Tuesday, 31 January 2012


we were meant to put up a recent picture, and i suppose you could argue i did this 4 years ago, so its not that recent. But, i have a crazy amount of drawings from the day i was born. I my mum is a painter and she made me draw from day one, and shes kept ALOT of evidence. haha. I will post i really recent drawing too, and compare it to this one. This is a drawing of my dads head. I remember doing so clearly in his smokey, dark red living room while he was watching a 1980s film with jean wilder, one of his favourite actors. My dad had an accident, and was spending a a lot of time on is old battered red velvet couch, so i crew him as a couch potato - hence its just his head. This was a time when i was trying to understand my dad better, and not argue with him as much - we managed to get on well when he would talk about his work, or he showed me his carvings. The hundreds of multiple lines are a imitation of how my dad carves into purbec hard white stone, and since i was little had a very strong love of watching my dad whittle away at stone, leaving the raw groves from a specific pronged chisel he ha shaped himself. I really had to look hard into every wrinkle hair and scar - to satisfy this angry want to understand or be on a level with my dad. He is so physically connected to his work, and he is pretty miserable when hes not carving. So, yep, I'm carving his face on the pace in the style he works in, pretty simple. I also I'm pretty miserable when I'm not making, an this for me  is one of the most important drawings Ive ever done for that reason - its up in my room, a place i see it everyday to encourage me to work to keep sane and happy, even if its a little doodle of my neighbours cat.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Architecture "Narrative Sketch"

This Drawing was created during the first half of my second studio project which was located in govan. Afterour site visit we were asked to write a short narrative which discribes a journey to or from Govan.

My narative was about an elderly man who revisited govan with his grandson. On arival he was shocked with how much govan has changed from his childhood. The fast moving flow of workers to and from the ship yards has vanished and all wich was left is memory trapped in his mind.

From that narrative we were asked to create a collage which explores our narrative. The drawing i uploaded is a quick ink pen drawing on tracing paper. I though this was successfull as the traceing paper allowed me to work rather fast overlaying the different levels of the narrative.
The narrator Angus isremeniscing about the days when shipbuilding dominated Govan.

We are getting pulled into his memory, layer by layer,  while his memory beginsto evolve around us. Before we know it we start to bepart of the large crowd which disperses into the ever ending memory.
and as we look closer at this memory we realise that we are now indeed looking back at angus (faded in the background, with all the layers of memories bewteen us(the memory) and angus...who now is reality)

Although this was only a quick sketch before actually creating the collage , I was able to explore diferent concepts such as movement layering and looking back.
Duing the whole project i kept looking back at this skecth in order not to distance myself too far from my initial concepts.

Successful drawing

This is a drawing/collage that I did for The Outsider by Albert Camus. I created the man out of collaged pieces of the inside of envelopes,  I find these to be particularly interesting as they come in so many shades and designs. I thought the choice of using the insides of envelopes was appropriate for depicting Meursault, the main character who often demonstrates emotional detachment from his environment. 
I created the shadow out of a combination of thread and pencil line drawings. I think this works well as it  creates an uneven effect and doesn't make the drawing as a whole look too neat.  Once I'd finished the drawing I flattened the image by scanning it, I think this creates a more finished look and helps to pull out the shadows that the thread is creating which adds more depth.

drawing as research?

This drawing is a series of sketches I made for my last Architecture project, which was located on the south bank of the Clyde in Govan.  My brief was to design a sea- plane terminal.  Throughout the design process, I explored the idea of 'journey' and was keen to consider not only the immediate context of the building, but also the approach to the site.  

These quick pencil sketches are quite rough and were done as part of an investigation into the journey to the site.  Rather than one or two more detailed drawings, I decided to do a series of sketches as I thought it would be an efficient way to depict the approach over a period of time.  I was able to quickly record how the surrounding buildings along the journey move in and out of sight, and at which points along the route my proposed terminal would be visible.  I chose to shade darker areas and overemphasise the contrast be leaving out mid tones in order to study the effect of light and shadow.  

I found these drawings were more helpful to look at when considering the journey throughout the development of my scheme, than say detailed measurements or more technical sketches/drawings.  I would say that as a piece of research the drawing was effective as it allowed me to filter out the unnecessary information that would be present if I had photographed the same route, and focus only on the aspects of the approach that were relevant to my research.   

In Architecture, drawing is used to convey an idea. During the design stage, sketches and diagrams are essential, as each structure starts from a doodle. With time each line gains meaning. The line transforms to a dimension, then a form, texture and material. The objective of each architect is to present a drawing or series of drawings that is legible without requiring any further oral or written explanation. Therefore, the most difficult task is to choose the right images- sections, plans, perspectives and combine them with the appropriate technique, all against time. 

Personally, the hardest moment is just before the first line is drawn in a new sketchbook. I usually begin with writing notes or accumulate ideas about a project in my head, leaving sketching to a later stage. This is probably due to the lack of belief in my drawing skills. I sometimes feel that a sketch begins to warp the initial idea, mostly taking it in the opposite direction. For me, model making is the better solution, probably because I tend to think of objects and spaces three-dimensionally, as forms rather than lines.

This drawing/collage was produced for a project called Transitional Space. It required me to design a seaplane terminal in Govan. The design process was particularly interesting, I was asked to write a narrative about a journey which then could be transformed into a collage portraying a series of moments in time. My narrative spoke about the violent disconnection of the Govan community, previously the shipbuilding centre of Glasgow, from the Clyde- a child's struggle to sail his toy boat on the river.  The design concept was to be developed from a zoomed-in element of the collage. An incidental line was to become an object.  

Sunday, 29 January 2012

A successful drawing...

Drawing is for communicating and telling stories. It is also for expressing personalities and ideas. In these drawings I am recording an object using different marks. The object is a little metal sculpture of a horse. I was given it as a present when I was two and it is pretty special. It has a tail made from a bicycle chain and legs made from nails. I wanted to convey its strange, wonky appearance and I didn’t think this would come from using a pencil or a pen so I used different materials I could find around me. I used sponges, twigs, keys for the legs, the ring of a cup, cable ties for the ears and my finger for the nose. I found this resourceful way of illustrating much more exciting than just using the contents of my pencil case. Here each line, curve, block of colour is varied in weight, shape and tone. I find that the drawing is successful because it does have the same character as the object and this is something that could not be communicated through a photograph.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Successful drawing

This is a felt tip pen drawing from a lino cut print I did for one of my recent projects which I really like. The project was about chain reactions and I was looking at the reaction of repeatedly using a stamp and I became very interested in the marks this created. I really enjoy doing drawings from drawings, taking them apart or focusing on one bit in particular or using another media. By doing this I find I can see things in a different way and it can often help my design process. It helps me to pick out certain elements I really like and can often lead onto create something more interesting than the original drawing.

As with these pages from my sketchbook repeating the print in a different media helped me to think more about how I could perhaps translate the shapes created by it into metal (I study Silversmithing and Jewellery), whether it be wire or sheet. Although I find it very useful to do repeat drawings, occasionaly I think I can get stuck looking at one thing too much and I think sometimes I should move on and explore other things.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

X-ray of ribs

 This drawing is a charcoal study of an x-ray of the ribs. With quick forceful marks making up the bulk of the drawing I think it gives a clear representation of ribs/lungs as well as the holographic quality from the x-ray. I like that the drawing has a rough appearance but at the same time the viewer(I hope) can easily make out what it is and captures a 3D quality to it. Although this drawing may not be my best, it's important to me as it was where I began to notice that I'm more interested in the marks that make up the drawing rather than the overall finished structure or subject. It was also the start of me making quick rough marks on the page and then drawing in the more precise lines to hold/pull the drawing together, rather than doing the linear work first and then adding detailed texture.

 I am interested in how very rushed marks and a few considered lines can build up a clear image. For instance in the top right hand corner of the drawing I left clean lines to show the collar bone and beginnings of the shoulder as well as including more definite bold black lines to show the ribs, without these context might have been lost.

 I believe there is a connection between my drawings and my jewellery, as I'm also interested in the textural quality of the metals and rarely create "busy" looking pieces.


I do not draw a lot. Yet I doodle constantly,  I find it to be a good way to keep myself concentrating in lectures and a good way to brainstorm during projects.  I consider the drawing and doodling completely different actions.  While my “drawings” are tight and rigid things that I cannot find it in me to appreciate, my doodles are looser and can be more interesting; or so I find.  I challenged myself last term with help from my tutor and Betty Edwards’ “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” to  integrate the two things into one activity that I might enjoy, I’m still very much working on it.  I barely use drawing in my own personal practice, and although this is not an issue most of the time, it does make me feel restricted when working with certain projects. (Which is why I chose Marking the Page as my elective. It is very much outside my comfort zone.)

I chose my drawing/doodle not because it is  particularly successful as an image,  but more because it shows how I can slip from lengthy doodling (on the right) to a quick observational doodle (on the left) in the style I do hope to improve and develop into something I might appreciate some day.

A Successful Drawing

this image comes from a day in the studio where we used traditional life drawing techniques to draw through a slideshow of both uppercase and lowercase letters of the entire alphabet, in a range of different fonts.

i was absolutely convinced that this was going to be a horrible class, especially for me. i knew next to nothing about fonts or designing typefaces before i got to glasgow and i still feel like i'm lagging behind many of my classmates when it comes to this subject. i also feel a lot of pressure to know what i'm talking about when it comes to fonts and i wasn't the only one who got grilled by our tutor last year for using the wrong font!

however, once we'd got started, i was amazed at how much i enjoyed this exercise. the relaxed atmoshere loosened me up and i was increasingly reassured by the number of fonts i recognised, or had at least heard of, just from some basic research and general reading. (if anybody's interested a really good book about fonts is 'just my type: a book about fonts' by simon garfield)

this exercise, and the knowledge that i wasn't completely in the dark about fonts, made me a little more confident in the studio, especially when it comes to thinking about designing our own fonts, but also about drawing in general.

