ADZ5888 Reflective Writing

I have developed my hand rendered techniques further during the ‘cut and paste’ module, it helped me to become more free and less constrained as most of the work done by hand has a much rougher look and feel to it. This made a big change from some of the work done during subject where elements are confined to grid systems to improve legibility and so on. Working practically allowed me to really get stuck into the work which was a welcome break from working primarily on technology. The small one a day collages we created helped to improve productivity, the larger collages that explain a narrative allowed me to run with a story and explain it only visually which is a skill that is important in graphic design work too. Building this skill has proved helpful in the latest persuasion project which creating ephemera that will intrigue people was key. The mostly visual aspect of collaging has helped me with my subject work in terms pf layouts and spatial awareness. Collaging has freed me up some what in experimenting more with layouts especially within the design of my portfolio.

Texture plays a big part in collaging, this is something I have tried to use more in my work now. I think this can bring work to life and add an extra layer to work that is hard to create purely through digital techniques.

The second module of ‘urban sketching’ was also a hands on module using practical skills to produce drawings centred around the theme ‘my Cardiff’ I chose to focus mainly on smaller details of elements of ‘my Cardiff’. The drawing and documentation of the weekly drawing log encouraged me to keep a track of my work and also helped me to realise when I wasn’t doing enough. I enjoyed the module and the freedom it provided much like ‘cut and paste’ t allowed me to be completely creative. I also enjoyed taking the drawings I had created into technology and beginning to edit it this way.

In future more self directed projects I want to add more of this creative work as during the live client brief this year it wasn’t appropriate for the project to do so. I think this way of working is more true to the kind of designer I want to be so developing these skills would prove beneficial to the progression of my personal practice.

Urban Sketching – Week 5

The last week of this project was quite difficult for me as I have been ill so couldn’t really get out drawing, I managed to take some photographs to draw from back at my house.

Seats outside Cathays Library – I used pencil and a fine liner here, the seats were made form concrete so I thought the grey pencil shading would be apt.

chairs outside cathays library 13.2.18A broken bike that has been chained up at the end of the street I live on since we moved in – slowly more and more parts have been taken off. broken bike dogfield street 13.2.18

Something about the type of houses I see in cardiff has always intrigued me, they’re different to the style of house at home house 1 12.2.18row o fhouseshouse 2 13.2.18

These drawings represent the theme of my cardiff as they are the things i see everyday but never really take notice of. The mundane things interest me more than the obvious beautiful things I could draw.

Urban Sketching – Week 4

Windows of the Pierhead Building at Cardiff Bay – 1.2.18

I really like this sketch after coming back and looking at it a few days later, I think the coloured pencil I have used alongside the fine liner. Althrough its not 100% accurate in its representation of the windows I think it captures the essence of the complicated ornate windows.pier head windows 1.2.18

Part of the Pierhead Building at Cardiff Bay -1.2.18

Using the pen and graphite stick here has created a really nice element of shading and depth to the image. pierhead building from the side - 1.2.18

Line sketch of the Lookout cafe / Coffi Co at Cardiff Bay – 1.2.18

This drawing looks quite flat as I haven’t added any shading so there is no depth to the image.coffe shop 1.2.18

The image looks old and static – I tried to add some colour representational of the water at the bay. I like the colour with the line drawin but I still don’t think it works as well as it could. Maybe I could go back and work on the original sketch and colour it.coffe shop 1.2.18 colour

The Norwegian Church Arts Centre from across the bay – 1.2.18

Pencil line drawing.  A quick study of the iconic builing that sits across the bay. I left this as simpple line drawing as it was the interesting shape of the building that made me want to draw it. church across the bay 1.2.18Natuzzi Building from across the Bay – 1.2.18

Pen, pencil and felt tip. The interesting shape of the roof here is what drew my attention to it.natuzzi buliding from the bay

People walking outside Costa in Cardiff Bay

Fine liner – I like the sense of movement there  is in these quick sketches of people walking past the window. The lack of features give them a sense of anonymity.people walking past 1.2.18Small sketches from inside Costa Cardiff Bay – 1.2.18spoon and bobble hat 1.2.18costa plug 1.2.18gold painted railings at the bay 1.2.18Bike chained to a tree in Cardiff Bay – 1.2.18
Fine liner and  pencil – The curves of the handle bars caught my eye and I wanted to have a go at drawing a bike as they are famously difficult – I agreebike chained at the bayBuilding at Cardiff Bay train station – the abandoned and deshevled building attracted me to it and its an overlooked part of Cardiff Bay bay station 1I liked the nature of the lines in the drawing but not its plainess – adding colour creates a nice juxtaposition between the sketchy lines and the smooth blue background. I also prefer this composition. bay station 1 blue sky

Urban Sketching Week 3

Continuous line drawing exercises – I am already quite familiar with this technique, however I have never used it to draw something outside or a building. I think this sketch is quite successful in that it has captured the essence of the building – it is recognisable but I think I have tried to get too much into the image – framing an entire building in an A4 sketchbook proved difficult. n block20180131_153619  20180130_111015smoking chimney20180131_153630plug

Experimenting with the image digitally – adding a block of colour using shapes from the original image.




Urban Sketching Week 2

bookshelves CL 25.1.18chair in the CL 25.1.18

I really enjoyed doing small studies of some of the furniture in the library.  Drawing in pen and trying to keep the image simple and uncomplicated was hard however I think it creates a really slick and simple line drawing.

banner in the wind from CL 25.1.18funny chairs in CL 25.1.18inside the C.library l3 25.1.182 chairs CL 25.1.18

View from the window down onto Cardiff townoutdoor seating from CL 25.1.18

speedy police

Looking back at these drawings they seem to look quite vacant, they need some life injecting into them. I could try drawing on coloured paper or using collage if I didn’t want to change my style of drawing all together.



