Assignments, Coursework


This post is to draw attention to amendments I have made on exercises and assignments based on feedback from my tutors. Below are summaries on the changes I have made with a link provided to the original post for each piece of work.

Assignment 2 – Point of sale display : My tutor noted that in my research there were clear examples of text being used alongside image. To extend the assignment I added type but also changed the background to a flat colour. I was not entirely happy with what I had used before and I think this makes the style of them more consistent with one another.


Exercise 3. Image development: To extend this project I cropped the final drawing and faded parts of the reclining / drunk figure. I also enhanced the ‘aged’ sketchbook effect of the piece by digitally replacing the background paper and reworking the font to a more ornate script.

3.3 Image development final v2

Exercise 3.5 Giving Instructions : Feedback on this exercise noted that the background was dominating the design. I think one reason for this was the bright orange which I toned down. After reworking the background and type I converted the entire image to black and white which I think worked in bringing the instructions to the fore but was also more in keeping with the original flyers which provided inspiration for this work.



Assignment 3 – A Poster : In comments from my tutor on this assignment she noted that I should consider hierarchy more in my designs. She noted –

“In your final piece for this project all your elements are ‘turned up to eleven’! Which aspects could be smaller, or paler, or fade into the distance?”

I think this is fair comment and in the rework below I attempted to address this. I made the phoenix and fire more prominent in the foreground and the main point of focus and then moved the type top and bottom as banners, I felt this would make the image easier to read. By making the back panel black with a simple sun shape behind the pyramid I hoped to put these elements firmly in the background as viewed through the ‘windows’ made by the light rays coming from the pyramid.

Glastonbury_Stones Final 1

Exercise 4.2 Museum Posters : My tutor noted that because of the change in styles the posters had lost a bit of their ‘family feel’ so I have reworked them slightly in an effort to bring them together as a group. Most notably the poster for the child audience which I simplified and now has a ‘flat’ orange as the background and overall the palette has less colours.

Museum Poster - child - Version 2
Child audience
Museum Poster Teenage 13-16 Version 2
Teenage audience
Museum poster - General adult Version 2
General adult

Assignment 4 – Magazine illustration : Acting on feedback from my tutor I tried different cropped versions one of which I applied to a mock up of the magazine layout that would allow the viewer to contextualise the scale of the image in relation to the text.


Magazine layout

Disaster _ The End mock up 1

Exercise 5.6 Working for children: Feedback on my work from part 5 suggested experimenting with more visual options before reaching the final outcome. This exercise was completely reworked from the beginning in order to demonstrate this.

5.6 Working for children

Assignment 5, Assignments

Illustration 1 – Assignment 5

The brief:

  • The title is Seven days.

These can be the seven days of the week or random days that tell a story. Your interpretation can be objective or subjective. You can produce seven separate, one large diagrammatic or a continuous strip illustration. You can decide on the media and methods you will use; the context – magazine, newspaper, book, brochure or poster; and the intended audience. You need to write yourself a brief that is clear and challenging but manageable.

To begin with I explored the title by brainstorming and noted down relevant key words to see what ideas occurred. Possible themes were days of the week, the seven deadly sins, the seven wonders of the world and the seven days of creation. Then I looked at songs and rhymes like ‘Mondays Child’ and ‘One for Sorrow’ (which in it’s earliest version had only seven lines) this lead to contemporary songs that were either called or based on ‘seven days’ and I was reminded of a DJ Shadow track ’Six Days’ which had sampled heavily from a song called ‘Six Day War’ by late 1960’s band Colonel Bagshot. I thought this was interesting as I liked the idea of using music to inspire art and thought I could apply the words in to a ‘week in the life’ or using the events described in it as a narrative.


This seemed a good time to set myself a brief –

  •  To illustrate a short story using words from a song, poetry or book based on ‘seven days’. You are free to produce illustrations to be presented alongside the text or to integrate the words in to a ‘graphic novel’ format. The target audience is young adult and the final reproduction size is A4.

Clearly the song is based on only six days and not seven and is written around the 1967 middle eastern conflict. My idea was to adapt this in to a present day story and with current news events there is plenty of inspiration to draw from. I looked at the lyrics and thought about how I would interpret them and how I could apply them to a visual narrative. I printed these off and underlined and noted down key words whilst sketching ideas in to rough story board form. Initially the sketches were on a nine panel storyboard and realised that the structure and layout would be important to its final construction.


