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Art & Design

If you intend to continue your studies within Art and Design, it would be beneficial to keep a sketchbook going over the summer months to ensure you continue to practise building upon your skills, improving your knowledge of existing artists and designers, as well as showing your passion for the subject.

Your studies could include observations from primary or secondary source materials using a range of media, techniques and processes, as well as working in the style of established artists and designers. Research on artists, including your analytical opinions of artists' work would also be beneficial. Presentation should be of the highest standard. Tip; prepare your pages before you begin, get rid of plain white backgrounds. Work on coloured or textured paper. For example, try shading with a white crayon on black paper, or ink / coffee stain pages. Collect wallpaper samples, wrapping paper, greeting cards etc and use these as backgrounds to mount artist information or research on. Cut shapes out of your pages to reveal a small sample of what's on the next page; be creative!

Media you could use; pencils, charcoal, (chalk or oil pastel if working on a bigger scale; these are too chunky to do small studies with), collage, pencil crayons, watercolour or acrylic paints, felt / ink pen and water, you could use food colouring or certain types of ink for a background and paint onto it with bleach (do a small sample first as it doesn't work effectively with all inks... and wear old clothing!)

Observations could include:

  • Still life objects such as fruit / veg / flowers, items spilling out of a container, toys, pair of shoes, personal possessions such as jewellery, phone, makeup, football or other sports kit or trophies.
  • Landscapes; you could work from photos you've taken. Countryside, towns, tree/s etc. You could look at artists who have done landscapes and have a go at working in their style (Leonid Afremov is quite interesting to look at)
  • Portraits; the most difficult would be to do a direct observation from a mirror. (You will be able to find lots of help guides on-line about facial features and proportions). Try doing observations of parts of your face, such as your eyes. If you struggle with this, try drawing from a photo in a magazine or poster to begin with.

When doing work in the style of artists, try to do some research / analysis first, as well as copies of their work, then push yourself by creating a piece in their style. Popular artists for students to look at (who work in a variety of ways) are Sarah Graham (still life), Leonid Afremov (landscapes and others), Escher, Giger, Chrissy Angliker (portraits), Marion Bolognesi (portraits), Carolee Clarke, Caravaggio, Dali...

You could also have a go at photography - think about interesting angles and viewpoints. Bird's or worm's eye views of objects / things, extreme close-ups, framed shots etc (you will be able to find more info on what makes an interesting photo on-line).

Good luck!