Category Archives: Project 3: People in context

Exercise 2: Telling a story

During working on this piece it went on a real journey. I automatically wanted to take it through the subject of dance. I am a big fan of contemporary dance and from a single position frozen in time I am taken on such a journey. I wanted to try and undertake this through a piece of work. I had found quite dramatic silhouettes on top of dramatic passionate colours. What I wanted to achieve wasn’t fully translated through this, so I went back to an earlier sketch of a magazine cut out and took it further in quite an abstract way with soft pastels. I am really pleased with the results of the second piece. Although it seems quite basic, for me it was more emotional and told the story that I wanted it to too.

Examples of my preliminary sketches and studies:

part 3 proj 3 ex 2 002 part 3 proj 3 ex 2 001

DSC_0149 Soft pastels on paper A4 (My final piece)


Above is my original silhouette acrylic painting that I really didn’t like, however learnt a lot from doing. When I have seen red and blue in other dance paintings, the colours were drastic and emotion packed. I don’t feel that this was successfully achieved in this case. The sillhoette was something that I felt expressed what I wanted which is why I took it further with my soft pastel piece. However I did choose a different position from an earlier sketch.

I could of took this piece down many routes and I am really surprised with the direction that I ended up going in and enjoying the results of. I am excited by how much more emotion I am expressing through what I am creating.

I have learnt just how important experimenting is especially through this exercise. Also in order to achieve what I want to say, realism isn’t always key.


Exercise 1: A figure in an interior

I surprised myself with the direction that I decided to go with. I originally planned to have my subject position on a seat or sofa. However after experimenting with sketches I decided to try something a little different. I positioned the subject in the kitchen in an attempt to include a deeper linear perspective.

After working on initial sketches, I really enjoyed using quite basic shapes for the human figure. Working then in acrylic I wasn’t liking the results. I then progressed to complete another piece using soft pastels and felt more comfortable using this medium. Overall this wasn’t my favourite piece however, I learnt a lot from undertaking it.

part 3 proj 3 ex 1 001part 3 proj 3 ex 1 002

I experimented with positioning, clothes and props until I was happy. The mood shifted from an original sadness to quite a happy daydreaming expression. This made me realise how subtle changes can impact a piece entirely.

One technical difficulty that I have come across is when I encounter a setting that isn’t aesthetically pleasing when translated through a painting in terms of the colours. Therefore having to adjust them to my specification.

My original painting (A4 acrylic on paper):


My second attempt using soft pastels, again on A4:


I included quite an extended arm and really like the results. I wasn’t aiming to be overly realistic with these pieces, I wanted to experiment with ways of exploring the human figures shapes and how to manipulate them.

Another piece from my sketchbook that I feel fits the criteria for this piece was as follows:


Even though the bright colours are strong, I feel that they complement each other and bring everything together. The linear perspective is quite natural and contributes to what is happening in order to tell the story of the piece. Blocking out the negative parts with colour worked well to bring depth.

I went back to this again using watercolour with an original sketch: