Self-portrait in charcoal

Charcoal self-portrait – semi-blind drawing, 320 x 280 mm, 2011.

I learnt to draw the Danny Gregory way — slowly and deliberately with a pen. No pencil. No eraser. Mediums like graphite and charcoal really throw me now. This preliminary sketch is a semi-blind drawing (that’s where you spend most of your time looking at the subject, NOT the paper).

Charcoal self-portrait – charcoal on paper, 380 x 280 mm, 2011.
Charcoal self-portrait – charcoal on paper, 380 x 280 mm, 2011.

I persevered with the exercise and ended up with a self-portrait that I quite like. It is based on a photo of me when I was a young ballerina.


Here are a couple of other D&A projects…

A newspaper ad promoting Adbusters’ Buy Nothing Day. Originally a 72-hour group project, this ad is my personal solution. It was created using images sourced from the Internet.

Christchurch City Mission installation (concept): a graffiti-knitted artwork to raise awareness of the City Mission and encourage $2 text donations. My idea is that giving to a good cause is like giving (and receiving) a ‘warm fuzzy’. The mock-up shows knitted scarves wrapped around wooden seats. Donate and feel the love!

And here are a few pages from my sketchbook…

Playing with my (then) new Winsor & Newton watercolour pan set which I bought for sketching while out and about.

These were exercises suggested by Danny Gregory in his book The Creative License: drawing in other languages…

Rembrandt sketch.
Degas sketch.

…and copying the work of famous artists. The Rembrandt turned into a study of 17th Century hats.

Reinventing myself

A couple of years ago, I started an illustrated journal. I was inspired by Danny Gregory and his book The Creative License and I wanted to see if I could draw.

One month and 19 sketches later, I drew Villa 10…

…and the road home (among other things).

I enjoyed sketching so much that I decided to take an art course at the Design & Arts College in Christchurch, New Zealand.