Key Aspects of Part One: Observing and Capturing

This part of the course is broken down into three projects with eight practical exercises and three research projects.

Project 1: Selecting and Identifying

The first task is to record my definition of ‘textiles’ in my learning log.

Exercise 1.1

The key aspects of the task are to locate, select, observe and handle three archive textiles, with particular consideration given to the appearance and construction of the pieces. I must consider the way they are made, how they have been used, their history and their personal stories.

Exercise 1.2

The key aspects of this exercise are to research the three textiles selected and record answers to the questions on pages 29 – 30 of the course book, and to also include ideas and reflective thinking, or any problems encountered, in my learning log.

Project 2: Recording and Capturing

This section is all about close observation of the objects and representing them through mark-making and drawing.

Exercise 1.3

The key tasks in this exercise are:-

  • to photograph the chosen objects for my learning log;
  • to make a list of words that capture the energy and appearance of each of the textiles, and let this inform the drawings;
  • to use mark making, with pencil and ink on different types of paper, paying particular attention to the texture, tone, weight, drape, detail, pattern, surface and scale. I must analyse each item looking at different aspects of the textile, and use a variety of marks. I can make tools or use found objects to form the marks I want to make. I will make three or more drawings of each textile.

Exercise 1.4

This exercise requires me to experiment on twelve, or more, larger sheets of paper, using a variety of linear marks to represent certain aspects of the textiles (eg silhouettes, seams, hems, trims, stitching, knitting, drape, volume and folds). I should use a variety of media and tools to make the lines, and explore different types of line, or combinations of lines in each drawing.

I will experiment with continuous line drawing, using the non-dominant hand and drawing from memory, with closed eyes.

Exercise 1.5

The key aspects of this task are to create three, or more, two-dimensional paper collage drawings of the chosen textiles, which describe their three-dimensional aspects.

I will need to gather assorted papers, including colour, (which I can add with paint), to represent the textiles. A sturdy background paper can be pre-painted, or white.

The textiles should be arranged in different ways, to give variety to the drawings. Fine detail can be explored on small items. I must also think about how the composition sits on the background page.

Research Point 1

I will research ‘wabi-sabi’, and reflect on how it is relevant to me and to my chosen textiles, and record this in my learning log.

Exercise 1.6

This exercise requires me to make three to six drawings, which record the fine details, imperfections, signs of construction and use of the textiles, with regard to their age and story; using appropriate scale, marks and the techniques of my own choosing.

Project 3: Picking and Portraying

I must first record my thoughts in my learning log on ‘drawing’, and about which media I will be exploring for this project.

This project requires me to select any media and background material with which to create drawings.

Research Point 2

I must research three or more of the individuals or companies named on page 47 of the course book, with reference to their depictions of plants. I will look at their practice, and find relevant examples of their work to reflect upon.

Exercise 1.7

The key tasks of this exercise are to select the plant life that I would like to draw, and the media I would like to use in representing it, being adventurous in my choices.

Research Point 3

Study David Hockney’s use of new media in his drawings.

Exercise 1.8

I will make notes about my choices for this exercise in my learning log.

I will make ten or more experimental drawings, deciding in advance, and noting in my learning log, which aspects I will concentrate on. I will think about the composition, and how they might be transformed into textiles.


These three projects and the associated research and exercises will help me to build a ‘reference library’ of work that I can consult in the future. It is therefore important to be as experimental and adventurous in my drawing as possible, to explore the potential of mark making and drawing, and the importance of first hand visual exploration of source materials.

2 thoughts on “Key Aspects of Part One: Observing and Capturing”

  1. Congratulations on starting your new course – I have to say it looks amazing and so inspirational. Have really enjoyed browsing your blog – am going to mention it to my daughter who is studying Illustration/Graphic Design at Uni.


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