Part 3, Portrait and Figure Drawing the human figure

Sample of sketches made



I didn’t have a model for this so used an online resource for my sketching.  I had to work quite quickly and look at the shapes measuring out the length using the head as around a 7th of the whole person.  My model was to be drawn from various angles.  I chose different models to draw and also feet and hands I am really not good at drawing people, so I did a number of sketches. I also looked at ways of getting the persons proportions with greater accuracy. For this I not only used heads but lines marking the half way point and the head and the feet, then each section.  I definitely need more practice drawing people, however I can see an improvement from drawing one. My figures show a greater flow within the shapes and I am getting the sizes much better. I also tried drawing figures 8 head high to see what the difference is and find somewhere between the two looks best.



Assignment 2, Assessment Criteria points

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness design and composition skills.

At last I am beginning to feel like I am nearly up to speed and not playing catch up. Technically I am getting better and I am learning to visually check the shapes of my subject and the negative space more accurately. Composition wise I think I have managed better. In the past I have drawn a picture and then cut the support to fit, now I am managing to fit my artwork to the actual support without a need for adjustment.

Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

I was pleased with the outcome of Assignment 2, it’s not perfect as my line was not straight in places and although I am learning to have a smoother transition with the Acrylic, it is still not as good as it could be. Maybe the content could have been more complicated, but I am always fighting time so try to keep things within remit but not complicated. I enjoy writing my blog as it helps the learning process, this time I don’t think I gave as much detail about my paint application as I could have, so will make sure I do better next time. I communicate my ideas but agree with my tutor that I need to put more on paper. I have a tendency with Still Life to spend a lot of time visually setting up my subject, looking at tone and shadow but not always trying this out on paper as much as I should, although this time I have done better  but could probably have done more.

Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.

My creativity and experimentation is growing now I am getting used to the media, and my personal voice is now beginning to take shape. I had a discussion with my earlier Tutor and I have an internal argument with myself if at least part my work isn’t realistic, I like the blend of realism and impressionism and feel comfortable in blending the two, so we decided this may be the way for me to go. I really enjoyed this Assignment as I was able to experiment with style and application. Ok I am still reserved with my attempts but that is my character and this will become easier as I move through the course.


Context reflection – research, critical thinking (learning logs and , at second and third level, critical reviews and essays.

I enjoy context reflection research etc.  Research is something I love but have a running battle because it takes up so much time and I always feel I need a lot more knowledge of my researched subject than is asked for.


Assignment 2




For this Assignment I had to demonstrate my understanding of colour, tone, composition and development of my technique in my chosen medium.

I was to set up a still life or develop an earlier sketch I had made. I was to work on A3 or above.

I wanted to paint a picture that said something, had meaning, and after researching paintings for Part 2, Research 4, I was enchanted by Johannes Vermeer The Love Letter, and the lovely family scene of David Wilkie. The hidden and not so hidden meanings within some paintings intrigue me and I would love to research this further and plan to get some books on the interpretation of paintings.

Limited time to do exercises doesn’t allow a complexed painting, but rather than work on a previous sketch I decided to paint something that had some meaning. It took a while to sort a composition and I really would have liked to add my walking boots, but felt it made the painting to disjointed. In the end, I went with a simplified version. This hopefully shows the viewer that my bag is packed, well almost and I am ready for a spot of Plein Air Painting and Sketching.

To start with I made several pencil and paint sketches of my subject playing around with the set up. I love paintings with limited colour, but wanted to add a splash to the picture, I don’t think it would have said I am going painting without some.  I placed some items with a touch of colour running through the painting andwas pleased in the end with the set up.  I had wanted to paint the picture as a slightly long square, but it would not have been A3 so I played with some lines on a painted sketch in my sketchbook and proceeded on the A3.

colour sketchesunivarious sketchesuni

Sample of Sketches


To begin with I roughly painted the watercolour paper with Gesso then sketched out the scene then strengthened the lines by painting them in and giving the picture a first wash of colour.




I decided to work the walls and top in a more abstract manner trying to make the impression of detail rather than the detail itself, not as flat as Giorgio Morandi but suggestive. I love his little pots which remain his focus and I wanted the same for my composition.  I wanted the eye to be able to read the painting and the items to take centre court. For the walls I added some texture with sand mixed in Acrylic paint, this had to be added with a palette knife. I liked this as it gave a rustic look making the painting have interest in a seemingly uninteresting negative space. The light also alters as you walk around the painting giving a different shade to areas of sand and paint. The sand was added on the third layer of painting then painted over again before complete. A small amount of blue, red and yellow were added to the back and foreground to bring the colour through the picture for unification. I feel it was very subtle and I could have got away with more than I used.

