Monthly Archives: April 2012

Project – Enlarging an image

Exercise – Enlarging an existing drawing


A simple mug enlarged by double it’s original size. Not inspired by this exercise!

Exercise – Enlarging an simple flat image


A more complex image enlarged by double it’s original size.

Check and log

How successful were you in copying the lines from the smaller squares to the larger squares?

  • Reasonably successful.

Are you satisfied with your larger replica of the image? What would you do differently another time?

  • I can think of much easier ways to enlarge an image than this method, so am as satisfied as I need to be. Apart from making sure the enlarged image fits on the page, I think the main thing I would do differently is use another method (projection, photocopy/computer enlarge and trace/lightbox).
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Project – Using Texture

Exercise – Experimenting with texture


I tried a number of methods to describe the texture of object and in doing so discovered the dip pen as a great tool for making stippling marks, hatching and small curved lines. I have always avoided ink pens due to being left handed and always smudging them when writing, but using calligraphy ink, the marks dried very quickly and the pen was very easy to use. I will do more with this as I go on. I also had some success stippling with a 6B pencil to describe the textured side of a leather strap.


Experiments with frottage (it turned into a train after drawing the smoke!). This gave some interesting effects, but I wasn’t too excited by this method. Maybe it is because it feels like cheating?

Research point – Max Ernst


Born in Germany, he initially studied philosophy before moving on to study art, although his interest in philosophy was shown in the art work he produced. He served in world war one, but continued painting whilst doing so and was involved in the Dada movement which expressed the artists revulsion of the war and rejected the conventions of art. In 1925 he produced the first Frottages – a technique used to reproduce textures through rubbing over textured surfaces, wooden floorboards in Ernst’s case – which he used to introduce randomness as well as texture into his images.

Some Ernst examples:

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Examples from other artists from a frottage exhibition.

Sources: Guggenheim, MoMA, Contemporary Art Daily

Exercise – A drawing with textures


I chose pen and ink to do this drawing as I wanted to experiment some more with this medium. As this was experimentation, the style isn’t consistent across the image as I modified how I worked as I went on. Some areas of this drawing worked well, such as the reed head, some of the papery leaves and the feather (without the shadows). The shadows under the feather didn’t work as they were too dark and would have worked better as shading than as hatching. I changed to watered down ink for the other shadows which seemed to work better. It was hard to show graduations in tone and I only really managed to portray the very light and dark areas, with no mid-tones – greater spacing between the lines would probably be the best way to portray this. I also found it hard to keep interest in the heavily textured areas such as the reed head.

Check and log

Have you discovered any new ways of using your drawing tools to depict surface and texture?

  • A few new techniques and I have discovered the joys of using a dip pen and ink which I have enjoyed.

How successful were you at implying form with little or no tonal hatching?

  • I think I achieved this quite well in my drawing with textures and the bit that went wrong was when I tried to introduce hatching. Maybe hatching works better for man-made objects, and shading better for natural objects? I’ll see as I progress.

What are your impressions of frottage as a drawing technique?

  • It can give some interesting effects, but it does feel like cheating and I think is obvious how it has been done and I’m not sure it “fits” very well with the drawing I have done to date. I’ll keep it in mind as an option though as I progress through the course.
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Project – Still life

Exercise – Still life sketches of made objects

Made objects

I chose some difficult objects to draw, and as I initially chose pen to draw with, I couldn’t then correct my mistakes once I’d made them, so in the first sketch the saw handle is too large. The initial arrangement doesn’t fit well into a frame as the saw handle extends a lot lower than the other objects. However, the arrangement does lead the eye into the image.

I initially thought the second arrangement was a better one, with the objects fitting neatly together and arranged parallel to each other, but looking at it again, I’m not sure it has as much interest as the first image, although that could be because the pencil image isn’t as bold as the pen one.

I think these kinds of objects could be worth exploring further for the assignment as an image of a jewellery bench could be interesting to do.

Exercise – Composition of natural objects

natural objects

I can’t say I find compositions of natural objects (e.g. bowls of fruit) particularly interesting, so these were rougher sketches than the previous exercise. I think the most interesting composition of vegetables I chose was with the plate positioned sideways on and at eye level, giving a more unusual angle on the objects.

Check and log

Do you think it is easier to suggest three dimensions on mad-made or natural objects?

  • On natural objects I guess, as they have less regular shapes and require greater observation to ensure they are drawn correctly. Although it depends on the objects you are drawing in each category.

How did you create a sense of solidity in your composition?

  • I think this was achieved much more when the objects being drawn overlapped with each other. My initial sketch of natural objects when they are all separated from each other has the least solidity.

Do you think changing the arrangement of your composition makes a difference to your approach and the way you create a sense of form?

  • I haven’t noticed such a change in approach when I was completing these exercises, although the angle you draw a single object from obviously changes the way you represent the form of that object.

How did you decide how to position yourself in relation to the objects?

  • In most of these, this has been determined by the height of the desk I was drawing the objects on. For the last composition of natural objects I crouched lower to draw them and this gave a more interesting perspective which I think I will investigate further for the assignment.

Exercise – Observing negative space and perspective

Negative space 3Negative space 2Negative space 1

I found this really hard to do, mainly because without planning out the objects positions and sizes in relation to each other before drawing them, they ended up not being the correct sizes in relation to each other by the end of the line. It would be worth trying this again when it comes to the assignment.

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Project – Reflected light

Exercise – Study of light reflected from one object to another

Reflected Light 1

The light source was to the left of the image, with an additional source from the window behind the objects (which can be seen reflected in the saucepan lid).

I think this worked quite well and I was pleased with the outcome.

Exercise – Shadows and reflected light and shade

Reflected Light 2

The light source was to the left of the image, with additional sources from behind (window) and above.

This was quite a challenge working with charcoal, not only because I am not familiar with the medium, but also because the toaster was a complicated object to try to draw with it. Charcoal seems to be more suited to less detailed work than what I was attempting to produce.

I’m pleased with the basic shapes in this image, but think more work could be done to represent the full range of tones.

Research point – Patrick Caulfield


Patrick Caulfield was a printmaker and painter who produced very simplified images, using big flat areas of colour and a bold style. He is associated with pop art.

White Ware

Images of his ‘White Ware’ screen prints

Patrick Caulfield

My drawings in his style. I’m not sure you can get the uniform flat colours of his work without producing them as prints. Here I tried two different methods with oil pastels and watercolour pencils. I got too carried away with the oil pastels in the first image and forgot to leave the vase white!

Check and log

What are the difficulties in separating cast shadow from reflected light and shade?

  • I think the only difficulties come from your expectation of where the shadows will fall based on the direction of the light sources. I think drawing teaches you to look closer at what you are drawing and, as long as you do that, it doesn’t matter where the light and shade is, as long as you take the time to look properly at it all.

The reflected shadow and light follows the contours of the objects. How have you shown this in your drawing?

  • I have drawn all my lines following the contours of the objects, or direction of light if flat.
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