Urban Sketching research

Images from John Harrisons website

The style of this work really interests me in the way that the artist keeps some white space within his sketches – this appeals to me as a graphic communicator because space and allowing rooom for the more detailed parts of the drawing to breathe and be appreciated.

john harrsion - 2

john harrsion - drawn in yorkshire














Ruth Allen’s work also caught my eye due to the different elements working together – the pen lines with vibrant inserts of different patterns that bring the images to life.

ruth allen  ruth allen 2

Another artist I’ve found using line work and bright colour is Tommy Penton

I think a I could create a similar effect could be created by using the drawings I create on sketch crawls and bringing them into photoshop and illustrator and creating digital variations of my sketches but would that still be n urban sketch? I thnk so but it just applies the skillset I have being a graphic communicator.



Urban Sketching – Week 1

Drawing from the first day of the subject 16th January 2018

16.1.2018 box cafe.jpg

This double page spread of the box cafe at cardiff met was the first bit of drawing I have done in a while, I think I’ve gone over board on the right side of the page. I much prefer the simpler left side where I have restricted the materials and amount of detail in the drawing.

16.1.2018 box cafe half.jpg

Digitally cropping and enhancing the image I have created a much better composition and a more successful image overall.

17 January 2018

View from bedroom window of the rooftops and windows

17.1.18 rooftops

I decided to be more careful of the amount of detail in this drawing in comparison to the other as I didn’t feel the previous drawing reflected my style of sketching.

18th January 2018

A collection of studies from Llandaff Cathedral over a 2 hour period. Using pencil, fine liner, felt tips and a colouring pencil.

Outside of hte Cathedral building

18.1.18 lampost llandaff cathedral

18.1.18 llandaff cathedral

18.1.18 llandaff cathedral window

Puddles in a worn down paving slab at the entrance of the Cathedral

18.1.18 puddles in chipped paving LC

Old windows in a side building of the Cathedral

188.1.18 landaff cathedral house window.

18.1.18 WINDOW at LC

Comparing these drawings the the very first I have seen that I’ve started to become more comfortable again now that I am doing more drawing again. My own ‘style’ has started to reappear.

20th January 2018

Using a smaller sketchbook I did two drawings on the train home from visiting my boyfriend. I was going to try and sketch in London whilst we visited on Saturday but it rained all day constantly.

21.1.18 train table

22.1.18 hand on train


Cut and Paste – Summary


I have really enjoyed the project overall and have found it really interesting to use pre-existing images to create new ones. I have found it exciting to work quickly and with less caution as I do within my graphic communication work. In my future subject work i think I will use collaging to help me quickly generate ideas and also help me with the composition of my work using shapes and colours from magazines and found materials. I found working collaboratively interesting as it is a different kind of collaboration than I have done before. Giving the work to somebody else to take away and then work with was interesting as it meant I had no control over what would happen to it whereas in subject we work together towards an already discussed and planned outcome. Handing over control of an outcome is something I am not used to but I found it interesting. I think I will try to carry on the kind of collaboration we have used in cut and paste as it introduces new and different ideas into the space and piece. I think I would like to use collaging in my future work as I really like the hand-made, rough around the edges look of the work I have been creating during the field project as well as taking this paper based work into digital methods that I am more accustomed to such as illustrator and photoshop as well as using digital methods. I have been really interested in looking into to collage artists, such as Robert Rauschenberg whose work has really inspired me in terms of using materials other than just magazine or book clippings but expanding to using paints and moving into adding 3D components to my collages. The film we watched about Henry Dager’s weird and somewhat tragic life showed us the true possibilities collaging and creating narratives and how purely image narratives can work really well. His work also explored the use of repeated figures and motifs which is something I think would be really good to take into my graphic communication work. I also found the concept of ‘outsider art’ really interesting in the way certain types of art from certain places is not as widely acceptable because of the place of its origin and also the people who make it, people who have committed crimes or who are mentally unwell. Thinking of things in a more narrative focused way will also help me in my work as story telling through images is really important in terms of communicating a message with images.

Cut and Paste

A brief history of collage

20th Century Paris – taken from the french word that means ‘to stick’

1900’s – Pablo Picasso used scraps of paper that he found and recycling materials when he was too poor to buy traditional art materials, used collage to create depth in his works such as “Guitar, sheet music and glass”

1920’s – Kurt Shwitters – dada artist, chaos and nonsensical work was created by the dadaists. Using found objects and materials. At this time there was a real hierarchy in terms of what materials were good and sophisticated high art and what wasn’t and using rubbish went against all of this.

  • German, Jewish man who had to move around a lot and ended up on Iles of Man war internment camp.
  • created installations of rooms “merzbau in cumbria”

Hannah Hóch – feminist art, slamming two completely different things together

Paul Hausman – “mechanical head” 1919 bring sculpture into collage

MAX ERNST – Victorian imagery seemlessly cut out and stuck back together to create weird story books of images such as “a little girl dreams of taking the veil”

Joan Miro – 1930’s used images from catalogues as preparatory works for his paintings – composition and colour

Joseph Cornell – created surrealist boxes “soap bubble set”

Decollage – the art of taking away to create images

Outsider art – art that comes from places like prisons and mental institutions
– Adolf Wolfi
– MArtin Ramirez