Research task 1.0 : Emma’s Sketchbook

I am now on my second unit of BA Hons Illustration – Illustration Sketchbooks.

To start the unit off I was asked to research one of OCA’s tutors; Dr Emma Powell. I firstly watched a video of Emma talking through her sketchbook. The Sketchbook Video Link – assistance/emmasketchbookvideoillustration1sketchbooks

Emma made the sketchbook in 6 months, most of her pages usually feature photographs showing her process. She firstly talks about the photos she took of some trees whilst on a walk, she then draws from those photos using the same format and scale. The drawings she does are ‘rough studies’. She also uses the same sketchbook to document random other pieces of work whilst completing her project.

The risography of the trees I found really interesting and added depth to the images. She also uses colour combinations she wouldn’t usually use in order to look for ‘happy accidents’. Her pages are formed using folded A3 paper so that each page is A4 size, she then clamps the back of each A3 paper using paperclips and bulldog clips.

Next Emma shows colour studies, simplified drawings and stencil prints, she shows a large variety of mark making methods throughout her sketchbook. Sometimes she scratches into the prints other times she paints into them. She also shows sequencing used with her stencil prints to show how she would lay them out in a book. Many ‘test-pages’ are shown throughout the sketchbook.

When discussing the woodcarving prints, Emma shows the different types of paper she printed the ink onto and which one she favoured. Emma shows photo’s of ‘failures’ that have happened when creating previous sketchbooks including one failure that happened which resulted in her book binding bursting due to the spine not being big enough and the stitching not being strong enough. She learns from her mistakes but documents them to look back.

Emma starts her projects by writing lots of words down when thinking about the theme of the project. She normally would use a thesaurus. She then links specific words up and underlines them using different colours so they are easier to group. Emma shows the use of multiple mediums including Adobe Illustrator to explore different outcomes.

Again Emma shows various non-relevant work including when she has created labels for an exhibition when she became a studio holders so I should remember to document EVERYTHING creative within my sketchbook over the course of this unit.

At the end of the video Emma shows us the outside of the sketchbook which was interesting to show just how large/thick it was to hold that many pages in it, the stitching she used to hold everything together was also decorative (cross-stitched ribbons) which I liked, overall a very nice sketchbook inside and out.

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