I like the artwork of a contemporary artists called Lindsey Kustusch her work sits between precision and abstract which I am interested in trying to do. I also like the texture practiced by Constable and many others which I feel adds another dimension to a picture. Overall, I’m pleased with my painting and feels it shows progression, placement of tone gives depth to my subject and I think the negative space is balanced. At last my use of acrylic has improved and I feel I am beginning to find a style that I am comfortable with, but still lack an artistic flow to my work. I would like a way to marry my precision with impressionistic part of the painting in a manner that flows from one to the other. I hope this is something that will develop as I continue my journey through the course. There is still the problem of a smooth tonal transition of paint, it has improved using a dry brush to blend adjoining colours, which are worked together whilst wet. Acrylic drys fast so this means working small areas at a time work best.

Altogether I feel there is a lot of room for improvement as mentioned above this was almost a eureka moment with the use of Acrylic paint and hopefully with beginning to use the paint better I will now be able to experiment a little more with my application.


bag uni
Photograph of Set Up


Colours used were:

Ivory Black, Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Light Blue Permanent, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber,


Part 2, Project drawing and painting interiors. Simple perspective in interior studies.


For this exercise, I was to focus on creating an illusion of space, because drawing interior spaces is a good way to understand perspective.  Notice how the straight lines of walls, floors, table, shelves, doorways and windows could continue until they converge at the imaginary vanishing point on the horizon.

I was to keep it simple, draw lines that define and describe my interior with a drawing medium then use paint and a fine brush to apply the outline. I had to try to use a degree of accuracy. My colours were to be muted or limited.


Keeping it simple wasn’t easy as I am in the middle of having my kitchen done and the house looks like a burglar has been in, turned it over and decided nothing was worth taking. The only clear area was the stairs and for some reason I decided to draw them by sitting on the top step. Stupid as this called for three-point perspective and getting two point accurate was hard enough. I had no light and had to rest the drawing pad on my knees to try and draw. I used my eye to begin with to get my perspective accurate and used a pencil to draw leading lines. This didn’t help the accuracy of my picture you can see from the drawing the lines were a little bowed. I did tidy up a little using a ruler.

door drawing 18012018


After the drawing, I then decided to go straight onto the Exercise and used an A3 piece of watercolour paper. To begin with I drew out the perspective in pencil, looking at the finished piece I can see my distance was too long. In trying to keep the drawing as simple as possible I used some artistic licence and didn’t put in a wall that went off at right angles to the left. It would have been too dark and heavy for the picture.  From my photograph, you can see there is not the distance between me and the wall over the stairs, nor is the photograph accurate, one the camera used flash and altered the shadows and the distance is distorted, the camera made the view of the staircase look more compact foreshortening the distance. The photograph was also taken in a position more akin to the first drawing, my position was a little different for the painting. The correct distance was more accurate in my first sketch, however with the sketch/painting the perspective was more accurate.




phot stairs


After sketching out the scene in pencil I then set about painting the outlines of my sketch in watercolour paint. I did this quickly in a mix of Vandyke Brown and Paynes Grey. These with Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red Hue were the colours used to paint the washes on the picture.  I didn’t go to the trouble of painting in the stonework as it was only meant to be washes of tone. However, I did draw/paint in a few wall stones to highlight perspective. For this exercise, I left many but not all perspective lines on the picture. Some were removed to simplify the scene for the viewer.

The thing that troubled me most was a surprise, because it was the door at the bottom of the stairs, I had absolutely no idea how to angle it and decided to draw it using the negative shapes, they appear the same on the picture as in reality. It worked, but I could have been more careful with the application. Although this is far from a finished piece I feel I learnt a lot and have huge admiration for the painters like Vermeer and the angles produced in the paintings I have recently researched.

I also learnt how carefully the painters must have set up their subjects making sure angles don’t look odd when painted. The above scene leaves me wanting to put in a line on the right to balance the right side and remove the lintel above the door as it makes the whole picture look unbalanced.

I do feel this was a really useful exercise in learning to use perspective and enjoyed the challenge and as ever analysing my work really makes me see where I am going wrong.

Part 2, Research 5, Linear Perspective

For this research, I was to go on the internet and research the basics of linear perspective. Make some notes in my learning log.

I covered this in Drawing 1 and found it very interesting. We see perspective in many areas of life and it can be seen simply by holding up a viewfinder. I was drawing trees and found it very useful in assessing the different heights as I find a whole scene overwhelming and the heights can go a little wrong without something to guide me.

Photographs are also good way of seeing perspective as can be seen by the converging lines in the photograph below. You can see clearly the lines of cobbles converging and the linear aspects of the buildings as they move towards the horizon. Depending on the subject, and position of your object drawn the focal point can be on or off the paper.


