Large Painting – Reflecting and Bringing Together my Findings so Far

I am very pleased with the body of work that I have been producing relating to the City. I feel like I have an interesting concept, exploring the Hidden Loneliness of the City and have experimented with this idea in depth. However, I felt like I needed to consolidate my findings and portray what I have learnt and think is working so far. I decided to make a piece reflecting on these findings.

hidden loneliness

In this piece, I have incorporated a variety of different medias including paint, ink, charcoal and gouache. I have portrayed the sepia tone influence that I have been working with inspired by an artist I came across in Berlin and user Shoe 18 on the deviantart forum. I started off with a dark brown ground here, influenced by my experimentation after undertaking the grounds workshop, I also painted an underpainting using a palette knife and worked on top of this employing Dry Brushing techniques that I learnt from attending the paint workshop sessions with James Green. I have worked with the concept of all of the people around you being insignificant and portrayed that they are just bodies and may as well just be white silhouettes because I believe it is particularly successful and left one person in colour to show they are lonely and singled out among all the others that they do not interact with.

I wanted to formulate a piece that includes all the experimentation and things that I have learnt that I believe have been positive and successful within this project. I believe this is an accurate reflection of this and a successful piece of work in itself. Now that I have consolidated and reflected, I feel that I can move on in my project with confidence and continue my experimentation.

After my tutorial on Monday, I realised that I haven’t experimented with monochrome because I was so inspired by the influences of the artists I mentioned, but this is what I will be working with next, I believe that the loneliness may be heightened by an empty monochrome background and the colours of the one person will appear more vibrant and therefore the person will stand out more. This seems like it will progress my work further and add to the portrayal of the Hidden Loneliness of Cities.


Worskhop: Mechanical Aids to Drawing

In this workshop, We looked at David Hockney’s book “Secret Knowledge”. Within this text, Hockney talks about how Vermeer and Renaissance artists used optics and mirrors to aid them in creating accurate portraits and art works. There was a highly interesting timeline in this book which opened my eyes to how new technologies affect art and the way artists work. Until 1839, artists only had the use of optics such as mirrors and lenses, in 1839 the first fixed photographic camera was made which made the use of optics in art more elaborate. The 1930s saw modern art spring up and interestingly so did television and then computers which gave possibility to digital art.

In  this workshop we looked at 3 mechanical aids to drawing: Camera obscura, Camera Lucida and Projection. We worked with a kind of Camera Obscura using a lens and a mirror to project an image onto paper than can be drawn from. We got into pairs and drew each other using this method, one sat opposite the camera under light and the other went into a dark space and drew them for just 2 minutes.


Here is the result I achieved below: It was incredibly difficult to draw accurately because you couldn’t see the lines you were drawing very well.


We also worked with projection in this workshop and used flash photography to produce images of each other to project onto the wall and draw on top of to create accurate portraits. Below are images of my partner drawing me and my projected portrait of her.




After drawing one image of my partner, I decided to project another one on top and draw it to create an abstract kind of outcome. Projection is a modern-day aid to drawing, but is it cheating? you are not really drawing the image and I feel as if it becomes more the creator of the piece rather than an aid. However, this was a useful exercise in helping me developing my portrait skills and facial proportions.


Lastly, we explored the Camera Lucida. The Camera Lucida is an optical device that enables you to look at something in front of you through glass and it reflects the image onto the paper. Unfortunately, using an authentic Lucida was not possible so we used a modern-day version in the form of an App on the Ipad. The result I produced from working this way is shown below:


I’m not really sure how I feel about mechanical aids to drawing. I think if you are an artist purely making art for a commercial sale and need to make many successful pieces in a short space of time it is quicker using these methods and I guess would be beneficial. However, technically this is not your own drawing, it is like tracing something and if you are an artist like me, distinguishing your own style and creating art that has a personal reflection on you, it may be classed as cheating and the personal element is gone. I found that even the portraits I created in this workshop, even though I enjoyed creating them, were lifeless.

Life Drawing 21/2/14

I decided to attend a life drawing session today.  Within my city project, my work is becoming highly figurative which is challenging for me and not something I am used to. I felt that life drawing would help bring me up to speed when working with proportions and drawing the body and it was an incredibly beneficial exercise. We started the session with a few 5 minute poses to get going:


I started by loosely sketching out in charcoal and adding watered down black ink on top, I wanted to get a feel for the figure and the proportions of the body.

