Assignment 3: Developmental Drawings


Grid line drawing. Ready to scale up. A4

I was struggling with the small thumbnails (see preliminary sketches) to get the scale right on the object out side the window. I was drawing them to large, the view was getting cropped. Because of this I thought I’d start by making a well visually measured line drawing on a grid ready to scale up. The result is very uninspiring. However the exercise has helped me get my eye back in to drawing from life. drawings after this turned with out much better scale and proportion.


cross hatching in colour pencil. A4, view from bed room window.

This colour pencil study shows a proposed composition with pot plats in the mix. I used colour pencil to start thinking about colours. I ended up going no further with this view. After the drawing below made in the front room I knew observing this vista was getting more out of me.


Front Window – A2, charcoal and soft pastel.

For the front room I just sort of went for it. This drawing wasn’t supposed to get so tight but I enjoyed doing it and liked it as it evolved. I’m pleased with how this one turned out. Ok so the leafs could do with a little more work. As this is not the final drawing I have just gotten a feel for them here. I will explore the plant further in the following developmental drawings. I am keeping in my head at all times the point of this assignment is the view. predominantly a landscape not a still life. I must be careful to keep the balance right.

I have taken a zoom in view. The window is much larger but alas most of it is filled with the opposite building you see on the edge left here. So no arial,  linear or angular perceptive. To get this view I set the easel up right beside window at right angle os I can look out towards the park area. This can only been seen when standing close to window and viewing through it on an angle.

Both Laura Oldfield Ford and Olwyn Bowery came to mind. Oldfield Ford because of the urban back ground scene and Bowery for the plants she depicts often in front of windows. I quite like the amalgamation here.

As I saw from the painting ‘New York Roof Top My Window In New York’ – Mstislav Dobuzhinsky . Also Ken Howard’s  ‘Dora at Oriel, Spring’ that I researched A contrast in colour intensities inside and outside of the window can help distinguish between the two different spaces. I have had a go at that here using pastel inside and mono tone charchoal outside.

The wall, which I  dreaded, that splits the picture horizontally I actually find quite pleasing. It divides the space giving a quite back ground to the plant, making my job a bit easier. It also crates a sense of distancing. Separating the view inside from the world beyond the window. A bit like a barer. The wall is infact brick but I liked the footage effect so left it blank in this one as if it has a plaster covering. Will try the brick work in other studies.

I am hopeful others may surmises from the drawing that the plant and the view occupy different sides of a pain of glass. To make sure of this I could add some frame, I will experiment with this in further drawings. also could add a few reflection or smudge marks as seen in the tube train window studies.

There where some cars on the road. I left these so it was not to busy behind the plant steam. Also I want to practice them in the sketch book before adding them as the few attempts I had earlier in part 3 were pretty ropy. I may yet decide to leave them out altogether. They will be pretty small and fiddle on A3.

I hope there is just about enough buildings present to for fill the brief. The angular perspective on the Wight building far right is slightly wonky. The balconies closer are actually triangular not an error in the draft.

I’m pleased with the arial perspective applied to the far trees. I will keep this aspect in future drawings and try to impove further.

The sky is getting there. A little more cloud practise to decide on the sky I want in the final drawing wouldn’t go amiss.

I ended up using a Wight pastel to pick up some highlights as the paper is yellowish. I will make another study really focussing on tone in black and white on grey paper.

For my final drawing I will make sure the straight lines are straight. I will make initial lines with ruler then go fee hand on top to avoid robotic out come.

As I work on this drawing on three separate occasions the shadows chopped and changed. I think I will make a light fall plan for the final drawing so all shadows and highlights are in a consistent direction.


Car study, a4 charcoal


Small digger. Earth works are ever present at Newhall

I wanted to attempt the cars on there own as they have been week in other drawings for this part of the course. I focussed on for shortening, perspective – getting believable angles to place them on the ground and scale from near to distant cars.

