Monday, 18 November 2013


Here are some initial sketches for ideas for my next module. We have to create a series of images that are in sequence. My idea is to have the building fall apart and be taken over by plants and animals as the series goes on. I haven't yet decided how many images there will be, but I would like to do at least 5, starting with this one which will be at night, with the fire lighting the room, then one for each seasons with a distinct colour palette for each one.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Putting it all together

So in the last 6 weeks I have drawn people, places, people in places, line drawings and tonal drawings. These are the last few pictures from this module, trying to use everything I have learnt so far. 

Interesting Objects

Interesting places

People in places

It's been pointed out that I draw a lot I floating figures, so I made a real effort to try to draw people in their surroundings, even if it was just finishing the chair they are sitting in.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Not looking

The final challenge I set myself today was to try drawing people, only looking at them, not at the paper. They're not the most beautiful drawings, but they are mostly recognisable as human, so that will do for now!

Fitzwilliam museum

I spent all day today in the Fitzwilliam museum. I wanted to try to capture my theme of curious people and curious objects. I overheard someone saying that they often had groups coming in for talks in the mornings, so I made sure I was there, pencil in hand when the museum opened.
After a while the groups all separated, to wander around the museum, so I drew a few of the rooms and added people as they appeared.
After all that, I needed a tea break, but couldn't resist drawing these two old ladies!

Tonal drawings

We had another tutor on Tuesday, author and illustrator Alexis Deacon and he suggested I try doing some more tonal drawings, starting with the shadow areas and working outwards, until an outline appeared. I drew this guy in the library because he was working at a computer and stayed there for quite a while!
It was a really weird way of working, not having an outline to begin with, but I think it worked ok (apart from his face! I think I needed a sharper point on my pencil!)
I spent the afternoon in the market, trying out this new technique. Unfortunately, people there did not stay still and I found that I just couldn't get them down on perp quickly enough.
So I went to the Fitzwilliam museum. And three hours later...
I feel a bit bad that the horse doesn't have proper legs, but I was so hungry by that point, I had to leave!
That evening I dug out my pot of stag beetle pieces (I knew they'd come in handy!) and drew some of them too!


We had a lecture yesterday and I had some free time before it started so I drew some of the people hanging around in the student common room. I think some of them spotted me, but they didn't seem to mind too much!

After our lecture, a few of us went to the public library to draw people. We were all desperate to draw a little (maybe one year old) girl who was having the time of her life throwing a the books on the floor and climbing on the book train in the children's section, but she would not stay still!!

Capturing tourists

It was a lovely sunny day on Sunday so I thought I'd make the most of the crowds of tourists around King's college, unfortunately though, they weren't very cooperative. I had hoped they would stand still and admire the architecture so I could draw them, but all they seemed to want to do is get a good photo, then now onto the next tourist spot. Very frustrating. I managed to get a few really quick sketches done, but I literally had only a few seconds to do each one, so they are not brilliant! I spoke to one of the tutors, Pam on Friday and she said I should try drawing with a single, confident line, rather than a series of sketchy lines until I got it right, so I tried to do that too.

I'm not sure what this guy was doing, he just sat, straddling the wall for a few minutes, so I thought I should draw him and his lovely hat!

The balcony in the museum of archaeology and anthropology is a good place to draw people because you can watch them without them realising... Creepy!!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

London day

Last week I went to London to start on my observational drawings. I tried drawing some people on the train and tubes on the way there, but found that quite tricky! Here are some that I don't think we're too terrible! 
I spent a few hours wandering around London and went to a few exhibitions, where I found more people to draw.
Then I went to the natural history museum and had a go at drawing with a brush pen, which I've never used before, but I quite enjoyed how it feels!

Observation and experiment

Our first project "observation and experiment" is all about drawing. We each have to pick a theme and do as much drawing from life as we can squeeze in to six weeks! My project is going to be titled "curiouser and curiouser". This came about by me wanting to improve my people drawing skills and thinking how lucky I was to be in Cambridge where there are lots of tourists who tend to stand still whilst looking at the landmarks! This developed into an idea to draw lost people, then to draw lost objects. When I started to think about the practicalities of this idea I realised I needed to find things to draw indoors as it will be getting cold soon! So instead of only drawing lost objects, I decided to draw things that are out of their natural environment, for example ancient objects in museums, juxtaposed against their modern cases and surroundings. I finally came up with the title "curiouser and curiouser" as I thought the perfect way to combine all of my ideas was to draw curious objects and curious people. 

First Days

The first two days of our course were entirely taken up by individual presentations done by each member of the class. Although doing my presentation was quite a terrifying experience, it was really interesting seeing everyone else's work an hearing about where they had come from and what they hope to achieve on the course. There are people from all over the world and all different backgrounds, some people having studied illustration before and others having never having studied any kind of art at all. And everything in between, from painters and graphic designers to textile designers and animators. I'm really interested to see how everyone adapts their work to fit the children's book illustration theme.
One of our tutors is author and illustrator Alexis Deacon and he drew each one of us during our presentations!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Freshers Week

Next week I will be starting my MA in children's book illustration at Anglia Ruskin, so I have spent this week having a go at all sorts of activities as part of freshers week. When I did my BA we didn't have a proper students union, so I am making the most of all the events this time around.
On Monday I joined the adventure sports society, and did some climbing with them, then, possibly unwisely, had a go at ballet in the same day. I have never done ballet before and I really enjoyed it, but my legs still haven't quite recovered.
On Tuesday there was punting, which should be compulsory to try at least once if you're studying in Cambridge. I think I might have done better if I hadn't been climbing the day before, those wooden poles are HEAVY!
We had our course introduction course on Wednesday so I met some more lovely people that I will be studying with for the next year and a half, and a couple of us went on a tour of the city with the Harry Potter society, where we went in the actual sweet shop that inspired Honeydukes. (I know, how exciting!)
One of the great things about freshers week is that everyone seems to be giving out free food! On Wednesday night we went to an event at a new Turkish restaurant, where we were brought plate after plate of delicious food, and on Thursday there was a free barbecue, which was definitely needed before going to a yoga session.
The freshers fair was on Friday, so I officially joined the Harry Potter and yoga societies, and enjoyed a lot of free pizza and cake!
I have a feeling I will be working ridiculously hard for the next 18 months,so it was good to have a week of fun and settling in before we start.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Woburn safari

Yesterday Nick took me to Woburn safari park. Here are some of the better photos.