I spoke to the life model about my city project and that it involved drawing crowds of people or painting many figures in one piece. She helpfully suggested that we did some quick memory drawings, so she posed for 40 seconds while I observed and then had to draw the poses from memory down on the paper. It was incredibly difficult but a valued exercise as people don’t stay still for long in the city and this method will definitely help me draw them more accurately. It taught me to take more time to observe what I am drawing.



After a few goes, it was really interesting to see how much I managed to remember and draw down. The two pencil drawings above are my two most successful memory drawings in my opinion. This exercise forced me to study the details and proportions of the figure in a lot more depth and has with out a doubt benefited my figurative drawing skills. The life model suggested that I did a moving life drawing, where she imitated walking in two minute poses and I just drew them down next to one another, which created a highly interesting result, shown below:


After I had drawn these poses and gotten more comfortable with drawing the figure, we moved on to drawing 20 minute poses where I had the chance to draw in a lot more detail and I am incredibly happy with the results. I would go as far as to say that these may be two of the best life drawings I have ever created and I was very proud that I could see the development in my drawing skills.



Attending a life drawing session has been an incredibly valuable experience and will definitely aid me in my progression through my city project. I feel more confident about drawing figures. Because the drawings were timed, I didn’t have time to worry about the outcome and it made me consider proportion and experiment when drawing the figure more naturally. For any one who feels like they are challenging themselves drawing figures like me, I would definitely recommend a life class.

Mixed Media Painting Experiments

Here are some paintings that I produced in relation with Hidden Loneliness in the city. As I’ve mentioned I was heavily influenced by the colour palette and technique in the work of an artist I saw in the urban spree gallery and the work of the user shoe18 on deviantart online (previous blog post), I made some quick sketchbook drawings and I have decided to take it further and experiment with their inspiration in my paintings. These are mixed media pieces. I have used Black and Brown drawing inks, charcoal and  Acrylic paint applied with a palette knife to produce these pieces.





I am really happy with these pieces. I think they portray my concept incredibly accurately. As I proposed earlier I have painted one person in colour and everyone else as white silhouettes with slight detail. I have deliberately painted the colour figure with no features to show that you are lonely in the city and when wandering it, you may as well not have an identity. People don’t notice anything distinguishing about you at all.  The dripping ink is very effective. I am really pleased with the outcomes and I think the paint being applied with a palette knife and the bleeding of the inks is really effective. I am really taking a risk working with figures as I find it extremely challenging. If I was to do this style of work on a larger scale which I am tempted to do, I will spend more time working on the figures.

Field Collaboration: Drawing Session 2

We wanted to progress in this group collaborative drawing session. This time, we wanted to produce collaborative drawings with a twist of our own artistic backgrounds within them. We all brought our own materials to the session, with focus on what we would use on our course. As a fine artist, I brought paint, charcoal, sketching pens, brushes, palette knives and oil pastels and tracing paper. The textiles girls brought fabric, and tissue paper, thread and various cottons, buttons, beads, needles and embroidery kits. Our illustrator brought along black fine liners and our graphics guy preferred to work in Biro. For this session, the ceramicist brought along watercolours and drawing materials she uses in her sketchbook but will be experimenting with clay and glaze on the paper in the future.


We started by sticking on surfaces like tissue paper and tracing paper, adding paint washes and backgrounds and drawing on top of them.



I really liked the effect of ink and fine liner on tracing paper with water. The drawing styles and ideas of others are starting to inspire my own practice.



After finishing one drawing, we reflected on it, talked about what we liked and dislikes, things we would like to add or develop and moved on to another one. We felt really inspired by each other and wanted to take advantage of this.




This was a highly successful drawing session, the use of mixed media and materials was a great idea, it brought all of our disciplines together and the outcome is definitely an improvement on the last session. We are all looking forward to  creating an animation with our drawing next time and eventually working on an even larger scale.

I am really pleased with how well we are all collaborating and really enjoying producing the work. It is a very valuable experience seeing how the others think and draw and learning from one another.

