is very useful when working with moving animals and is a quick way to develop a drawing. I also spend some time observing the animals as to me this is just as important as drawing.

It was a very useful drawing experience and a perfect opportunity to build up observational drawing skills.

Assignment one – EDM part I exploring fluid media my personal reflection and learning outcomes

Before starting Assignment one I carefully spent some time out to reflect on the unit and looking at my work , blog and sketchbook. I also did a brief plan in my sketchbook regarding media , scale etc. I decided as I had not done much with colour in my exercises so I definitely wanted explore fluid media using some colour. I also felt that I wanted to explore some sketches that I did in November at a life drawing event. It was difficult to decide what sketches to develop so I went with the idea of doing two drawings. One a head drawing A3 size and a larger A2 figure drawing this time with my model reclining. I aimed for something different than a traditional portrait instead I was looking for drama and intrigue.

I really felt inspired by the research points and wanted to use ideas from some of the work that I looked at. I was particularly moved and inspired by Louise Bourgeois’s insomnia drawings and I was blown away with the work of Geraldine Swayne. Both artists use their art to explore feminism and what it is like to be female. Bourgeois’s work is about her experiences of being a woman. She reflects on the female life cycle – sexuality, motherhood and ageing. I feel her work is intimate and sensual but also poignant. Swayne also explores issues around being female. Her work appears darker in tone and can be unsettling. I feel she is making comments on society particularly regarding exploitation of women and how women are portrayed . Despite the dark themes I can sense a tenderness in Swayne’s work , I feel she really cares about her sitter’s. For my final project I also wanted to explore elements of feminism- I chose to depict an actor dressed in a theatrical costume. But my sitter is empowered and in control – despite adopting a persona she is not who she appears to be. It is this element of mystery that I wanted to convey. I was not aiming to produce a likeness in the traditional sense I want my drawing to ask questions of the viewer. In a sense my drawing is telling a story. I wanted to say that my drawing is about a particular moment where for a moment an actor becomes a character. I am interested in art that has something to say that has a narrative quality. I like Art that captures a fleeting moment a sense of something happening.

Both my drawings are concerned with the sitter so I didn’t add in the background.

Once I established my subject matter I decided my media. Looking at my earlier work I felt that using a counterpoint dry media added an extra dimension to my drawings. I decided also to start with a monoprint as I was keen to build my drawing in layers. I feel that this added interest and some texture to my drawings. My original drawings were short sketches so I decided to try and keep the immediacy and spontaneous flow of my drawings so apart from adding more to the facial features I kept to the loose drawing style of my original sketches.

I also, on a whim decided to add a small area of collage. I decided that I wanted this to be fairly subtle so used a tiny amount of white tissue paper on the skirt of the larger drawing.

There are elements of my two drawings that I felt didn’t work – some of my drawing is clumsy in places and I am unsure about the posture of the reclining figure. However I do feel that there are elements of the drawings that I do like and I feel that I did achieve most of my aims and objectives. I also feel that I have used my media creatively.


I really enjoyed unit one and found all the exercises really helpful and interesting . This course has offered me plenty of scope and opportunity to learn about drawing. I felt that all the research points were useful to me. I feel as well as developing some skills the course has allowed me to express elements of my creativity.

As a learning curve there was a lot to offer me – I have never used fluid media and dry media together. I liked the way the course offered me the opportunity to work more intuitively and expressively – both things that I feel will help me on my learning path.

Some elements of the exercises I struggled with particularly exercise 1.4 invention and mystery. I struggled with some of the concepts particularly occlusion. I will need to go back and investigate this more fully as I feel I am not yet ready to leave it behind. I do have to push myself – but I am a hard worker and have a determined personality. This is my third level 1 course and in the previous two modules I have had to re-work some of my pieces – but I am always ready for the challenge and feel that errors and mistakes are all part of the learning process.

The research points gave me plenty to reflect on . They were inspiring and I learnt from them. I particularly want to continue to look at Louise Bourgeois. Geraldine Swayne was a real epiphany to me – I was not familiar with her work at all and will definitely follow her up. I am interested in Women artists as in history they have been widely overlooked – but I feel today more women artists are being recognised and I was pleased that we were required to look at women artists.



Following the unit one programme I have experimented and explored using fluid media. I From gathering ideas to explore , developing themes and constructing work. I have used a variety of fluid media and observed outcomes and recorded my experiences. I have demonstrated a range of visual skills in relation to the exercises. I have made decisions regarding use of media, composition, design using a range of skills both visual and cognitive. I have explored a more intrusive method of learning. I have pushed myself and investigated my response to the course.


I have followed though all the exercises and research points. I have responded to all the tasks carefully assessing my work against the requirements of the outcomes. I have labelled my work and presented my work in an organised manner on my blog, and my sketchbook. I have recorded my thoughts and methodology. I have delved into my work within the context of learning from it. I have imputed my own ideas and views using a balanced and coherent view. My work is presented to the correct standard.


though out the unit I have endeavoured to explore elements of my creativity sourcing ideas and looking at way to explore and expand them. I have used a number of difference learning approaches to challenge my creativity including – using my imagination, experimenting with different drawing media, inventing forms and drawings creatively. I have made decisions to develop ideas. I used my sketchbook to source ideas. I have looked at way to develop my personal voice and vision.


