Goodness, I seem to be getting alot hits on my page at the moment, I can only hope that my work is useful to someone.


Thanks everyone!!!!!




I haven’t done any official work for quite some time but I have thought a lot about this course during my time out and whether or not to continue. I have visited life drawing classes for the past 10 weeks and really enjoyed them, they reminded me that art is fun and this degree course for me was slowly destroying my passion. I recently had my 30th birthday and as one does, I decided my life needs to change. I made the decision to start my own business a couple of months ago, its still in the early stages of being built however I got some great news a few days ago that my cheesecake won the Grosvenor casino bake off in Bradford…..I proved to myself I can do it and my future lies in my new business; Sugar Daddy’s Boutique Bakery. Its something I can do now and I cant wait!!!!

On that note this will be my final blog for the course but  I may still keep it active and post my personal work as I have no intention of giving up art.

End of part 3 reflection

I really do feel I have come a long way since assignment 2. My confidence took a real hit after my tutors report and admittedly I didn’t put as much into part 2 as I should have due to many distractions and lack of motivation. This time though I wanted to prove to myself and and my tutor that I can do it and I have the commitment, and skills determination to complete the course.

I feel that I have demonstrated technical skills and drawn what I see, I haven’t experimented with media as much this time because I wanted to master using pencil and charcoal. I have used and experimented with various techniques and I have made sure I have implemented my observational skills by studying my subjects thourougly this time. I have been visually aware and done my best to do pleasing compositions that have hopefully been designed well as I have thought long and hard about them.

I think the quality of my work in part 3 is much higher than part 2. I have investigated more and done plenty of preliminary work along with investigating and copying other artists work. I have documented my thought process and ideas well throughout, mainly in my on-line blog and I am trying to work on my critical thinking. I am still trying to create tight pieces and I know I need to go with the flow and loosen up and I am trying. I also need to be braver and work on larger paper and also experiment with new media. I have however took my Tutors advice and not gone too mad with the writing in the research points and instead use that time to copy the work and research it that way.

My favourite parts were the townscapes and trees because I really feel I improved my visual awareness and learned a lot of new skills and was actually able to implement them in my final assignment. I also really enjoyed having the opportunity to pull it all together for the assignment and I really feel now that I am progressing and moving in the right direction with my confidence intact.

I can see my style emerging now and hopefully my Tutor can too but I still cant quite put my finger on what it is yet as I am still experimenting, perhaps my Tutor might see it?. I have been more imaginative and sourced all my  own subjects outdoors using my camera phone. I have included and removed the necessary content to create interesting pieces. I have also practised a lot more which has enabled me to learn and implement this into my work.

At the beginning of part 3 I didn’t have my heart in it but once I got to the 2nd part I feel I had a confidence surge after having a good think and talk with my partner with regards to carrying on. He told me I shouldn’t waste my talent and with time and determination I will do it and I shouldn’t throw it all away. I know he’s right and I made the previous mistake of comparing my work to others on the course but I know now that all artists no matter what their technical skills all have their own unique style. I have been looking at the works of Lowry and Van Gogh and sometimes their sketches don’t look like much especially Lowry’s but you can still tell what they are, so I can do it too.

I still find it hard to shake off the worry that I haven’t done enough and I’m not technically able but I cant keep letting that drag me down plus is any artist ever satisfied with their own work?. I just hope this time that I have fulfilled the criteria and my Tutor sees potential in my work as I would love to finally feel fully competent and be encouraged to go for formal assessment. I have put a lot of time and effort into this part and hope to continue on to part 4 with the same level of confidence.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this part of the course minus the bad weather and I hope my passion for art and this enjoyment along with all that I have learned shows in my work.

Assignment 3

I already had something in mind for this piece that I had been thinking about and preparing for throughout part 3. I like the fact that the brief was quite specific because I didn’t stray too much or get totally confused and make a hash of it like I did for assignment 2, so I was grateful for that.

It was a lovely sunny day a good few weeks back so I took some photographs for reference knowing I would need them for this assignment. I planned out the composition and which elements of the scene I should include and cut out and started a few sketches. I opted for linear perspective and concentrated on the receding lines of the fence to show this.I drew a few different compositions and did some experimenting with coloured media and techniques to make absolutely sure I was happy with my choice. I decided to use my new polychromos because the coloured pencils would allow me to show detail and form. I also tried to perfect the perspective lines and vanishing points in the picture as I struggled with these before. I also remebered from previous errors that I needed to add movement otherwise it would look flat, I added this movement to the washing so it looks like there is a breeze.