Linear Perspective is about the linear aspects within your drawing which recede to your focal point, and the point on the horizon line where the imaginary lines meet. Well they don’t actually meet but appear to as the subject moves towards the horizon. This shows the size of your subject as it is seen within your picture and its size as it moves from the fore. We also see the distance apart of any parallel lines such as is seen with pavements, hedges etc, as they converge towards the horizon.

The diagram below shows one point perspective and here we draw a horizon line this is depending on what type of drawing you are doing, where your eyeline is, or where you want the horizon and focal point to be. Drawing a box is the easiest way to portray Linear Perspective which I have shown in the diagram I have drawn below.

one point persp

Although these are not the best drawings you can see the three-dimensional aspect of the boxes. The top right a correct drawing, I have just not coloured the base of the box and whilst it is now finished in my sketchbook, I left this view and didn’t correct it, as is shows how confusing perspective is.

As can be seen from above all these have one point of contact on the horizon.


Two-point perspective has its uses such as drawing the corner of a building which has an area of interest receding from view on both sides. It uses the same rules as one point, only there are 2 points on the horizon your lines are directed to. You can see this in the diagrams below. Again these drawings show the different focal points on the horizon depending on how you are viewing your subject, which could be, below, in line or above looking down at the subject.

2 point perspec

Three point perspective is slightly different and not used as much though it could be handy when looking up or down at a tall building such as chuch spire. You can see the central point is place centre line of the box/building and depending on where you focas is your lines recede towards the focal point. This one I found the most difficult to get my head around as it confused my brain, which isnt difficult.


#3 point try 2


Fussell, M., 2011-2017. The Virtual – One Point Perspective. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 29 December 2017].

Fussell, M., 2011-2017. The Virtual – Two Point Perspective. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 29 December 2017].

Fussell, M., 2011-2017. The Virtual – Three Point Perspective. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 29 December 2017].



Part 2, Exercise Quick Sketches around the house




full side 1For this exercise I didnt have much choice over the room I chose to draw the interior of. I wasnt to look for Interesting objects I was looking for areas within a room to draw and paint as it is. There was only one room I could sketch and that is the Living Room. I was to draw and then turn 45 degrees and then draw the next area. I wasnt to get bogged down with detail but to look for positive and negative shapes and areas of tonal contrast. It was to be done standing and seated.Unfortunately  my drawings didnt photograph very well this one above was done standing up the one below sitting.  There is an interesting area within the fire that gave depth to the picture.

favourite side

This can be see better  in the picture above, I was sitting for this and it showed there was some depth to  the fire recess and there were some interesting shadow areas under the canopy.

Next I turned 45 degrees and  there was a door which showed a viewpoint behind which can be seen below.




You could see the difference between the standing and sitting version. The latter was more interesting because the beams were visible giving more interest to the picture.


A turn of 45degrees gave me another door.

front door


I found these more interesting as there were leading lines that took me towards the door to the left is the standing version, the right the seated. This was harder to do as getting the underside of the box on the wall was difficult as were all the leading lines and these were meant to be quickly sketched so there wasnt time to measure the lines to the horizen. This one held some good shapes.


Another change of area and this is my least pleasing area.



This is a radiator with various towels hanging on it and really didnt hold any interest at all. There was a slight difference with the standing/left sketch, to the sitting in that I had more ceiling within my view but it really wasnt the best area within my 45 degree turns.

I think the sketch which showed the most interest was one of the fire, however if I repeat this drawing in the future I will draw a little to the left in order to get the angle of the adjoining wall in. I think this area was the most interesting. It was also the most challenging as there are various items giving good positive and negative shapes and tonal variations.


Part 2 Research Point 4 Dutch Realist Genre Painting

With the decline of religious painting and prosperity allowing the middle classes the affluence to furnish their properties with paintings it brought about a whole new era of work. Paintings of Portraits, Still Life, Landscapes and Genre Painting were for sale, Genre Painting was a depiction of everyday life. This research was about taking a look at two or three paintings that appeal to me and study the intentions of the artist, look at how the painter drew the viewer into the experience of the occupants of the room. Well one of my choices The Courtyard of a House by Pieter de Hooch wasn’t strictly a room but it still told a story. My second choice was by Johannes Vermeer The Love Letter.

After studying the paintings and doing some research I realised these like the Early Still Life painting were not just random affairs. Careful placement of items, geometric shapes and a story for the viewer were carefully planned and executed.

Johannes Vermeer The Love Letter tells the story of the love of a couple who are apart, the letter being from her love.  I first chose this as one of my paintings because I like the secret look we are getting of a private moment.  We are viewing the scene from a dimly lit room, a clever way of making the viewer look beyond the darkness into the lit area. For our convenience, the curtain is held back allowing us a peek of a beautiful private moment. To emphasize the depth of field the eye follows the geometric tiles on the floor. I did wonder at the subtle nature of the painting and its reference to the letter being a love letter, but took the title of the painting for granted. It was only after research I learnt about the symbolistic nature of items included in the scene which tell a story rather like the Still Life Paintings I studied earlier.