I looked at different types of panel grids and watched some very informative videos on the youtube channel ’Strip Panel Naked’ which gives a great insight in to the construction of graphic novels as it breaks down individual pages in well known books and explains why the writer and artist put together a page in a particular way. I think the most interesting ting I took away from these was the importance of rhythm and narrative and how the medium provides structure but also the constricts  to work within. At this point I had broken the song in to seven rough parts that would make up the narrative of the final story – 1. Leaders arguing 2. War declared / TV with family watching 3. Family seeking shelter 4. Attack 5. Event 6. Emerging 7. Aftermath.

I liked the idea of the structure of the pages devolving as the story went on so I worked out by doing four pages total the first could be made up 9 panels, the second 6, the third 3 and then a full page illustration for the final page. I ’scripted’ the lyrics and broke them down to fit within this idea.


Visual research:

I wanted the pages to be made up from different media – photos, paint, silhouettes and drawings. The idea being that the leaders and negotiations were presented in one medium, the family in another and then using silhouettes for the bomber / submarine so to appear in a dark ominous way. I worked at A3 size being mindful that the final reproduction size would be halved.

Jong_TrumpThe first elements I made were full colour portraits of the two leaders in digital paint although as the project developed I felt it was losing continuity so in the end these were reproduced in black and white in keeping with the rest of the artwork it also allowed me to apply filters that would make them appear as if they were on a TV screen.

As I brought other illustrations in to the pages I did manage to keep to the mixed media idea eg.using watercolour as background and conte crayon to illustrate the family, albeit digitally.

Unused submarine illustration


Above: final page process with London Underground poster from 1914 by Gerald Spenser Pryse that inspired it on the left.

Final Artwork

Page 1 Final 1
Page 1
Page 2 no plane
Page 2
3 panel
Page 3
Page 4 Final
Page 4

Reflection: I feel some parts of this assignment are more successful than others. I am most pleased with page two where I think I have successfully brought three strands of the story (button/bomber/eyes) in different media together on the same page. It is possible the task I set myself proved to be a bit much. Overall I am happy with it and hope that it communicates itself to the reader effectively. I feel I have tackled something outside my comfort zone and at the end of the course I feel more confident in attempting work that is more ambitious. If I compare my work now with earlier assignments I feel I am establishing structure in my problem solving and that my technical skills are improving.

Reference –



Coursework, Part 5

Illustration 1 – Exercise 5.7 : Educational strip

  • In this exercise I was asked to produce an illustrated strip of up to 5 frames to explain to young teenagers how to cope with the onset of puberty.

I started the process with research on current material available. Then by spider diagram and key words noted the changes involved in puberty which I broke down around a simple drawing of a figure. With a basic idea formed, my next task was to look at the format in which my leaflet would be. Folding paper, I came up with several options in which it could be presented.  The final format I decided upon would be a credit card sized leaflet which would allow it to be easily and discreetly stored in a pocket or wallet.  The idea being that as you open the leaflet up each page or section would cover a different element of puberty which would then fold out to a larger diagram or ‘map’ of the human body detailing the changes in the body.


I felt the use of symbols that were loosely based on emojis would work to communicate effectively to teenagers some of the changes that they could expect to happen.  I also applied the emojis to my larger illustration of a teenage boy that would appear when unfolded. Once the sequence of pages was put together I reformatted these on a single page so that when the leaflet is printed and folded it would work correctly.

What sequenceWhat pt1

Whats Happening
Print version


Coursework, Part 5

Illustration 1 – Exercise 5.6 : Working for children

  • For this exercise I was asked to collect as many examples of imagery for children as possible and then to take two age groups from the available categories and for each one go through a process of brainstorming around at least one word from a given list.


The first group I picked group was ‘early reader’ (aged 5-7 years) and the word I chose was ‘Discovery’.  I was asked to pick an animal for each age group to explore with further and for this group I chose a cat.  The second age category I chose was from was the older age group and the word ‘Journey’. From this word my chosen animal was a bird. Looking at different genres that I could create an illustration for I thought fantasy / adventure would be fitting, The idea being a giant mythical bird like a phoenix and its companion, embarking on a journey.  I was conscious of the style I wanted to apply to it and the environment the characters were in. I used conte crayon and watercolour in a digital process to create the image.

JourneyI feel from my own experience with my daughter that the idea that all children’s illustration has bright colours not to be true and that sometimes the darker stories and illustrations can be more interesting to a child. Target age brackets for children are not clear cut, many of the books I looked at crossed over and indeed many ‘childrens’ books can appeal to all ages.