My finished piece brings together all of the elements the assignment was looking for with exception of the far view but I do feel it included and demonstrated what was was asked. I demonstrated a sense of depth using linear perspective which is mainly focused on the fence and the paving. I included part of the door to show that this is a view through a door and I feel this feature helps to lead the eye into the picture, up the steps and to the back of the garden and beyond. I dotted the  plant pots around  to add some life and colour and they also helped with the depth and hopefully encourage the eye to move around around the picture. I have used a variety of mark making techniques to suggest the foliage on the bush and the plants, hatching for the shadows and alot of layering and blending to biuld it up. I used hatching to show the form of the tree (one of my favourite parts of the picture). I used a textured paper because I like how the white still shows through adding life to the piece, I remembered my trouble wth this previously and decided to learn from my mistakes by mastering it and making the most of it this time around. I like the colours I chose for the piece and I layered them to add depth and warmth and I feel the bright colours of the pots and washing work well with the earthy tones of the stone and grass.

I hope I got the perspective accurate as I didn’t use a ruler and there were so many different lines. My piece didn’t contain a vast view but I still tried to apply the perspective principles although I didn’t really reduce the detail in the middle ground quite so drastically due to this.

There are a few parts that possibly don’t work but I didn’t want to overwork it. The shed is a bit wonky and I struggled with the hedge at the back with regards to showing darker tones for depth, I think I was frightened I would ruin it. I have tried to show where the light falls by adding shadows, tones and highlights. I struggled with the steps and the linear perspective of them along with the paving but I still think that the eye is drawn in so its not a complete failure. I feel I got the fence right and it gets narrower the further down the garden it goes which shows depth. I’m not overly sure if I did the door right or if I should have included it at all, I had no idea how to show glass but I tried my best. I think that the roofs of the properties in the background help with the depth as do the smaller pots and less detailed steps and paving at the side of the shed. My favourite part is the tree, I really like the unusual colour choice and mark making I used. Overall I am happy with the finished piece and I think it shows that I understand and have implemented what I have learned into my work. I also feel that that my work is developing well and has improved since part 2 and my confidence has also increased.

I think I had more courage during this assignment due to all the practice and preparation I have done and the things I have learnt throughout. I really tried to loosen up but I still ended up trying to perfect it and concentrate on detail however a lot less than previous exercises. I’m pleased with my use of mark making but perhaps I could have been a little bolder.

I really think this piece brings together everything that I have learned and it shows my progression and learning. I can see and improvement from just the beginning of part 3 through to this final piece. I was struggling at the beginning but I had a chat with my tutor which put things into perspective for me, I dont need things to be perfect and amazing because they are looking for learning progression and proof that I am trying to develop my skills by taking on board and implementing these things into my work. Proffessionalism will develop throughout the course but at the moment my style is still developing. Angela also said not to worry if my work doesnt seem as good as other peoples because alot of others do it full time and dont work and have most likely been doing art continuously for years. I have only picked it back up less 1 year ago and I have a full time job and family commitments so when I think about it Im really proud of myself for giving it my all. I am very determined to do this course and will welcome on board any advice that will enable me to pass.

I am so glad I have finished this piece and I did enjoy the later half of part 3 so hopefully its a sign of good things to come. It has been a very challenging time for me, for many reasons, and my confidence took a real knock after assignment 2 to the point where I almost quit but I am pleased and proud of myself for continuing. I really hope I have done enough this time as I couldnt have tried harder and  I am both aprehensive and excited in hearing my tutors feedback, lets hope I tick all the boxes this time. I am looking forward to a fresh start with the new unit and will hopefully enjoy and learn some more new skills.


Trees; check and log

How many different tree types have you drawn?

With the sketching I think roughly 7 to get to grips and practice different shapes and forms of trees and in detail 2 but I dont know the species except the silver birch.

What techniques did you use to distinguish each type?

I did my best to focus on using different marks with pencil strokes appropriate to each, I also used hatching to distinguish the darker parts and to show the form of the tree, there wasnt any foliage due to the winter. I tried to pay articular attention to where the light fell and learn from my mistakes in the limited palette study by using this white paper to add highlights.

What did you do to convey the mass of foliage?

