Category Archives: Art

Anatomical Portrait Drawing

This week, I attended the Anatomical Portrait Drawing course at Central Saint Martins. Here are my photos documenting how the days went by. (Illustrations are tutor demonstrations, overall student works and hand outs.)

Day 1 

• Drawing the overall portrait figure.



Day 2

• Drawing the overall portrait figure with a consideration of the anatomical structure (bones, muscles, joints).

• Drawing the the anatomy of the hands, arms and shoulders.




Day 3

• Drawing with more freedom.

• Drawing the anatomy of the feet, legs and hips with an introduction on how to create form.




Day 4

• Drawing the anatomy of the head, neck and spine.



Day 5

• Drawing portraits with influences from historical paintings. Examples such as Hans Holbein and Frank Aucherbach.




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Creative Day: Monoprinting in the Garden

October’s Creative Day took us to an outdoor activity of monoprinting!


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Creative Day: Serpentine Galleries

The creative day for this month was held at the Serpentine Galleries. We saw these impressive structures of the Serpentine Pavilion 2016 designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG); (10 June – 9 October).


We then accomplished making our own structures in the form of much smaller origami creatures.


Info about this on the Serpentine Galleries website:

Serpentine Pavilion Architect’s Statement

For the Serpentine Pavilion 2016, we have attempted to design a structure that embodies multiple aspects that are often perceived as opposites: a structure that is free-form yet rigorous; modular yet sculptural; both transparent and opaque; both solid box and blob.

We decided to work with one of the most basic elements of architecture: the brick wall. Rather than clay bricks or stone blocks, however, the wall is erected from pultruded fibreglass frames stacked on top of each other. The wall is then pulled apart to form a cavity within it, to house the events of the Pavilion’s programme. This unzipping of the wall turns the line into a surface, transforming the wall into a space. A complex three-dimensional environment is created that can be explored and experienced in a variety of ways, inside and outside. At the top, the wall appears like a straight line, while the bottom of it forms a sheltered valley at the entrance of the Pavilion and undulating hillside towards the Park.

The unzipped wall creates a cave-like canyon lit through the fibreglass frames and the gaps between the shifted boxes, as well as through the translucent resin of the fiberglass. As a result, the shifting overlaps as well as the movement and presence of people outside create a lively play of light and shadow on the cave walls within.

The materials include wooden floors and extruded Fiberline profiles, providing every surface with a warm glow and linear texture – from the mesh of woven glass fibres to the undulating lines of the grain of wood.

This simple manipulation of the archetypal space-defining garden wall creates a presence in the Park that changes as you move around it and as you move through it. The North-South elevation of the Pavilion is a perfect rectangle. The East-West elevation is an undulating sculptural silhouette. Towards the East-West, the Pavilion is completely opaque and material. Towards the North-South, it is entirely transparent and practically immaterial. As a result, presence becomes absence, orthogonal becomes curvilinear, structure becomes gesture, and box becomes blob.

Bjarke Ingels – BIG, February 2016

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Harmless Like You Featured in the Stylist

Harmless Like You is featured in Book Wars, Stylist magazine (Issue 330, 10th August 2016, The Fastest Woman in Britain).

‘Slick and intelligent…it’s the subtle brilliance of Buchanan’s back-to-front tale that really left me reeling.’

Book Wars_HLY_web

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The Art of Botanical Illustration

This weekend I undertook a masterclass in botanical illustration that looked specifically at peaches, plums, pomegranates, figs and cherries.


The tutor showed us example works of artists such as Maria van Huysum, William Hooker and Redoute for inspiration. As well as giving demonstrations and scientific information.

A few bits of information regarding botanical art:

  • There are four basic shapes in botanical illustration: sphere, cone, cup and tube/cylinder.
  • Botanical illustration is mainly drawn on either white paper, ivory paper or vellum. The type of paper that we were using is called hot press watercolour paper 300gsm.
  • There should be a constant light source.


Here is the colour palette we were working from. We were painting the outside of the fruit. However, the fruit is cut open as it is the colour on the inside that actually helps to inform what the first base layer of paint should be. Then the colours our layered up from the lightest to the darkest hue.


I was concentrating on drawing and painting the peach. Starting with a base layer of yellow, then orange, red, purple.


The whole class displayed their work to discuss and see what one another had achieved in the lesson.


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Creative Camping

I recently went on a trip to Kent for a weekend described as ‘half adventure camp, half music festival’. There were lots of practical activities to participate in such as sport, science, engineering…There was even time to get artistic. This is my first ever attempt at creating a piece of handmade acrylic jewellery.


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Creative Day: Tate Modern

This month’s Creative Day was organized by myself and I decided that we would go to the Tate Modern. As I enjoyed the collage activity the last time, I thought we could do it again…but this time with some added rules.

Everyone was given an envelope containing 16 pieces of random materials. The rules are stated below as:


The collages are based on this month’s two creative book cover briefs. One for fiction and the the other non-fiction.



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Creative Day: Wellcome Collection

This months creative day was at the Wellcome Collection, where we made some collages based on the creative book cover briefs. See below photo of these on display back at the office.

Creative day collage

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Creative Day: Pollock’s Toy Museum

At work a Creative Day occurs monthly and it consists of a morning visit to a gallery or a book shop. It can vary as we take it in turns to organise where we will be going or what we are going to do. Though a definite must is that we all sit down as a team to discuss that particular month’s selected creative briefs. What is different about creative briefs is that usually other briefs are specifically assigned to a certain designer to work on. Whereas, with creatives these are open briefs and it is an opportunity for the whole team to put ideas/concepts forward. Sometimes we’ll have time to do some quick sketches, gain some inspiration from an exhibit or browse the gift shop. Usually after the actual creative morning, we have a week or so later to put together a more thought through sketch or visual along with some reference images/suggested illustrators/picture research. The ideas are firstly presented to the rest of the art team and then to editorial. Next, it gets narrowed down to a shortlist to be put through to the cover meeting. Here is where lots of discussion takes place and ideas are further eliminated to just one or two. In most circumstances whose ever idea wins, that designer gets to work on developing it further.

This month, I organised the Creative Day at the Pollock’s Toy Museum. I followed the recommendation of one of Hodder’s authors, Florence Knight (her cookbook is called One: A Cook and Her Cupboard). In an article for the Evening Standard, she notes this as her favourite London discovery!


The Pollock’s Museum is actually quite close to our former work office location in Great Portland Street. The route around this small building leads you through six rooms via two creaky winding staircases. It has mainly Victorian toys but there is also an Egyptian clay mouse (that has a moving wooden mouth and tail) from the banks of the river Nile.


Here are some very delicate shadow puppets:


There are some posters and good inspirational sources of vintage typography.


There are various Noah’s ark toys on display, one even included miniature crickets boarding.


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Calligraphy Course

Had a stab at doing some calligraphy, trickier for left-handed people. The tutor showed us some beautiful lettering and patterns that can be achieved.

Below are photos of demonstration pieces created by the tutor.


Calligraphy 2_web

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