Framing Linear Drawings for the Exhibit

I had a discussion with Richard regarding my drawings and how they would be presented. Because of the way the drawings have been done, I knew they would look really effective in white frames which luckily were being used as part of displaying work for the exhibit.
We looked at some existing frames that were already in the studio to get an idea of how my drawings would look.
Jo and Jamie would at some point be making a trip to purchase more frames for everyone’s work. Initially I had asked for 3 A3 frames. Richard pointed out that A2 would actually be more effective, then the image would not look squashed up in the frame. I measured an existing frame which was perfect for my drawings. It measured 16.5 Inches across by 20.5 inches.

Two students very kindly went out to purchase all the frames for everyone. A small space in the studio had been kept closed off for students to prepare work that needed to go in frames. Then it would be protected and not at risk of being damaged whilst it was being framed.
I used this space when the frames were available.

IMG_1771 IMG_1775IMG_176911329581_483953101753999_1725525471_n

Before I put the drawings in the frames I made sure to wipe the glass first because there were little bits of dust on and these showed up quite noticeably on the glass.

Luckily the frames came with mounts. These really added to the effect when the drawings were in the frames. My friend Georgia assisted me whilst I framed all three of my drawings so I knew that they were in the correct position.


When they were all framed and put together the drawings looked even better. I was really happy with the outcome and my tutors were really positive and excited about how they looked and how well they would go in the exhibit alongside my paintings of Rhea.


Along with my tutors we thought they would look best with the two drawings of Rhea on the outside and Yvette in the middle.

IMG_1777 IMG_1776

Because of how Rhea is positioned in the drawings it leads your eyes across each drawing and encircles Yvette in the middle which works really well.


Preparing The End of Year Show

Everyone in the Foundation course had to get suck in and help prepare the studio in time for hanging everyone’s work. I managed to get some photos of this taking place.
The studio looked completely different when it had been cleared. All the tables had to be moved out. Any work which was not being hung or included in assessment had to be taken home.
The room had be swept clean so that the cleaners could come in over half term and give the studio floor a proper clean.
Large white boards were put up all around the room so that work could be hung up.
All of these boards needed sanding down and painting.

Some of us also had to make a journey to the church in the center of town to bring back work  which had recently been displayed for an exhibit by tutors and other students.

I managed to help with some of the painting and covering some of the center of the boards where they join to make them look tidier and more professional.


Jo and Jamie had to have a lot of discussions with students where their work would look best when it was displayed.
You realise how much work goes in to setting up and preparing an end of year show.


It was nice to be able to do this as it gave everyone a break from all the practical work which had taken place over the last few weeks in time for the end of term. It was great to see the room making a transition from a busy work place full of students doing all their work to a clean and professional looking exhibit space.
It takes a lot of hard work and preparation to achieve what the tutors imagine in their minds as to how the exhibit should look.

It shows you also how important it is to be patient and also understanding of certain decisions what need to be made with regards to work being hung and how we all need to co-operate and work together.

Preparing Work For Assessment and The Exhibit

Three Paintings of Rhea on Canvas

When I started Unit 7, I had in mind ideas I wanted to develop to achieve the work for the end of year show. What I have ended up in doing is not actually what I had originally planned. This just shows you can’t plan everything and it is best to just develop ideas as you go along.
My Fine Art tutor Richard along with my other tutors were always very impressed with my paintings of Rhea.


I think the composition of Rhea in the paintings is what is most appealing about them. They are unconventional this is what I wanted to achieve when I did them. It is all about the body and the positioning. So it was not important to see Rhea’s face and I think it makes them more interesting that you actually can’t see her face.

I did have to tidy up the paintings slightly before they were ready for hanging in the studio. Small areas of the background just needed editing as it looked a little bit untidy. The outsides of the canvas which would be seen when hung needed covering too. Initially I wanted to paint them black. I thought this would make the stand out more as the colours on the canvas’ are very light. Both Sally and Richard advised me to paint them white as it is a cleaner more professional finish. Also, because everything is hung on white walls it would also compliment the canvas’ to have a white edge. This made a lot of sense and the white did look more effective.

