Exercise 4 Statues Havana Cuba

This is the final exercise for Part 3. When I read the brief for this exercise I instantly remember visiting a Cemetary in Havana, Cuba that was overwhelming beautiful yet endlessly full of intricate statues. This was back in 2004 when I still only had a 35mm film camera and if I remember correctly I  had 2 last photos that I could take before I ran out of film. It may have even been a disposable camera. Here is the picture of the photograph album of the last 2 pictures I took. I miss that pleasure of the unknown photograph.

Cementerio de Cristobel Colon (The Colon Cemetary) Havana, Cuba.

What specifically interested me in the statue I photographed was the powerful yet delicate nature of the statue and the interpretation of the meaning of why the Angel is caring away the lifeless person? Why is the angel blindfolded? The specific statue is the top of the firefighters monument which I remember there was a specific story attached to the statue but I cant seem to find any information online for (only a quick search).

Here are my sketches and tentative look at compositions. It has also given me a chance to start practising Theodore Gericault’s technique used in his anatomical drawings, but I need much more practise.




Inspiration for Assignment 3

Landscape and townscape are completely out of my comfort zone and although I had several ideas for assignment 3 and I started doing research to expand these ideas further and look at how other artists had executed townscapes. I came across a lot of technically correct drawings drawn either with or without the perspective lines visible which I could have easily done but as I have been experimenting with marks I wanted to push myself further looking at fluidity of marks and being more expressive.

I then came across drawings on Satchi Art by current artist Douglas Roberts (British)  who also drawn construction scenes. He has played with perspective through use of mark making and line. Again with a lot of landscapes/Townscapes I am more interested in the sense, atmosphere and general representation of place.

Douglas Robert

Fig 1 Parkway Under construction Douglas Roberts Charcoal on paper.

I then researched “townscapes done in chalk” which again provided lots of whimsical drawings of perfect beautiful villages, cottages and towns. although they are all beautifully drawn/ presented drawings, it would be hard to use this to represent Crawley as that is not the type of town that Crawley is.

I then noticed this drawing by Turner of Venice Fireworks on the Molo which has a fantastic sense of place about it. Further to my earlier questioning about realism vs expression in drawing, this again made me question what would I prefer to see of certainly leave an afterthought in my mind if I was to view a variety of whimsical drawings verses sensual drawings and the answer would be Turners sensual drawings every time.

Venice: Fireworks on the Molo 1840 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

William Turner 1840 Venice: Fireworks on the Molo Watercolour, bodycolour and chalk on paper.

Between the inspiration of Turner and Roberts I started working out how to apply this to the composition that I wanted to use.

Fig 1 https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Drawing-Parkway-Under-Construction/350131/207504/

Fig 2 JWM Turner http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-venice-fireworks-on-the-molo-d32229


Reflection of Part 3 and Assignment 3

Assignment 3 Personal Aim 

To produce a townscape of my local town centre that shows accuracy of perspective but expression of line and a sense of place.

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills

I am a complete novice with Landscape/ Townscape and have found this subject to be completely out of my comfort zone as I seem to deviate away from drawing organic matter and focus on man-made or geometric shapes more.  Having said that I have really enjoyed it and have used part 3 to explore my own drawing technique and used lots of questioning to do this. I took the approach of looking at how other artists represented landscape and how I can use this within my drawings. Exploring ways to make marks hopefully showing an excellent development of technical skills.

I have stayed predominantly in monochrome or used a limited palate ( with the exception of the inkjet drawings) so could have used more colour, so there is a future area for development there. Although I have looked at Theodore Gericault’s use of wash to create form, this is something I will progress and experiment more with. The use of ink and watercolour wash to create the blackboard prop for my assignment was purely abstract. Maybe another area to develop is to link the two together but for this assignment it was used only as a support instead of coloured paper.

Further to this I have also concentrated on composition and the overall design of the drawings. I have also started to become much more conscious of how the viewer see’s whats within the drawing. I used a composition that draws the viewer into the drawing by leaving the initial area blank. I tried and still need to work on the idea that Turner was very good at pulling the viewer within his paintings. I think I have demonstrated a good understanding and development of perspective. The final composition did have a lot of editing of the original scene, no people, no machinery as  I was consious to not crowd the picture plane. Interestingly in part 3 I have also ended this battle I have had between wanting to draw realism and being expressive (please see Aeriel perspective exercise).

