Part 4: Project 3, Exercise 2- Essential elements

The ten minutes flew by and I struggled to draw the model’s shape , let alone tonal contrasts. After 5 attempts this did not seem to get any easier so I gave myself a little longer for the final sketch.


When using chalk pastels the chunky stick encouraged larger, bolder marks and lines and covered a larger area of paper more quickly, this allowed me the time to work on tone. I am pleased with the chalk sketches and feel I have been able to create a sense of weight  and proportion but I need to work on describing a sense of 3-dimensional form.

Part 4: Project 3 Form, Exercise 1 Basic Shapes

I didn’t see much difference in this exercise from the previous one, but I tried to have my model sit slightly angled away from me. As I had previously,I worked out the angles of the  shoulder and hip line and the central axis before drawing the body.  There is more context with this drawing and I am getting the hang of hands.

The shoulders are at different heights because one arm is resting on the armrest but otherwise the body is fairly symmetrical. As the body is seated in a low chair the body is slightly folded at the middle which gives a sense of foreshortening, but this area is unfortunately covered up by the newspaper.



Part 4: Project 2, Exercise 2 A longer study

Overall I am happy with the proportions in this sketch, except for the hands. They look too small. I feel the angle of the models limbs give a sense of weight with the arms relaxing on the armrests of the chair and the legs crossed at he ankles. I think there is  foreshortening with the upper leg appearing shorter due to the angle he is seated at.


I need to practice drawing hands and feet to get a better idea of form and proportion. (See sketchbook.)

Part 4: Project 2 , Exercise 1 Quick Studies

Before drawing my model I warmed up with some 5 minute sketches from on-line life models exercise from ‘New Masters Academy’. I started by positioning the head and then drew in the angles of the spine, shoulder girdle and hips, followed by the line/angles of the legs and arms. Then I drew a line to describe the body outline, which is all I could manage in 5 minutes. These drawings seemed to go quite well, but drawing my model from real life seemed far more tricky.


The first 10 minute sketch was drawn in pen. I think the head is a little too big and the angle of the leg looks odd.


The second sketch is in crayon and the legs look too small for the body.


The third sketch is in charcoal and has better proportions.


I think the drawing of lines to help me work out the angles and curve of the spine is helping me but I need to research methods of getting the proportions correct, which I think is harder to do on a seated model.



Part 4 :Project 1 – Fabric and Form, Exercise 1, line and tone

15 minute sketches



I started with tone in pencil and then looked at line using pen with two very different outcomes. The line drawing probably describes the silkiness of the fabric but the tonal sketch better describes the folds and creases.

5 minute sketches


I found this really difficult to stick to the 5 minutes. I used a thick cotton napkin for this exercise and found it a real challenge to describe all the tonal variations in the folds. I think the pencil drawings are the most successful for this but again I like the pen drawing for describing the curves and contours of the fabric.

I have been looking at Ruben’s quick sketches in chalk and how with so few lines he is able to describe clothing so well.


Also, Leonardo’s study of drapery( 1473) show me I need a lot more practice.



Leonardo. Trewin Copplestone. (1998) Kent, Grange Books, pg 14

Rubens Drawings and Sketches. The Trustees of the British Museum. (1977) London, British Museum Publications Ltd, pg 73

Project 5, Exercise 4: Statues

Colchester War memorial…..Justice

The day was foggy and quite dark which gave a spooky feel to the statues. The first sketch is drawn in my A5 sketch book in pen , as Justice looms over me.


I couldn’t really see any detail due to the weather so this is more of a silhouette . However I loved this statue and googled some other pictures from which I have managed to see more detail and a different perspective.


I wanted to capture the mood of this day as the fog gave a spooky night time feel. I especially liked this view of the soldier at the base of the monument as you looked towards the castle gates. I used chalks on black pastel paper and tried a larger  A3 support .


I enjoyed drawing these images and trying different media and paper types and sizes. It has also given me a taste for the next section of the course.


Project 5 , Exercise 3 : A limited palette study

I decided to go back to my original view of this corner. Having completed the last exercise, I preferred not knowing what was around the corner. I also decided to add in two people to create a more interesting composition.

The exercise suggested using traditional colours and a limited palette with which to gradually build up tonal values. I found this really useful in thinking about tone without getting caught up in colour choices. However it was difficult to know when to stop as I found myself keep on going back to add more depth of colour. I’m still not sure if I have created enough contrast and depth.


Overall, I am pleased and feel this is a more interesting composition and I particually enjoyed drawing the people and thinking about how to describe the reflections in the shop windows.

Project 5, Exercise 2 : Study of a townscape using line

This sketch is drawn with  fine grey pens of street in Bury St.Edmunds with many characterful old buildings. It is a December day as you can tell by the enormous Christmas tree. Again the day was dull and overcast but there was a festive atmosphere with people milling about doing their shopping.

I felt this row of buildings suited this exercise drawn over two pages but on reflection there perhaps isn’t a clear foreground, middle and background. However,I like that the main focus is the row of buildings.image

If I were to do this again I would like to try a pen and wash drawing to try and add atmosphere. As it was a busy day I would like to give  the impression of cars passing by and shadowy figures depicting people who have come and gone over the time it has taken me to draw the more permanent structures. I could use pen to describe the architectural structures and maybe water soluble graphite pencils to describe the impermanent figures and cars passing through.


Project 5 , Exercise 1 Sketchbook of townscapes

I really enjoyed this exercise and for the first time felt I was working through a process.

The day I drew my initial sketches was grey, damp and overcast. A few people were wandering about, in and out of the shops and I managed to do quick sketches of them too.


My first sketches in 10cm squares were seen from looking straight ahead at a row of buildings but then I noticed a more interesting view down a side street. I like the signage and stack of cardboard boxes and the wondering of what is round the corner.


I then drew a couple of quick sketches before deciding  on my favourite view, this time looking further down the lane. I like the perspective of the buildings with the sharp diagonals of the roof tops. After looking at John Virtues work I wanted to simplify the drawing and use 2 or 3 colours only.


I wanted to try and capture the grey, damp day and although I had intended to add people , in the end it didn’t feel right. I had hoped to use white spirit with the oil pastels to create a looser more watery mark but only succeeded in breaking up the paper so I continued with oil pastels only. At first I felt frustrated with the drawing as it seemed to lack character, but it improved as I loosened up my mark making.

It would be interesting to try this again with a different media and to capture a different atmosphere, maybe with people in.