When I started the paintings of Rhea I had never planned for them to be displayed as part of the end of year show. So when it was decided that they would go in the exhibit I was really pleased.

Three Linear Drawings

When I had completed my paintings of Rhea I started to imagine what I could do to compliment them more.
I had done a lot of painting and was keen to do some sketches and drawing. One of my tutors Steve was able to get me some really good quality paper called ‘Fabriano’
It is really think paper and ideal for what I wanted to achieve.
I had decided to do some linear drawings of Rhea as a contrast to the paintings I had done. I also really wanted to do one of Yvette too as I was disappointed with the sketch of her I had done so wanted to try a different approach.

I was so happy with the work when I had completed the drawings.
I got great, positive feedback from my tutors about them and was so pleased when I was able to include them in my collection of work in the exhibit.


Large Oil Painting of Yvette

When I started my oil painting of Yvette I had planned to do three of her all together. I had pictured it in my head of how I wanted them to look and I was fully prepared to have three large oil paintings complete in time for the end of term. I anticipated each one would take about a week each which would take me up to half term.
I was really disappointed at first when I realised that it just wasn’t going to happen. I think because I was not familiar with oil paint the painting took so much longer. I was quite frustrated at one point because in my mind I had planned to produce more work. So in a way I felt like I wasn’t achieving what I originally thought I could. So to me this was a big disappointment.
When I was in to the second week and still doing my first canvas of Yvette I knew there was not enough time to complete three. This was down to my job outside of college which only allowed me to come in to college three days instead of five and also because of the oil paints which were more challenging than I had thought they would be.
I spoke to Richard about my concerns and he assured me that doing one quality painting is so much better than rushing trying to get more done.
I did feel better after speaking to Richard and accepted that realistically I would only be doing one large oil painting for my FMP work.
In all it took me 9 colleges days to complete the painting.

IMG_1759 I am really pleased with how it looks and feel like I really did put a lot of effort in to it.
My tutors advised me, even though this was a good piece of work, it didn’t quite fit with my three paintings of Rhea and the linear drawings.
I completely agreed and knew exactly where my tutors were coming from. I understood that the exhibit had to look as impactful and impressive as possible.
I was really keen to keep my painting of Yvette in the exhibit because I felt that the work and time which I put in was important and this would show this by it being displayed. I was more than happy for it to be hung away from the other  pieces of my work which was being displayed elsewhere. And I was really relieved and grateful that I was able to keep it in the end of year show.

Problems I met and resolved whilst painting Yvette

Using oil itself can be quite a battle, especially when you are not used to them. So throughout the process I found it a constant challenge as the colors are mixing all the time even when you don’t want them to.


Because the tone of skin was a complete contrast to the color of Yvette’s clothing, it was noticeable when the colors mixed together so I found myself correcting this constantly. It was making a brown-grey sort of colour along the edges of the top where it met the skin,
To get the most accurate an clean effect i made sure that the colors hadn’t mixed when I was finished and just touched it up where it was needed.

IMG_1448  IMG_1621Yvette has her left, blue trainer showing on the photo. Because the photo was just a standard 4×6 size, it was very difficult to see any detail or tone in the image. So I decided to fashion my own shoe instead. I am glad I did because I was able to give it more tone and shape.


From my final outcome to how it would have looked had Richard not given his input, the painting would not have looked any where near as good. The colors of the skin are so much more accurate and professional looking. Yvette looked more like a cartoon before.
The color needed building up more just like when I have worked in acrylic.
IMG_1448IMG_1621 When you compare the photo to the painting you can see how they compare much more accurately. Yvette’s skin tone is more olive looking. Before I had made the improvements it was more red and peachy looking.

I am really happy with how it looks thanks to the advise I was given and followed through with.

Finally, the background was the main issue that really changed the way my painting looked.

IMG_1601 When I look at how the background effects the way the overall image looks, it really makes you think of how you can improve it.
The pink along with the black and the yellow tiles just take over the main focus and drown out Yvette. I panicked thinking that I had ruined the whole painting and was running out of time to correct it. Sally had so much confidence in me and reassured me that I would be able to change I plenty of time and make it so much better.

I decided that I wanted a much more toned down and subtle background. Something similar to that of Rhea’s.

