Category Archives: Pt 3/project 5

Part Three, Project 5, Exercise 4 -Statues

Statue drawings can become a source of inspiration for further pieces as well as being completed drawings in their own right.  Decide what interests you about the particular statue. You could focus on silhouette, tone and negative shapes. Alternatively you could look at the textures created by erosion and lichens. Look at the play of light on the statue created by the other objects nearby or draw the statue in context – what’s beside, behind or in front.  Consider how you can make your drawings more interesting by adjusting your viewpoint. 


I visited Warrington Cemetery and spent an afternoon drawing statues.  I tried various media (pencils, charcoal and pen and ink).


I was pleased with the drawing of the praying angel as I thought that looking down on it from behind, was a less obvious perspective, which gave a sense of narrative.  It was actually placed next to a grave but I did not draw that in.


I did the cherubs as a deliberately loose pencil sketch to loosen myself up and try avoid getting bogged down by trying to capture minute details. (It helped that it was cold so I was less inclined to linger!)


I felt that the pencil sketch of Mary was in contrast very flat and stilted.  Also quite inaccurate as she was not that wide!  It is recognisable but has no soul!  Maybe context might have helped?


I worked the pen and ink sketch up with an ink wash which generated an enhanced sense of form that the initial sketch lacked.  It was standing in front of a large tree and the dark background also helps to bring the figure forward.










Part Three, Project 5, Exercise 3 -A limited palette study

Using your sketches from the previous exercise, select a drawing to develop in colour.  Begin with a horizontal line that defines your personal eye level. Use a limited palette for this exercise – no more than three colours. Traditionally these would have been deep brown, sanguine (red brown), black and white, but decide which works best for your subject. Use conté pencils, coloured pencils or ink and work on smooth or rough paper.

Conte crayon on A2 kraft paper

I reworked a different view of the house in exercsie 2, using conte pencils in traditional black, sanguine, brown and white colours.  I used A3 kraft paper as I thought it might give an interesting effect- as that the house is white!  I am not sure that the finish on the house is particularly effective, as where the paper shows through the white it just looks dirty and badly drawn! I was struggling to cover the paper completely. However, the tone of the paper works better for the canal which gives quite an effective watery finish.  I think the coloured paper might have been a mistake overall (if I did it again I would choose white) as there are limited areas where it felt right to leave the paper unmarked.  Had I used white paper, there would have been a large central expanse relatively unmarked (walls of the house) from which I could have built up tone and detail around it.

I was careful not to overstate the objects beyond the bridge, which helps them to recede into the distance.  The verticals are not completely accurate, but the building does have 3D form (maybe the fact it is an old house means your brain is more willing to forgive inaccuracies of perspective etc.  In a new building it might be more obvious!?)


Charcoal on A2 cartridge paper

I thought I would have a try at using just shades of grey on white A2 cartridge paper.  This is a scene from the back of the village showing roofs and chimneys etc.  I was drawn to the interesting shapes and the fact it is dominantly dark.  (As usual it was a very grey day!)  I was pleased with the outcome and felt that the light on the foreground roof brought it forward whilst the dark roofs in the background sent them into the distance.  It was hard to describe the form of the cylindrical chimneys in the mid-ground and they became a little over worked as a result.  I liked being able to leave the paper to show through where white plasterwork, reflections and light were depicted.


Pastels on A4 grey pastel paper

This is a small A4 pastel image of the centre of the village.  I sued rather more colour on this sketch which was really just an experiment to see if I could depict form using just a few colours but without defining outlines too much.  It is a loose sketch which has a sense of movement (not that buildings move!) and depth.  The colder colours of the rocks bring the cross into the foreground while the warmer colours on the shops recede and give a sense of sunlight shining on them. (Maybe the touches of pink tie the whole together?) I was able to resist overdoing the detail on the shop fronts which also helped put them into the background.




