Material Differences(Exercise)

For the drawing course I am doing up to now I have drawn a few still life and interior drawing. Also I have tried using a few different medias like pencil, charcoal, conte, pastel and ink etc. I did quickly look at the assignment number two and I have a preconception that this exercise will be a bridge to the final assignment.

So for the multi materials attempt of this exercise I am going to add a collage to my multi media experiment of my drawing skills.

I have chosen a corner of my sketch which a bit of the interior and also a still life.  For this image I am using the following photo.


Step 1: Practice on an A4 sketchbook


Thought in this rough sketch I am going to observe the elements’s position, size and space in this interior corner. There are some problems I need to improve in the next drawing:

  1. The biggest element is the kettle but the coffee jar is nearly same size as it. It is behind the kettle and as with the perspective it should be smaller than it is now.
  2. The toaster should be bigger and it should in the right place.
  3. The tea mug is smaller than it is.
  4. To improve the perspective.

Research for

Step 2: Stick an A2 white cartridge paper on drawing board. Then I will start the collage piece on this basic paper. Keep in my mind the spaces in this interior work and the ways for collage areas:

  1. Thought the colourful papers on this cartridge in random? (This idea works for abstract work)
  2. Divide and separate into difference regions(This idea works for create craft work, it maybe lost the artistic creation):
  • Divide into 3 pieces in horizontal bands: back wall(tile), counter/plat level(still life), and vertical cupboard
  •  Divide into 3 pieces of vertical bands: left side, middle with the main elements and right side after the corner/diagonal of the counter.
  • Divide into 9 pieces composite using  both of the above.

It is still a crude idea in my mind I will use the above points both to make a draft now.

Put the newspapers piece on the cartridge paper.


Roughly sweep some watercolour on the base which I just made.


Quickly arrange the elements into the image.


I have used the charcoal for the coffee jar and chocolate bottle, the conte stick for kettle and Yorkshire tea box, oil pastel for the toast machine and tea mug set and the black ink/white ink for the rest.

Next step I am going to tidy up and add some details for these elements. The soft pastels may  be used.


Overall I was feeling this is very interesting process to work with but I couldn’t really control the detail. like:

  1. The Yorkshire tea box the perspective on the top is not correct.
  2. The tea mug’s handle and the left bottom need to be improve.
  3. I just release there is a seam across the top of the coffee jar on the top. I don’t know how to deal with it.
  4. The toaster should be more deeper.
  5. Through the whole process I don’t want to draw the divided the tiles. I don’t know why that it is probably the collage pieces are disorganized there. Or I could try?


The tiles haven’t any perspective feeling, it maybe that i was hurrying to put them on.

This time I have used the watercolour as the base I can also try gouache, acrylic and gesso later. There are many ways to discover and advance a collage in drawing.



Research point-Domestic interiors and their works

For this lesson I am going to learn about some contemporary artists who focus on domestic interiors and analyse their choice of content, medium, format,etc. Consider how their work reflects its context in terms of era, fashion, mood, current issues, and so on.

Kenneth Howard OBE RA was born 26 December 1932. Howard is an English artist and painter. He was President of the New English Art Club from 1998 to 2003.

kenneth-howward kenneth-howard-1

Howard’s works in a traditional manner. His strong observation and a high degree of draughtsmanship combined with tonal precision. Meticulously painting the perspective for interior in the first picture and rigorously outside of window in second picture. He uses Light highlights as a strong and recurrent element of his work.

These two images are from recent years. They  clearly  show the audiences, especially like the art students how to depict light, perspective and still life layout etc.

Patrick Heron (30 January 1920 – 20 March 1999) was a British abstract and figurative artist. One of his work Bogey’s Bar (Woburn Place) in February, 1937.


He chosen space hierarchy through the bar and its window. The whole interior seems covered with grey colour with a little bit of pale pink then the light source and high light on the background which is outside of this scene.

This image looks very dignified and imposing. It shows clear  perspective in this room, also the building outside looks very strong. I can see the work and the fashion are traditional style and it is in 1930’s.

Cressida Campbell (born 1960) is an Australian artist.

‘Interior with red ginger’ 1998


‘Interior, Margaret Olley’s house’ 1992


Campbell’s work is a combination of painting and printing and every one is a unique woodblock. I have found a blog which is her talking about her experience:

Before I start a picture I have either seen the subject or thought about the subject for quite a while. I then will begin the work on a piece of plywood (any thickness works for me!) and draw a line drawing in pencil of the subject from life. I then carve the fine line using an engraving power tool from Kyoto. After rubbing out the pencil and lightly sanding the block I paint the block using water colour paint thickly.

When finished, I then spray the block with water and place a dampened piece of Stonehenge paper on the block. Pressure is applied to the back of the paper by hand using a small rubber ink roller. When enough paint comes off onto the paper the print is lifted off.

A small work may take two weeks to complete from the drawing to the end result, a large work may take four months. I usually work on one picture at a time but I will often put a drawing away for months before carving and painting it.

