Assignment 3

Assignment 3 was based around Old Sarum Airfield, its a collection of ageing huge hangers and support buildings that stop abruptly at the grass strip for the planes. Some of the hangers have been done up and the one I chose to draw has not. It is surrounded by industrial buildings some from the same time as the hangars, leading to the modern day (the garage my car goes to is at the other end of the road from this hangar).

I sketched before lunch on a gale force kind of day in December. I positioned myself over the road and my eyelevel was below halfway on the ground floor windows

My preliminary sketch-work centred around drawing detailed elements so I could recognise them later. I took photos which show clearly the elements I left out. I was fascinated by the angles created to make the structure work, and the obvious decay.

I left out the overhanging tree as I wanted to concentrate on the building, ditto the trees behind the brick structure  (that holds the hangar door runs) I’ve enjoyed playing with inks and wanted to take the colours more real to the actual image but didn’t want to aim at an exact match, I also prefer the more random effect of laying the colour first then creating line over. I have to separate the 2 layers with acrylic matt medium as otherwise there isn’t enough tooth for the charcoal and conte to get purchase.


Again I haven’t put focused detail into the foreground or whats behind the building, I’ve made the whole thing fill the page rather than show the industrial elements around it, to me it gives it more of an open point in time that it can be from. There is visible angular perspective at work.

I think I have shown an element of a functioning building that is dilapidated and I think the acidity of the colours helps that. I think the only emotion I get from it is a sense of sadness for what was once a hive of activity and the knowledge that to afford to bring a building of this size back to its grandest best must be cost prohibited.

I think it shows where I have come from so far in this part, because it is nowhere near as perfect as I would have produced previously and has much more atmosphere as well. This is the effect of Moore and Virtue, with my interpretation on top.

Given the picturesque nature of my city, I have tried to stay away from the chocolate box image, I’d say I have been successful.

From an assessment point of view, I would say I display good technical knowledge and visual skills. I would say I am happy with a large majority of the pieces I have completed and they have a voice and create an emotional response.

My weakest point at the moment is still in creating a body of background work that informs the final piece. the sketchbook work is coming on, but I am aware I need to show informed decisions on final framing of an idea. Its difficult though as I carry a photographic device with me for all these exercises and photo  scenes and frame in my mind at that point after looking through the viewfinder. This informs which rectangle or square of the landscape I will try to sketch. This does not mean I haven’t frozen my bum off sketching and just worked off photos, it just means the act of taking the photo decided which bit of the view ended up in the final piece.

I found reading up about the history of landcapes very interesting, I still don’t get the point of the golden mean, I understand what it does, I’m just not convinced I have the patience to put it into affect…

I’m on ‘The shock of the new’ at the moment, its a longwinded number but its explanations of the history of modern art are detailed and informatiove, detailing what could have been happening around the movements to define there direction. I’ve a long way to go to finish the book though.

Pt 3 Project 4 Ex 4 Statues

I was lucky enough to take part in an OCA Big Draw event at Abney Park Cemetary in London, about halfway through this part of the course. I deliberately concentrated on getting some statue sketches and photos for this exercises.

Cemeteries are redolent with emotion and this one is filled with centuries of unkempt images and goodbyes. The angels struck me as good references, the age of them means many have lost hands, however the second angel in front of the cross was slightly further back from the path, and just above eyeline. I got my new smaller set of watercolours in time for this trip and I really like the blend they achieved across the wet paper. It brings the angel into a sharper focus in the foreground which makes this a pleasing image to me

John Paul Getty III was from the quick trip into the National Gallery I managed heading back through London to Waterloo. His bust is to the right of the main doors and seen head on, he is gazing pointedly towards the door with a strength and movement in his neck that is great to see in a statue.

Foreshortening is something I’m not scared of. Its a challenging way of making an image spring off the page I think I achieved the beak like nature of Mr Getty’s nose in the first, the darkness in his eye sockets helps bring his nose forward better than I managed in the second, however I like my use of colour with the lights of the gallery reflecting off the bronze.

Pt 3 Project 5 Ex 3 a limited palette study

I’m not happy with my response to this exercise.


