Art, reviews and thoughts from a young artist in Plymouth, UK.

Posts tagged ‘Plymouth College of Art’

Illustration at PCA Summer Show #BreakingThrough17

Last week I went to have an in depth look around the BA (Hons) Illustration rooms at the PCA Summer Show.  I have written previously about the BA (Hons) Game Arts exhibition and the BA (Hons) Animation exhibition (click the links for my posts).

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Sophie Clark – Sensory Monsters

Though Sophie Clark‘s main work is centred around illustration (and some pattern designs) the project that she has been working on and has displayed at the Show includes these cute, fluffy, hand made monster toys.  The monsters come from the children’s book she has been working on, There are Monsters in My Head.  The ears of the cuddly monsters crinkle and the large one has a squeaker and a rattle.  My little sister (who is nearly three) really loved these toys and was fascinated with them.

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Jake Cutler – King Arthur Narrative Concept Art

Jake Cutler‘s concept art on the story of King Arthur makes me feel like the environments he has illustrated are cold and mysterious.  My favourite image is the illustration on the top left.  I love the way the distant cliffs and mountains are covered in mist but you can still see there is a ravine down the middle..  What could be in there?

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Nathaniel J. Hall – Sunshine

I talked to Nathaniel J. Hall while at the college about his artwork and about his experience on the course.  He mentioned that an animation he created (also on display) was inspired by his “thoughts and feelings about coming to Plymouth” and pointed out that the animation starts off with negative words and illustrations but gradually becomes happier and more positive.  He also told me that before enrolling in the Illustration course, Nathaniel visited and looked around a previous Summer Show at PCA and was inspired by what he saw.  His artwork is normally monochromatic, and Sunshine is one of three screenprints on display inspired by his favourite films.  I love how this one is dramatic, like an explosion.

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Anita Yip – The Guardian’s Contract

 

Anita Yip‘s work is inspired by anime and manga, and she incorporates lots of geometric shapes into the backgrounds and characters that she illustrates.  A lot of her characters also have animal traits or features, for example this character is wolf-like.  Anita also has on display prints covered in tiny hieroglyphic symbols, and her zine Meep! which tells a funny and endearing glimpse of her life.

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Joe Mouzourus – Reel Women

Joe Mouzourus was also available to speak to when I visited.  Joe said he has “always wanted to be an artist since secondary school and that with illustration, “you can go in any direction”.  Joe has displayed a collection of posters of films with strong female leads, including this one of Rey from Star Wars VII.  I really like the dry brush style background and in the foreground it looks like he’s used pencils to create a detailed, shaded sketch which really stands out.

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Nicola Owen – My Visit to Grandma

Nicola Owen‘s work has cute and simple lineart, colouring and shading.  This display contains pages from her comic My Visit To Grandma.  The artwork is adorable but the story is really sad and thought provoking.  Nicola also has some minizines/comics on display and her overlapping cat pattern is clever and humorous.

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Cosmo Lloyd – Uprooting/Dragon Slaying Character Designs

Cosmo Lloyd‘s work is inspired by medieval and fantasy themes, and her work centres a lot around character design and comic art.  She is the author of a webcomic called Uprooting, which is about “self worth and family issues with a sprinkle of medieval” and a printed preview of Uprooting is on display at the Show.  She uses lots of colours in her work, and creates very detailed and well developed character concepts.

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Briony Difford – Asian Folktales

Briony Difford specialises in illustrating book covers, and her work is inspired by Asian folktales.  Her illustrations are beautiful and detailed, yet she keeps her colouring simple by using separate individual shades, and leaving out any highlights or shadows.

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Stephanie Parnell – Legs Occult: Dark Rituals

Stephanie Parnell made this artwork for a small vinyl record sleeve (also on display was a poster version of the same piece).  I find Legs Occult: Dark Rituals creepy and dark but also beautiful.

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Amber-Louise Crawford – Untitled

Amber-Louise Crawford’s creature illustrations are full of life.  She combines simple, sketchy lineart with heavily shaded and blended colouring.  This creature in the photo above looks like a forest spirit.