Part Three, Project 5, Exercise 2 -Study of a townscape using line

Use two sketchbook pages to make a preliminary drawing of this study. Establish the primary focus and any other shapes and objects you think necessary to make this drawing interesting and unexpected. Make notes about the weather conditions and how they affect your approach to the drawing and establish the general mood. Decide what sort of marks fit the mood and shapes of this study. Find the centre point of your paper and relate this to the focal point of your preliminary drawings; decide on the foreground, middle ground and background. Complete the study in pen and ink or a black drawing pen or fine brush pen.


I was finding with this project that I kept being side tracked by different views and wanting to try different things.  I visited Stratford upon Avon and did some sketches of Shakespeare’s birthplace in charcoal. I have included these here because they are line drawings, even though they aren’t exactly what was asked for!  The first one gives quite a good sense of place- helped by the figure walking by with an umbrella.  It was a dreary wet day with wet pavements (I could have made this more obvious!)

Shakespeare’s birthplace- charcoal A2 cartridge paper

I did a similar sketch trying to loosen up and be less concerned about accuracy.  It creates a completely different feel but is obviously less recognisable(?), although as a quick sketch of a 16th century building it does work.IMG_0973

I tried a quick sketch of a village pub, trying not to get bogged down with detail- focusing on the main shapes and tonal structure.


Finally I focused non this two page drawing on the canal in the centre of the village.  The view is fairly iconic here and has been drawn and photographed in multiple ways.  I decided to centre my composition on the bridge rather than the house, which then brought the railings and the pub wall into the foreground at interesting angles/ perspective.  I was very pleased with the sketchbook line drawing (Ink with indian ink wash)IMG_1003

The initial sketchbook drawing provided a lot of information (and experience) of the scene for when I worked it up to a larger final piece.  I decided to try A1 cartridge paper, but was disappointed that what appeared loose and fresh in the sketchbook just seemed to look a bit wrong and overworked on the final piece.  I homed into the bridge more in the final piece and included the front end of a canal boat that had moored up.  I thought this successfully gave a greater sense of depth.  However, I should have kept the objects under the bridge lighter/ more hazy, to emphasise depth further.  I used additional media to develop the picture from a basic line drawing, which I felt would look too sparse on such a large piece of paper.  I used brush pen, water colour, pastels, dip pen and ink.  I am not all that pleased with the outcome and think that I would have had more success on smaller paper.



Part Three, Project 5, Exercise 1 -Sketchbook of townscape drawings

Streets in townscapes, from industrial buildings to a collection of domestic houses, offer diverse opportunities for using a variety of colour media.  Focus on one particular building, for example a corner site or a building façade, and notice how the other buildings support your main focus.  Make written notes about your sense of the place. Take note of your eye level which will become the horizon line.  

Make a detailed study with a 3B pencil, in a 10cm square, showing a section of the building to help you get the essence of the structures in front of you. Draw a second 10cm square tonal study showing how the light falls across the building.  Make notes about the direction and strength of light, time of day, shadows, colour,the use of the buildings, movement of people and anything else that will help your decision-making for a larger piece of work.  Decide on the most interesting view. Sometimes it’s only when you begin to draw that you spot an exciting view. Plan in your sketchbook where everything you intend to include in your drawing will be. Draw the main shapes in pencil or charcoal before you commit yourself to colour. Find your own unique view of your chosen place. Your drawing should have a sense of the actual location but you don’t have to include everything you can see. 

This exercise evolved away from the initial instructions.  I carried out a few initial small sketches and really like the value they give to your thought process.  However, the light was rather grey and flat during the days I was trying to do this and I always seemed to be in the village in the early morning, meaning it was pretty quiet and devoid of people, so I felt there was a limited amount to say about atmosphere, colour, light, people…..etc.  The process of making these small sketches was an effective way to determine the important shapes and to work out what to leave out from the scene, without committing a lot of wasted time and effort into the work.


I progressed away from the initial exercise to drawing a variety of scenes in my sketchbook thinking about the sense of place, atmosphere, interesting shapes, light, texture, colours etc.  However, I did not create a finished piece from all of these drawings.  I found I was veering away from the course a little as I was interested in the subject matter, but was finding it hard to settle on one scene and develop it.  However, the final piece for assignment three was a development of the work done in the 10cm x 10cm sketches above and I felt that the observations made during this time were a key part of the evolution of the assignment.