I am dyslexic to so I have worked hard to overcome some of the challenges. I have organised ideas , reflections and thoughts in a note book allowing me to form ideas to gather to aid me with the writing process. My online blog although not very sophisticated is up to date and relevant. I have used all the research points in an organised and constructive manner. I use my personal voice in an reflective manner recording and responding and using it as a learning tool. I have spent time assessing my progress and setting myself aims and objectives. I have began to measure my own work against the course criteria.

I have planned some gallery visits for the next couple of months. ( I was due to go on a OCA study visit last week but was unfortunately ill).

I have spend some time reading some of the suggested reading course books.  I have also brought a book about Louise Bourgeois’s insomnia drawings as I am keen to discover more from Bourgeois’s drawings.

I feel excited with the direction that the course is taking me so I am looking forward to part 2.

Exploring drawing media- fluid media assignment one

once I had established my theme and topic for assignment one. I carefully planned my final piece


drawing one head portrait

i decided to use 2 different types of fluid media – printing ink and watercolour. I began by doing a monoprint producing my image onto a perplex plate and hand pulling my print. My monoprint was fully loosely drawn as it was the first layer. I used primary colours plus white and black water based block ink. Once the ink had dried I added some more colour using watercolour washes specifically aiming to add subtle colour. I then used a counterpoint dry media coloured pencil and graphite pencil. The finished drawing is A3

Drawing two reclining portrait

Again I started with a monoprint using primary colours – this time I experimented with some mark making – to suggest the shadow on the models bubble wrapped sleeve I used black ink and stippled in on the printing plate. Again I hand pulled my print as I do not have a printing press. I then added the other fluid layers using watercolour. I then used pencils to draw into my image. Finally I added a small collage element using white tissue paper that I scrunched up before gluing onto the skirt area of my design. My finished drawing is A2 size.


I decided not to focus on the background as I wanted my drawings to be about the model. I wanted to inject an element of mystery – leaving the viewer to ponder about her story?

I feel I have explored my media and I am fairly happy with my drawings- although I am uncertain about some elements of my drawing?

i feel the reclining figures posture looks awkward and in the head drawing I feel the facial features are badly drawn. But I do feel I am beginning to understand more about how to use fluid media and I also feel I have gathered some skills to help me develop as I progress on the course.

Exploring drawing media – fluid media assignment 1

After much reflection and looking though my work I decided to use colour in my final assignment and to develop some sketches from life that I did at a recent costumed life drawing event in the Painted Hall Greenwich.

The event was part of Museum’s late. The focus of the drawing event was exploring the rivalry between the eighteenth century  baroque Queen Mary and her sister Anne. The life drawing was very dramatic and theatrical with specially curated music. Both models were wearing costumes constructed from paper, cardboard and bubble wrap! And they were wearing white wigs. Modelling in front of the famous painted hall artwork and with lots of lighting there was a lot of subtle but bright colours reflected on the models white costumes and on their faces. I was eager to capture the favour of the lights and colours so used fluid watercolour and pencil for my drawings. I did 10 drawings some were very short and two longer drawings of around 20 minutes? The model’s changed their poses in largely random manner which was interesting.

I found using watercolour fairly challenging particularly with the shorter poses but it did allow  me make rapid decisions with my mark making.

Once looking though my work I decided to develop some of these images into assignment one.

Fluid media – exercise 1.4 – invention and mystery – final drawing and reflection

84767C43-C407-4E46-97DC-ACCCB9988C36When I began this exercise I was totally unclear about how to approach it. After some reflection I decided the only way to deal with my trepidation was to start to draw and see if an idea should form. I am a very curious and intuitive artist. Looking carefully and studying my still life inspiration literally came from a piece of tissue paper placed next to a silver coffee pot! So it was decided!

I have always had the ability to see faces in inaminate objects and looking at the tissue paper I could see some interesting shapes including a horse head, a goat or sheep head or a fish head. I decided to go with a fish idea starting from the head shape I added a body from imagination and ideas gathered from a sketching trip to the London aquarium. I feel inspired with the juxtaposition of the silvery fish and the metallic coffee pot. I used drawing ink and a brush to build up the tones and structure using skills gathered from exercise 1.2 ( exploring tone with fluid media). Once I had plotted the darkest tones I then used white acrylic paint to add hilights to the shiny surfaces of the coffee pot and to soften the harsh lines.

I feel that the fish design works well with the monochrome drawing.


Despite the challenges of not having a direction or idea where to take the project I really enjoyed the exercise and really feel that I have gained a great deal from working though it – I feel that I am beginning to understand more about the versatility of fluid media. I largely draw from life so this exercise took me outside my comfort zone getting me to explore aspects of my imagination that I have not done before.


– I feel the composition works well linking my objects in an imaginative way

– use of monochrome- I feel that this drawing is better than my previous drawings and I feel that I have managed to convey the essence of both my still life objects

– my use of fluid media combining semi transparent layers of ink and the heavy opaque quality of white acrylic paint. I feel I have also benefited from working though the earlier exercises in this unit. I have still a long way to go but I do feel I am starting to make some progress.


I feel that I have been on a learning curve that has equipped me with a better understanding of exploring drawing media. I struggled with occlusion- it was a concept that I had not come across before. I decided that I need to go away and find out more about it and then see if I can incorporate it into my work. I really felt I couldn’t tackle it without a clear understanding- so I will have to return to it.