Report Assignment 1


Formative feedback

Student name        Clara Maciulis Student number                     513759
Course/Unit            Drawing 1: Drawing Skills Assignment number            1
Type of tutorial (eg video/audio/written) Written

Overall Comments

Thank you for submitting your first assignment. You submitted via your blog. This is a lively start to the course, your drawings are imaginative, energetic and enthusiastic. You have tried out a variety of mediums and surfaces, this is commendable. As you move through the course vary the time spent from quick studies to longer drawings and continue to explore composition.

Yes, this is definitely very good advise. I will start using thumbnail sketches to determine the composition before spending too much time on a drawing.

Assignment 1 Assessment potential

You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.

Thank you! I will definitely want to know your feedback on assessment.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

For your assignment piece you tried out many different compositions with different objects, some more successful than others. You are conscious of trying to fill the page which is great but don’t be afraid to let objects fall off the page, as you have seen through cropping images tightly you can create an interesting viewpoint. The roll in the yoga mat for example is the most visually engaging element of the drawing, the viewer already focuses on this so everything else isn’t really necessary,


Your fruit and veg drawing is a successful drawing, your handling of the ink is great and there are strong contrasts in tone. The blue/green colour used in the toiletries drawing is a great choice, I have a sensory response to this as it reminds me of menthol and minty fresh breath, appropriate for a drawing with toothpaste. Although the art materials and crystals have a lot of personal meaning for you, the drawings themselves aren’t executed as successfully. As I mentioned before there is an energy to your work, the danger of being overly expressive is that sometimes your work becomes too illustrative.


You need to be careful of heavy outlines in your drawings, by putting in a variety of tones – from your whitest white to your darkest grey it creates more depth in the image. Within tonal drawings lines are created through subtleties in light – a line isn’t a physical object, pretend it doesn’t exist. The line is an illusion created by the differences in the dark areas and the light areas. If you struggle to see different tonal values try manipulating your light source by using lamps and squint your eyes. This is seen in your reflective drawing piece, although your composition is interesting, I think you would have benefited from working more slowly to achieve the contrast in tonal values. Look carefully.

Thank you- I will work on more definition from tone and less by drawing outlines.

As you have learned ellipses are difficult to draw, I admire your perseverance with this, they are something that just like perspective need to be learned and they will take time to get right.


You have picked up in your blog that you are in danger of almost having a production line going with making drawings, you need to take the time to evaluate your work. Utilize thumbnail sketches as a way of trying out different compositions before committing to the final one.


Reflect honestly and take the successful elements forward to the next drawing.


There is a great dynamism to your ‘groups of objects’ drawing and your ‘shadow, lines and marks’ piece, There is potential in this way of expressing form and tone, re-visit this in the next section of the course. Those sort of frantic marks would have worked well on your coconut texture piece which hasn’t quite captured the essence of the fruit. Use these experiments as a starting point in building a visual dictionary. You can refer back to these when you need to need to produce any drawing in the future and want to remind yourself of a suitable technique.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Your sketchbooks are other worldly and full of imagination, remember these are also a place to record the everyday and the world around you, given your traveling you must see amazing sights that deserve to be drawn! Think of your Sketchbooks as ‘Visual Diaries’ and as part of a wider activity of collecting and exploration.

I am very happy you advised me to draw more from reality in my sketchbook and already started today!! To be honest drawing otherworldly is a way of escaping drawing what I don’t know how to draw, as imagined creatures don’t require accuracy and perspective, so it is avoiding disappointment. But I needed you to point it out, and now I am on the task to use my sketchbook for the surroundings and just start learning what I don’t know instead of avoiding it. Til now it has been like two separate drawing worlds- the sketchbook and the coursework. Thank you for pointing this out!


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

You have carried out a lot of research in your blog, remember it isn’t necessary to give a history lesson on the artists, I am interested in knowing your opinion and your response to the work, reflect on it much the same way you reflect on your own work. There is a guide to looking at artists/artwork here which has useful questions to help direct your thinking about their work. If possible try to visit galleries and see artwork in the flesh.