Also got the chance to put a small digger in the mix today. The players on the park stage are ever changing.


A4, Ink and wash on Bockingford water colour paper.


A4, Ink and charcoal – Bockingford paper

To these to ink studies I zoomed in on the trees. starting to think about arial perspective, relationship and how to distinguish between far woods and mid ground trees around path. I like the flicks of ink for the near trees. They should blossom any day now so will be more accurate. For the final drawing Im going to try and go as realistic as I can.


Atmospheric perspective – A3 and ½ ,soft pastel on dark green cartridge paper. Starting to think about colours.


Colour Block. I like the colour of this shadow under the trees. Mixing a blue over yellow. should have left it like this. Ended up over working once trees where in place.

Starting to think about colour with this broad brush colour study. I exaggerated the colour tints I could see in the landscape. It was drawn between 7-8 am. Although misty the light was strong and rich as the sun was low. It was a yellow tinted light. The brown buildings looked reddish. The tarmac looked lilac grey in places, blue grey in others with a little yellowing high light to. the grass looked yellowish.  the far tress where still in the morning mist and appeared a blue grey. The group of trees in the park had a reddish tinge to there edges where the back light shone through the twigs with the mist blurring the edge’s. I made the hole group in reds. looking at ways to pull it forwards from the far distant trees. The sky was cloudless just misty. For the final piece I intend to add clouds even if there are non. Add a bit of drama that way I hope. I will do some cloud studies to find arrangements I like for the sky in this scene.


A3 Bockingford paper. Pencil and soft pastil study of trees.


Pencil underneath. Regret adding pastel on top. Lost fine detail.

I wanted to really examine the far trees and try to draw what I saw. I used pencil on Bockingford pinned to an easel close up to the window so I could pear through. Bockingford not really best choice for fine detailed pencil, bit rough. I used well sharpened HB and 8B. I strained my eyes to try to see the distant detail. It was 2-4 in the afternoon and the sun was out. Looking from bright out side far away to dull inside close up paper did make my eyes go a bit funny! In a moment of madness at the end I put soft pastel over the whole thing to add a bit of colour. All it did was obscure the fine detail and whip out the high lights I had carefully left white. It was a silly thing to do. I could have used the pencil study to help me place light and dark in the final drawing. Instead I tried to make it work as a drawing in its on right and ruined it. Hopefully I will learn from this and not do something so rash again.

The smaller image below is the last recording I have. I had finished it of in pencil adding a long shadow from the building out of shot right. Also had carefully shaded the trunks and surrounding grassy shadow to show light full on these. I had also worked the distant forest more making it richer.

Note to self – For the final drawing you MUST keep distant woods faint. Even if you add details don’t work the shadows to deep or there’ll be no where left to go for the rest of the drawing. My be add this eliminate last so you can measure value against the rest of the drawing.


Making a study of Oldfeild-Fords biro drawing to see what marks and how she deals with light and shade in the vegetation masses.

Whilst making this study I was first struck by how simple yet effective the composition is. It has a kind of Feng Shui type balance and harmony. The horizon line cuts a straight horizontal through the bottom 3 quarters of the page. Below this a loverly A frame style path which is virtually symmetrical gives us a way in to the drawing. the the eye shoots up a strong yet faint vertical presence, the mid pylon which splits the page near in half vertically. Tower blocks and bushy scrub to the left are balanced by a large lone bush that might be a boodle on the right. Where it touches a smaller scale pylon that shows us perspective and depth of field so we know the landscape dose now end here. Oldfeild-Ford uses such a light touch of the further away objects, the tower blocks and the pylons. In here drawing the tower blocks are finished off. in my copy I was interested in the handling of the vegetation so left them blank. With the green growth she uses a verity of squiggles vertical and horizontal lines in varying densities. the lighter areas then come forwards and the more densely marked become the shadows. I notice she strives to get minute detail in with very little left to the imagination to fill. a wash is added to give a little shading to areas by bleeding the biro a little.