Campbell is a contemporary artists. I do like her depiction of the grace and style  in the painting, especially her beautiful home. We can with her words above that she is really carefully to treat every piece of image. Her process  with the work first from carving  then as a hand painted water colour print. Her precision and striving  for the best is admirable.

I wish to view one of her work in progress to learn some skills.

Composition-an interior(Exercise)

Look carefully at the angles and areas of my chosen view and note where objects are placed. Keep shifting my viewpoint until I find one that pleases me. Look for strong tonal contrasts, textures, linear qualities and strong positive and negative shapes.

In each sketch shift my viewpoint or eye level. By shifting the viewpoint up or down, or moving in and out.

I have chosen one side of my living room where I will stand in the porch then face the wall and one way is going upstairs, then another way to my kitchen.

First sketch is sitting on the floor , looking up to the wall, quick linear drawing by ink with brush on A3 white sketchbook.


This sofa’s two arms are completely difference. The perspective does need to improve.

Second sketch is from standing on the windowsill then looking down. I had trouble with this as there is not a lot of room for my body to fit. For this one I have to take some photos. Charcoal on A3 white sketchbook.



Third sketch is another attempt looking down and using conte stick on A3 sketchbook


The last one I feel comfortable with was done by standing on the floor to sketch the normal view and took me a few hours. A3 white paper of sketchbook by dip pen and ink.


I am happy with most of the bits but the stairs are really need bit of a tidy and the sizes are much bigger then they should be.

The dip pen drove me a bit crazy to start but finally I controlled it and it is getting better the more I use it.

The dip pen technique for me is still really difficult and I do need to learn a lot. Next job is watching You tube to learning the skill from some artists.


Quick sketches around the house(Exercise)

Take my sketchbook or larger sheets of paper fastened to a drawing board together with a selection of drawing media. Aim to work my way around most of the rooms in my house over several sessions and maybe also areas outside the house such as the garden shed.

I have to leave the outside of house until Spring or Summer as it was snowing yesterday here. So I will make sketches from my living room now.

Easy to grab my carry on sketchbook A5 with black ball pen:


My porch and my shoe cabinet. The whole image is not in the right perspective.  The top arch is not correct.

A3 drawing board, Ink, water and brush for bathroom.


The middle of the tile’s perspective is not correct.

Then I am back to living room and with a wider view. A3 paper with soft pastel.

img_5631  img_5632

The main problem is the vacuum looks like a multi-level cake.

I turned around and to draw another side on A3 paper by conte stick.



At last I am going to my kitchen. A3 paper with oil pastel.


The left edge should be a bit higher up in the elevation.

I have found out that the perspective for corners is the most difficult to draw but they also attract and stimulate my imagination. I have focus on those points to practice.

When I looked back I think I like the third attempt which is the living room to the porch because its perspective is better than others(but it is not the best). I enjoyed every sketch while I was doing them. The living room with stairs and its the way to upstairs I would like to practice more in the future. I am looking forward to drawing and getting greater detail for the following exercises.




For this exercise I will work towards creating an image in a single colour, combining natural and man-made objects and contrasting materials.

I have chosen a pair of jeans for my subject. My aim is going to be build up a three dimensional shape of the object and the fabric’s texture.

I  start by taking some photos because I hung the pair of trousers up in the kitchen to allow me a good angle to take pictures.

img_5562 img_5563 img_5592 img_5564

I decided to use the whole trousers’ image to practice for this exercise.  First I was thinking about drawing the top bit of trousers but when I got the idea of tie a knot for the two trouser legs I just want to draw this item.

First I grab my sketchbook to do a rough drawing.


This drawing just let myself to sketch the obvious details on these trousers then think about the next step which I am going to practice on a A3 170gsm white paper.

First at all I used a pencil to draw a basic line and simple shadows.


Then I use watercolour to follow the light direction to fill the colour of this pair of trousers.


At the moment, I can see the relation of the fabric and the overlap of the drapes. But some questions I need to tide up:

  1. The left pocket and around it.
  2. Below the hang up of the belt loop is not correct area.
  3. Shape of the shadow as it never dissociative when the light exist.
  4. A lot of details to improve this object.

Also some technique of watercolour painting and drawing:

  1. Does the watercolour need to be complete in one go?  So there is coherence in thought and unity in style. Will it upset the result if I leave for a night then carry on in the next morning?
  2. I have drawn the fabric texture by watercolour. I will use an uni-ball eye pen to tide up the detail, what will be happen? The fabric is going to strong or more like man-made?

Another pause and stand back to watch it.


It still need more work especially right side shadow. Then I used colourful pencils.

At last I have to rush to finish as below. As the trouser leg is thinner than the one overlap it because it has a bit of a fold behind it. I think I should change it when I was doing its position.


I am happy with the outcome even the right top below the belt loop(the darkest area in this drawing) is still not perfect. As the for the watercolour technique I need more knowledge and practice to gain experience.

