Posted in Sketchbook

Improving tonal range

On the line of action site I found an article about mastering your pencil, which provides advice on increasing the tonal range that you can achieve with a single pencil. The idea is basically to fill in an increasing number of boxes on a daily basis to get an increase in tone across the page. 

As I’ve had feedback that improving my tonal range would be valuable I decided to try it: 

The exercise does seem to be valuable, though I have a way to go as there is another page of increasing shades to try. As might be expected it is getting progressively more difficult. Its likely I should be trying a similar exercise with other mark making approaches – such as conte and charcoal.

Posted in Coursework, Notes, Part 3

Project 5: Townscapes

Exercise 1 Sketchbook of townscape drawings

Barbican Corner

I chose this building because of the interesting curve in combination with the glass and concrete look. Quite typical for this area near the Barbican. The light was coming from behind in the early morning, with the building opposite throwing a shadow on it.The horizon was below the image bottom, which I felt emphasised looking up and size. For a taller building I’d need a touch of vertical foreshortening. Continue reading “Project 5: Townscapes”

Posted in Practice

Drawing into Sculpture…

I had a quick reminder as to why I’m doing the drawing course last week – on a clay modelling course. Although the work produced might not be the height of artistic achievement, it was very much based in drawing. The following images from my sketchbook illustrate the point – when combined with the “finished” work from featured image. Continue reading “Drawing into Sculpture…”

Posted in Assignment 1, Assignments, Coursework, Part 1

Assignment 1: Evaluation and Reflection

Reflection and Evaluation

What went well?

I like the image overall, as stated previously. The items have meaning for me, and I am hopeful that at least some element of that shows through. The drawing was well received by my wife, who will have similar associations with the individual objects chosen. She called it “An homage to Greece” which fits my intention fairly well. Continue reading “Assignment 1: Evaluation and Reflection”

Posted in Notes, Research & Reflection

Figure Drawing Research

This may be a bit of a strange post, as I am effectively documenting a set of resources that I’ve been using to try to improve my figure drawing. Most of them I’ve collected together fairly recently, but some I’ve been using for a while. I can’t say the list is exhaustive but this is an area I’ve been struggling with for a while, as I suspect do many people when learning to draw figures. This means I’ve collected quite a few sources of information, and am identifying some of the key ones here to give an idea of the signposts that I’ve found to point me in roughly the right direction. I think between them these resources provide the information I need to make progress. Now I need a lot of practice and reflection. Continue reading “Figure Drawing Research”

Posted in Foundation Drawing - ASSIGNMENT 5, Foundation Drawing - ASSIGNMENTS, Notes, Practice, Research & Reflection

Drawing for Sculpture

Whilst I was in Austria an opportunity arose to bid for a piece of “Public Art” sculptural work. They wanted a 1:5 design for a large piece. I proposed the delivery of a 4 section “log carving”. By that I mean deep relief sculptures created by carving into the log from the bark side. The design appears in a window within the log. I’ve done a number of smaller pieces in this style, which I was able to include photos of. I did, however, want to make sure the full idea of the design was clear. Continue reading “Drawing for Sculpture”

Posted in Practice

Ornamental carving

The second week of my stay in Elbigenalp concentrated on Ornamental sculpture. The initial discussion struck a very strong note: The basis of all ornamental carving is drawing. An important aspect of starting the whole process was visual research, looking through ornament reference books. This was followed by an initial drawing, which has edges and shading added to help the carver understand the form being described more fully. As part of the process I did make a small maquette, but that was mainly to help me think through the major forms. The photographs below tell the story fairly well: Continue reading “Ornamental carving”

Posted in Practice

Drapery Sculpture

As part of my time in Elbigenalp I’ve been looking at Drapery this week. The first part of the exercise was to look at Drapery historically, which is the subject of another blog post. The next part of the task was to take a study cast and to place a dress on it with (reasonably) realistic clothing folds. This is somewhat more complex than it might seem at first. The Drapery Research blog post gives an idea of the way that the rules of drapery work.  Continue reading “Drapery Sculpture”

Posted in Foundation Drawing - ASSIGNMENT 5, Foundation Drawing - ASSIGNMENTS, Notes, Practice, Research & Reflection

Sculptors use of photomontage

During my research for Sculptor’s use of drawing I came across the implication that Henry Moore used the idea. This is implied, and to a degree shown, in this article:

“In 1937 and again in 1938 Moore famously photographed maquettes for two Reclining Figure sculptures very close to the lens, so as to make each diminutive object look enormous against the distant landscape … it is perhaps more likely that these photographs are not so much tests as they are declarations of triumph: they are demonstrations of his sense of the monumental. Rather like physically lifting objects from the ground and holding them close to himself, here Moore brings the maquette so close to the lens (and therefore the viewer) that its monumental scale is confirmed.” Rachel Wells, ‘Scale at Any Size: Henry Moore and Scaling Up’, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity, Tate Research Publication, 2015,, accessed 05 October 2017.

Continue reading “Sculptors use of photomontage”

Posted in Foundation Drawing - ASSIGNMENT 5, Foundation Drawing - ASSIGNMENTS, Notes, Practice, Research & Reflection

How do sculptors use drawing?


My tutor for Drawing Foundations made a potentially throw away comment that “Sculptors using drawing differently” during our Assignment 4 review session. On reflection I thought this was important to follow up on as a piece of research, as to what the comment meant and implied. I can partly answer this from my own experience. In late-stage drawings that will be mapped to a sculpture it is important that the skills of drawing in perspective are put to one side. These drawings have more in common with architectural drawings than pieces of expressive artwork. I don’t think, however, this this is the full story. There is, therefore, a fruitful avenue for investigation available which could help move me forwards. Continue reading “How do sculptors use drawing?”

Posted in Foundation Drawing, Foundation Drawing - Part 5

Part 5 Development areas

Specifically for these projects:

  • Printing, as this is new to me.
    • Research home printing methods, such as Collographs.
  • Drawing figures in various poses, with and without clothes
  • For Narration: Figure drawing can be really hard. If the figure drawing is causing frustration consider approaching it using other forms. Maybe sheep, or other animals. The idea is to experiment with juxtaposition.
  • Consider creative ways of approaching Life Drawing for practicing figure drawing.
  • Presenting narrative in art

Continue reading “Part 5 Development areas”

Posted in Art and Artists, Research & Reflection

In the Studio: Yayoi Kusama

“Infinity net painting.” Oil over acrylic works, not the other way round. – Big douse of black, with a bit of colour for interest. Think what to do with edges. Kusama often left them primed. Making the ground very smooth, rather than having brush strokes visible. Allow to dry then sand with 120 grit. Provides a less glossy surface and exposes the weave slightly. Continue reading “In the Studio: Yayoi Kusama”

Posted in Experiments, Practice

Ceramic Tests

Another side-track for the course, but before I can finish the Annie Peaker, or other ceramic, work I need to do a set of glaze tests so as to know how to approach colouring and Glazing them. This needs to be completed carefully and rigorously if the results aren’t going to be disappointing.

The following notes illustrate the process. Continue reading “Ceramic Tests”