City Loneliness: Sketchbook Experiments with Ink, Charcoal and White paint

After being heavily influenced by the colour palette and technique in the work of an artist I saw in the urban spree gallery and the work of the user shoe18 on deviantart online (previous blog post), I decided to experiment with their inspiration. Here I have used Black and Brown drawing inks, charcoal and white paint to produce these quick explorations.



These quick art works definitely highlight loneliness in the city. I used my photo manipulation work as a reference for these pieces. The white silhouettes of all the people around you in the city who may as well not be there, came from the cut outs I produced.

I think the colour palette here is highly successful, I definitely want to produce mixed media paintings using these colour schemes to show the hidden loneliness of the city and how dull and dark it can be and feel. There is a differentiation between the person concerned and the people around them but I don’t feel it’s very successful. To improve it, when I produce paintings, I will take a lot more time making them and paint one person in colour and everyone else white silhouettes. I may even give the other people more definition and detail and give the colour figure no features to show that you are lonely in the city and when wandering it, you may as well not have an identity. People don’t notice anything distinguishing about you. I am keen to progress and move forward with these ideas.

Field Collaboration: Manifesto and Timetable

After discovering that our commonality was drawing, researching artists as a group and producing collaborative drawings together, we have come up with a manifesto, a proposed idea about what we would like to create as an outcome for this collaboration.

We would like to experiment with collaborative drawing in a variety of ways. We want to get a feel for drawing together and look at our drawings in a new light. It will be interesting to see how our drawings work in relation to each others and whether the meaning or ideas behind them change. We plan to draw together every week and become more experimental as we go along.

We are thinking about creating an A3 size book, full of our  own drawings, our inspirations, collaborative artist research and collaborative drawings that we have produced together. In terms of a final outcome, this book could be displayed on a plinth or in a case as part of the piece. We also plan to document everything we do through photography and video. To us the journey of us creating the work together is becoming more important than the final outcome. 

We want our own practices to come together in these drawings, they will include illustrative and graphic drawings with fine liner pens and other mediums, expressive charcoal drawing and paint, clay and glazes, fabric and stitch work and versatile pencil drawing so that there is a textiles element, fine art element, ceramics element and illustration and graphics element. This will show all our disciplines collaborating and coming together.

We are keen to experiment with drawing on a large-scale. We plan to use a roll of lining paper or other large surface to create a mass collaborative piece, including materials from our own disciplines.  We want to include all our ideas on the hidden city and watch them unfold all together on the paper in one large homage to the city itself.

 Inspired by the work of William Kentridge, we would like to produce Stop motion animation of our drawings. It is something we have started thinking about and have also considered making video’s/animations of us creating the drawings together. We thought that us moving around the drawing could resemble people moving around the city.

Our final outcome will be a large-scale homage of the city, drawn collaboratively, A stop motion animation projected on the wall next to or behind the large drawing and our journey and idea’s documented and displayed in a book, hand bound by the textiles members of our group on a plinth.

We are excited about the prospect of producing this work and have already started experimenting. We have formulated a rough time-table to help us manage the time we have and adhere to our goals:

We have already Started collaboration, considered each other’s strengths, considered what we have in common and decided we want to produce collaborative drawings. We have also done a collaborative drawing session and met up to discuss progressions.


Week 5 – Draw collaboratively using materials relating to our disciplines: e.g. Acrylic Paint, Watercolour, Fine Liner, Biro, Pencil, thread and stichwork, material and fabric, tracing paper, charcoal, ink, tissue paper etc. Create two A1 experiments using mixed media.

Week 6 – Start experimenting with stop motion animation, meet up and produce one large A1 size drawing as a start taking pictures every few seconds to make the animation. Play with what kind of sound we would like to play whilst the animation runs.

Week 7 – Meet up and produce individual drawings, print and write up artist research and start formulating the collaborative book. Use it as a sort of diary of what we have done, as well as to demonstrate our skills as individuals and as a collaboration.

Week 8 – Make a Large scale collaborative drawing or drawings on lining paper or mass surface. Document this process with photographs and video/animation

Week 9 – Finish making everything we have set out to do, tidy up any loose ends and prepare for our final presentation of our work – a book on plinth or in case, a large collaborative drawing and a projected animation or video.

Week  10 – Present our work, record or document presentation and undertake group assessment.