Overall I was happy with the process for this picture.



Experiment with mixed media(Exercise)

For this exercise, I will experiment with both traditional art tools and ‘non-art’ media.

I have chosen a red cabbage, then cut it in several parts. I have taken some photos of the parts and will use these to work from.

img_5595 img_5599 img_5601

I am going to practice the last one with multi medias.

Attempt 1: A4 sketchbook


  1. Wax crayon. I used a white crayon to trace out the red cabbage’s white texture.
  2. Watercolour. I used purple watercolour mixed a little bit warm and dark colour to tint the cabbage’s parts from left to right and following the light direction. I also simply gave some colours around the objects.
  3. Uni-ball eye pen. I used blue pen drawing the shadowed areas.
  4. Colour pencil. I used sharp colour pencil to refine/broad strokes for the detail of the texture of the cabbage.
  5. Black uni pin fine line. I used the black pen to help the contrast edge of the objects, texture, shade the dark area and refine some detail.

Some problems:

  • The right small piece is totalally wrong: shape, light and dark, size, pattern and natural colour etc.
  • The first half of the cross section, when I drew the white texture by white crayon I couldn’t see where the stroke goes so after using the watercolour paint then the pattern is not like natural and the stalk is not vivid.
  • The first half of the cross section, the stalk looks strange, it does not seem to be a part of the whole one and combined with the circle bit.
  • The shadows are standing out not blending with the background.

Attempt 2: A3 170gsq white paper

  • I used oil pastel gently tracing the cabbage’s texture. It works by marking the shape and marking lines.


  • Can the soft pastel cover on the top of the oil pastel. Yes, I can refine a bit after oil pastel drawing by soft pastel.


  • I feel the conte stick is alright to cover the soft pastel a little bit as well but will take the stroke/pigment of the oil pastel(piece) off the paper.


  • Charcoal is very different when used to cover the oil pastel even can’t leave any stroke on them.
  • I used the acrylic to shade the shadows.


The final drawing of this attempt:


There are 3 light points on the right hands corner which are supposed to be the reflections in the shadow from the  one-chip cabbage but it does not seem right at the moment.  I could shade them away but at last I leave it.

Attempt 3: 27cm*34cm, 140 gsm,  blue background paper

img_5623 img_5624

I  used the acrylic for the cross section of red cabbage outline and the shadows around it. Then use white ink to chase the cabbage’s texture. At last used a purple felt tip pen to tidy up.

This is not a very strict drawing but I was pleased with it. The heart is not connected with the leaves.

Attempt 4: brown cardboard 19cm*19cm

Step 1, I sprayed facial wash foam on the cardboard, then used a knife to spread it flat.


Step 2, I used ink with a stick to drop the colour into the foam and try to make marks as outlines. Unfortunately it is completely different to my thoughts and it wasn’t a successful result so I have to leave it. I will give another go when I am going to do some sketches.


Attempts 5: similar size cardboard again

I used ink with brush drew the purple colour marks and shadows then white ink with dip pen to chase the cabbage’s texture.



I chose a red cabbage for this exercise because there are very beautiful texture on the cross sections. I did like and was impressed with the natural pattern. For this exercise experiment with mixed media I think I didn’t try that much especially the non-art. I think that the spotlight has been stolen by the natural pattern. I have finished this exercise but I will definitely try some more objects and other different media in future.



Sketchbook-Dec. 2016

Try to sketch every day even just a few seconds.

One day, I was tiding my drawing table and around this room. I noticed I have acquired so many sketching books.


4 books of A3: A couple of pages had been used(when I was doing Illustration course) and they were at the bottom of the drawer.

4 books of A4: A ring bound, a double clip folder and 2 of single clip folder.

1 book of 25.6cm*18.3cm recycle paper(再生紙): I bought it from Muji shop and I have finished another one (size:36.4cm*25.7cm). They are not regular size and same as thin kraft. I quite like this kind of paper and you can control your pressure on the biro and get special vivid outlines and effects. But I can’t put them in my handbag that is shame.

1 book of 19.5cm*13.7cm recycle paper(the first one in the picture above, from Muji): This one has smooth surface and 184 pages which I prepared for my handbag but unfortunately I  only put it in my bag about 2 days. Because it hasn’t  got  hard covers and should be used for a half year so I have to keep it neat in house for my off work day.

3 books of A5: A black hard cover with ring band, 160 gsm which is good for sketch by watercolour and dip pens etc. 2 single clip folder, one each in my two more usually using handbags. Then I divide A4 normal loose papers in 2 parts and clip them on my single clip folders and this is the best way and more useful for me.

Sometime I go to work by train and will be 15 minutes earlier so I use 10 minutes to do my sketch every time. But sometimes my time is taken by talking with colleague so I try to  recuperate when I get home. I did once done a little bit on the train but unfortunately then miss the station and lost much time for home.

Most time I just grab a biro even I put a small box of mini colourful fine line pens. So I am trying to get more medias for my sketching and try my best way and time.

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