Assignment 2: A Sense of Place

Your local tourist board has commissioned you to produce a series of reportage illustrations that celebrates aspects of local culture. Base your illustrations on real local events, locations and people. Capture a sense of place through drawing from life. Produce between three and five pieces of work, at least one of which should be in colour.
The style of the illustrations is up to you, but the tourist board wants something that portrays vitality and life. They want to see people at a destination, engaging with activities or enjoying themselves taking in the views. As with the exercises you’ve done so far, use your sketchbook to document and gather information. Your final illustrations could be a selection of your best drawings or re-worked illustrations based on your sketches. Reflect on what sort of reportage you are most interested in and how you’ve produced your best drawings, then pick a place that supports this way of working. For example, if you’re interested in architectural illustration, focus your assignment on illustrating local buildings of interest.

For this Assignment I am working on a series of 4 illustrations of Cambridge in different seasons. The aim was to show both the architecture and flowers and gardens, together with the multicultural nature of the city – tourists, students and local population. I might accentuate the multicultural feel more – possibly by making each image in a specific style or making the figures more obviously from different places. Or I might make the images more representative of different artistic styles. I think these options would be more interesting as a set than trying to make them all the same style. Although one option might be to make them all look Chinese/Japanese as this is a key market for Cambridge tourism – we even have market stalls where all the signs are only in Chinese.

I worked from Sketches on location – mostly pencil, but also crayon, pastel and watercolour. I supplemented these by photos and some video of activities like punting and skateboarding. I combined a selection of these sketches together in Procreate on my iPad as layered images that brought together different aspects of the scenes.

These all need quite a lot of work still. I may also use the Procreate composites as the basis for crayon drawings, or mixed media with acryllic pastek and ink. I have not yet decided. It depends on how my ProCreate skills develop by the end of the course compared to my use of analogue media. I still need a lot of practise across the whole skill set – when the weather gets a bit warmer again.

Spring: Clare College

I really like the background and the use of the crayon drawing. The aim was to give the image a Japanese and Chinese feel. This would be accentuated more if I decide to do each picture as a different cultural or artistic style. I did a lot of blending of the different colour sketches. I need to make the status of Confucius either strongly contrast – a critic of the scene? benevolent onlooker?, or make him blend in more eg by unifying the colours. There were also a lot of other tourists taking selfies with long selfie sticks. I would like to include some of those. The two gowned figures look more like burkas – though maybe that could also show inclusiveness and multicultural feel.

Summer: Millpond

I like this image – I tried not to make the photographer look too much like a spy! Maybe I should make him more obviously a foreign tourist. I also experimented with the different balance of coloured clothes. I could make the figures more obviously from different places. How I develop this image further will depend on what I do about the other images.

Autumn: Jesus Green

My original feel for this one was Van Gogh. The very striking colours in the avenue of Horse Chestnut trees. I am not sure about the bright colours though. This one does not fit so well with the others. I had problems because of the range of colours and media I had used in the initial sketches. I want to include more figures doing things in the gaps between the trees.

Winter: Round Church

This is the image for which I have the fewest sketches and need to do more – I wanted to wait till winter, but then it will be cold. I started with the detailed graphite drawing of the church, and some sketches of people over the summer. And want to include people looking well wrapped up, happily snapping and talking. But I need to observe how people are in winter. Maybe add a bit of Xmas cheer.

Sketches and drawings

Assignment 2: Cambridge Spring: Clare College

Assignment 2: Cambridge Summer: The Millpond

Assignment 2: Cambridge Autumn: Jesus Green

Assignment 2: Cambridge Winter: Round Church


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