Looking Back Before Moving Forwards


The course material suggest we have a look at successes and failures made along the journey so far. I have decided and arranged with OCA to concentrate on animal drawing for pat 5. Drawing them from life will be challenging! But it is an area I feel enthused about and feel there is much scoop for investigation. Below are the animal I drew for the project ‘Drawing Animals’. These will be a good starting point form which to develop skills and ideas. All of these studies where made from life.


The number one model. He stays still for much longer than most as his favourite thing to do sleep. You’ll be seeing more of him in part 5.


First attempt at horses from life. They move a lot


Wombol – old horse. a bit slower with the moving making him a better model.


The texture I gave this one was too long in mark length making the dog appear to be another breed interlay. Something to bare in mind.


Oil pastel – Something I would like to use more in part 5.

horse02 dog02




A morbid reminder dead animals stay still. I should go to museums to draw skeleton and taxidermy specimens.

Sot that’s my good starting point sorted. My Tutor suggested to me it may be a good idea to go to museum to draw still (stuffed) animals to focus on anatomy. This is a goo idea and I will be going to the Natural History Museum  to follow it up. Might also be interesting to see if I can track down a Hurst fermeldahide animal on display in London. They are very eery and the fur in a liquid changes in texture. Could produce some interesting drawings/ line of inquiry.


Now a quick look at some successes and some ideas I would like to take further. Maybe incorporate into part 5. Here they are in chronological odder, earliest first.


Part 1 -Project 5 – Still life sketches of made objects. The biro drawing on the right shows how effective pen can be for describing fine detail and texture. Would work well for animal fur.


Part 1 – Project 5 – Composition of Natural Objects. I was pleased with this drawing although I took way longer on the exercise than I should have done. I built up the tone here with the detail of the fruits. A good example of how effective a pencil drawing can be when enough time and care is taken.


Assignment One – preparatory drawing for ‘Made Objects Drawing’. Here I used ink and charcoal footage together. Its an unusual combination I was pleased with results even if the under drawing a little on the wonk! Wet media works well for glass thanks to its transparent qualities. I could make the animals look like there made out of glass! could experiment with depicting them in transparent layer. Could lead to some very interring results.


Assignment One – Made Object Drawing’ Final drawing. This reminds me to use different drawing plains. There are types of papers despite cartridge. There are other surfaces out there despite paper.


Assignment One – “natural object drawing’. This was my bad. should have been in graphite. My new pastel set made me do it. This shows how soft pastels can look very close to a painting with oil or acrylic.


Part 2 – Project 3 Still life – Still Life Group in Tone. I was please with the out come of these two drawings exploring tone. I include them here to remind my self less can be more. Tone has been simply added using the side of pastel or graphite stick. I have used the same effect for part 4 assignment- form. Good for quick sketches to capture values in a quick and pleasing way.

ex2-t6 copy

Part 2 – Project 3 Still life – Still Life Group in Tone. (see above)


Part 2 – Project 4 Drawing fruit and Vegetables in colour – Drawing Using Oil Pastel. Want to engage with the oil pastel some more for part 5. Feel there is more I can get out of them and they should fit the subject well as they both smudge and can work well for detail. I would like to try using them with a solvent such as turps or similar.


Par 2 – Project 5 Drawing Plants and Flowers – Plants and Flowers in Colour pencil. I was dead chuffed with this one. Especially as it was all drawn from life i made the out come that much more rewarding as I pushed myself to got it done before the flowers wilted. This course has got me working from life pretty much all the time. the rewards and benefits being. Detail is always there. By that I mean I can zoom in and out with my retina as with the leaves and petals here. with photos there are out of focus elements, the colours are often inaccurate and can lead tinted drawings as a result. The true colours sing. Drawing from life is just more enjoyable and rewarding and it really improves the draftmanship. Colour pencils would suit my chosen subject for part 5 but that’s not really the direction I’m hoping to go in.


Part 2 – Project 6 Grabbing the Chance to Draw Animals. Here’s another quick animal sketch made in front of the dog in soft pastel. Inspired by Mark Adlington. I’d like to take this line of inquiry further.


Assignment 2 – This was a bit of a fail as an assignment piece but it marks the time I started trying out new things with ink. Hopefully I can refine these techniques for part 5.


Assignment 2 – A Preparatory drawing in soft pastel and water soluble pencils much more pleasing.