Try out the techniques of artists you look at and learn through doing. Always ask why you are doing something and what you would do differently next time, what was successful, what wasn’t.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

Your learning log is navigable and your images are clear, your research section is becoming long already, consider ways of organising this so it is easier to get to the relevant sections more quickly.


Perhaps start keeping a bibliography, although you are not required to do any formal academic writing at this stage it is good practice to get into the habit of referencing. OCA use the Harvard system, there are online guides available here.


Suggested reading/viewing


Artists who use a looser, more unfinished approach worth taking a look at are Ginny Grayson, Yann Kebbi and Edouard Vuillard’s drawings. Look at the likes of Rembrandt, Albrecht Dürer and Gustave Doré in terms of the potential of cross hatching.


‘Contemporary Drawing from the 1960’s to Now’ is worth having a look at, as is ‘How to Write about Contemporary Art’


John Berger’s Ways of Seeing can also be found in video form on youtube.

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
  • Try to do more sketchbook work
  • Continue to explore media and surfaces
  • Look at the work of other artists critically

Well done, I look forward to your next assignment.

Tutor name Joanne Mulvihill-Allen
Date 22 May 2016
Next assignment due 15 September 2016



Assignment 1

Assignment 1

While traveling I carry quite sparse luggage , so the inventory of personally meaningful things to sketch is quickly done. My yoga mat- my faithful companion on every trip, my  favorite mint green happy headphones for closing myself off in a world of music ,  a small loudspeaker to listen when I am not alone, and now recently lots of sketching material. My clothes and toiletries feel easily replaceable, so not interesting.

Yogamat and towels

Of all these objects, my yogamat is definitely the most personal one. I practice yoga most every morning, no matter where I am in the world. Everything in my life is ever changing and very free, with different schedules, which is beautiful and sometimes really hard. But since 10 years now- rolling out the mat and practicing is the start of my day wherever I am.

This particular mat is 3 years old now, so it has seen many countries and many hours of sweating and breathing. One little corner is missing because kitten Shakespeare chewed it off, and there are claw marks too. But now- how do I do a composition with the yoga mat? Its a really ungrateful shape.IMG_2880

And the accessories : well used soft towel and a very special sweat towel purchased in Mysore, India- not very obvious shapes. I add my mala and risk some trials.

A3 sketching paper. I start by using a new pencil, Conte pastel, in purple! I am so happy to have found these pencils, look like charcoal pencils, but colorful! The texture is very dry and rasping against the paper though, my movements are not so fluid.


I am struggling both with shapes and tone here. I add black charcoal for the darker parts.

I decide to try sketching a more detailed simple pencil sketch. A3, pencil 3B and 6B.


I am happier with this drawing. The composition is more harmonious and fills the page, and  I can feel the texture of the objects better.

Now I decide to try something more experimental- ink on newspaper. Also because I don’t have any bigger paper than A3. First I cover the page lightly with rather transparent white acrylic, just so the pictures especially don’t become to obvious. Then I draw with black indian ink.


I didn’t realize , that because of the acrylic paint, the paper doesn’t absorb the ink, so it flows quite freely and it is practically impossible to control the tone. But I still think this flowy messy version looks good. I like the idea to draw on newspaper and will explore that further.

Here I post one more sketch on the same subject and on newspaper I did now back home again. I was really happy to discover that I have a newspaper from Mysore, India, In Kannada language, which is much more relevant for the subject- I have very fond memories from practicing at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute there four times. Now the newspaper from Mysore- daily practice, daily paper, rolling out the mat.


I covered the pictures lightly with white acrylic again, then draw in pencil. Then I shaded some parts with a fine liner pen to create some more sense of texture. And then shading, smudging erasing a willow charcoal stick. I used a white charcoal stick for the highlights.

Art materials

Suddenly I look at my drawing materials and realize- these are objects that trigger a response! I love them all! I love  having discovered how much pleasure drawing gives me, and how this too is something that I can easily do anywhere in the world. They look good too- so here comes a composition of drawing materials.

I continue exploring the newspaper background, lightly covered with acrylic, but this time I use a black charcoal stick instead. Then I smudge some parts and add highlights with an eraser and a white charcoal stick.IMG_2907

I am happy with the composition and with the character of the newspaper as a background.


