Project 4 – The human form

Aim: Drawing the human figure allow you to develop skills in observing underlying structure- the engineering of the figure- combined with the natural grace and flow of an organic form. The object of this exercise is to create a drawing which leads the eye of the viewer into the overlapping twists and turns of the limbs. Use your judgment to make the most powerful statement you can.

Method: Make a drawing of two combined body parts. This might be two feet crossed over, folded arms or a hand resting on a waist. Look at the curves and the rhytms set up by those curves. Look at the muscles and bones under skin and the tension and evergy they give. Make a drawing which has a curving or sinuous composition using parts of the human figure. If necessary, consider lighting the limbs with an Anglepoise lamp or similar to give yourself more dramatic tones in the manner of chiaroscuro. Don’t leave the limbs to taper off into nothing, even if that means cropping. Don’t be more tentative because you’re working from the figure; redraw and correct vigorously to achieve the most accurate drawing you can.

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Project  4 – Reflection on The human form

Drawing human main forms are easier and more spontaneous. Focusing on details of parts, capturing muscles, bones  and specially hands and feet has showed to be a bit difficult for me. I went for a live model class for this project but I couldn’t achieve the aim for this project. When I tried sketching on my own hand and feet the results seemed to be more accurate. It is still quite stiff but still more spontaneous than technical and proportional. The human form parts takes endless sketching and practising. I don’t think my drawings direct the viewer’s gaze to specific parts but it is more about the mark making of looking at the subject and sketching. I like one of the sketching from my sketch book where I added a background. It is spontaneous and yet more realistic and contains a certain energy in it. 

Contextual Focus Point : Prunella Clough Tate Archive

Prunella Clough ( 1919-1999) was a British artist. She is known mostly for her paintings of Industrial landscapes , though she also made prints and created assemblages of collected objects. 

Her career began in the 1940’ with her Industrial Landscapes but her paintings became more abstract by the 1960’- 1970’. She was a highly influential teacher and artist to the post war generation. 

Prunella Clough compositions consists in a mild or neutral colour palette, texture – achieved with thick impasto , found objects and juxtaposed shapes and forms. Her art was linked to Neo -Romanticism but it was also influenced by Cubism and European abstraction. Her choice of unusual subjects her  perception of them, resulted in intriguing and contextual art pieces.

“ I prefer to look at the urban or industrial scene or any unconsidered piece of ground” Prunella Clough – Interview in 1982 for Warwick Arts Trust .

For instance, Clough has made a number of abstract works that reference fragments of urban detritus and rubbish that she found on the streets of London such as plastic bags and discarded gloves, and oil stains. 

In resume, Clough’s work was explored and experimented using a variety of tools and materials  to apply paint on canvas creating a number of visual effects and layers using  sandpaper, wire wool, roller, wall paper scrapers and pieces of wire mesh. She not only depicted her Landscapes through paintings but used tools and materials that were part of the subject’s matter as medium. Her work presents a fair amount of studying, investigation and her perception and close observation to achieve balanced and engaging images. In the contextual point of view, Clough works demonstrates concerns with industrial waste, mass production of items connected to Capitalism. Clough’s approach to commodities  evokes Karl Marx’s description of it in volume one of Capital (1867) and her paintings participate in a system of wastage and renewal. 


Waterweed 6 (1988) by Prunella Clough 


Urban Detail (1958) by Prunella Clough 


Project 3- Changing the scale

Aim: The focus of this project is to explode notions of scale and experiment with an extreme change of scale to achieve a powerful drawing which suggests monumental landscape or architecture.

Method: Find a handful of small objects, e.g pebbles, shells, buttons, toys. Cluster these objects together and focus in on a cropped area, experiment with using a frame for this. Make large drawing which gives the impression of a landscape view or architerctural detail. suing these objects as source material.

Sketch book samples:

Final work for Project 3 : 


Project 3 – Reflection on  Changing the scale 

I honestly struggled a bit with this project. I gathered the small objects I found but it was hard to put them together into a landscape. I was not sure if I had to represent the objects exactly as they are or just use them to create my own imaginary landscape. In the end, after having sketched the objects separately, I put together a landscape of a sort of museum or amusement complex. I used box, cotton buds, sewing thread bobbin, cotton balls, a small toy, other small objects found , some small boxes and a small toy. I didn’t feel a natural urge to work with the objects, I didn’t know what to do with them . I still enjoy developing composition but jumping from composition in Part 1, to work with space in Part 2, also working on my parallel project at the same time made me feel a bit lost and confused to get my mind around these small objects, draw in big scale and transform them into a landscape. It was visually and mentally very tiring. I did not enjoy this project and I think it shows in the result. 

Project 2- Using space

Aim: Look at the work of Elizabeth Blackadder and build works from still life.

Method: For your own still life, pin up coloured fabric or card onto a wall or door. Suspend or pin light, brightly coloured objects onto the fabric. Gift bafs or paper lanterns work well. Enjoy the juxtaposition on bright colours and details. Make several drawings in colour, selection areas and elements and refining to explore the composition. Try bringing some lines or shapes in from the edges; lay a sheet of paper behind the one you’re working on so that you can befin drawing off tahe page and enter the drawing from the side.