First the lady has a musical instrument on her lap this was known as a symbol of love, then the story continues, paintings were often used within paintings and carried a meaning. The paintings behind the women show a ship on a rough sea and a lone figure. The sea was used as the symbol of love and passion the ship being the lover.  I have read several meanings associated with the lone figure but there is an absence of her lover and I think, to me it shows a love that maybe a secret one, where there can only be stolen moments. Maybe a love of a man she can’t have. The slippers and brush are said to be symbols of a love that is not blessed by marriage, though once again there are variations on the meaning. All in all it makes me feel the lady is in love with a man she can’t have.

Vermeer Love Letter

The second painting The Courtyard of a House in Delft by Pieter de Hooch I like not for the story it tells but for the way in which he dealt with the space and depth of field, it was said he used pins and string to create the different depth of field. Looking at the courtyard we see a difference in affluence the left side we see a more affluent scene and we feel a need to peek through the house to a street beyond. This is cleverly done by using light and angles, inside the muted light accents the leading angles of the floor and the doorways which all travel to an arch and beyond to the bright street behind. To the right of the picture we have an area which again has been given great depth with the leading lines within the brickwork, wooden bunker and walls. I love this side of the courtyard with the plant growing out of a bed and the broom laying on the floor giving interest to the fore of the picture. There is just enough information to make the mind want to tell a story. The painting shows how he has use the angles of the scene to show depth of field. I love this less aesthetic scene to the courtyard, showing a little of the life behind the facia often seen within the home, it encourages the imagination to construct a story.

As we progress through time there is no doubt painting has had its boundaries pushed and artists don’t just stop at the visual but also the tactile works of art. We will find the application of paint is used in numerous ways. The story told in each painting is cleverly portrayed giving just enough information to interest the viewer and like the cliff hangers in modern day tv, there is enough about the story untold to spark our interest and imagination showing how the occupants in the pictures story unfolds.

courtyard in delft


18th Century

Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin and the La Fontaine I chose this one for its similarity to the above paintings. I believe he was influence by Vermeer. The depth to the picture was shown not only by clever use of light but also with the tiled flooring leading to an open door behind. The open door makes us want to look beyond the main focus of the picture to the view behind  where we see another woman and a young child. How intriguing what is the story.

la fontaine (the water cistern)

19th Centuary

Sir David Wilkie – The Blind Fiddler 1806 – is my painter of choice for the 19th Century his is a little different in there are no leading lines in the fore, but we have objects placed before the subjects who are the centre of the painting. It’s a lovely scene with each of the listeners showing their different characters bathed in light looking like the centre of the stage. The enormous number of objects within this picture could be overwhelming, but they are so subtle in their portrayal, they remain unobtrusive. The detail is amazing and what looks like a chalked animal done by a child is shown on the door of the cupboard. In this picture, we can see the clever shaft of light showing through the doorway to the rear giving the painting depth. It is such a cleverly done painting and the pleasure or displeasure shows within the faces and actions. It again tells a story but doesn’t answer the questions.  The elderly couple look as if the music is intruding on some deep thoughts, worry, tiredness, memories of the past who knows. A snippet of a story a nugget to wet the appetite enough to draw in the viewer and spark the imagination. This out of all the pictures is my favourite.

The Blind Fiddler 1806 by Sir David Wilkie 1785-1841

20th Centuary

David Hockney -Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy 1970- and his very noticeable style shows even with the absence of content, depth of field can be shown by the placement of items within the picture. The table and contents are the only lead into the centre of the picture, the people and cat being the main subjects, beyond the people the window and balcony lead to the outside. Without the door surround reflecting the outdoor light, this picture would have been in danger of looking very flat.  Again we see the light and a window/door are being used to show the depth.



21st Centuary

Susan Ryder- Karen Hambro – is my choice here, her paintings are very impressionistic, bright and full of colour. There within the painting is a glimpse of a special moment and although I don’t know of any symbols to tell the story, we feel from the posture and mood of the lady painted, this is a special day. As with earlier paintings the light is used to create depth within the room, furniture leading the eye towards a door which again  gives great depth to the picture.

susan ryder


Looking at Genre through time we may see a difference in paint application and method, but the basics are to create a fore, middle and background to the picture creating depth. It can be done by introducing leading lines, or placing the main object between the fore detail and the rear. Doors give great depth within the pictures and intrigue, light also is a major influence on giving depth and focal point. Put together they draw the viewer into the picture by walking the eye through the scene engaging them within the story that the painter is telling.


(Unknown, 2011)

(Unknown, 2011) (Unknown, Unknown)

(Levendig, 2011)

(Gallery, 2017)

(TATE, 2016)