Here I try the same composition on brown wrapping paper, using a “Venetian red” (!!) charcoal stick. I like the brownish color on brown background.

I am tempted to try one more drawing of this with the beautiful green gold ink I now have, but decide I will save that for some composition where both bottle and “feather” are not figuring as models.



Home again: I am feeling into what objects in my house trigger some special feelings and a surge to draw them.
I have just been away from home for 6 weeks straight, so it is quite easy to feel what objects I am really happy to see again. It is a new way to look at my home and I enjoy this process!

Crystals and wood

My “altar” or crystal corner is full of my favorite stones and sticks from all over the world. I love bringing a stone or crystal or piece of wood from the places I visit, and they all tell a different story. I am also attracted to the idea of drawing some irregular shapes so it is not so obvious when my ellipses are crooked 🙂 This definitely calls for a play 🙂 In the house, I have a big painting of Ganesh on driftwood behind, but the difference in size does not look good for the drawing. So I will choose a smaller piece of driftwood in the background, a lotus flower shaped candle holder, some frangipani flowers from my garden and a snake shaped stick.

A3, and finally I draw in golden green ink:


I am really disappointed by how difficult it is to control the tone with the ink. The whole image is kind of striped and boring and disappointing. I don’t really see how to continue this, so I will start again. A3 sketching block and the beautiful Venetian red charcoal pen.


Again, I am disappointed, it’s quite boring and as much as I love the objects, I decide that this is not really worth continuing in this way.

New day, new trial. I am logging this out of order, this is my last drawing for Assignment 1 as I am handing it in tomorrow. I decide to try the driftwood, candleholder and crystals again.


I like this composition better, it is more dynamic, especially the shadow of the candle holder is interesting. I changed the frangipani for some bougainvillea. A3 sketching paper and a whole range of black media that I find most fitting for the different textures : pencils 3B, 8B, fine liner pen 01, 04, black Indian ink, charcoal sticks, then white charcoal and some white acrylic touches for the highlights ( as the white charcoal is not really visible on the ink).

Bathroom ceramics

My bathroom- ah these little precious details, that makes it so good to be home again 🙂 The soap dish and toothbrush cup are in ceramic and already have artistically irregular shapes, so again the drawing of shapes doesn’t have to be so perfect. I love coming home to my own bathroom 🙂 There are a lot of small things here , that make it my space. The soap dish and toothbrush cup were the first things I bought for this house. The cup is chipped, and normally I would throw out a chipped cup, but this one survives every clearing attempt. It is a handmade ceramics cup in the shape of a crumpled paper cup, and a matching soap dish. And a piece of loofa, a funny shape.


I start with a charcoal willow stick drawing on brown packing paper. I think something is missing in the background , so I add my Balinese basket containing my jewelry. I try different versions with necklaces hanging out, but decide to keep the shapes really clean and simple.

A3 sketching block with a green Conte pastel pencil, and then adding purple to the shadow. Also white for highlights:


When after sketching here for ever, I stand up to get a drink,  I notice that the light looks more interesting from the back.

I choose to draw this quite quickly on another newspaper , with the willow charcoal stick, just to try it out.


Here the shadows are a big part of the composition.  I would probably crop the image by the low black bar. The newspaper is upside down, which I chose to make the characters of the page less important ( and it is in Chinese anyway), but it adds a slight irritation so next time I will turn the page right.

Fruits and vegetables

I know this is really not an original idea for a still life, but I definitely felt super happily triggered going to the market today and finding all the amazing organic fruits and veggies I am spoilt with here! I ate half a watermelon before starting and had to restrain myself for hours to not start on the small papaya too:)


First I draw very light outlines with a 3B pencil and then go straight to drawing the tones with black ink and a brush. I want to avoid getting too fixated on the outlines. I find it difficult to get the right tones with the ink, its often lighter or darker than I want. But in essence I am happy to try this new approach.


I was planning to continue with a fine liner pen, for the details, but decide to go a little rougher and lighter with a charcoal pen instead to keep the happy and not so perfect style of the ink.


