Assignment One


For this first assignment, I am to arrange a mixture of objects of my choice to form a still life, setting them up in a space to create interesting shapes and angles. With adequate lighting in place to create shadows and depth, I should proceed to draw the arrangement using various drawing tools, utilising some of the experimental mark making that I have discovered throughout the course.

I elected these particular objects for two reasons.  Firstly, because they are items which are either sentimental or used in my daily routine; items I am familiar with. And, secondly, because they are items that have good reflective qualities and shapes -A stainless steel coffee peculator, a wax-dripped spirit bottle, a pearl necklace, a cactus in a porcelain vase, a white, leather sandal, a silver wine glass and a book. After arranging the objects in a few various ways, I decided on a final arrangement before positioning a lamp to the right of the collection and draping a creased towel in the background to aid with the shadowing.


Shadows and Reflected Light

For this exercise I was asked to use charcoal and a putty rubber and draw two objects that show reflected light and shade on one object falling on another, whilst leaving as little negative space as possible.

The objects I chose were a dull, stainless steel coffee peculator and a shiny, silver wine glass. I placed a lamp close to the items and carefully took note where the light hit before commencing to lightly apply charcoal to paper. I am happy with the final result of the drawing, although I’m unsure it represents what the exercise is asking me to produce. I found it difficult to fill most of the negative space. I like the shadows and reflected light, especially on faces of the coffee filter, but I think there could be more strokes and visual fine lines which are expressing the actual shapes of the objects through the flow of the charcoal. for the final touches I used a putty rubber to pick-out the light.

Observing Shadow Using Blocks of Tone

For this drawing exercise, I have to place two pale objects together and position a lamp so that they are lit from just one side. I should observe the main areas of dark and light, and make quick sketches in my sketchbook, mapping out broad areas of light and shade using a conté or charcoal stick to achieve thick, bold strokes.

The two objects of my choice were a ceramic tumbler and a plastic toy tub. I first started with light, soft charcoal and added some detail at the later stages of drawing using darker charcoal pencil, as I had predicted this would give me more control over the strokes.

Groups of Objects

The purpose of this exercise was to loosely describe six objects of my choice, using just one colour. It was important to consider the size, shape, weight and transparency of the objects, not only from what could be seen by the physical eye, but also from the imagination that each item was transparent. I chose to depict my image on A1 paper, using a charcoal pencil. I quite like the finished piece. I tried to vary the objects in size and shape; a porcelain mug, a tubed paintbrush holder, a cardboard make-up box, a marker pen, a bottle of detergent spray, a plastic bowl, a pair of tights and a bottle of perfume.

Creating Shadow Using Lines and Marks

After practising a range of small lines and marks, I shall arrange three or four objects and make a very quick and loose line drawing. Without using obvious outlines, I will indicate the objects’ three-dimensionality and work fast using the hatching and spotting techniques to create tonal shadows. I first experimented with marks in my sketchbook using various techniques and mediums – fine liner, charcoal and coloured-pencil. I found all the mediums to be very versatile in terms of shading.

For this sketch I decided to shine the light towards the front of the items. After experimenting various ways of creating shadow, I arranged a small collection of objects and began marking the paper with the different strokes of a fineliner, making sure to only mark on the shaded areas with crowded hatching, leaving the lighter areas with out a few strokes.




Experimenting with Texture

For this task, I was to collect a range of objects with different surface textures, and experiment depicting the textures using varied techniques and mediums. . I first made the rubbings using a blue oil pastel onto copier paper, before cutting out squares and pasting each one in my sketchbook.  I then proceeded to re-create each texture below using various markings.



Warm-Up – Temporary Drawings

The images below show my visit to the local riverbank; I’d arranged colour coordinated stones to make a loosly-based eye shape. In the past I hadn’t noticed how many beautifully-shaped stones there are around. The rocks were temporary art in themselves; constantly being shaped by erosion. I visited the same spot a few days later to see what the recent, mild winds had made of the arrangement. Of course, my art work had survived the weather, but perhaps not the local kids, who had clearly destroyed the pattern and snapped the eyebrow-like twig in two places. Temporary art, indeed.




For my second temporary art experiment, I sprinkled a small pile of glitter on a plain piece of A4 paper and made patterns with my forefinger. It reminded of something I saw on Art Attack years ago; Neil Buchanan poured salt over black flooring and created the image of a dragon using only his hands. This experiment was child-like and fun, but I also found it marginally frustrating as the glitter didn’t always move to the direction it was nudged -it remained static on parts of the paper.




I am aiming to complete my degree in Fine Art within the next five years. I guess it’s a ‘five-year plan’ of sorts; something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but also something I struggled to find time to work on. Alas, I finally made time and here I am.

The first course, which I am viewing as the foundation of the degree, is ‘Drawing One’. It’s a five-part course which covers a range of drawing exercises, including research points, experimentation and assignments. It’s the beginning – at least for me! As of today, this blog shall be my online report system, my diary, my learning log…