Nina's Textile Trail 2

– Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles

Drawing classes – Autumn term 2015

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A2 still life, standing at an easel.


A string of raffia woven lights draped down the wall onto a table and a glass bottle.  Exploring light, tone and reflection. A bit tentative. Understood that half closing eyes exaggerates the light and dark, a good way to compare the tone across the whole of the still life.  Used a combination of water soluble  graphite, charcoal, white oil stick, pencil.   Felt uncomfortable and a bit overwhelmed at the time but the overall effect was reasonable.  Like the effect of soluble graphite on the rear wall and the darkest raffia ball drawn with a 6B, then moistened with a damp brush.


Charcoal.  Comfortable medium, soft, responds well to my light, layered, tentative mark making.  Good for variations in tone.  Love the mark making in the protea and the potential of the marks in the other natural materials.  The smudged charcoal resembled the surface of the pewter mug but its not very well observed.  The protea head is definitely the highlight.


Started very tentatively (as usual) and probably spent 3 hours on it, but really pleased with the mark making which accurately conveys the form of the objects and the texture.  There is an uneven, crusty look to the top of the loaf and smooth lines to the jug and rounded edge of the board, form to the apple quarter and a hint of the tablecloth.


Less happy wth this.  Tried to be quicker and bolder.  Marks were bigger and bolder, but not much!   Slightly more success with the organic shapes of the vegetables than the candle stick, but not a very rewarding session.


This is my favourite of the term’s work.  I love the pine cones and delicacy of the fine twigs, suggestion of the pattern on the jug and sweeping movement of the leaves.   I like the leeway that plant material offers where incorrect placement is less noticeable and a suggestion of the form is more achievable (for me).

However, having confessed to that to my Art Tutor, she set up still life for the following two weeks encouraging me to look at placement and the relationship of each item compared to another and the negative space, which I find much more difficult.


I take a long time to get going with this type of still life, just not confident to get started and worrying if my drawing doesn’t resemble the subject.  At times like this, I forget that drawing is mark-making and regress to drawing outlines.  I am much more successful if I remind myself to make marks and start within a subject rather than on the edge.  There were lessons learned, with measuring and placement.


This too was tricky for me and the angle was difficult, but I persevered to place the items in relation to each other and the pattern on the cloth, constantly adjusting them until I was happy.  So, whilst the outcome isn’t as pleasing as I’d like, the learning experience was a really valuable exercise in placement.

A slight change for Christmas, we were encouraged to be bold, thinking about the light and creating an ‘ethereal northern lights’ feel.

Being bold is a little out of my comfort zone! but I enjoyed a more playful approach and used pastels, worked into with coloured pencils on pastel paper in the bottom right and pastels on smooth white paper top right. Loved the reindeer made by students at a local special needs school.

I am making progress with drawing and find it more enjoyable, although still aspiring to confident daily sketches.  “Just do it!” I hear some say, easier said than done, but I am working on it….





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