I use a soft black charcoal pen and smudge for the darker tones and a harder black charcoal for the details.  Then I use a white charcoal pen for white lines , especially on the watermelon as I cant erase the ink. The highlights do not shine enough with the white charcoal, so I add some touches of white acrylic paint instead. I quite like that the composition looks a little sloppy, maybe like spilled out of a bag. And I am happy that I managed to fill the whole page. I have to learn how to control the tones of the ink better.

I try the same composition on another page of a newspaper. I like this page again as a background because it is so evenly printed with little Chinese characters and figures, without pictures.


Here I just spent much less time, I wanted a more rough and spontaneous sketch. I think it is all too even in tone. I highlighted some little details with white acrylic paint again, but I didn’t want to cover too much of the newspaper. The result is messy, but I like that it reminds me of the market, and maybe wrapping produce up in this paper.


What have I learnt during this chapter?

Work on a satisfying composition BEFORE launching into hours of shading. No more objects floating on the white page, please 🙂

Log drawings more often and before sketching many drawings repeating the same mistakes, because often something became apparent when having to comment on the drawings- like a boring composition for example, or not using the whole page.
Use small periods of time- it may not be as satisfying as having large cozy times sketching to music, but it is still worth it.
Spend less time doodling crazy eyes in my sketchbook and more doing the course material. This month was a little extreme as I was travelling so much and it feels easier to just doodle something publicly than studying shades.
Look at surface and texture- not only outline.
I want to work more on both shapes and texture and am happy that the next chapter leaves room for that.
Reflective surfaces are interesting and not as scary as I thought.
And there is just so so so much to learn!!!




1.2 Ex 3: Lines and Marks

Exercise 3: Creating shadow using lines and marks

As simple single objects to study shadow, I chose a small square cardboard box and a toilet roll, to look at both a square and a round surface.

For both drawings, I used 4 different media: pencil 6B, ink, fine liner pen and black crayon and draw the objects 4 times on the same page. The light is clearly from one side.


I focus on showing the 3 dimensionality of the object through the shadow using crisscrossing lines, and hatching in different lengths and density.

Here I add a tea light for a small composition with the same purpose:


Here I use only a fine liner pen and focus on showing the three dimensionality of the objects through the different marks.

Here another version with two glass jars, one rather square and one round in shape. I use a 3B pencil, then smudge parts and pick up the highlights with the rubber.


The shapes here are not ideal. I did not focus so much on the outlines as on the rendering of the shape through the shadow. I still need to practice the shapes though..





1.2 Ex 4 Shadows and reflected light

Exercise 4: Shadows and reflected light

I am having a hardtime finding attractive reflective objects.
Obviously I could go to glasses or glassbottles, but I fear the transparency will add a level of difficulty I am not ready to tackle yet. Also I know how tricky spoons can be… I am not even sure I would have more luck at home. I come to realize I am more the “ceramics” and “color” type than chrome.
Here at last I found a set of small polished metal chai cups- and a big mixing bowl with an attractive shape. I am afraid the bowl and the cups are too far from each other in size to work well in a composition, so I will start using only the cups.


A3 paper, a black Conte stick, a putty eraser and some tissue to smudge. I am having a hard time with the shapes, more than with the reflections , I think. And the composition is really boring. The objects should at least touch:


I think the tones and reflections work, but there is still an issue of composition- here two objects floating on the expanse of a white paper. I will crop the images- this is how close I should have drawn them at least:


And maybe even swopped them around so the darker corner is bottom right:


Here I am playing a little with a more complex composition, a stack of cups and two more on the side with different angles:


Here I captured some more depth with the last cup in the background. But the previous drawings showed the reflective surface better.

I decide to try to combine the cup with the bowl, although the differences in size and shape feel really too much:


It really works much better than I thought. The composition is immediately more dramatic , and the bowl just has more surface to show the reflection. Again I am unhappy with the large unused right side of the page. Here I try cropping the image and swopping sides too:


Well in any case it is getting more interesting. Now I try to place a cup inside of the bowl:


Here I changed for an A4 paper because it just has more tooth than the A3, but I feel the more glossy surface of the A3 actually shows the reflective surface better, it looks more “metallic”.

