Preliminary drawings and ideas for exercise – ‘study of townscape using line’

1st sketch – varying scale and working on perspective, line and mixing different aspects of the high street together.

Notes & reflections on drawings & the exercise notes – pencil drawings 5/5/17

Mood – the mood is gloomy. I find the high street quite an ‘alien’ place as we haven’t lived here long so it doesn’t quite feel like home yet – although I do really love where I live. I have really focused on getting the angles of the lines correct which then meant my perspective was correct (even though i’m still not amazing – I have learnt so much and I am finally applying this learning to my work. I was mainly taught these skills from just one life drawing lesson – and that one life drawing lesson I attended has completely change how I approach drawing – its AMAZING!  – I’ve never actually been taught HOW to draw and its really opened my eyes to the drawing and observation world).

It was a dark cloudy afternoon at work when I went out and took the pictures. I think the highs street seems quite ‘boring’ which is something in contrast to how I have been working and layering my drawings so far. I think the way I have taken the photographs creates a more inspiring and creative way to draw a townscape. I’ve really enjoyed working with this idea as it has also enabled me to play around with scale which is another aspect of the work I have been doing.

I’m really pleased with the lines and angles and ‘correct’ measurements I have drawn. These are some of the first drawings I have been pleased to show. I worked hard on perfecting the angles, measuring them with my pencil as the drawing progressed. They are just simple sketches but I took my time over them. However I did feel very precious over them as I had spent a long time correcting them which meant I hadn’t really experimented much with other media.


Not really sure what the exercise is asking in regards to the final drawing?!? But I wanted to practice drawing precisely and I feel i’ve really worked hard in accomplishing that. It says to complete the study in black pen. Do I draw again in black ink?

Rather than just simply layering the drawings try and formulate some sense of depth and perspective for the townscape – linking in Julie Mehretu but also finding the focus point for the drawing.

Julie Mehretu seems have a centre point/focus point in her drawings. The exercise information said to find a centre point. Having a look at the example of the students work for the exercise in the OCA book, I don’t feel she considered a centre point for her drawing, which was something that was concerning me for my final drawing.

I am now writing this after my drawing is complete so I would like to think about editing this drawing to link in clearer with Julie Mehretu’s work!

So for the final drawing I traced all my preliminary drawings and then used ‘carbon paper’ to place them all together in my A2 sketchpad. I was really pleased how it turned out. I thought of the drawings like photo joiners and tried to join each one with the next. I tried to position the drawings in a way where there were parts of the paper not covered and the drawing not dominating the paper too much. I wanted to create calmer parts to the drawing than others, also to gauge some sort of order & ‘journey’ of the town. I really liked the blue that the carbon paper had left and felt like it really linked in with a ‘blue print’ from an architectural sketch. However, I noted that the exercises had to be in black ink or pen so I went over the lines in black fine liner. (I wish I hadn’t as i think it was a lot more striking as a piece in the blue). I’m really pleased with the overall effect however I feel very precious over it and not sure whether to add ink to the pice – i might do some quick experiments on the drawing in my sketchbook. I’m also not sure if it needs more layers and if the blank part work!?! I’m rather interesting in adding some blocks of cool into the piece like I did for the large scale drawing with layered cellophane.



Figure 1. Mehretu, J. (2013) Kabul [Graphite and acrylic on linen] At: (Accessed on 28 December 2017)

Figure 2. Mehretu, J. (2012) Mogamma: Part 1 [ink and acrylic on canvas] At: (Accessed on 28 December 2017)

Figure 3. Mehretu, J. (2011) Aether (Venice) [ink and acrylic on canvas] At: (Accessed on 28 December 2017)

Figure 4. Mehretu, J. (2007) Black City [ink and acrylic on canvas] At: (Accessed on 28 December 2017)

2 thoughts on “Preliminary drawings and ideas for exercise – ‘study of townscape using line’

  1. I love this! Really, it’s very satisfying (I like that architectural element – I didn’t think carbon paper still existed though! – I used graph paper in mine). I rather like the blue – I shouldn’t worry too much about meeting the requirements of he exercise to the letter. You’ve used line, you’ve used perspective, you’ve definitely got the feeling of a townscape – that is the core of the exercise. Brilliant!


    1. Aw thank you so much! Yeah I think I’m going to continue taking aspects – I have met quite a lot of the aspects of the exercise. I loveeee using carbon paper! Haha!


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