Assignment Four – line and shape (another go)


Felicity (A2) charcoal (final line and shape assignment)


Adjusted for assessment to give more weight to elbow on table and help the figure to stand out from the busy marks by adding a subtle background colour.



Having explored different drawing techniques including ink and bamboo dipping pen and quill pen, I decided to draw Felicity in charcoal, with the aid of a putty rubber to soften and break up the lines and give some texture.

I still feel this is quite a controlled drawing and it is not  as fluid and free as it might be. The pose itself is rather and defiantly upright and no matter which techniques I tried (and I tried many), I still could not bring a looseness to this picture. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to get my niece Felicity to  pose for me again so I had to work from a photo).

My exploratory drawing below was a little more free and the textural marks from the charcoal and putty rubber made more impact. I felt I had to moderate these a little when applying to the whole figure in order to avoid going over the top.

While there are faults, this is a considerably more characterful drawing than my initial picture for this assignment so I’m pleased to have given it another go. I realised that my earlier drawing was ‘out’ in some crucial places;  the relationship of the shoulder to the chin was’t quite right and the hands and feet were a little small. I’ve attempted to rectify these issues.

This has been a good learning experience and I’ve particularly enjoyed experimenting with charcoal which I now feel much more comfortable with and enthusiastic about. There are lessons for me to in terms of setting up a model, maybe a little more slouch next time.


Exploratory work 


Felicity – new explorations

In his tutor feedback Jim Unsworth suggested  I should have another go at the line and shape assignment because my first attempt was weak. I wholeheartedly agree. I had some misgivings when I submitted it.

I decided to start by exploring different ways to draw Felicity in order to create a picture that is more alive and fluid, having “designed all the life from” the original piece.

These are my initial drawings…  I decided to work with Felicity in the same seated pose, rather than start again with a different pose so that I could find out what I could achieve with some alternative techniques.



A3 charcoal drawing. While the lines are reasonably fluid, this did not feel complete. I like the way the figure is not sitting too rigidly upright, it looks more natural than some of my exploratory drawings below.


I decided to break up the lines and try to give some variety of weight s by  quickly drawing criss cross strokes across the image . I then broke these up with a putty rubber. I put back a little detail after but kept this fairly minimal. I feel this has created more visual interest; it feels better, more of the moment.













Crop of image above. As a head and shoulder charcoal portrait, I feel this works. – but that is not the brief. Interesting to explore though.


Alternative crop with the cigarette.









A2 charcoal. Although I couldn’t see it when drawing, now I cans see that the head is too upright and should be leaning forward a little.



For the fun of it A3 charcoal picture of Felicity (see left) photographed at a low angle making legs big and head small. I quite like the impact of this and it hides the defects in my drawing!













A3 ink – paper dampened with water before drawing with bamboo dipping pin, using both the nib and the side of the pen. This has created a good variety of marks, so it is an interesting experiment if not a drawing of great beauty!










A3 ink – drawn with bamboo dipping pen. A fine spray of water added later to diffuse the lines a little. Excess water encouraged to dribble across the image. Interesting effect… light and shade, smoke?












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