Project 6 Research Point- Face

Research point- Look at Contemporary artists as well as historic artists who work on the face in different ways.

Graham Little .


Fig 1 Graham Little Untitled 2007 Colour Pencil and Gouache on Paper

Graham Little is a UK artist born 1972. There is a realistic yet impressionist element to his work which I think is an uncommon combination. Graham Little has used colour pencils to create fine lines and repeated marks. There is a real sense and atmosphere to the work. I can see both artists draw the face in a ‘painterly’ using different mediums.


Fig 2 Elizabeth Peyton Never say never (Justin) 2013 oil on wood veneered aluminum

Elizabeth Peyton is an American artist who was born in 1965. Looking at Elizabeth Peyton’s portrait of Justin Bieber the marks and lines are more expressive appear more simplistic than Graham Little but has still captured the likeness and sense of character.

This portait of Frieda is more realistic than the portait of Justin Bieber. I love the atmosphere and momochrome qaulities. Peyton has explored line and used blocks of tone in this painting that has a more realistic element to the portrait of Justin.

Fig 3 Elizabeth Peyton, Frida Kahlo 2005 oil on board

Research point- Research artists self portraits begin by looking at historic examples such as Rembrant and Van gogh.

“Vincent van Gogh painted over 30 self-portraits between the years 1886 and 1889. His collection of self-portraits places him among the most prolific self-portraitists of all time. Van Gogh used portrait painting as a method of introspection, a method to make money and a method of developing his skills as an artist”(Van Gogh Gallery).

Van Gogh self portrait with bandaged ear

Fig 4

This is my favourite of the self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh from the vast collection available to view.I like the narrative behind the banage on the ear (which has been the subject of much spectualtion as to what happened to his ear, with the popular theory being that he cut his own ear off. Van Gogh is famous for being a little nuts and of course cutting off his ear.

Self Portrait, 1901 by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso 1901 Self Portrait.

This was probably the first self portrait painting of an artist that I have a vivid memory viewing. I must have been about 12 when I was bought a book about the history of picasso, this was prior to the internet and would spend hours examining this book and its rare pictures. I always wondered what Picasso was thinking in the expression of his face, he looks older than he would have been for his age but sad. I believe it was painted after mourning the death of a friend. Having not viewed the original I imagine lots of texture to the paint despite the picture appearing quite flat blocks of colour in the image above. The composition is a straight on view of the head, shoulders and lower part of the body.

Other work by Graham Little that I have found inspiring.

Fig 4 Graham Little Unitled 2002     Fig 5  Graham Little Untitled 2000 (Acrylic and Coloured Pencil)

Fig 1 Grahem Little 2007 Untitled

Fig 2 Elizabeth Peyton Never say never (Justin) 2013

Fig 3 Elizabeth Peyton, Frida Kahlo 2005

Fig 4 Graham Little Untitled 2000

Fig 5 Graham Little Untitled 2002

Van Gogh Gallery (2015) Self Portraits


British Museum Study Day with the Bridget Riley Art Foundation (20th March 2017)

On Monday 20th March I attended a OCA study visit and  where I was privileged to be allowed to enter the drawing archives at the British Museum. The British Museum is fast becoming one of my favourite museums and after this visit is winning the title.

We met with Sarah Jaffray who works for the Bridget Riley Art Foundation who had an impressive knowledge of the art history, the drawings we viewed and is clearly extremely passionate with what she does. I could have listened to her taking about the drawings and other elements of art history all day, it was extremely informative.

Sarah explained that the point of our visit-the artist Bridget Riley had set up the foundation to encourage students to draw from drawings (as Bridget Riley once did). Bridget Riley herself believes it can enhance a students drawing ability through the theory that each drawing has captured an element of the context of the time in history in which it was created. We can all learn something from previously used techniques, methods and how the marks are made. Due to copyright I can’t display the original pictures however below are some of the sketches I made from the original drawings.

I have already absorbed the learning intentions from the Drawing study into my own technique. I love the theory behind the BRAF especially as I wasnt sure if drawing from drawing was frown upon or not. I am a strong believer in learning from Art History to progress and will be more confident to experiment with learning from drawing from drawing as I did in Exercise 2 Three Figures Standing pose.