Here I have tried to translate her style to my my view. It has helped with the lawn a I was leaving it as a wide expanse with just colour to tell the tale. Here I have added a little texture. As it is mowed it is not as wild and free as the grasses in the above artists drawing. But it has worked to give it a body of its own not just a large void space. Perhaps the trees are improved a little too. It is a struggle to pick out detail as they are a little far way.

I drew this on the marble paper as it seems I am crazy about colour and can’t resist using it every where! (You should see my flat). I was hoping it would add some atmosphere as it was a sunny morning when I made this drawing. I added some chalk for high lights and to create the lingering mist over the distant wood. I had tried to use a wash but didn’t want to work on the marble. Probably because the marble is made with oil based pigment. It did mean the chalk applied over the top when grey which I don’t hate as the mist over the trees did appear grey.

The composition is irrelevant really in this drawing as it is a close up or study for final drawing. However I notice there are some similar elements. The road could lead the eye in before it saunters over the path. The balcony has a small yet strong presence at the bottom of the page. This makes a barrier between view and drawing that I like. I hope it gives a clue to the view point for on lookers.

There is not a clear sense of depth of field as I have drawn all element with a hard pressure. I MUST become more aware of this moving forwards. I am going to stick words to this effect on a post it not on the easel for the final drawing.

It has been a valuable exercise to make a study of another artist drawing, then one of my own in the style of, then compare the two. It has really helped to highlight areas to improve on.


People crossing the park over the space of 15 minute.

Suddenly the park was filled with school kid and there accompanying adults. Tried to capture there tiny shapes ( they look the size of the top part of  index finger before the second knuckle it that. They moved quite quickly. Will try this again to get hang of making an impression of the leg shapes at walk. I like the little guy on the bike. Hope you can tell which one that is. Hope to see more foreshortened bikers whizzing up the path to try and get down on paper.


Scale drawing to add final composition on A3

Really did not like the grid drawing I made from the other widow. So for for this scale drawing I just put a cross section through t to get the elements in the correct place. The shapes are simple enough to do it this way.


A2 width cloud study in charcoal.

Since I have been working on this view bar the first day there has not been a cloud in the sky. Plenty of mist, some nice clear spells but strangely no decent clouds for drawing. Only the odd stray  and distant whisp. The charcoal study is after a photo taken some years ago that I have filed in the cloud folder in ‘drawing reference material’. The image is made from around four photos merged together in photo shop. It was of the most incredible cloudscape. Big fluffy rolling puffs with a sinister underbelly of black. It moved quickly and morphed in form as it dragged a summer rain storm beneath. The eye of the storm made this beautiful squashed elliptical shape where the rain sheets are visible. The sun also played its part, high lighting the plums and swells of the vapour as the wind hurried it along. If there is a God it is nature.

I digress, I want to put some clouds in the scene and as the sky at the minute is not offering me up any I’m on the look out for some clouds that may fit the scene. Although I love this formation and hope to draw and paint it again in the future. Now I have drawn it I don’t think it will fit well into the composition.


After Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) ‘Path Under Trees, Summer’.

I remembered that when I was looking at Camille Pissarro as an earlier research point I was impressed with his stipple style. Saying that this particular painting,  ‘Path Under Trees, Summer’, is more dabs than dot. My interpretation of it bares nearly no resemblance to the original bar a ruff compositional likeness. I think the mark which are made with felt tip are more Van Gogh like in nature. I hope you can just about tell the swirls are depicting sun lit foliage. I perhaps should have worked the shadow ares more to make them denser.


A4 – stipple felt tip and broad pastil colour studies of view in the dark (early morning in fact).

I woke up early so took a sneak peek at my view to see how the light was. The yellow neon glow of the lights made circular patterns in the mist as the light radiated outwards. The sky was a strong turquoise where the sun was just starting to light it. The buildings and trees had a sleepy dark blue tone to them. There day time livery just starting to revealed its self.