There are so many artists I haven’t covered in this post who had work on display, but today is the final day of the exhibition and I wanted to show how brilliant the work on display is so that if you’re interested in the Summer Show, you can take this last chance to check it out for yourself!  I will most likely write a second post about the Illustration show later covering some of the things I missed here, so come back later to look for that.

 

Animation at PCA Summer Show #BreakingThrough17

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PCA BA (Hons) Animation – Poster

This is my second post from the PCA Summer Show #BreakingThrough17 and is about the work on the display in the Animation room.  My previous post was about the work in the Game Arts room.

**I am sorry about my bad quality photos but it is hard to take pictures in the Animation room as there is not much light so that visitors can watch the films!  And I only have my phone camera so..**

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Still from Migaloo by Sophie Oliver

 

BA (Hons) Animation

When I visited the Animation room I was lucky to speak with graduating students Tim Howe and Bram Whitford.  They explained to me that the first year of the degree course was quite experimental, in the second year they started to specialise and took part in a big project with the other Animation students, and in the third year they specialised further and worked on their final projects.  Tim said that students can “start from zero on this course and develop their skills” and Bram explained that students are “encouraged to experiment on this course and explore their strengths”.

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Still from Jerome by Time Howe

They both said that students are able to practice at different roles to see what suits them, for example directing or creating assets, and they are encouraged to collaborate with students from other departments in the college (some collaborated with Plymouth University students too).  Bram said that the course covered a lot of different styles of animation as well as business and practical skills.  Now that they have finished their degrees, Bram plans to focus on running his own illustration company, and Tim is hoping to do more CGI animation work.

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Model from Catawampus by Jessica Mehler

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Models from Catawampus by Jessica Mehler

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Poster featuring stills from Catawampus by Jessica Mehler

Jessica Mehler is a 2D and Stop-motion animator.  For her animation Catawampus she has created beautiful models, she has even hand sewn the clothes worn by her characters.  Jessica’s attention to detail is incredible and she has put a lot of her models on display at the exhibition.  There is a whole miniature house to look inside, with tiny food and crockery and furniture, and faces featuring different expressions for her main character.  Jessica collaborated with filmmaker Julia Claxton on the design and building of the set for Catawampus.  The story is about a young girl who gets lost in the woods and finds a mysterious cabin.  The animation is of extremely high quality and was one of my favourite pieces in the Animation degree show. Watch a trailer for Catawampus here.

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Still from Goldi And Red by Larisa Cleaver

Larisa Cleaver has put a twist on the stories of Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks in her animation Goldi And Red.  The style is really cute, using paper cutouts and split pin joints.  The movement of the characters and scenery are really exaggerated like puppets and this makes the animation seem playful.  The story is fun and I think that younger girls especially would enjoy it.  Watch a trailer for Goldi And Red here.

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Still from Ava by Libby Durose

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Badges and illustrations by Libby Durose

Libby (LJ) Durose is an illustrator and animator and her work on display includes badges and her animation Ava.  In Ava a young girl is chased by bullies and thrown into a well, then is befriended by a mysterious girl, who might be a ghost?  Ava was another of my favourite pieces in the Animation degree show and I would like to see a longer project or even series of shorts based on these characters.  The style is sketchy pen in black and white, it looks influenced by anime and the shadow work is really good.  Watch a trailer for Ava here.

Libby’s badge designs are closeups of pen sketched faces and I plan to get one on my next visit to the exhibition.  She also does ink portrait commissions and her artwork is in a detailed comic style, contact her by email.

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Still from Jerome by Tim Howe

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Models from Jerome by Tim Howe

Tim Howe originally specialised in stop-motion but is now working in CGI.  His animation Jerome is a stop-motion animation about a man and his dog.  Sort of.  It has a really unexpected ending which young children might find a bit disturbing, so beware!  The story is strange but darkly humourous.  Tim’s models are made from oven hardened clay and wire and have a lot of personality.  He has also used action figures in parts of the film.  Watch Jerome here.