Sketch book samples:

Final pieces for project 2: 

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Project 2 : reflection – Using space

It was very inspiring to see the work of Elizabeth Blackladder. I like Matisse and both of them have this intimate relationship with the subject and the exploration of bright colours. Matisse brings me joy and energy and Blackadder’s work is as colourful but very calm and sentimental. I particularly like the lack of background in many of her compositions. My drawings started as studying the objects I had pinned up on a board, drawing and colouring them carefully. I used watercolour, pastel pencils and acrylic,  but as I progressed it became more important the space rather than the objects. I sketched a few juxtaposition combinations I wanted for this project and without even thinking much about it, I had the feeling of cutting and pasting the shapes. It might be the inspiration of looking at Matisse’s cut up patterns, I don’t know.  I had the fully object shape cut and out of the paper edges before trimming it to fit the paper boarders.  It helped to accommodate what I want in the page and it shows what I wanted to show for the final piece in a framed manner. As I progressed, space became more important in my compositions. I want it simple, beautiful, colourful and calm. 

The difference and similarities  between Elizabeth Blackadder and Henry Matisse

Henry Matisse was a  French artist born in 1869. Matisse initiated an was the leader of Fauvism movement. His art was influenced by Paul Cezanne, Gaugin, Van Gough, Picasso and Paul Signac. Henry Matisse is know by his use of bright colours and although he painted started his career doing landscapes and still life, human figure became his central interest. After he became ill he start creating art work with big cut up pieces of colourful paper forming patterns and human figures. He was also interested and other cultures arts, specially Japanese. 


Goldfish – 1911 by Matisse


Chocolate Pot – 1900 by Matisse

Elizabeth Blackadder is a Scottish artist born in 1931. Her mediums are painting, etching and screen printing. She travelled extensively for art interest purposes and became very found of Japanese objects and art. When Elizabeth travelled to France she discovered Henry Matisse who she is highly influenced by. Her paintings central ideas are still life

; particularly flowers and cats. Her compositions can be of loose elements and no background, and spatial arrangements in 2D shapes without shadows. 


Pink Kimono by Elizabeth Blackadder


Still life by Elizabeth Blackadder

Henry matisse and Elizabeth Blackadder similarities :

  • Interest in Japanese art
  • Use of vibrant colour and use of space
  • Still life paintings with a variety of objects and patterns
  • Painting and printmaking 

Henry Matisse and Elizabeth Blackadder differences :

  • Matisse was influenced by Cezanne, Gaugin, Van Gough and Paul Signac and Blackladder was highly influenced by Matisse. 
  • Although Matisse painted still life, his central interest became human figure. Blackladder central interest is still life, particurlarly cats and flowers.
  • Matisse use of colour is more energetic and Blackladder although using vibrant colours, maintain a certain tranquility.
  • Matisse paintings backgrounds details and Blackladder strong feature in her paintings is the loose elements, spatial arrangements with simple or without background 

Matisse was also a sculptor and worked with collage and Blackladder doesn’t work with sculptures and collage 

The image below is an attempt in  response to Matisse’s work  sophisticated use of space and pattern.


A La Matisse still life – acrylic on A3 size paper


Project 1-Observational drawing

Method: Find an inconspicuous are of a room or small area outdoors where several elements are juxtaposed. Take photos and make sketches of cropped details. Make several drawings, playing with the composition of the elements. Allow interesting features to develop; extend lines, repeat motifs, allow forms to come together in unusal ways. Be as playful as possible with pattern, texture, form, etc. Whilst still being sensitive to what you are looking at. As you progress you may find that parts of the subject which feature large in reality disappear completely in your drawing. while incidental patterns of shapes develop their own status.

Sketch book samples: 

Final work for Project 1 : 

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Project 1 :  Reflection  on  Observational drawing 

When it comes to observational drawing, I tend to pay attention in details, and I either have very energetic drawings or methodic ones where I worry about describing small details in realistic ways. It exhausting at times and the drawings seems a bit static and lifeless. I am tried to capture the overall feeling in this project. I started with very careful, studying the subject shapes and details but I think my last two drawings were what I wanted to achieve: simple, creative and more expressive. These two drawing are of my well everyday used ‘wok’ and a frying pan. I wanted to find out a way to describe the spiral texture at the Botton of each item. I chose Chinese ink and printed the texture on the paper. The cups and bowl I use baking paper ( I wanted to work with things I use in my kitchen daily). The second drawing for instance, I use some aluminium foil to describe the Botton of the wok. From the first couple drawing of the dish rack and my cropped drawing of my chopping board and trays, the last two ones became more abstract and expressive. I try to make a good use of space, leaving areas undone and no background . Before deciding for these items, I sketched areas in my home such a shelf with couple pairs of shoes, my couch, a chair, a counter corner in my bedroom but the kitchen is my favourite space. My relationship with my kitchen utensils, food and environment is more than what I have with people these days. I am jobless and I enjoy the intimacy of my home. I like to cook, I like to watch food when I am stirring , boiling, frying or steaming… I like the satisfaction of seeing my dish rack full of clean dishes rather than the sink full of dirty ones. I like the shape of pots, mugs, bowls and some other utensils. Home is the most known subject I know. I enjoyed this project and it has brought me some inspiration to decide what I will be doing for my ‘ Parallel project’ after discussing with my tutor.