Another more daring composition, also on A4:


This is the first drawing that actually fills the whole page and has a working composition without cropping the page. I wish I had logged these drawings one by one instead of waiting til I had a high pile and done the same boring mistake with the composition day after day. There are some things I only notice now when logging them:)

Although the shapes are still far from perfect, I like the depth and also the surface of this last drawing. It shows well that the surface is reflective.


1.2 Basic shapes and fundamental form

Exercise 1: Groups of objects

This exercise of basic shapes and fundamental form requires a still life of at least 6 objects of different sizes and shapes made of forms like cylinders and rectangles. The paper format is A2 or A1.

I imagine the coursework is really built up logically, but I am skipping forward a little and draw this before I experiment more with texture, as I will be on the road for a month soon and will be challenged to draw that big. I can go back and work more on the texture on A4 during traveling.

I arrange a group of objects with geometrical shapes from the kitchen. They don’t have any particular profound meaning to me, but allow me to look at different basic shapes in them.

I have to confess I am really intimidated by the huge white paper and having to draw the objects bigger than life. So I decide to go for an A3 sketch first of the same composition.

A3- black charcoalstick:


It is a little crooked here and there and definitely work to be done on shapes, but for a first attempt I am happy how the objects are easily identifiable and how the page is fully used. The picture is not cropped. I drew rather quickly with the charcoalstick , then smudged with a soft tissue and erased for highlights.

A1- red charcoal stick:


Here I had to draw larger than 1:1 to use the full page and everything got a little too small in relation.There is too much space left on the right hand side although I cheated and drew the transparent plastic box longer than it was. I would crop the image like this:


It is definitely interesting to manage a larger sheet of paper. During my trip I will work on A3 and exercise shapes and textures, then come back to the larger format when I return.

I like the softer warmer look of a red charcoal stick, and it is less smudged and messy than with the black stick.

A1, brown charcoal:

Here I tried another composition , again choosing objects that have clear basic geometrical shapes to work on.This time I went straight for the A1 version.



Again I am leaving too much space around the composition, especially right hand side. Of the 2 or 2,5 hours that it took me to make this drawing I spent at least 1 hour on the lying glassjar in the front. It was driving me nuts how hard to get the right shape. You can easily recognize the objects, so it is not hopeless, but definitely some work to do on basic shapes.

This brown charcoal pen is much much drier than the red one I used for the previous drawing, so the feeling is very different when touching the paper. The red on is almost like a crayon, and this brown one is scraping and resistant, smudging is not so easy either. I am not yet sure how you can recognize this quality of the charcoals when buying them- is it just a brand difference?

This morning I woke up disoriented in a hotel room in Thailand . Glancing around the room  first thing I noticed was: there are a lot of cleanly geometrically shaped objects around that would be perfect for a still life! And only one hour left til i have to go! So after scrambling around like a maniac putting my things together, sending off a couple of rushed emails, I had exactly 25 minutes left for this drawing.



After i stopped beating myself up for sleeping so long I realized I learned 2 things:
1, there is a new criteria for choosing hotel rooms – the suitability for sketching:)  and I can actually book this same one on my way back in one weeks time and be ready with an A 3 sketching pad and better time management.
2, It is worth sketching Even if i only have 20 min. I would gladly have spent 2 hours here, sketching while listening to music, but even just having 20 min is worth starting. This opens up many new short sketching opportunities.

And i was surprised to discover that suddenly the A4 seemed so small! After just 2 big A 1 drawings I would have preferred at least A3- this surprised me. I thought I prefer small, slow, detailed.
I feel like i am loosening up to spontaneity and more flow.
Ok so the drawing is not really good, but it was still worth it:)

Another place, this room stripped bare of anything, so to create a still life I display all toiletries I carry with me. Perfect little pots and tubes , shampoo, toothpaste and brush, creams, candles,showergel, lipbalm..

There is not even a table here and the bed is too soft so I put the objects on the floor and sit in a chair a distance away, so my view is slightly from above.