Update / Rework : In the overall comments in the feedback from part 5 my tutor noted that there is a big jump between my initial ideas and final solutions and that I should work on experimenting with different visual options. Reflecting on the exercise I do like the image I produced and I feel the idea that came from the initial research was good but trying out different visual options, thumb nailing and any client visual was lacking. In this update to my post I want to remedy this by picking up from the mind mapping and idea and to explore the visual possibilities further.

recap: my chosen word was ‘Journey’ with my chosen animal being a bird. These were my two main starting points and the theme that was to be used for an illustration in the older age group category. My idea was a phoenix type bird that had befriended a child and were embarking on a journey together.

I began with drawing the bird in various stages of flight and tried to not be too fussy about the quality of drawing and worked quickly. Different ideas began to emerge from these which I then applied to a series of thumbnails – some in portrait and some in landscape format. Using camera angles from above / behind / alongside, and thinking about how perspective and the size of the buildings below would enhance the sense of scale.

Initially working on the characters in the foreground and the landscape in the background my next step was to settle on a camera angle. Setting a horizon line and working out how the perspective would effect the image as a whole. Through this process I started to think about how light would play a part, I wanted the scene to be set in the dead of night with only street lighting illuminating them.

main sketch
Client visual

After establishing the client visual above the next stages of development were built up inside photoshop. Using visual reference of similar subjects I began drawing out a very rough version and then again but with more detail. The light would be directed from the street lights below so in the next stage I applied different blocks of grey with this in mind. Finally I added the projected light, final details and text. process below –

5.6 Working for children
Final Illustration

By not being too precious with my drawing in the early stages it allowed me to develop ideas and add elements that I had previously not thought about. Reworking this exercise has made me appreciate the benefits of working with more visual options before reaching my final design.  If I make a comparison between the two versions – in the first attempt the image appears flat and static. I think on the rework there is a better sense of depth, atmosphere and movement. It is an area of my practice that I need to keep working on.





Coursework, Part 5

Illustration 1 – Exercise 5.5 : Packaging

  • This exercise required me to produce a series of illustrations to be used for a new range of organic biscuits for children. There would be three varieties  – raisin, choc-chip and ginger.  The client would like illustrations to feature extinct animals.


I started by looking in the shops and taking photos of similar available products and then made some notes looking at what options were open to me. Looking up alternative words for the meaning of ‘extinct’ and exploring possible brand names which included – Dodo Dodgers, Dino biscuits, Mammoth Snacks and Fossil fuel.

FullSizeRender-5Originally looking to have a character on the packaging I sketched ideas based on extinct animals such as the dodo, I looked at whether an accurate representation, a simple graphic style or a caricature cartoon style would suit best. After some thought and not being happy with the direction I was going I changed tack completely, moving towards a lettering based image. This was inspired by looking at vintage advertising in particular Victorian signage and I thought the strongest ideas of the process so far were in the slogans I had previously noted down. The idea being that the extinct animal I could incorporate would be the mammoth to emphasis the size of the biscuit – as in ‘Extra Large Mammoth Cookies’.  I visualised using the Mammoth in profile with different lettering around it used in different ways.



Deciding upon ‘Fossil Fuel’ as the brand name I also thought the vintage style of the illustration would work well with a similar style packaging such as a paper bag, giving the product an ‘authentic’ feel. Apart from the additional lettering which would describe each variety, the colour of the bag could also indicate the flavour of each variety.  For example, brown for chocolate-chip, orange for ginger and purple for raisin.


Collected victorian style fonts



Final illustrations and mock ups:Mammoth Choc Chip Mock Up


Choc Bag Mock


Coursework, Part 5

Illustration 1 – Exercise 5.4 : Text and image

The exercise began by taking each pair of the following words and writing them in my own handwriting.

Big Small  FullSizeRender-3

Fat Thin

Fast Slow

Fun Boring

Calm Mad

Then, writing each pair in a way that is descriptive use the size and shape of the word to express the meaning of it. For example, the word ‘fat’ was drawn in a bulgy bubble letter style whereas ‘thin’ was drawn with long tall singular lines.

After collecting different examples of lettering used in this way I turned to the computer using the font book app to scroll through and select suitable examples from the fonts available on my computer.  For each word I used several different fonts in order to make a comparison between them.  I selected the one I felt was most appropriate for each given word then I imported these into photoshop and explored different ways of expressing each word using different colours and textures.