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Still from Migaloo by Sophie Oliver

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Still from Migaloo by Sophie Oliver

Sophie Oliver is a 2D Animator and her animation Migaloo has painted backgrounds and uses flowing fabric to create a wavy effect.  The story is based at sea, a young diver is carried away by the current and helped by a giant whale.  The style reminded me of Eric Carle’s story books and the animation was gently flowing.  I really enjoyed how the music began smooth and calm and picked up pace and became more frantic when she was swept away.  Watch Migaloo here.

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Still from animation by Bram Whitford

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Still from animation by Bram Whitford

Bram Whitford is an illustrator and animator.  His animation is about a young person who finds an old top hat in an attic which attaches itself to their head.  It seems like an origin story for a crime-fighting hero or villain.  It was a funny short animation and I like the simple but cute artwork.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find a link to it to share here!

There is more to see in the Animation room and even just seeing the models used in Catawampus and Jerome are really worth the visit.  Allow at least half an hour to watch all the animation pieces which are being shown on a loop projected on a large screen.  The PCA Summer Show  is on until the 22nd June and the Animation room is on the first floor, next door to Game Arts.  The Tavistock Place campus is also having an Open Day this Saturday 17th June so if you are interested in their Foundation, Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses you should go.

Game Arts at PCA Summer Show #BreakingThrough17

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Andrew Cole – Hero Brawl – Concept Art

Last weekend, Plymouth College of Art opened their main campus to the public for a huge exhibition of work by their students.  The college holds a Summer Show every year to show work from the students who are graduating that year.  I try to go and see as much of the Show as I can because it is great to meet the artists and talk to them about their work, to learn about what the courses are like, and to see so many different styles and forms of artwork.  I will be trying to cover as much of this year’s Show #BreakingThrough17 as possible this year but as there is so much I will be doing it across different blogposts.  This one is about the Game Arts room on the first floor.

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Sarah Damo – Wonder Seekers – Artbook and 3D printed robot

BA (Hons) Game Arts

The projects on display range from interactive VR prototype games to character design work and projects with more focus on story development.  I wore a VR headset and experienced being in a virtual spaceship as it flew around a space station and dodged meteorites as the creator, Jake Kay, piloted it using the keyboard.  Jake’s simulation of being in space felt realistic and I could look at stars and a planet and asteroids all around me.  I felt a bit unbalanced when I took off the headset but I would like to try out more VR projects because they really can give the sense of being in a different world.

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Jake Kay – Back to the Station – Render art

Jake said his project took around four months to model and code and was inspired by other games he enjoys like Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen.  He said he had “lots of fun” on the course and he hopes to find work as an environmental artist in the future.

There are other environmental modelling projects on display in the room.  One is an interactive VR experience called House Vr by Lucy Kisielewska, where the player is able to move around with teleportation (in a similar way to Google Streetview) and pick up and throw objects like cushions and cans using handheld controllers which show up in the VR simulation as a pair of hands.

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Lucy Kisielewska – House VR – Monitor view

I also watched video of a 3-dimensional courtyard built by Amy Watson complete with houses, wagons and a well.

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Amy Watson – Unlockable Dreams – Full display

One of my favourite projects in the Game Arts room is Sarah Damo’s Wonder Seekers.  She has some beautiful concept artwork on display as well as a 3D printed model of a robot, an art book, and a video of short animated scenes.  Sarah told me that Wonder Seekers is about “the story of a girl and a parrot in a post-apocalyptic world full of marvels” and that she wanted to do something “a bit different” by creating a post-apocalyptic world that “isn’t dark”.

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Sarah Damo – Wonder Seekers – Artwork

Sarah explained that her work is inspired by many things, including Romanticism, Impressionism and 90’s cartoons.  She works using Photoshop and creates short animations with After Effects.  She showed me how she had deliberately placed a three-dimensional robot character on a two-dimensional background drawing in order to make the character stand out.