Quality of Outcome

Although I had lots of ideas, developing the ideas was harder and still need more practise (direction how to do this). I noticed in part 2 (still life) I struggled for subject matter and now (including still life) I get inspiration really quickly (find subject matter really quickly) so am hoping the more I draw and use mind maps the development of ideas will become quicker too.  My town centre is predominantly 1950’s that is also currently under major construction which I decided to embrace within my drawings ( I am also interested in the concept that what you draw effects how you draw).

I am overall pleased with the quality of outcome of the drawing I have pulled the viewer into the composition by cropping the image and compositional device. I think I have represented the subject matter  (1950’s architecture and construction) interestingly by using construction lines (perspective lines) and expressive lines. I have also left the grid I drew on and any ghost lines on the drawing too for further effect also referencing  Artist Euan Uglow. I also find the more I look at the drawing from different angles I see different things.  I Intentionally have played with perspective with the lines of the building on the right being visible through the building on the left . It pulls the building towards you but It’s up to the viewer how they perceive this within the drawing. There is limited use of tone and maybe I could have explored light more however this wasnt the intention within this drawing as it was predominantly about line and perspective. The drawing of perspective is accurate to the scene (used grids and measurements). With hindsight I wish I had changed my view to get a deeper angle (like I did in the measured drawing of my hall which showed a deep perspective). I left the bicycle to represent human life. I hope I have captured a sense of place, the dominance of the plain 1950’s architecture mixed with a more modern building (right) and the fluidity of change and movement of construction. The only thing I was unsuccessful was the brief to try and include some foliage or trees in the composition.

Demonstration of Creativity

As a side project I spent a significant amount of time experimenting with Inkjet ink, image transfer and drawing on photographs. This an area I will continue to develop as I still havent mastered image transfer with laser jet and acrylic gloss yet. Although I have had some interesting results using inkjet and water/bleach and wax paper transfer. I have used mixed media again and deepened my knowledge of tone through the use of pencil. As per tutor recommendation I have started and continued to experiment with wash techniques, this has also led to further development of watercolour techniques (see sketch book and foreground/middle ground/ background exercise). I have raided my local library and watched endless you tube videos on ink/oil marbling, wash, watercolour techniques, coloured pencil techniques and although nothing fruitful has come yet the experimentation is there. This is starting to come through in my drawings but not everything I experiment with will be relevent to each exercise brief.

I have consciously asked why and how this will or has influenced my work. Also asking what can I put into my own drawings from any research. I am also trying to be more critical and analytical of my own work. Although I have to try not to go too far like I did in the critic of the foreground, middle ground and background exercise and remember it is my own interpretation, and am trying to see what the viewer sees.  What is clearly coming through in my drawings is my research with mark making and impression of artists on me.

I have used the 6 x A5 drawings and used collage to work out the compositional arrangement.


Although I have limited my research to more specific areas, I still hope I have demonstrated excellent research and feel very confident in my development of knowledge in relation to art history, contexts and debates and how other artists work, which in turn is helping to develop my personal technical skills.

I have also followed up on tutor recommended reading, Euan Uglow, Gaurdian Life Model Article, Morandi’s hierarchy of objects and have a date planned in June to finally get to London to visit the Welcome Collection.

As always the recent student visit to the Ashmolean, Oxford to see the Degas to Picasso exhibition  and a fantastic gallery on Ink drawings was very beneficial and a fantastic gallery on Ink drawings.

I have also asked for constructive feedback on the final image for assignment 3, it has been suggested by two sources that the top half of the composition is stroner than the botton and the squiggly lines are harder to interpret so will work to develop this further (Please see drawing marked final composition).

Context (of the Assignment)

Crawley was an interesting subject for me as I have ended up living here by default from moving to work for an airline as Cabin Crew in 2004 (prior to this I didnt live in any one place very long due to work or voluntary travelling).  I have hundreds of photographs of beautiful places from all over the world that I could have used but using a subject that is less beautiful encouraged me think about my personal reaction to  place in art and to how this develops within the drawings (also see Turner drawings). Personally its also a reaction to a realisation that life is what happens whilst you makes plans and this by default is now my place.