Successful Drawing. 24/01/2012

Studying Fashion Design my approach to drawing has changed progressively, definitely more so since doing A-Level Art and Design where my work had a more fine art approach to it. At that point I was drawing to create a beautiful composition and to show skill- now my drawing has become heavily to do with 'articulating my concept'. In a way, I would think, that my drawing now serves more of a purpose, it has become more functional now and is vital in my design process. The manner in which I draw always seems to have an outcome in mind, the lines I am placing on a page often represent something other than a line, they now become a shoulder, sleeve or pleat. There are still classical drawing elements within the course, and it is briefs that incorporate all of the 'aspects' of drawing that I enjoy the most. Drawing architecture, installations and organic forms in a photographic and clear quality have all been integral to various briefs, but the drawing that means the most to me now is the illustration and sketching I do to project my design across to the viewer.

Respectively for the drawing I feel has been the most successful, I picked the line up for my last capsule collection. Achieved through a combination of graphite, pencil and collage- this drawing reflects this feeling I was talking about earlier, that the lines are serving more of a function depicting the silhouette, shapes and draping within each design. Collage is something I have progressively started to merge into my drawing, I like the combination and often in terms of time its quicker to depict something I know could be drawn but is readily available to illustrate the same point. Also in terms of the muses face, I wouldn't want to spend time articulating her features, its what what she's wearing that is important to both me and the viewer I am presenting it too. The element of the drawing I love the most is the fur trims around the hoods of the two garments, rather the abstract and quickened pace in which they were drawn, but they seem to be the most successful aspect, to me anyway.

My most successful drawing...

This is a scan of part of a drawing that I did on a sewing machine. Although it isn't a technically great drawing, I really like it because of the interesting line you get when drawing with stitched textiles. The way that the fabric bunches up adds another element to the image that is to some extent beyond your control. I quite like the element of chance. Also, because I'm not such a skilled seamstress, the sewing machine tends to run away with itself a bit so the drawings are fast and energetic. The image is from an illustration project I did and was intended as an internal illustration for 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck. He's one of my favourite authors and I really liked the project, so maybe this is another reason why I'm fond of this drawing. As far as my work is concerned, I think drawing is for communicating ideas and stories and I come at it from an Illustration point of view.

What is drawing for?

As a textiles student, my drawings are used primarily to gather as much information about a subject as possible before developing and translating them into a piece of textiles. Since being on this course, I have found my attitude to drawing has changed. I'm now being asked to consider and record interesting qualities of line, pattern, tone, form and texture; This was hard to get to grips with at first as I was used to producing 'finished' pieces of work rather than allowing myself to be more free with what I drew. There were many techniques we were asked to use such as 'continuous line', 'blind continuous line', 'stencils' and 'collaborative drawing' - all of which had no more than a 10 minute time limit which helped to free up our hand and mind.

The drawing above was one of thirty I was asked to produce for a project called 'Indexing the Personal and Impersonal'. I used a ruler to draw with, collaged some areas and worked on black paper as not to be daunted by a big white space! This drawing may seem naive at first glance, and before I started this course I would have thought so too, but recently I have come to realise that not every drawing i produce has to be technically accurate for it to be of use - in fact this one was probably more of use to me than if i had spent a week trying to draw the bottle and can opener perfectly! This drawing can be seen as technically wrong in terms of perspective and scale, but it has played a major part of the development in my project and eventually, this drawing will have served a purpose when it is turned into a functional piece of fabric.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Week 2 24 January call for postings

Week 2 24th January instead I'm asking for self-directed research and comments in a BLOG posting: This week’s question is about your own personal practice –what is drawing FOR? Which is your most successful drawing at moment –and why? Your assessment of what you are aiming for in your drawing and the features you think are successful will vary according to which studio discipline you follow. Please include some self-reflection about this aspect of your work as well, especially as the blog format allows you to compare, contrast and comment on other ideas and posts. Post at least one image and 100-300 words of reflection, analysis and context, please. with best wishes from Frances

Friday, 13 January 2012

GSA Term 2 Course 2012

Welcome to my new course blog for 2012! I'd like you to start posting entries in the weeks allocated for this between lectures. Also, take a look back at the last course blogs if you wish from the dim and distant year of 2009... the course tasks and assignment brief is a bit different this year, but lots of things are the same. Best wishes, Frances Robertson