We only had approximately 1 hour to draw the drawings, I found I discovered more about the drawings whilst drawing them. The intricate detail in Van Gogh’s drawing of La Crau from Montmajour, France May 1888 (Media: Oil and dry brush, white gouache, charcoal and graphite on thin laid paper). In my sketch I tried to really simplify the marks used to examine how they were created. Interestingly  St Remy was drawn in the far background of this drawing which was the focal point of Barbara Hepworths drawing that we were shown.


Artist: Vincent van Gogh Subject: La Crau from Montmajour, France, May 1888 Media: Oil and dry brush, white gouache, charcoal and graphite on thin laid paper

Here are my notes from my sketch book about the drawings.

Notes -Van Gogh drew what he saw and the marks were what he saw not an abstracted version. Picasso always drew what he saw. Abstraction is a process of elimination, not just a ‘a drawing a child could create’. I also want to do some more research on the story behind St Remy and Van Gogh ( I think it was where Van Gogh was institutionalised).

I found this drawing the easiest to replicate.


Artist: Eugène Louis Boudin Subject: Groups of figures near Planches, Trouville, 1866 Media: Graphite, with watercolour



Artist: John Napper Subject: Dried plants, 1958 Media: Black and pink chalk, touched with bodycolour and white



Artist: Gabriel de Saint-Aubin Subject: The interior of the artist’s studio, 1780 Media: Black chalk.

The interior of the Artists Studio by Gabrial de Saint- Aubin initially I didnt pay alot of attention to this drawing but now is the most memorable drawing from the day.  I ended up sketching this drawing from default, I was intending on drawing Henry Moore when I started studying this  drawing whilst waiting for a space and I ended captivated by it. Due to its age I can show a picture of the original. The sense of place and atmosphere that is captured within it I find mezmerising. I then found the shapes of the objects and shapes made by the negative space within the composition really interesting to draw. I could have just drawn the negative space between the objects. Gabrial de Saint- Aubin was close to death at the time he produced this drawing and it captures the limited belongings of the artist. I can see that my quick sketch is out of proportion and not an accurate depiction (objects off point, too large and need re positioning).

“A unique chronicler of bohemian Paris under the reign of Louis XV, Gabriel de Saint-Aubin was a marginal artist who roamed the streets of the capital his entire life, a sketchbook in his hands” (Louvre).


Other drawings that I viewed but unfortunately ran out of time to sketch were:

Artist: Henry Moore Subject: Shelter sketchbook Media: Pen and black ink and graphite, with wax crayon and watercolour

Artist: Paul Signac Subject: Still life with bowl of fruit, 1926 Media: Charcoal and watercolour

Artist: Frans Snyders Subject: Game and fruit, 1594-1657 Media: Pen and brown ink, over black chalk

Artist: Thomas Girtin Subject: Eidometropolis (Blackfriars bridge and St Paul’s), 1800-1801 Media: Pen and brown ink, with watercolour; squared for enlargement

Artist: Barbara Hepworth Subject: St Rèmy: Mountains and Trees I, 1933 Media: Graphite on paper

Lourve Exhibition Gabriel De Saint Aubin At:



Project 3 Exercise 3 Stance

For this exercise I am submitting some quick sketches in my sketch book and some 5 minute sketches of different poses done in my life drawing class.  I am attending my life class every week and there is always an exercise on standing I am also aware that there is another exercise later on to spend more time on capturing a person standing.

What I have learnt:

Use foreshortening to capture weight.                                                                                     Thickness of line can be used to weight areas of the body to indicate where the weight lies. Use Automical planes to understand proportions of the body and how it bares weight.

Sketch book drawings exploring stance


Life Class drawing exploring stance..

I like the idea of continually drawing different positions of the same figure on the same sheet of paper, it gives the drawing further narrative. Compositionally some of the figures needed to have come lower down on the page so that there heads arnt chopped off. Also if doing sequences again I will keep the proportions or size of each figure the same (the two figures at the rear have been drawn larger/ out of proportion).

