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UNI - Narrative Drawing

In September, I went back to university to study my MA in Illustration at the University of Gloucestershire. When I first applied, I was unsure as to whether or not I would actually go on to enrol in the course, but so far it seems like I've made the right decision!

I wanted to study my Master's so push my ability further and readdress the reasons why I create, what I create and how I create. It is very easy to become complacent with the work you produce, especially when you get stuck in a pattern of what your outcomes are. I needed to challenge myself and have some guidance on where I could go from here.

Our first module was Narrative Drawing, which I was really excited about at first because, in my personal work, each illustration I create is representative of an emotion or a moment of consciousness that we feel when dealing with our own mental health. However, I found it a lot more challenging than I had first anticipated!

Firstly, I realised that I hadn't done observational drawing in SO long! Forcing myself to go outside and draw what I saw was like relearning how to draw all over again! My sketchbook work proved to be a collection of scrawled lines and strained doodles!

We were, however, to start looking at viewing our subjects from 'impossible' or unusual viewpoints and perspectives, which made things more interesting! I started using grids and focal points to try and change the proportions of what I was drawing.

This began to help inform a different direction in wanted to pursue in my illustrations.

Throughout the module, we were given a selection of mini-briefs to work on to encourage us to experiment with illustrative styles and approaches.

Create a narrative using six frames:

Create a single frame narrative with an impossible viewpoint:

Develop characters from observational drawings:

Create a narrative from four different poses:

Create an illustration in response to written text:

The elements and approaches throughout each of these briefs helped to dictate the ideas for a final outcome, ideally using different practices which we had experimented with to help create an overall image. I played around with creating four-frame illustrations about situations and conversations I had found myself in in real life.

From here I developed the comic strip as seen at the top of the page.

My ultimate goal was to focus on conveying emotions through facial expressions in a simple and effective way. I was really pleased with the final outcome, introducing different perspectives and compositions into my illustration.

Although, I knew I could have achieved more and definitely need to work on my observational drawing, I was really happy with my mark and the development I made throughout this first module. My feedback in that I need to experiment further away from where I am comfortable and research different artists who don't necessarily work in the way I would myself.

Looking forward to my next module and the next challenge!

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