Part 2

Coursework, Part 2. Illustration 1 – Exercise 2.3: Turning words into pictures.

Choose a word from the list below, and draw everything that comes to mind:

  • Childhood
  • Wild
  • Exotic
  • Fashion
  • Destruction
  • Travel
  • Kitchen

Have a broad range of materials to hand during your visual brainstorm. Add swatches of colour and texture associated with your chosen word. Deconstruct your word into its constituent parts, if required. Be conscious of the details and qualities of each subject or object you draw to communicate its qualities and function.

Choose a word from the list…


I began by thinking about the different ways in which a word can be interpreted. Travel has been a big, significant part of my life. This is the reason for choosing ‘Travel’ from the list – I believed out of all the words, this is the one that I would be able to delve into more and have a wider varied knowledge about, and things associated with it.

Its funny, yet strange, how I can know so much about something, someone, or a topic – yet when requested to write everything down that I can possibly think of regarding it and associated with it – my mind goes blank. The first image I put to paper was of a camera. It was only after the process of thinking about what to draw and eventually putting this to paper, that I came to the realisation about the length of time this took. Therefore, I decided to create a spider diagram before I continued. WHY DIDN’T I DO THIS TO START WITH?! I have learnt now, from the previous exercise where I gained knowledge about spider diagrams and visual brainstorming, as well as trying to begin this task without doing one, that they make a significant difference. My mind, which was originally like a sheet of blank white paper, was now piling up a good selection of ideas. I wanted my perception of travel to be varied, and not necessarily so specific and obvious – I did not want a black & white thought process. Completing a spider diagram assisted in the development of this exercise. During this process, I thought about the different types of travel, what each of these would require, and/or involve as well as the obvious – transport.

First draft of Spider diagram

My first Spider Diagram was not massively successful, but it was a good start. I had 6 pointers branching off from my topic, but after I had analysed these in more detail, I realised that I could then develop this diagram to branch off more ideas from the original points.

Final Spider diagram

My final Spider Diagram gave me more scope in visualising the end result/outcome. I was pleased with the secondary branches I had developed from my original ideas, as this allowed me to connect more with the exercise and enabled me to engage with what I was trying to achieve.

I then transformed that diagram into a series of images connected to my thoughts. This exercise also allowed me to experiment with different materials, which was slightly nerve wrecking, as I most certainly normally stick in my comfort zone and use the familial’s. Below is the overall piece in pencil before I transformed them with alternative materials.


I used the style of a road to spell out the word ‘Travel’ itself, as I wanted even the title to represent and be involved within the page. To create this part of my final piece, I decided to use pencil and tipex. I outlined the writing in pencil and then lightly shaded the inner parts of each letter lightly in pencil to then use tipex to create the road markings. I was pleased with my idea for this, however, I found the tipex a little temperamental and at times frustratingly difficult to convey what I wanted correctly.


As I mentioned previously, my knowledge and experience of travel is good; therefore, the ideas that I had come up with, may have been slightly unfamiliar, or not an initial thought for others. I included more technical, in depth items that are linked to Travel, such as signage – but not a typical road sign. For example: ‘Route’. All of my images, although may not be a preferred choice for someone else thinking about things linked to the word I had chosen; all said ‘Travel’ to me.

Signpost in watercolour.
Sign in soft pastels.
route 66
‘Route 66’ sign in watercolour.

Analysing the three images above ‘signs’ – I am most pleased with the ‘LETS GO’ sign. For this image, I used soft pastels. I have never used this material before and found it difficult. Firstly because of sensory reasons – I find certain things completely teeth gritting to handle, and similarly to most things when you are first using them, or trying them out, they don’t always go to plan, but by the end of it, I loved the affect they created.  I wasn’t overly impressed with my however, the two ‘sign’ images I created, as a perfectionist they are too messy and not perfect. However, I know ‘perfect’ wasn’t the aim of this task. I think next time, I would attempt to mess around with a few ideas so that they can look more creative and affective like my ‘route’ sign.