Stance/ Group of Figures from my life drawing class.IMG_3963

Project 2 Exercise 2 A Longer Study

This was a 1 hour study from my life class. From the last exercise I wanted to demonstrate improvement in areas that didn’t work so well/ or were uncompleted from the last exercise. Firstly I wanted to experiment with a different media, although only moving onto colour pencils it focuses on capturing skin like qualities and I decided to do this on black paper. Secondly I started the whole composition using very fine marks. Using the black paper highlighted/ intensified the initial marks.


I have photographed the initial marks and rough colour blocking/ undertones in blue and Ivory.


I then very gently started mapping in the tones. Below is the final image.


1 hour  Colour Pencils A2

I have captured the characteristics of the pose really well, I have started to show sufficient weight within the figure, the media used has created presence and atmosphere. Overall the proportions in this pose look correct although the head and feet could do with more work.  I have successfully captured the foreshortening of the body from the position I was sat in.

Another longer study from my life class.


A2 Charcoal

Project 2 Proportion Exercise 1 Quick Studies

I went armed today to my life drawing class with some of the exercises in the back of my mind. However I then re-read this exercise to realize that from my sketches I have been to quick to put the outlines of the figure in (often causing the proportions to be wrong). It is evident in some sketches but I need to work at building smaller marks first.  I did however experiment with different ways of building structure, using structure lines and building shapes. This is my third life class,skills like looking at what I see is improving and I am finding negative space easier to identify. I am staring to build an understanding of the size of the head in relation to the hands, chest and feet. I will continue this exercise in my sketch book, marking out points of the figure first, keeping the marks looser, marking shapes and avoid drawing outlines. I want to do some research on structure lines and other tools to build proportion within the figure.

I managed to move to different positions around the room and experiment with charcoal. Unfortunately the class moved on to a different position before experimenting with another media to continue the exercise. I found with charcoal I wanted to be more expressive than with pencil and again smaller marks would have been more productive. I am very conscious of learning the technical skills of figure drawing and I am getting bored of using pencil and want to experiment with different media. I imagine Ink used to capture life drawing will be a challenging.

5 Minute A4 Sketches

10 Minute A2 Sketches


Into Proportion..Life Drawing Class no.2

I felt much more relaxed at today’s class. I spent sometime last night reading “The Fundamentals of Figure Drawing” published by Barrington Barber that I picked up from a cheap book shop recently. It explains the proportions of the human figure going into some detail surrounding the skeleton and musculature. I think this knowledge has really helped.

20 Minute Charcoal Drawing and 50 Minute Blue Pencil Drawing.

I nearly moved my position within the classroom for the second drawing (50 minutes) but with encouragement from my tutor I challenged myself to draw from a difficult angle. I am pleased with results as have captured the proportions of the position correctly.

Out of Proportion My First Life Drawing Class

I am so pleased that I have (Finally) finished studying the Creative Arts Today course module and submitted for assessment. It means I can spend more time growing and improving my drawing techniques which is what I feel passionate about.

This morning I found the courage to attend my first life drawing class since (a couple of classes at college) in 1998…..

I really enjoyed it and it was nice to meet other artists too.I had forgotten how hard it is to draw from life and that it uses a mass amounts of concentration. The drawings are beautiful that I have made and the mark making from part 1 of the course is clearly coming through in my work.

We started of doing quick 5 minute sketches, then 5 minutes drawings only using line, then a 20 minute more detailed drawing either using charcoal or pastel followed by a further 40 minute final drawing, that I experimented with conte sticks).

It has been a good introduction to positive and negative space within figure drawing and looking at the shapes the human figure naturally makes. I need to improve initial mapping out of the composition first before committing to further marks. It was commented by the course tutor that the size of proportions has already improved from one session. I need to spend 60% of time looking at the model and not at my paper.

5 minute sketches on A3

5 minute line drawing only using marker pens

The second drawing (figure upright below) accidentally became more interesting as the marker I was using was running out of ink and had to go back over (ran out of time) some of the lines with another pen.Interesting effect.

20 minute drawing using charcoal (leg too long)


40 minute drawing Conte sticks.