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

There and Back Again

Exercise Seven

For this exercise I took the train into London and spent the day with amongst some of the greats at the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery. I began documenting the journey on the train there, soaking up the views of nature before it turned to high builds and dirty underground.

I had drawn a lot of the interior of the train during the Sketchbook course, and so opted to try and capture the outside views instead. On the left is the rolling hills of the Chilterns, on the right is the tracks.

It is usually pretty empty on this train so drawing people was a bit limiting. Still, I had a go! I found the pages shown above to be a useful warm up with drawing on location. I still hadn't relaxed into the whole process so I felt the need to hide a little when it came to sketching people. I actually only managed to draw one person on the journey to London, the other page is from the journey home, which still isn't a lot!

Though it isn't a lot, by the end of the day I did feel my confidence in mark making grow incredibly.

My goal for this trip was to try and utilise the time efficientely in a way that I could collect as many drawings as possible that can be used across multiple exercises. More specifically I was looking to do this exercise, "there and back again", I wanted to do fashion illustration and possibly the architectural drawing. In the end I just documented my trip through moments. A mixture of people, place and artworks I enjoyed seeing in person.

These are possibly my favourite pages I have ever done when sketching on location. I felt as though I had really gained more confidence as the day went on and in the end very much enjoyed the whole day and process of documenting moments and filling up the pages.

After a good walk around both galleries, I took to the streets and walked some more. This time just soaking up the busy streets, restaurants and watching the bars and pubs gradually fill up. I thought this would be the time that I drew fashion, but I just didn't feel it. As mentioned, I found it very difficult to do this with people on the move, and I haven't quite mastered the seeing and drawing from memory when. Needless to say, the trip was a success. I stayed focused and was very pleased with the pages.

Having enjoyed using the sketchbook I popped into the art shop and grabbed my first lot of gouache paint that I intend to use for sketchbooks. I haven't used them before so in my inspired hour I'm keen to give them ago!

That is all I have for this exercise. In reflection, I am so glad I took myself on an art date with my sketchbook, and slowly mooched around a few galleries. I enjoyed it so much I aim to make this a regular habit to explore galleries and museums in a slow manner with the sketchbook at hand. It not only did wonders for the sketchbook confidence, but it did work magic on not really caring about the people around me, by this I mean being shy or stressed.

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