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Sarah Damo – Wonder Seekers – Full display

Not all the concepts on display are for video games.  Jack Challoner has created bright and colourful artwork for his card game design project The Art Of Restrict.  I read through his detailed explanation of his decision making and artistic process designing monsters.  He thought about real creatures in our world and incorporated some of their anatomical features into his invented creatures to make them more believable.  He has thought deeply about colour, shape, environment, movement, and behaviour.

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Jack Challoner – The Art Of Restrict – Artwork

Another project I was really impressed by was Hero Brawl by Andrew Cole who has designed characters for a “team brawler” video game.  Andrew has carefully explained every stage of his character design process in an artbook, including how he attempted to emulate the style of Norman Rockwell’s character paintings and how he has combined elements of  Steampunk, Samurai, Medieval and Nazi armour and clothing to create his character designs.

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Andrew Cole – Hero Brawl – Page from the Artbook

The artbook for Hero Brawl really showed how much work goes into character design – Andrew identified an aesthetic style that fits the concept, did lots of drawing and painting exercises using stock images to get a feel for that style, studied history for ideas and inspiration, and painted characters and costumes from all directions.  I would like to see more books like this one published regardless of whether the games are made or not as they are a really interesting insight into how the artist works and into character design.  I hope that PCA is able to keep copies of these Artbooks for their library because I would like to have a much longer look at them.

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Andrew Cole – Hero Brawl – Full display

There is lots more in the room to see but unfortunately I can’t cover everything and some of the work is interactive so it is best experienced for yourself!  You can visit the PCA Summer Show until the 22nd June and the Game Arts room is on the first floor.  The Tavistock Place campus is also having an Open Day this Saturday 17th June so if you are interested in their Foundation, Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses you should go!

 

Emerging Natural Beauty exhibition at Ocean Studios

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Today I went to the Ocean Studios gallery to see the exhibition Emerging Natural Beauty which is part of the Home Grown series of pop up exhibitions by local artists.

Alice and Bethany Antliff are sisters who are studying 3D Design Craft, specialising in ceramics and glass, at Plymouth College of Art. Both artists’ work takes inspiration from nature. From a distance Bethany’s piece Symbiotic Beauty looked like real twigs covered in blossoms and moss, but up close I could see her detailed work with porcelain and glazes wrapped around wire. It is pretty and fragile and stepping back again I thought that each branch looked like a dancing figure.

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Bethany’s Charred Bark vases are incredibly realistic and it’s hard to believe they were created and not grown. She has created ceramic bowls using the same colours and shades that seem as if they are ancient finds.

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Several of Bethany’s pieces feature mushroom shaped glass which appear to be growing out of them. I really like Bethany’s work which made me feel very calm.

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Alice’s pieces are incredibly fragile and delicate. Her Daisies Daisies Daisies collection are porcelain vases, bowls, and decorative pieces which have been ‘wallpapered’ with tiny porcelain daisies. She creates the daisies from a mould made using real flowers, then hand applies them individually so the entire piece is covered in overlapping flowers.

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Alice’s piece Destruction is inspired by deforestation. This piece made me feel sad and is a really effective statement about this issue.

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Alice has also created delicate flower-shaped jewellery and I really liked her intricate earrings and how she has displayed them.

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Renovat Moody is an African born artist also studying 3D Design Crafts, specialising in glass blowing, at PCA and is influenced by nature and their African heritage. Renovat’s The Essence of Africa vase collection have strong and bright colours and shapes and made me think of fruit and seeds.

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Renovat also has some framed pieces on display, including a copper wire piece that has been twined and threaded with beads. This piece looks like a tree covered in colourful birds.

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One of my favourite pieces on display was Renovat’s framed picture of the world where all the land is made of computer chips and circuitboard. The piece is put together so carefully and accurately, and even tiny islands are marked out. I could look at this and follow the coastlines for hours with my eyes and i’d love to see a bigger piece made the same way.