The five images above, all have one common denominator. This common occurrence is the use of ‘Uni Pin – FINE LINE’ black pen. These pens are my absolute favourite material to work with, so creating these images were enjoyable. I used a thicker black sharpie pen to create the abstract lines beneath the camera, and I believe this made the camera visually striking and gave the image depth. I used the technique of pointillism for the word hotel and this is a technique that I would like to try out more in future exercises and potentially assignments. I did however, find the image of the word ‘Hotel’ that I formed disappointing as I think I could have potentially drawn a hotel within the word to produce a more creative and attracting image. I was also disappointed with the image of the ticket as I felt it had no ‘life’ to it. I view it as it could not be on the page, and whoever were to view it before and after removing it – wouldn’t notice. This could potentially have been rectified if I had given it a more abstract affect. Pencil and pen did not work for this image, so if I was to do this again, I would most likely splash watercolour to brighten it up and bring it to life on the page. I found my drawings of the globe and car successful and the tool in which I used was a big contribution to their success. The fine, precise lines are satisfying to the eye and compliment the purpose of each image very well. I also feel the messages that each of these images convey would not look as successful in a different material. If I was to improve either of these images, I think a splash of blue and green watercolour would be appropriate and in reference to the car – I wouldn’t change the colour or material, but potentially the scene. I think positioning the car in a queue would be successful in looking visually engaging and in portraying and conveying the message successfully.

I am fairly pleased with all six images above, but there are three that I thought were successful and three that I felt could’ve done with significant improvement. The image I created to relate to ‘currency’ was a dollar sign. Again, I used the technique of pointillism, but I used a red Stabilo felt tip. I think the felt tip pen was the main problem with this image as it wasn’t the correct material to use – knowing this now I have completed the image, I would not use it again for small detail on a small image. I used soft pastels again for the palm tree this time, as from using it previously, I thought the texture would give the palm tree the desired affect. I appreciated the textured affect, however I did not like how the pastels blended together to produce an image that looked blurred. Next time, I would probably still use pastels, but find some that aren’t as chunky and had more of a pencil style nib. The plane – I deliberated many times with what to do with this image and I think I over worked it. It started just being a pencil drawing and then I outlined the plane in black pen. My deliberation started here, as to whether I should leave it in pen, or incorporate something else as well. I decided to mix and blend blue and white acrylic paints and gently swirl it around the plane. My thought process for this was to try and create the weather and motion of a plane in air and to start with when I added a little bit it looked creative and suitable, but then I kept adding to it and overcrowding the image which ended up ruining the picture – in my opinion. I have learnt from this to pause more, think and not over do it when it can look successful with not too much added to it. Now onto three of my favourite drawings from my final image: ‘Mountains’, ‘Postcard’ and ‘Suitcase’. The mountains, as you can see I created with acrylic paints. I used palette knives to mix blues and white and spread these to create a water scene at the base of the mountains. I then created a dripping snow affect at the top of the mountains and used grey to add colour diversity and outline. This image as a whole I find visually engaging and the affect I created with the water looks 3d and the mixture of colours is satisfying and successful. The postcard, I first drew up lightly in pencil, and then splashed purple and yellow watercolours in an abstract way to bring the postcard to life. Any lines that were left visible I drew over in black pen to make them stand out more. This image is bright and colourful and I feel it really portrays the message of a postcard successfully – the brightness and contrast of colours used convey a positive vibe, which to me represents what a postcard is about. I contemplated many ways on how to present the suitcase. I drew the suitcase in an old-fashioned/traditional style so wanted to use a material that would complement this successfully. This is when I thought back to a previous exercise I had completed in part 1. I remembered a material and technique I had used to convey the message of something being old and vintage and straight away came to the realisation that this would be perfect. Tea Staining! What a classic, brilliant way of giving character to a piece of work, and what a successful, engaging perception this gave to my image! I am especially proud of the suitcase as it also made me think, and the thought process did not come straight away. This enabled and allowed me to think back, look and reflect on previous work and this was a positive advancement.

Overall, I am happy with how my final page turned out, and I think I included an expansive view of ‘Travel’, but reflecting and analysing my work, I could have filled my page up more with different textures, or travel items; compared to flat items and drawings. For example, instead of drawing the aeroplane, I could have made a mini paper aeroplane out of a different coloured paper, tracing paper, felt etc and stuck this down to add different material, a 3d affect and more texture.



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