Term 3

For our last term as level 4 students we had our digital brief to complete, and since the beginning of the project have been going to workshops with Steve and Ray. I already had a basic knowledge of photoshop, however had never worked with illustrator before so was interesting getting to grips with using it.

Since the beginning of this project I’ve realised how important these programmes are to designers, especially when it comes to creating prints. The main focus of the brief was life drawing and florals, and having only been to one life drawing session due to limited spaces I’ve spent the rest of the time concentrating on my floral designs. The majority of my designs were either created from quick drawings or drawings in my sketchbook.

The beginning of the brief started off quite difficult as I struggled with being introduced to illustrator, however, once I came to terms with it, I began enjoying using it more and more, and now, at the end of the term, have found something that I really enjoy doing, so all in all have come away with a great new skill.


week 3 drawing workshop

The whole point of this session was to experiment with techniques that we’ve never used before within different time limits. We were sent out to collect different man made and natural objects that we found on site so the main things we managed to find were leaves, flowers, twigs, rusty nails, bits of concrete and berries. The first task was to do a continuous line drawing within 5 minutes, we were then instructed to draw for another minute in a different material so I switched from pen to pencil.

We were then instructed to complete a drawing using our left hand [or right if you’re left handed] within 4 minutes. Although my drawing wasn’t exactly accurate this is a handy way of learning how to properly observe the object you’re trying to draw, as you need to concentrate more on your lines and the lines within the object so it’s definitely a useful technique. We also had to complete another continuous line, a blind contour and finally using an anchored elbow which was very restrictive but allowed us to create some effective lines. We then had an hour to do two drawings using whatever techniques we wanted to, where I chose to do a blind contour and a continuous line. Although I’ve never really experimented using many of these techniques in the past,   I’d definitely advise people to use them in the future as ways of learning how to observe your objects in closer detail.

4 main drawing tasks

Another trip, another museum. This time, we were given four specific drawing tasks that involved drawing different objects within the National Museum in Cardiff.

1. Select a 3D, realistic, posed human, figurative sculpture – Undertake this exercise as a blind contour drawing

I can’t say I’m disappointed with the outcome of this task, although I did a series of these drawings this was the one that I was most satisfied with. Although this was a blind contour drawing, I’ve done tasks like this in the past, so it’s not something that’s exactly out of my comfort zone. Although the drawing isn’t perfect, personally I like the imperfections within it.

2. A composition that contains lots of ellipses – Draw the forms as you see them, not as you know them to be. Use line, shading and textual surface qualities.

For this task I chose a series of paintings that contained elipses. However, I did what most people probably wouldn’t have done and went for the elipses that weren’t quite perfect. From what the tasks required I think my drawings were fine, I’m not exactly keen on them but I cant quite decide why, however, the fact that some artists chose to put imperfections within their work I think adds a lot of originality to their style of drawings.

3. A chair that is either on display or is a piece provided for the public to use – Construct the drawing using negative spaces only

I’m not happy with the drawing that I produced for this task, safe to say I have a lot more practising to do with negative spaces.

And finally:

4. A painting or drawing on display that depicts a scene, either from nature or man-made – Make a tonal pencil drawing of this image, concentrating on perspective, depth, foreground and background.

Out of all of the pieces I’ve complete for these tasks I’m most pleased with this one, My  feelings about using pencils are definitely changing. It’s funny really, I’ve missed drawing landscapes and although I can’t necessarily do so all the time, there’s times like this when I can go back to doing what I’m most comfortable with.

A bit of change never hurt anyone..

A key part of our course is to go out to different places to do research. Even if it just means museums, different buildings or even the beach.

The first trip of many was to St Fagans the National History museum on the 29th of September. Originally the date was supposed to be the 27th however due to illness I decided to postpone it for a couple of days and go on my own. The task was to create a series of drawings using a variety of mediums and also using different time scales. I think working with a variety of time scales is a very interesting way to work because it allows you to realise how quickly you work, and even if you work on a smaller time limit, and even if you don’t complete the drawing, sometimes they can look very effective. It’s definitely something I’d do in the future as a way of producing drawings quickly and effectively.

Although I used a lot of pen in this particular series of drawings, I chose to use pencil for a few to create a certain atmosphere to the drawing. Pencil is far from my favourite media to use as drawing materials however on some occasions it’s been proven to be a winner and I’ve no doubt I’ll begin to use pencils more often.

I’m Bethan Davies, a first year Textiles student in Cardiff Metropolitan University. The main purpose for writing this blog is to present my ideas, work and research in digital form thereby enabling others to follow my work throughout the next 3 years of my studies. Any work that I create, whether I believe it to be successful or not, will be documented here as a reference to my development with particular skills. Having already done a foundation course I have a basic knowledge of textiles as it is and am looking forward to furthering my skills and sharing my experience.


Bethan x