Was thinking about maybe going with some stippling with the final drawing. Don’t like it on the straight up and down buildings. Works better for the swirly leaf masses of foliage. Do like it with the light and night sky mingling.  Form is trick with this method. the above drawing looks total flat and overly stylised. Not going to take it forwards from here.

The soft pastel study has more scope. Will try a dark sky, neon light scene at some point. But for now, going to stick with the day time one.


Thinking about which mediums to use.


Thinking about clouds, perspective and scale.

I remembered being quite in ore of the drawing ‘Landscape with Rainclouds,’Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) when I came across it in the book Experimental Drawing by Robert Kaupelis. So when I got to thinking about clouds. In particular how to depict them with a sense of perspective I was reminded of this image. Imitation can be the best way to learn so I quickly made a likeness in 8B in the A4 sketcher. This was a satisfying experience. Just like looking at buildings from above we can see a little, or all of there tops (roofs). So when viewing clouds from below we can see some or all of there underside depending on the view angle. The further away the less of the bottoms we see and the more bunched the masses become and of course smaller in scale and fainter. Obvious really! But it wasn’t in till drawing it I really understood it, although I could see it I was  struggling in the depiction. I tried out a couple of arrangements on the scale and perspective drawings below and was pleased with the way they enhanced the depth of field.

Other interesting things about this drawing. (My version is not of the whole drawing, There is much more foreground in Leonard’s. It was the sky mainly that interested me here.) It is clear the drawer was sitting (or imagined sitting) at an elevated level. I would say the eye level is 3 quarters way up the mountains. Such a rich depth of field with the on looker getting both a looking up view and a looking down view to the town in the valley. Leonardo also gives a circular composition to the weather. The eye comes down with the rain to the mountain left, scoops through the valley shaped like a half pipe then up the rain along the clouds and back down again.

Again I want to remind myself about drawing pressure. I want the final drawing that I will be doing using a range of pencils to have many varying line strengths there fore values. Faint lines are as integral to a good drawing as heavy ones. To heavy to soon and a drawing can be lost. I speak from much experience as I can be ham handed in my drawing, going in to heavy with the marks. I must remember to be sensitive with the approach and build up. I also want to focus on the plant first then work back in depth of field. For all the other drawings I have done it the other way round and am finding the far trees are always to loud and there fore too close. I will begin by lightly building all elements equally to give idea of colours, light and dark. Then set to on the plant.


A3 oil pastel on grey murano paper, tonal study.

For this oil pastel tonal study I used A3 as it is the size I will be working with. I wanted to plot in the light and dark as an exercise to make myself more aware of drawing in tone mass and not line. The plant is roughly finished. It is just an indication of the tone, I didn’t want to spend to much time on it. It does show how the spiky tongue like leafs catch the light on there wavy and twisting surfaces.

Here is my first attempt to add the brick work. Again it is very rough. I will use a ruler to underpin the straight lines in the final drawing. I will pay a lot of  attention to getting the scale spot on. I am pleased with the relationship between the buildings, park, trees near and back  ground forest in this drawing. It is the closet I have come to how it appears in reality. I would say its near to accurate. I am also more pleased with the far forest. I am finally getting the feel of a far woods with very tall trees in. It think it dose recede against the front group of trees but could increase this even more.

The clouds where improvised bearing Leonard’s in mind. There not bad, although you can see there imaginary, they certainly liven the drawing up. I think I achieved a depth of field with them. This could be better still.

I couldn’t resist adding a couple of dog walkers + dog from my scribble sketches of people crossing the park. Can you see them?? The y are a little large in scale. I left the cars out and think I may do on the final drawing. Undecided still on this one.


About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter


  1. Fantastic developmental drawings Emma – I love all the different ways you have approached them 🙂

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