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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Editorial Illustration

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

Key points in this exercise:

  • Buy a newspaper - cut out the illustrations

  • Make a mental note on how the art refers to the text

  • Select heading from the list

  • Write a few sentences or use text from existing article

  • Highlight important words

  • Concept to final illustration


I decided to take on the food industry with the topic, How green is your food?

Being a vegetarian, I felt it would be interesting to explore the topic, and discover some new - probably not so pleasant things - that are acceptable in this age where growing veg is concerned.

Since being introduced to the several documentaries that are easily accessible on Netflix and other streaming programs, the truth behind our consumerism has been one of a mind blowing eye opener. Having your trust to huge organisations being completely warped by realities is a difficult pill to swallow. What is right for us or wrong has been complicated through commercialism. Where you would often go for real advice, now feels to be just words that are powered by money. Who do you believe?

According to an article that had been published in 2009, we were on a slippery road to science experiments on our plates rather than nature, and that was 11 years ago! Where are we with science on our plates now, I ask. "UK scientists will soon be artificially growing millions of lettuces that'll never see the sun, rain or soil" [1]



I kept the observations really loose when using the acrylic. I love the textures in the paint strokes and how the mixing of colour happens on the page, leaving it unblended.

Below is a pencil observation sketch where I tried to us a rough colouring technique that I see being used often in the industry. Not sure I was very successful with it, but I had fun creating it!



I stuck a few thoughts down - materials I thought would be useful for coming up with ideas. I did a little swatch of what painting with mud would look like. The newspaper image is from an article about China during Covid-19, how a team of people had lined up before going out to spray the roads. It inspired the ideas that were to come later on.

This was the second attempt to layering mud as paint. Here I used a paper bag from the local veg market as the canvas. After learning more about Thanet Eartha and the hydroponic used to grow the veg, I was inspired by the roots of the lettuce which grown in to long tangled white string. Here I didn't exactly have a white string at hand, but what I did have I attempted dop white paint on. Not really sure it worked the first time as it completely soaked up the paint. Nevertheless I like the way the string had unravelled into smaller broken strands, it reminded me of roots which is exactly what I wanted. I continued this experiment into a fuller picture.

As mentioned in my sketchbook, these dry branches (not sure on the name) would work for the smoke out of a factory. Here I put it to the test and I like the result! I think the rest of the concept could have been improved but as experiments go, I was feeling good. It wasn't about a perfect final piece, it was just to put a concept together.


This would go on to be the background of the next series of illustrations.

I had done so much research with this topic but didn't get around to discussing it and linking the resources. It's disappointing knowing that I'm still not able to complete the exercises to their full potential within the deadline. Whilst being in lockdown I thought I would be able to manage my time a lot easier, but alas it's been the same. I went through rollercoasters with my level of concentration. In the early stages of the lockdown I spent a lot of time following the news, reading conspiracies and getting lost in it all. I was able to cut away from the noise eventually but by then I had left a little amount of time left to complete everything. But then, this is the case even without a pandemic! Anyways, I have a lot of time management that still needs to be learnt where juggling all of the exercises are concerned. I'm very good at giving all the time to one exercises and no time at all to another. This exercise did already take a lot of time with the illustrating side. thankfully I wasn't short of ideas and found myself jumping all over the place to get them done, something I'm sure is noticeable when scrolling through this blog. But it did leave little time to discuss, so not all was complete. Hopefully by the time it comes to assessment I will have addressed all areas!




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