Assignment 4

1. Figure Study Using Line (A1)

I wanted to opt out of a black and white option for this piece, so I chose coloured fine liner, marker pen and charcoal based on some of the experiments and supporting studies that I was happy with prior to tackling this assignment. I wanted to use a combination of soft, curved markings to represent the clothing, but darker more dramatic strokes, using charcoal, to show the stillness and almost of the body. This particular drawing of the assignment took the longest, as the markings were quite time-consuming but I felt they were needed.

2. Figure Study Using Tone (A1)

I’ve never been great at filling the page, but this A1 drawing worked out okay after a few attempts. I used a combination of mediums, including; fine liner, indian ink, oil pastels and marker pens to create the tones and shadows.

3. A portrait or self-portrait combining line and tone (any size)

I took a slight risk by deciding to have teeth showing, despite lack of drawing practise. The boy’s head is positioned at a lower height to my own and he is looking upwards and smiling to show the loss of his first tooth. I wanted to get an angle that wasn’t face-on or that of a profile. I think it works well. I chose to complete this exercise on A4 paper using a mechanical pencil, which works well with both my current level of ability to tone and express lines appropriately. The eyes seem slightly more symmetrical that in previous drawings and I’ve been told the drawing is if great likeness, so that’s good.


Portrait from Memory or Imagination

This exercise was one of the most difficult I have come across throughout the course. It would be easy to cherry-pick lots of different facial features from various sources and place them on a head, but coming up with something from imagination, or even from memory, proved very difficult without producing an image that looked slightly comic-book. As a result, I am not happy with the outcome of this exercise. The difficulty of this exercise has brought to light that sometimes you are not only drawing a physical image of a person, but you are conveying their personality through art. My imaginary person looks miserable. In hindsight, it might have been better to create drawing based on a fictional character from the description of a book.

Your Own Head

Before I attempted this exercise, and using a mirror, I did some quick, preliminary sketches of my face in different position using fine liner and a brush pen. I wanted to attempt to get the proportions of the features right.

For the first image of my own head I chose to use pencil on A3 paper. I focused loosely on the shape of the head, but mainly on the facial features. I tried to avoid a definite, harsh line around the jaw to prevent a cartoon-like appearance, but used this technique around the hairline to produce a sense of darkened hair. I attempted to use tone to create the facial features, especially around the nose and lips to make the drawing more lifelike. I found symmetrical eyes a challenge and still think the drawing appears slightly lop-sided. The shoulders are of dramatic line to emphasise the shape, but felt the drawing was better left as it was so the face was more of a focal point. The drawing isn’t an exact likeness, but family members and friends have commented to state they “can tell it’s me”.

For the second drawing I wanted to use a different technique as well as medium, so I opted for a fine liner with lots of small dots and markings. Although this technique was time-consuming, I feel like I captured a more accurate likeness of myself. I created shadows and lines, using various amounts of dotting and minor lines. Once again, I found the eyes difficult to master, so one of the pupils appears lower than it should be. 

I found the most difficult task moving on from individual features to a full face was eye-symmetry and lips. The second image was easier to portray lips, but I found the shading of lips very difficult, as it’s tricky to avoid pencilling an outline of the lips, which when done, makes them appear unrealistic. I enjoy doing full portrait and it would be interesting to continue to try different techniques and different angles of the face.

Facial Features

The following sketches were various features I found in magazine and books, and also features copied from personal photographs and from life drawings.













The image below shoes a blind sketch I did, with a couple of quick drawings to follow. The final image was my first attempt at a whole head. The size of the head is grossly out of proportion compared to the facial features, which all seem to be too small and crowded towards the centre of the face. The symmetry of the eyes was proving difficult to tackle, so I did have to re-work the shape a couple of times.

Groups of Figures

Most of the groups of figures I drew were from the observation of a cafe window. I learnt that it’s important to draw quickly and freely when sketching, in order to show movement within a still picture. I was happy with the results, though the features of the individuals aren’t very clear.

Single Moving Figure

I found one of the most natural ways to capture a single moving figure, is to sketch a small child. For this exercise, I captured the image of a 5-year-old playing in his room  and telling me stories. His movement was very flamboyant and excited, so it was good to get to draw lots of different, natural poses.


For this exercise, I quickly drew the movements of a child playing in various environments. I asked him to strike a pose and then he continued to jump around as I quickly sketched. I used a small calligraphy pen with ink for the smaller drawings and charcoal for the larger ones. I found the charcoal more useful for creating the long, flowing lines.