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The three artists completely filled every corner of the exhibition space and it’s amazing to consider how much work these students have created already! On display was also projected footage Behind the Scenes of their work in progress by Emma Pontin, and a film called Ink Flows by Jake Davey, Matthew Howard, Nat Goddard, Kristin Dodge, and Terry Lee Thurlow. Their films provided a relaxing soundtrack to the whole exhibition.

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Finally there were some pieces on display and up for auction to raise money for the Devon Wildlife Trust. I really liked Jane McEwen’s bowls with endearing messages stamped into them.

The new exhibition at Ocean Studios Gallery will open on Wednesday.

NatSatClub Devon Dialect Project

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My final illustration for the word “zart”.

We have been given a project at our NatSatClub to choose a word from the Devon Dialect and then illustrate it.  I made a long list of words, some of my favourites are:

Snishums : Sneezing

Flink : To sprinkle

Zummit : Something

Drumbledrone : Bumblebee (apparently this one was inspiration for Dumbledore’s name!)

I chose to illustrate the word ZART which means “daft”.  I looked up the meaning of daft and its synonyms.  They fell into two main groups, one with words like “stupid”, “idiotic”, and other not very nice words.  The other group contained “eccentric”, “absurd”, “peculiar” and “crackers”, and I thought that this group had a more fun and friendly character, and would be good to illustrate.

I thought about this group of synonyms and tried to make a list of my visual ideas.  I came up with lots including Wonka, circuses, spirals, dizziness, wonky, uneven, twist, and drunkenness.

Next I made sketches with the letters in “zart”, trying different forms of the letters and playing with the sizes and the way they came together.

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My sketches playing with the letters in ZART

At this stage I had chosen a basic shape I liked.  I drew it out bigger and tried it out as an outline and a sort of silhouette version.  I started adding extra parts, like a Mad Hatter top hat and drunken bubbles popping.  I felt that these would give an eccentric dizzy feel to the illustration.

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Working with my sketches in a bigger format.

After I had a good idea of what I wanted I tried a sketch using a thick graphite stick to help me make the letters flow better and to be more expressive.  I played with this a bit erasing and adding to it, thickening the letters, changing the way they sloped and trying out stripes.  When I was happy I copied my design out in ink using my Pentel brush pen.

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Trying my design out with a graphite stick then in ink.

I really liked my design as it was but I wanted to fill in some of the stripes with the black ink to finish it off.  I haven’t coloured it yet but I think that this piece would work really well in a purple shade with either a green or an orange as a secondary colour.  The final black and white version is at the top of this post.

It is fun learning about different words and doing this project reminded me of the Devon Words art project by Caitlin Hennessy which I saw at last year’s Weekender exhibitions and which I wrote about here.  I really enjoyed this project and will definitely be doing more lettering and illustrating with words in the future.

 

NA&DSC London Trip

On the 19th of November I went with my National Art and Design Saturday Club on a coach trip to a Welcome Day for all our groups at Central Saint Martins college and the Tate Britain gallery.

At 6am our coach was in front of the old Plymouth museum.  I found a seat next to a friend and chatted while we waited for the rest of the group.  It was my first time on a coach and it had soft seats with buttons to make them recline and red curtains in the windows.  We set off at 6:20 and me and my friends were excited but tired from being awake so early.  A lot of my group slept for the first part of the journey but after we stopped at Exeter services to stretch our legs and get some snacks almost everyone stayed awake.  We had another five hours or so of travel ahead so we talked about visits that each of us had made to London in the past and told each other funny anecdotes from our lives.  I did some sketching trying out different character faces but my lines were a bit wobbly from the movement of the coach, and I kept dropping my rubber down the side of the seat.

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Character sketches I made on the coach

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I did these sketches of Marvel characters in pencil on the coach and added the ink and watercolour later.

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This is what my pencil sketch of Quicksilver looked like before inking.  I did this one for my brother and Skyped it to him back at home.

