top of page

After last semester, I wanted to amp up my work rhythm. As such, I set myself the task of having multiple pieces on at once.

The first thing I worked on was a continuation of the work around my terrarium. I enjoy the drawing I did based off it last semester, but I wanted to a bring in colour and a variety of textures. I picked watercolour as it’s a medium I feel intuitively at ease with, yet haven’t used in a while. I also wanted to reference the Chinese landscape paintings which inspired the design of the terrarium in the first place. So a water-based medium worked best.

I spent a good while looking through my old pictures for inspiration as well. Here are some of the ones I think would make nice reference images. This was really helpful, as they were all scattered throughout my camera roll. I'll keep adding to that folder as I go along.

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

As I did last year, I wanted to give an update on my life drawing this semester. This would be a good way to put my research journal to a close for this module. In person life drawing was finally back this semester, and this was actually my first time regularly attending life drawing classes. Like portraiture, I’ve noticed it’s definitely harder in real life, since you have to deal with your eyes’ perception of depth as well width and height. Though I think that has also allowed me to trust my intuition a bit more.

I’ve been exploring a sense of softness in portraiture, inspired by the work of Gwen John. As such, I came into life drawing with that in mind.

In some cases, I think I was quite successful. In the following drawings. The softness of line conveys a delicacy I really appreciate.

In others, this was rather done through tone; I find that there’s something quite elusive about them.

Many were not so successful though. I think I definitely still have an anxiousness when it comes to life drawing that comes out through in the line quality. I really want to work on escaping that stiffness in my future work.

Lastly, I really enjoyed experimenting with colour. The softness of these pieces has inspired my oil work as well.

Overall, I feel satisfied with this semester. I struggled a lot to get past a slow start but I managed to build a rhythm in the second half. I found that attending life drawing, as well as workshops, allowed me to keep a regular practice throughout it.

I think I’ve done a good job at taking my work from last year further and I’m feeling really hopeful for next semester, now that I’ve found a better studio rhythm. I also like how I’ve been able to explore some of my other interests through my work (terrariums, pottery…).

Updated: Dec 5, 2021

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have really wanted to get into etching since last year. This was first suggested to me by my tutor at the time, Paul Harrison, who recommended I look at the Tate’s collection of etchings Turner had worked on with engravers, which greatly contributed to the popularisation of his work. Turner was one of the last artists to work so closely with engravers to reproduce his work and capture the style of his work

In that vein, I wanted to first see how I could transpose one of my paintings into an etching. This would be a way to ease my way into etching, as I would already be very familiar with the image. It’s also in response to a talk by Fraser Gray we had as part of our professional practice series at university, where he discussed different way we might consider prints of our work, so that they carry more meaning for the purchaser; for his work, he sold swatches of the paint he had used for a mural he had done below the Tay road bridge, for example. In general, I also find the process of selling an etched print far more appealing than taking a picture of my work and sending it off to a company to be printed.

I ended up picking my painting Overlooking town, Snowfall as I had taken quite a “printerly” approach, laying down masking tape and slowly removing bits of it so as to work in layers. I thought this would lend itself well to etching.

I started by etching the plate. I did this in three different layers, in order to create depth, especially on the hill in the foreground. I enjoy how methodical the etching process is. I also love how you don’t know how it’s going to turn out until you print it, so you have to let go of control a bit.

I then used aquatint to shade the hills and houses and create some more depths, as well as aluminium foil to create noise.

This process was a bit more frustrating, as I found it difficult to make out the layout among all the spray paint dots. But I love how it turned outefore selling it, there’s a few things I would like to tweak, like the intensity of the twigs in the foreground, but overall I’m really happy with the finished result.

Once I had started aquatinting that piece, I went onto work on another etching as well. I chose a picture from the same series of pictures, which was a lot more moody. So far I’ve only done the lines, but I’m really happy with it so far.

Once I move onto aquatinting, I want to keep the tones quite subdued so as to keep the elusiveness if has so far.


Lyles, Anne, Colour into Line: Turner and the Art of Engraving (London: Tate Publishing, 1989).

bottom of page