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Reflective Practice- Sketchbook – Inspired by…

Friday 13th October

Today I decided to begin decorating one of the pages of my sketchbook, ready for when I stick in my primary research from our trip. My first initial plan was to stick in the pictures and write down why I selected these pictures and how they are going to help me in the future; it is a very plain idea, but it will get across the idea of why I selected these specific objects as my inspiration. 

Then I found my old water-paints and got the idea to paint the page to add some character. But I wasn’t going to use bright colours – most of the pictures I selected contain quite dark tones, so making the page vibrant would not suit the primary research purpose. I chose a dark blue/indigo and a dark green; both colours compliment each-other perfectly, it will make the pictures stand out. 

Instead of doing precise brush strokes, making it look even and neat, I decided to do it messily to give it that artistic vibe. Yes, having a nice, neat sketchbook with pictures aligned perfectly with each-other is quite nice, but adding character to your pages is much better. 

However, when I was adding the water colour to the page, I decided to add some orange – I wanted to make some sort of contrast, but it didn’t go so well. 

The colour stood out too much against the green and blue – it would not match the theme of the page, but that is what you do; you test around, see what works and what doesn’t and then you change it – or keep it if you liked it. 

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Artist Research – Raqib Shaw – Inspired By…

Facts: Shaw uses pools of enamel and metallic industrial paints which is then manipulated to the desired effect with a porcupine quill 

Every motif is outlined in embossed gold, a technique similar to ‘cloisonné’ found in early Asian pottery 

He uses biblical themes in his artwork: devils, demons, angels, ghouls, skulls…etc

Opinions: I really enjoy his use of biblical themes – it reminds me of the middles ages, a time in which Christianity was important. 

The use of dark tones in his work really gets across, and envoke, a sense of fear into the viewer as demons and other hellish creatures are present. It gave me inspiration to use these similar colours and themes into my own work; just like Raqib Shaw I want my own work to be based on a historical art style (in Shaw’s case Renaissance) I want to use a more traditional art style – maybe with the use of woodblock as that is a medium I have always been interested in 

What I do despise about Shaw’s work is sometimes the painting can be too hectic – too much happening on the canvas. It can be quite difficult to follow the story of the painting as he uses a lot of historical and modern themes throughout his artwork. But netherless, it is still aesthetically pleasing to the eye and continues to draw you in. 

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Unit 13 – Final Show Presentation

The end of year show gives us, the students, the chance to show off our work from either this year or last year, showing how our skills have developed over time. I wanted to present my work different to my peers, though it would already be due to the book I have created. I wanted to add an artistic flair – instead of presenting my books on a table where the audience can come over and have a chance to read my narrative and look at the illustrations, I decided to have them up on the board alongside my portfolio sheets. Why I decided to go for this artistic choice is so people can look at the larger versions of the illustrations on the sheets and then read the book, seeing where each narrative lies and can visually see what is happening in that scene.

However, what I could change about this presentation are the portfolio sheets. I would only keep the two portfolio sheets that contain my illustrations and remove the sheet of Heath Quinn, a character I created from my last year FMP and developed for Unit 9. Though you can evidently see the development of skills from the start of the year (Unit 9) to the end of the year (Unit 13), it doesn’t seem like a lot of time has passed, but 10 months is definitely long enough for my skills to change drastically. Another thing I would also change, looking back on how the presentation went, I would’ve made a showreel that shown all my work throughout the two years, making a more accurate visual representation of how my skills in photoshop were so limited that I didn’t even know how to use opacity, to now being able to use a range of different tools to make my work look either hyper-realistic – though up for debate depending on the work – or include of my own personal flair.

What I could have done, but would be completely unnecessary, is make this book also into an e-book. Some of my audience will not be able to access a physical copy of this novella, so the only way they will be able to read it is online. This was going to be the way I was going to present it, people reading it off the computer but after extensive research – primary and secondary – I found out it was the least favoured out of both. However, to get more of a following I will need to make this accessible as possible so the audience who are interesting in reading this story will have no problems. I could post my novella on a freelance website like Wattpad, Achieve Of Our Own or even When I get a following – depending if my book is up to a certain standard – I could think about publishing it on Google Books which is very popular and accessible to millions of people.



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Unit 13 – Practical/Technical Problem Solving

Many practical/technical problems have occurred with this project though I have mentioned in another post which problems were the most serious for my project. Identifying the problems with this project has really helped with how I will go about it.

The first problem I identified on that post was about doing your own brief and how you can easily stray from tasks. How I helped solve this problem was by setting regular tasks, keeping track of what I have done during a session and what will be needed to be done next time. I find this method much more effective than the gannt chart and the action plan as you can time how long the task can go on for and which task you want to do. However, sometimes this can be a problem as it can mix up different tasks, making certain milestones fall back and set back the project slightly, meaning I have to work extra hard for everything to be one track; still the best method for me.

Next problem I mentioned was the book creation. Now, I have thought about different ways I could approach this: searched YouTube videos on how to make a simple, yet aesthetically good looking book, but they required complex tools that I cannot get a hold of; I asked my auntie who did a fine-art course in university, which her final was a book. She gave me some good ideas, but they didn’t fit with what I was looking for. So, I decided on making a plain book from word. Most books you see on the market are not complex – majority actually just simple folded books, with a hard-cover. The hardcover is not something I can acquire, so I had to go with simple paper. Though it is not what I envisioned, the book still has everything it needs and will not take away from the main event: the illustrations.

The last problem I mentioned was not really a big problem, but it would’ve given me the information I needed to make this book historically accurate, as I stated several times in my proposal was my goal. The Jorvik Centre located in York would have been the best source to gather information for my book as they have artefacts from the Viking era, but I did not have the time nor the funds. To overcome this barrier I decided to go to The Manchester Museum that held artefacts from the Roman era – close to the Viking era. Though not what I was looking for, both of these eras had similar weapons and armour, making getting inspiration much easier without depending on just secondary research.

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Unit 13 – Diary – 14/06/2017

S – Begin writing the first paragraph of my final evaluation, talking about why I decided to do this project and the research was needed to achieve it

M – This will be around 800 words as I want to get every bit of detail in, though it may be much longer as I intend to write a lot; when I start it becomes hard to stop

A – Final Evaluation are an opportunity for us, the pupils, to talk about what our projects are about, what helped us achieve them. I have done them for each project and have experience with what to write, but this is the largest one and will require me to write much more than the other times.

R – 800 words will not take a lot of time to complete as I am a quick typer, so it will not take me that long to achieve.

T – 22:50pm –  00:00am

The first paragraph was a very simple task, introducing the reader to what my project was and what research I did to get the information I needed. It was very detailed and explained everything that you needed, even talking about previous ideas I had before I picked the idea I used for unit 13. However, I intend to overwrite, maybe talking a bit longer than is necessary.