As we travelled through London we took pictures out of the coach windows and pointed out buildings we recognized, like the Gherkin, MI6 and Big Ben.  Our coach dropped us off close to Central Saint Martins and we walked the rest of the way.  Central Saint Martins is a huge building and we noticed that the inside room was so vast that it was almost as cold as it was outside.  We were given stickers to wear to show we were from Plymouth College of Art and ‘perylene maroon’ goodie bags from Cass Art.  In my bag I had an A4 sketchbook, some pencils, a bottle of water and some snacks.  We sat down to have some lunch while our student ambassador Ben played on a piano and we waited for some of the other groups from around the country to arrive.

After lunch we looked at all the other self-portraits from the different groups and a photographer took a picture of us in front of our own portraits.  It felt amazing to have my self-portrait up in a gallery with other young artists’ work.  There was a lot of variety in the style and techniques used in the portraits I saw.  One group, from the Victoria and Albert museum, had used concertinaed paper with two portraits drawn on it so the one that you could see depended on the angle you viewed it from.  Some of these were quite creepy to look at because one side would be a regular portrait and the other side looked strange or demonic.  Other groups had worked with print, photography, pencils or collage.  My group used acrylic paint on pieces of wood and I wrote about that process in a previous blog post.

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My PCA sticker (stuck to my usual sketchbook), and my new grey sketchbook and perylene maroon bag from Cass Art

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The Plymouth group photo with our self-portraits and goodie bags, posted by @natsatclub on Twitter.  I am on the left in the front row.

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My photo of our self-portraits hung in Central Saint Martins.  Mine is the third from the left on the bottom row.

After looking around the portraits all the groups were shown into a large room for a series of talks.  We learned that even though there were hundreds of us there that day we only represented a third of the total members nationally!  Some groups were so far away they couldn’t make it together and so one family had come alone.  Those of us from Plymouth spent at least 12 hours travelling to London and back that day!  We heard from Cecilia Weckstrom who told us that when she was younger she didn’t know what she wanted to study, and got an apprenticeship with a children’s book company and learned about graphic design, and now she works for Lego and is a Trustee for the NA&DSC.  The director of the Saturday Club Trust, Sorrel Hershberg, and Jeremy Till, the Head of Central Saint Martins, both gave us information about the Saturday Arts Club and thanked the founders Sir John Sorrell and Lady Frances Sorrell.

When we came out of the room, ginormous pieces of paper were rolled out for us all to draw on and there were people holding big buckets with tons of crayons, pens and pencils for us to use.  My group didn’t have a lot of time before we got back on the coach but we sat on the floor for a short while and I drew my friend and myself.  There were a lot of cool doodles and there were tons of kids drawing each other.  After that I bought myself a big red NatSatClub hoodie and we got back on the coach for the next part of our trip.

All the groups headed to different venues around London and mine headed to the Tate Britain gallery.  We got a short tour around a few of the pieces of art on display and our tour guide and our tutor Kate encouraged us to talk about and critique what we saw.  We studied each piece for a few minutes and tried to think of single words that described how we felt or the impression we got from the artworks.  One piece that I found intriguing was Fiona Banner’s Break Point which is a huge canvas painted white with red marker pen text describing a chase scene from the movie Point Break.  The shade of red that she used and the way the text got closer together towards the bottom of the piece made me tense and it seemed very aggressive.  I haven’t seen the film, but I hope to soon so I can see what happens next!

We moved on to the Turner Prize 2016 Exhibition.  The Turner Prize is a contemporary art award given every year to a British artist chosen from four nominees.  My favourite piece on display was an installation by Michael Dean which was a pile of pennies equal to one penny less than its title, United Kingdom poverty line for two adults and two children: twenty thousand four hundred and thirty six pounds sterling as published on 1st September 2016.   Me and my friends thought it would be fun to roll around in it all.  It sounds like a lot of money but it didn’t feel like it when I saw it as a pile of pennies.  There was an enourmous gold sculpture of a butt by Anthea Hamilton called ‘Project For Door (After Gaetano Pesce)’ and people were laughing and taking silly photos near it.  I thought it was absurd in a funny way.  Visitors were invited to write their thoughts about the exhibition and pin them up outside the gallery, so we did that and then left to make the long trip home.