 I found this quite difficult but I limited the palette to just a couple of darker colours and kept it simple by not using much detail.  I just used line to represent the mass of trees. There wasnt much in the way of foliage as its very snowy here, the trees are still bare.  Colours are important when showing mass foliage or mass trees because it helps give a sense of light and shade to add depth.

How did you handle light on the trees?  Was it successful?

I think my success of portrayal of light has varied in my tree drawings I’ve done so far.  The smaller pencil one feels to me to be the most successful however I got carried away and later realsed it was supposed to be a large study. I really do like the colour version too, I feel I really experimented with mark making and colour. I tried to take my Tutors advice and not try to make a perfect picture and I feel this one is a move in the right direction as it isnt picture perfect and had atmosphere and life to it; however they are both very different but I think have been successful with the use of dark marks and blank paper to add depth and create form by showing the contours.

Did you manage to select and simplify?  Look at your drawings and make notes on how you did this, and what could you do better?

I did manage to select and simplify throughout this part of the assignment.  Looking back to the start, I found it difficult to comprehend and apply but I think it started to click in this exercise. I think with trees there is often so much detail that it can become quite overwhelming so simplifying is the best way. I tried to follow simple lines and contours and concentrate on the way the light fell to help with the shape  and textures so it didn’t look flat.

Granted, my work isn’t very strong compared to some other students however it is improving and shows the basic principals and learning curve.  I think without leaves or foliage they are a little easier to simplify because of their natural shape. I practised a lot on this exercise and I am happy with it but I would like to try my hand at trees with foliage too.

In the drawing of several trees I tried to simplify the mass by using block shading and faint lines to hint at the shape.  This could definitely have been improved had I been a little more patient and confident with it, I just hit a stumbling block.

study of several trees

I decided to treat my self to some faber castell polychromos and they arrived today so this was the perfect opportunity to use them. I decided to draw an odd cluster of silver birch trees. I decided to work on A5 this will probably go against me in terms of unadventurous but I wanted to do a small piece that packed a punch, in my eyes anyway and I spent well over the recommended time on it, took me 3 hours because I was building the colour up slowly. I opted for the more abstract/ impressionist approach to this piece. I chose unusual colours for the tree and its bark, I used unrealistic colours for the grass and flowers below it and this reseeded to a point lined with a mass of plain grey trees so show perspective. I wanted the focus to be on the tree so kept the background plain but unusual so it was in-keeping with the piece. The tree had lots of bits of its bark missing so I showed this by mark making in various colours to show the different tone, I also broke up the trees with colour rather than black. Im not sure if the background really works but I dont want to be negative because I really do like this piece and I have explored the use of colour and making marks, I just need to brave it and go larger! If I have time I will but I am back at work now and my assignment is due in 3 weeks which gives me 6 days to do my work and send it off.

DSC_0190.jpg 1

with flash because lighting is so bad in my house


wihout flash

Larger study of an individual tree

So once again, its freezing!!!!!! this would have been the perfect time for these tree studies any other year, but not this year. It was dry though so off I went with Delta in tow and my new phone at the ready for photos. There were a lot of good examples actually and at one point I think I got confused and thought I was on the photography course. I got what I needed and came home with freezing fingers and a muddy little Delta.

I started out with a detailed pencil drawing focusing on the way the light fell using different pressures to represent this and create depth and form. It turned out alot better than I though and I felt quite pleased with myself after working on it for about an hour. Unfortunately I missread the excercise and didnt use large paper so I moved onto the A3 piece; didn’t like this as its out of my comfort zone but tried to loosen up and go with the flow. The problem is when I work quick and looser like this I never feel I have done enough although this is how my tutor seem to prefer my work; totally confuses me but hey-ho!It was totally different to the smaller one, I used pencil but they kept breaking even when I sharpened them so if anyone knows of a good sharpener that doesn’t break the leads please let me know. I had to use a conte noir  pencil as they are really black and this helped with the tones to achieve the dark shadow parts. I have to be honest, I was tired as I had been doing uni work for 8 hours solid and I was sick of trees and getting annoyed so I left it as it was and I hope to revisit this type of work a some point in the future. I did however still take my time and experiment with marks and not overwork it.

I did do as the exercise asked and I couldn’t have looked at the detail for longer and harder if I tried so my understanding of this is getting better and I hope this has come across in this section. On the larger one I did try to do a lot without looking down as you can tell, its not as accurate as my smaller more satisfying one. I have tried to show the texture and form of the tree and branches and don’t think I have done too bad a job.



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