Having been originally taken with the colours of the scene I think for the amount of time I gave to the piece, I would have been better going for a smaller sized piece of paper. I really prefer the line and wash version. and as for limited colour palette, I started out with the charcoal orange pastel and blue pastel, and had to add white to take some of the spookyness out of the picture.

However, I have a strong understanding that I am not going to like every thing I ever create. So. Which bits worked?

I like the tree with the effect of light and maybe by cropping the duff bit on the left of the terraced houses I would get a picture I liked.

I am aware that having used soft pastel, my pastel pencils won’t gain enough purchase to leave a mark, so working in would be pretty impossible and my pastels are too crumbly to retain a sharp point. So maybe I needed to do this piece smaller, in pastel pencils with soft pastel over for strongest areas?



Project 5 Exercise 2 Study of a townscape using line

I’m going to apologise again for the overly positive feeling I have for this city.

This exercise was based around a walk at the Croft area of Salisbury, its an open green area banded by the ring-road, terraced houses and council buildings. I did my sketching as it got dark on a crisp clear evening in December. This kind of trapped me into the colours because the clash between the amazing fading blue sky and the oranges of the lights split with dark silhouettes of the buildings is always  a pretty amazing sight, and the cafe on the corner had blue fading LED lights up for Christmas which added another element of blue lower down the picture.

The sketch was done for line placement under a streetlamp and I took photos to get the colours accurate, but used them for further sketching at home due to the light.


The sketch I did in situ wasn’t enough information to complete a finished piece. The further information sketch was completed of a photo. I liked the effect of the bank on newspaper (project 4) and this is another corner building stretching away in two directions, even if one side is blocked by the tree my eye level is below the top of the cafe window but raised from the pavement.


My final response is a line and wash piece completed with ink and dip pen over newspaper and I am happy with it. I’m learning to accept the imperfect elements

I have dealt with depth through concentrated focus, the mid level I want the viewer to look at has the most detail which fades out in the back level and we don’t even see in the foreground.



Project 5 Ex 1 Sketchbook of townscape drawings

I’ve worked off 2 sketchbooks for this part of the course, there has been less experimentation with mediums as I’ve been playing specificly with ones I know the effects of. I’ve bought more watercolour paints, the colour charts are in the book as well as the effects of conte crayons against white and black. I’m only pointing this out as I’ve been drawing aspects of my city in both books throughout this section.

Yes they are all in pitt brush pens.I just prefer the lack of mess on my hands when I’m out and about as well as the fact I don’t then have to layer my books with glassene just to keep them looking reasonably recognisable. Also, I can wash over with watercolour for both subtle and stronger colouring and they are dark enough to see what I’ve drawn when I’m drawing as the light goes. (which accounts for 2 out of the 4 above).

The buildings in this city are fairly individualy unique so relationships between buildings I think can take away from the quirky nature of each building in its own right.

For this exercise, I initially tried to work in pastel on black for 2 reasons. 1 it was dark and therefore the quickest way was to draw the light instead of the dark. 2, I forgot to pack a pencil.

I also started with a view that the finished piece would have the bright colours from the lights which adorn the trees around the market square, and the white of the branches against the night sky, however, I ended up attracted to the distances between the trees and the buildings into the corner and the lone figure (a bit Hopper-esque). to the point that the branches above I felt were superfluous. and the emphasis on the mid section of the picture has enough to keep your concentration. If I was going to develop this on further, I would be interested to see how a larger version (this is A3) could work, however I like the loose feel this has with the ambiguous emotion of the 1 person.

Research point Cityscape

We are asked to look at the work of John virtue (1947-)in more detail. Or source other contemporary artists who deal in depicting the city.

Johns association with the National Gallery produced some immense works that are awesome in their emotional content, brought more to the fore because of his self imposed limited palette. The interesting point is the history of the final works, going back through charcoal sketches to the initial line drawings that are minimalist in comparison to the paintings, but hold much more content and unemotional detail about the view than the raw energy I feel he works into the canvases.

To an extent , I can see this is were my work is separating. my sketchbook work isn’t as unemotional or as accurate, I can see the pages filling with final images instead of stuff I want to work on further. I’m enjoying working fairly fast in brush pen which gives my images more fluidity.

I’ve worked off the ‘in the style of’ charcoals I did for the earlier research piece, coming up with views around the Poultry cross which I feel give it much more of the energy I feel about my city