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My sketches of my friend on the left and myself on the right surrounded by other young artists’ contributions to the big drawing papers

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Me at home in my hoodie

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Michael Dean’s installation

On the journey home I took some more pictures of London lit up at night, and everyone was wide awake and in the back someone was playing music.  It was such an exciting day, me and my friends ended up having laughing fits for ages for no real reason.  We stopped at services to get dinner, but we panicked because we thought we had taken too long but it turned out we were back before most of the group.  We settled down eventually and it got quieter and some people fell asleep, and I carried on working in my sketchbook.  We got back to Plymouth at around 11 and I was exhausted.  The whole day was absolutely amazing and I’m really thankful to have had the opportunity to be part of it.

National Saturday Club Part 1

This post is going to cover what I did during the first half of autumn term at the National Art and Design Saturday Club at the Plymouth College of Art.  My tutor is Kate Marshall.  Kate is an artist who works in all sorts of media and enjoys experimenting with unusual materials from the sites she is researching.  Our student ambassador is Ben Lintell.  Ben is a student at PCA studying Contemporary Crafts and he creates paper and glass sculptures.

During the first half term we were working with self-portraits and figure drawing.  We started with drawing our self-portraits with paper and pencil.  I used a mirror and something I found difficult was that any small movements I made would throw me off.  I worked entirely in HB pencil because that was all I had with me that day.  I think I captured my expression pretty well but I think I could have made it more realistic if I used different pencils.

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Next we were given a square of wood each to draw another self-portrait on.  I’ve never drawn on wood before and it was hard to erase the pencil marks so I had to use less working lines than usual.  I worked from a photo of myself on my phone this time and it was slightly easier than from a mirror, because there was no movement and I could zoom in to investigate details.

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I then started painting my self-portrait on the piece of wood with acrylic paints.  Kate advised us not to use one colour for our skin as that would make it look fake, but to look closely for blues, greens and other hues.  I studied my photo and found lines, shadows and different shades of pinks, browns, greens and blues.  I mixed up the different colours on a palette and used two different brush sizes, a medium-sized flat one for covering bigger areas and a slightly smaller round brush for details.  I wasn’t able to find a very small brush for fine detail.  I don’t normally work with acrylic paints but I enjoyed testing them out.  Acrylics are opaque and not transparent like the watercolours I normally use.  I watered my paints down a little to make them easier to use and I noticed that when I used colours on top of a layer of white they were more vivid.

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Our self-portraits were put on display in Central Saint Martins in London alongside other National Saturday Club groups from around the country.  Here is a photo of all the portraits from the Plymouth College of Art group:

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We also spent a session speed-drawing each other in different poses and holding or wearing different costume items to practice figure drawing.  I did some using my 4B graphite stick and some using charcoal.  The charcoal is darker and has a more textured line whereas the graphite gave a smoother line.  I found that both allowed me to be more expressive and use bigger gestures than when I use a pencil.

I really enjoyed drawing the different poses and body shapes and found that our quick drawings sometimes didn’t even look human.  I want to do a lot more figure drawing as it will help me improve my character design and comic art. I’d also like to do some life drawing lessons but I haven’t found any classes locally that will accept students of my age yet.  I’ve signed up to an Udemy course on Anatomy for Figure Drawing (I got this discounted and there are sales quite often on Udemy) and I have been drawing poses from magazines.

Below are some of the sketches I’ve done recently from photos in my NEO magazines.  I have been doing very quick sketches of body frameworks using simple lines joined by small circles for joints, and bigger shapes for heads and body sections.  I saw this technique used to show figures in action in How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way by Stan Lee and John Buscema.  It is a good way to investigate poses and movement.  In some places I have used coloured pencil to add more details later.

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In this last picture I made up my own poses from my imagination and memory.  I feel that my skills have already begun to improve because of this exercise and the work we’ve been doing at the Saturday Club.

 

 

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