This was an observational drawing made outside the exercise structure but practising the things learnt so far. I’m pleased with how it turned out. Charcoal is grate for achieving fast vales and is so easy to manipulate one on the page it is a very forgiving medium.


Part 3 Landscape – Project 1 – A sketch book walk. It was a bit cold a blustery during this section. I used marbled grounds on occasion to try and depict the weather in a slightly abstract way. Grounds are some thing I would like to keep experimenting with.


Part 3 – Project 2 Perspective – Angular perspective. Fine liner or pen works really nicely for detail drawings using fine marks. Be good for fur texture.


Part 3 Landscape – Project 3 Townscape – Study of TownScape using Line. Fine liner also works nicely with ink wash. This can make for some interesting textures.


Part 3 – Project 3 Townscape – Limited palette study. This drawing marks my first real venture working on a mid tone paper. Since then I’v had a few more attempts. Some thing I want to keep using. should work nicely to help achieve a sense of form.



Assignment 3 – Landscape. These there studies made of the same view in different media remind me how useful working in series can be. Some thing I’d do well to remember for the part 5 assignment.





One drawing form 3 made inspired by a visit to Saatchii gallery where I saw the sculpture of Virgile Ittah. As I have found before, combining ink and charcoal looks quite effective. May be the monotone of the charcoal complements the vivid ink colours on a light back ground. Also the ink fixes creating some mood then charcoal can be worked and reworked how ever I like.


Part 4 Figures – Project one proportions. For these early exercise for the figure section I went to life classes. I like this as a gesture. It may do me some good to get some animal gestures down in a similar style.


A tonal study in pencil of Veronese ‘Andromeda’. Good to go to galleries to sketch. Also to make studies of master works at home. I hope to do some more of this for part 5.



Assignment 4 Figure Drawing. These two figure drawing as part of the assignment are interring to me. I like this direction and hope to explore this avenue further but with animal subjects.


I have been mulling over what I’d like to include as part of part 5. Along the way in the course to date I have often felt a little frustrated that I am not really getting to grips with the media to unleash its true potential More just scratching the surface hoping from one to the next to the next. So for part 5 I have decided there is a few media I would like to focus on and others I would like to drop.

Media I’d like to work with:

  • Pencils (of all sorts) pens, graphite stick and charcoal – These are valuables tools for tonal studies and so convenient for quick representations. I feel only in part 4 I am really starting to get to grips with tonal drawing. it is some thing I have not found easy. It takes time and patients and a light touch to do a tonal drawing justice. Building up the tone and turning the form are important elements that need more practise. Animals will provide a challenging subject to get t grips with this. Also I must not forget cross hatching which can help build tone especially in quicker studies.
  • Pastels – both hard and soft. I have been happy with the results with pastels. The broad range of colours, values and hues I have in my best 60 pastel set gives much scope for depicting shadow and light in colour. I find these the closest to painting with oil or acrylic. the mark widths and intensities can be easily varied and blending is possible. They work better in lager format drawings. I hope to explore there possibilities in more depth during part 5
  • Oil pastels – I feel I have under used the oil pastel so far. Again the results form using these comes quite close to paint. Especially in the finished look as they are oily/waxy in nature. It is possible to use them in an almost impasto way. I think they will be useful tools for drawing animals.
  • Wet Media – Inks and water colours. I haven’t yet truly unleashed the potential here. In fact my attempts with them have often been lacking. I don’t want to give up on them however.  I am seeing a look of impressive ink and water colour work about at the minute. I think they are very popular at present and people are really pushing the boundaries with them. I love the textures and unpredictable effects achievable with the Media plus a little water. I look forward to getting experimental, then trying to control the media a little to achieve hopefully some interesting results. I would also like to try using acrylic inks as well as water colour pastels that both sound like lots of fun. From now on I will just use them on appropriate paper for wet media. This will help to achieve some thing decent.

I am not ruling other media out. I have learnt that exploration and trying out new combinations can be very rewarding. But I would like to focus my attentions on the above to try to home my skills a little.



About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter


  1. You’ve covered a broad range, and done each well. Though I admit the line that may stick the longest is “dead animals stay still.” Funny, true, and potentially useful for capturing visual art.

  2. ‘Dead animals stay still’ Maybe this will have to be the title for a series of drawings.. Could get really dark!! Lol.

    Thanks for feed back. Always nice to hear from fellow bloggers.

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