I use a venetian red charcoal stick that is really dry and brittle, but to my surprise easy to erase. Even pushing hard and making repetitive marks , it doesnt get dark though. I still have to discover all these different charcoal possibilities there are, it seems like every stick I touch is very different, not only in colour but in texture and qualities.

A3, a nice size to handle on my lap. I draw, then smudge, then erase highlights and add white charcoal to some highlihts. Again I leave too much white around the composition, I have a hard time fitting it well on the paper.


The cropped version looks better:



Now I will backtrack a little and study how to draw textures and also work more closely on rendering shapes more precisely before going into groups of objects again.


Today was a wake up call. I decided to practice drawing a can and a bottle , and am quite appalled at how bad it is. I hope I am just having a bad day… I only draw the outlines, not shading it and realize to what extent the shapes are wrong and crooked. In a composition hidden under shading it is not as apparent. Ok, lots of more work to do with shapes.

Today I am trying with pencil 3 B- not much better- still a LOT to learn about shapes!

I am also really disappointed in my new sketchbook, it is A3 with nice hard cover that I though could serve as a drawing board while traveling, and the pages are thick …but WOBBLY! They all look as if they have been wet or humid and wobbled up. Of course for this type of exercise it doesn’t matter, but I am still a little bummed at carrying around this heavy A3 sketchbook that is not beautiful.


Back in the same hotel  with perfect still life stationary 🙂 regroup the objects and after a false start where I just don’t fit in on the page ….


… I draw the composition again with a red charcoal stick.

IMG_1841In a group of objects like this, I find it less disturbing that the shapes are wobbly , but they are…very much so… so I commit to learn how to draw the shapes correctly!

But first while I have these nice things, i try a version where I focus on the shades instead of the outlines of the objects.

I start by covering the whole page with charcoal, then erase the space for the objects, and then draw them in with another tone of charcoal , but focused on the tones of brown and not on the outlines.


It didn’t really work out so well, but I quite like the dreamy effect that I will continue experimenting on in another context. I also had an issue that I had to interrupt myself and when I came back the light was totally different, so that was obviously not so smart.

Time to learn some shapes. I start studying ellipses as I noticed drawing the can and bottle that that is more difficult than I thought.


This kind of thing really does not come naturally for me, I am superchallenged by even twisting my brain into thinking of these shapes. And after hours and hours of drawing this, when the next day my sweet partner asked me to show him what I have been up to,I realized that I still didn’t get it!! But if anything I am definitely stubborn, drawing ellipses will be my speciality.


So trying my luck with some objects again..

Far from perfect- but isn’t there a tiny bit of improvement? I’d like to think so..


Exercise 2: Texture

Texture: Frottage

For Exercise 2 , I decide to first explore texture through frottage. I started with drawing paper, but found the kind I have too thick to show details of the texture, so I shifted to baking paper that is much thinner and allows more of the underlying object to come through. I used a charcoal stick.


I used different leaves from the garden, a stick, a woven basket, a loaf of bread, a frozen lamb chop, coins, and a 2000Rp bill, wood, a crumpled paper, lettuce, basil for different textures:

I found this very useful in seeing how the texture looks on paper . Based on this I think it will be easier to draw different textures- it was a good exercise.

Here a few more trials with thinner drawing paper and a 2B pencil:

wood, a knitted pattern, a feather and a massagebrush




Here I go back too take a closer look at textures through drawing, not frottage. I study the surface of a coconut, an almond, a crumpled little paperbag and the scratched surface of my waterbottle.


I am quite happy with the nuts, but the paperbag and waterbottle do not look like anything recognizable!

Here I switch to a charcoal pen to draw a rough linen cloth and a smoother crumpled cottoncloth:


The linen worked really well, but the cotton cloth could be anything from a plastic bag, a sheet of paper or a cloth. Have to look into how to differentiate.

Some studies of wooden surface with the same black charcoal stick:


My friend visiting me here in my temporary little abode in Thailand brought GREEN INK and a metal feather to draw with it. I am so happy- this is amazing and so much fun!! So far I have only used black ink with a brush- this opens up a whole new world of possibilities! I love how detailed I can draw with this new tool and how many shades of green I can achieve.