IMG_1192 The background, even though colorful, does take away from the main focal point which is Rhea. I wanted to achieve this with Yvette also.

So I decided that a simple grey tone would compliment Yvette the most and that I would try and fade out the bold tiles.
IMG_1618IMG_1619IMG_1620IMG_1621 I just mixed a light grey using acrylic and washed over the pink and then worked back through with darker grey tones so that it didn’t look like one flat color. I darkened the edges slightly and also put a very light grey over the tiles to create a more subtle color.
I am so pleased with the outcome and that I followed Sally’s advise.

Painting Yvette

I had planned to complete 3 large scale oil paintings for my FMP of Yvette. I wanted to take the best images from the photos I took and produce the paintings from those images.
Unfortunately I was only able to produce one. I had not used oil paints before and was not very familiar with them. I came across some issues whilst I was painting and it took a lot longer than I  had anticipated.
I spoke to Richard about my concerns as I was really keen to get more oil paintings done. He reassured me that it was all about the quality of the work I was producing and not necasserily about the quantity. Keeping this in mind I focused on the one painting of Yvette to make sure it was a s good a quality as I could possibly make it.
Part of me was a bit disappointed that I only produced one are painting by the end. However, it was all good experience and learning and from that I can take away what I have learned and use this in future work which I may produce.

Drawing Yvette – Problems I met

I wanted this particular piece to work as drawing is what I enjoy the most and feel really comfortable and more confident with above anything else. So when I began making errors it got quite frustrating.
As I got more into the drawing I noticed the paper which I was using really wasn’t suitable. I hadn’t realised cartridge paper was quite delicate, especially with the techniques that I was using.
Because I was doing a lot of shading and rubbing out to get the effect of light it was damaging the paper. After a while the paper just began looking dirty and grey and had a mottled effect from the paper being damaged. I tried to correct my mistakes but this was just damaging the paper even more. Even if I used my rubber to take away something I wasn’t happy with, the area would just go grey form the pencil and it was beyond correcting.

I spoke to Richard and told him about the problems I was experiencing. He said that because I was using my fingers to blend the pencil this would also be contributing to the damage on the paper. This is because of the natural oils that are on our skin and that it was effecting the paper when I used my fingers to blend. I did try and use my blending stick as much as I could instead of my fingers.

The blending stick is such a helpful tool and does give a really soft effect. Especially considering the effect I want which is that realistic look.


This is the final image of my sketch. Honestly, I am disappointed with the outcome of my sketch. This is mainly down to the paper which I used. I feel it just ruined the overall look of my drawing. It was quite frustrating as I really wanted it to look more photo realistic and I think that if I had used better quality paper instead I would have achieved this look.

Also, because Yvette’s top was black, I found it very difficult to give it tone and shape. I feel that when I look at the image, her top just looks flat and takes away any realism in the drawing. I had to look really closely at the photo to see any sort of tone and shadow that would allow me to make the top look more realistic. This is a problem I have found with black in the past.

arnie This is an acrylic painting I did of Arnold Schwarzenegger in units 5-6. In the photo which I used to produce my painting, Arnold’s pants had barely any tone and when I first painted them they looked flat and unrealistic. So I added grey to create more shape and tone because before, the black colour took away from the overall outcome of my painting.
From the paintings I have done already I have found that even a good quality photo which I am reproducing can pose problems. It is sometimes hard to see small details which, when doing a larger scale painting can be tricky to interpret. So using my own initiative and through skills I have learned, it is just sometimes best to render something how you think it should look, especially when needing to make improvement. For example Yvette’s top and Arnie’s shorts.

Mike Leonard Sketch


I find that I struggle mostly with rendering faces and hands. Because I wanted to get the detail as perfect as I could I found I was rubbing out a lot on the face of this drawing and starting again.  It eventually began lifting the paper slightly underneath. This causes an issue when trying to blend as the pencil begins gathering in one place where the paper has been damaged. The work begins looking untidy on close inspection and it stops you from getting the fine detail soft and blended.
So I will be cautious when sketching in future and make sure that with the areas I find more difficult I will make sure my sketches are outlined softly so that if I do have to rub out the pencil I don’t have to put on too much pressure and damage the paper.