Expressive Portrait


This expressive portrait of Shakespeare is actually an example piece I made to show my students. I chose a famous image of Shakespeare to work from before completing a grid method (line) drawing of his face and shoulders. Next, I added in colour using oil pastels. I used a range of techniques for this, including colour blocking and layer and scratch to suggest his strands of hair.

Overall this took several hours to complete but it is a very enjoyable project to test out. You could choose to draw your own personal hero or someone who inspires you.

Identity Flags


This is the final result of a project with my year 7 Art Club. I asked each of the students to design their own flag, including their hobbies and interests etc., and then I made them out of fabric before sewing them all together. As you can see, Art Club brings together many different students and I think this is reflected in the motto “not only the outside matters” which was chosen by one of the students.

Light Graffiti

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These light graffiti photos were made using a digital camera, an iPhone torch, and a small flashlight. To capture the trails of light I needed a longer exposure, so I changed the shutter speed on the camera to 2 minutes for each one.

These were quick experiments but you could try using lots of different coloured lights and types of torches to create your own light graffiti. My top tips are to ensure the place you’re working in is quite dark (this creates more contrast for the light painting to stand out) and to use the Bulb mode on your camera to ensure you are on the slowest shutter speed possible. This will allow you more time to get creative with your designs!

Pencil Portrait


I’ve always enjoyed drawing portraits, even though they can be fairly time consuming depending on the style you’re going for. I set myself the challenge of completing a portrait over the holidays. As you can see I’ve spent time building up the tone using a range of pencils. Also I used different marks to render textures such as stippling (dots) for his stubbly beard and faint scribbling to enhance the skin-like appearance. This is a traditional take on a portrait and in a lot of ways reflects my own personal drawing style, however if your style is more expressive then maybe your portraits would have more messy and bolder lines. There is no right way to draw a portrait. Practice, experiment, and find out what works best for you!

A walk in the park

Sometimes we forget to take a closer look at what’s right on our doorstep. I live very close to a beautiful park (not to be dismissed in the London smog) but often forget it’s there and don’t make time to enjoy it. Here are some of the best shots taken on a rainy day using a 50mm prime lens to create a small depth of field, really focusing on the smaller details and blurring out the background.

Polyblock Prints


This is quite an easy project to try and can produce some great results. In the first image you can see I’ve used my viewfinder to focus on a particular section of the secondary source photo (a useful tool to zoom in on finer details). I then carried out a watercolour study of this using a mixture of techniques such wet-on-dry and wet-on-wet to add colour and tone to my painting. On the right you can see where I’ve started to draw into styrofoam in order to create a polyblock print inspired by the image. Although my painting is quite realistic, I wanted my print to be more abstract so kept it as a line drawing, adding in patterns such as swirls, dashes and dots to make it more interesting.


The best thing about this type of printing is that you can use your styrofoam print again and again, testing out different colour combinations with both the inks and the paper/material you decide to print onto.

If you want to develop your prints even more, you can try combining them by collaging two prints together like the one on the right.

My inspiration was an image of a flower, but you can choose to print just about anything that interests you!