A feather:


The rough surface of my very used bathroom cleaning sponge:


Here I continue to use the beautiful green gold ink with both a brush and a feather to study the surface textures of some little stones and a piece of coral found .



Also a shell and another type of coral. I am fascinated by the diversity of shades and effects I can produce with the ink, but find it difficult to control the tones . I am definitely happy to experiment more though- ink is a fascinating media for me.


I have realized that I always just sketch in lines, very rarely with any surface at all and plan to experiment more with surface and texture.

I would love to explore the human skin more… lets see if there will be time for everything I have in mind now- this opens up so many new ways of drawing!


1.1 Project 1 Feeling and expression

Here I divide four A1 sheets of paper in four A3 panels. On every sheet I am expressing a different emotion, using a different media for every panel.

For the top left panel I use charcoal, top right black oil pastel, bottom left ink painted with brush and bottom right a felt tip pen.

I really feel into the emotion, evoking memories and images to go deeper, and then draw quickly and spontaneously expressing the emotion. Usually I like to draw small drawings with a lot of detail, especially if it is an abstract pattern, so here I push myself to be more expressive and less controlled.


After drawing, I wrote what I felt through expressing these emotions , also very spontaneously and free-flowing.




Anger is dark, its black , no red, it is burning, it kept mixing with sadness and was hard to tell apart, but now anger has more edges and sharp corners, more spikes and screams and flames. It is hard and loud and bold. I let it out- it is bigger and darker than I thought, exploding from a dark center. There is freedom in this explosion, expansion.

For so long there was only sadness and a feeling of hopelessness thinking of this man that I love, but now anger is there too, it is getting louder. I can feel its strength and power. It is empowering me. Yes, step back fear and sadness, anger is beautiful!





Calm is quiet and soft, it is the space between the sounds, between the lines and colors. It is light and slow, maybe not still but with a sliding effortless silent movement. It is white or light and transparent, flowing, breathing. Can it be black? Yes, it can be a soothing , calm, black nothingness- nothing to do, nowhere to go, falling softly into peace. A safe black, a cave to rest.

My drawing looks like an eye, this is unintentional, the lines flowing together to see. The calm emptiness between the gentle lines, the calm dark in the safe center, a seed, a cave.





Joy is a dance, it is swirling, bursting, pearling, flowing, spreading. It’s the quiet warmth of gratitude welling forward in small crystal waves, it is colors and bursts of laughter , it is sharing and connecting and quiet again. It is white and light and exploding with colors . It is kissing and whispers and smiles and screaming and jumping and dancing , it is splashing water but also quietly watching the clouds.

Joy is a whole universe of magic planets and our secret love language. It is sketching, splashing, smearing and forgetting everything else.

I know joy, but I will have another go at drawing it. Why is it difficult to draw joy? I try to find the right music to go with it and realize how serious, calm, fearful, angry , sad my whole musiclibrary is.


Now joy is more quiet, more internal, it is gratitude, it is flowers and the sky, it is sand between the toes and listening intently kind of joy, it is walking barefoot and being alive.





Fear is a dark beast, stiffening, engulfing everything else, it is the cold creeping in from the outside, and the dark furry caterpillar welling up from the inside.

It is empty and acid, it is too full and suffocating , it is spreading and compressing, repressing , holding back, closing in . Then stiff and rigid, cold, marching on towards the next dark spot, pulling strings to memories and pains stored deep.



Of all the emotions, I think “fear” is expressed the best. The visual outcome really reflects my emotion of fear. Calm is also close by, as is anger, although my daugter would name both “confusion”. I struggled the most with “joy” and had two attempts, but both ended up more swirly than I feel. I feel joyful, but in a way closer to calm, grateful, centered. For “Calm”  I felt tempted to leave the page more or less blank at first, but then I felt all the movement in calm and also the fullness.

It was interesting using different media. Charcoal and oil pastel allow more or less similar movements, but with ink I felt less control of the outcome. With the felt pen, I felt maybe too much control and had to restrain myself from getting lost in symbolism and detail and force myself to really keep spontaneous.

These are the separate panels I would choose to best express emotions: