Moving sites / course objectives

I am in the process of moving my learning log over from OCA-spaces to this dedicated new WordPress learning log, which is the same template as the one I used for my Drawing 1 course. These were the course objectives that I posted when I started this course:

When I started Drawing 1, I don’t think I had any clear objectives, I was just too thrilled to be getting started with this degree after so many years wishing about it. I feel I learned a lot doing the previous course, especially about myself and how I work through exercises. I feel far better prepared at the start of POP1 than I did for the previous course and hope I do it justice. I got to thinking what I really need to achieve and the key things are to:

  • develop the ability to confidently explain/describe my work in a knowledgeable way.
  • master key elements that I currently have a good/elementary familiarity with* and in doing so, elevate my art and make it technically sophisticated and valid.
  • learn new approaches to the production of a painting and stretch my abilities to the max.
  • discover artists I wouldn’t usually come across and absorb/learn from and be inspired by their influence.
  • develop a professional approach to creating work, so that I feel confident in contacting potential clients or galleries.
  • feel as though I am growing as an artist and not stagnating (which is how I felt before I started this degree).
  • focus and find my true artistic self, which sometimes comes through.  I want to recognise when I have created something with spark and appreciate it, give it due respect and worth – something I have for years avoided doing. 

*For my tutors’ information – I am familiar with the following materials, equipment and techniques (this is not an exhaustive list but to give you an idea).


I use most proprietary artist grade acrylic paints.  In order to create texture, I have used the following materials/techniques (this list keeps getting added to):

  • cling wrap or foil over wet paint to create ethereal wispy effects when the paint is removed by the wrap
  • stencils, stamps, sponges
  • certain low irritant solvents, vinegar, isopropyl alcohol, salts
  • pastes, gels, as well as contractor’s caulk
  • collage – including fabric and textiles
  • found materials, such as natural objects (leaves, seaweed, flotsam and jetsam, seeds, stones etc.)


I have a reasonable collection of Oil bars – Winsor and Newton brand, I have not tried all the colour range of RF sticks yet, they are a bit pricey (postscript – I only have black and white in RF)

I have a motley collection of tube oil paints – various brands.   I find that the ingredients in most oil paints cause an allergic reaction (usually around the skin of my eyes) and because of this I don’t use them as much as i’d like to. I am aware that there are certain brands out there that claim to be chemical free but I still find they irritate my skin. I am trying to find oils that don’t cause any reactions.

I use water-soluble oil pastels a lot. I discovered Caran D’Ache ones a couple of years ago and I love their versatility.

Watercolour / Gouache

I have a varied collection of tube and pan watercolours. I recently purchased a set of cheap gouache paints (a nice range of several tones and colours by Daler Rowney) and I really like using them, they are luscious and creamy.  I use some of the standard techniques to get effects with watercolours, such as:

  • Salt, isopropyl alcohol dropped on watercolour to create ‘blooming’ effects
  • Cling wrap to create background texture
  • Cut outs (torn paper to mask areas of the picture plane)

Soft pastels

I love this medium so much!  I have Sennelier, Unison, Art Spectrum (I was asked to review these for Jackson’s – see below for link),  Rembrandt, Reeves (not so much, but they are still useful for some effects) and other cheaper brands.   I use chalk and charcoal as well.

Pebeo/other materials

I have not used the Pebeo Vitrail paints yet but I have used most other Pebeo brand paints.  I use metallic foils in some of my work.   I use acrylic inks, alcohol inks, calligraphy ink (with nib pen or dip pen). 


I have used most Golden products and Liquitex mediums (for pouring acrylic paint to get ‘cells’).  I have not used floetrol and silicone for this purpose yet – they are on my wish list.

I use a lot of Galleria texture pastes and gels – especially the gloss or matt gels for layering and preserving base layers.

I make my own texture pastes.  I use glues and a glue gun.    


  • Canvas – stretched, boxed and loose sheets.
  • Callico and other fabric
  • Wood, metal, sometimes glass/plexiglass and plastic
  • Most specialised papers – oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolour, mixed media.
  • Yupo – I have only recently started using this product, I use it with alcohol inks and isopropyl alcohol.  It’s a great product to play with.


  • Palette knives – metal and plastic
  • Scrapers/squeegees, rollers, brayers
  • Spray bottles, misters
  • Brushes, spatulas, sticks, cotton buds, pipettes, feathers, other natural objects and found things around the house.
  • Fingers!
  • Mesh, foil, plastic bags/recycled materials, kitchen towel, rags, sponges. 
  • All pencils and mark-making equipment that I have used in Drawing 1 – including marker pens of various types.

I have never used an air-brush, even though a good one was given to me as a present many years ago, I just never had the right paint to use with it and was nervous to try it out in case I damaged the thing. 

I really want to try encaustic painting, I’m fascinated with the layering that can be achieved – this is high on my list of equipment and materials that I want to purchase this year.  I have started experimenting with cold wax and oil paint but I purchased the wrong cold wax, so will be getting the correct brand soon. I am also experimenting with monoprinting at the moment, which I’m finding so interesting!

My personal website is

*The article I did for Jackson’s is:

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