Project 5 Townscapes Exercise 1 and 2

Exercise 2 Study of townscape using line

After watching a programme on Giacometti on Sky Arts Last night I felt really expressive today and despite the sensible side of me saying use a ruler, draw a neat scale drawing showing my understanding of perspective, I felt incredibly expressive so I went.  I have captured a likeness to the place and retained form and depth. I really enjoyed working expressively.  My town centre Queen’s Square in Crawley is under major construction at the moment so I decided to embrace this and include it within my drawings. Here is the final drawing.


Study of Townscape using line A2 mixed media

The first large drawing (below) was purely based on expression using different brush’s and lines. Although I could pick out the perspective lines it was harder to draw them straight with a brush.


Study of Townscape using Line A2 black ink

Here are the sketchbook of townscape drawings from Exercise 1


Further  A5 Sketch book drawings exploring the composition.


What I have learnt

Cropping  a larger image to find an interesting view point.

Editing objects and line within the view finder, drawing what is interesting or relevant to the overall composition.

Drawing perspective with a ruler and measurements I find fairly straightforward but to draw with a brush and to capture an image without the use of a ruler is much harder.

Overall its very challenging and will continue to practise and research perspective to improve this.

Just keep on drawing and see what happens. (Based on Robert Kaupelis drawing 50 portrait drawings to see what happens P121).




Aeriel or Atmospheric Perspective Continued…

Here is a further developed image (slightly more cropped than the last) of Smailholm Tower in Scotland. Since the beginning of the course I have been having an internal thought battle within myself as I have previously (comment at the end of assignment 1) been really interested in photo realistic or hyper realistic drawings however I also love really expressive drawings like Magi Hambling’s. I have been trying (debating in silence) to see where my own style sits or develops within this realistic to expressive range (also questioning what do I want to represent as a student/artist).

I have come to realise that what I like about the realistic drawings is the high contrast in tone and that I love experimenting with marks, I can see that my own style of drawing is developing and can end this torture of thought on this subject.


A4 graphite and carbon pencil

Linear perspective v’s Ariel perspective

“Linear perspective  creates an illusion of distance through edges and lines. This concept is easier to understand. For example, the trees near your eyes seem bigger and taller than the trees in the far distance. Aerial (or atmospheric) perspective, emphasizes the sense of distance through changes in color intensity and value shift” (Nelson, 2013).

What I have learnt

Use other artist marks as a basis to explore texture and tone within the landscape and my own work.

Expression, marks and tonal contrast within the developement of my own style.

Although I think I have been successful representing tonal Values I wish I had used colour to demonstrate Gradation: “Gradation in art is a visual technique of gradually transitioning from one colour hue to another, or from one shade to another, or one texture to another. Space, distance, atmosphere, volume, and curved or rounded forms are some of the visual effects created with gradation” (Martin 1992).

Notes from OCA coursework: Tonal values become lighter (as the amount of space between the eye and the horizon increases).Detail less clear and focus steadily reduces If there is moisture even on a fine day it can seem though veils of blue are layered across mid to far distance (think of fog). Hot Landscapes aeriel or atmospheric perspective barely exists as the hottest tones (red sand in the outback) retain their saturated depth. Firstly establish the horizon. monochrome as a tonal atmospheric tool.

Martin, Judy (1992). The Encyclopedia of Pastel Techniques. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Running Press. p. 36 At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gradation_(art) (accessed 25/05/2017)

Nelson, C 2013 Using Ariel Perspective At:http://www.explore-drawing-and-painting.com/painting-landscapes.html (accessed 11/5/2017).

Aeriel or Atmospheric Perspective



Experimenting with atmosphere and sense. Following on from the thermal tree images I did earlier on within the course as a personal exploration I wanted to attempt an image transfer. The idea behind this is that I am really interested in how the inkjet ink reacts with water and the effects this makes.  This images are currently only A5 so and working on a way of getting the images larger in size transferred onto thick paper. So far every printer company has advised that they wont allow the use of the watercolour paper in their printers…

The above image transfers of an inkjet photo I took at Bury Hill and just used water and bleach and pressing with the end of a paint brush.

Expressive charcoal and Conte Crayon Atmosphere, these were really quickly drawn from memory of Bury Hill.