OCA preloader logo
A drawing visited - The Open College of the Arts
To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.
Explore #WeAreOCA
Skip Navigation
A drawing visited thumb

A drawing visited

       DSCF7368  In today’s blog, I would like to take the opportunity to showcase a drawing by a drawing 1 student, Melinda Winter, submitted as part of her first assignment.

At first glance, perhaps this drawing might seem straightforward. The composition is fairly simple in some ways, but there is much more going on here than just two objects, centrally placed.
Look a little deeper and the drawing comes alive, bursting at the seams with fascinating detail and complex gesture and marks.
The treatment is sophisticated, but the sophistication seems to come from a direct engagement with the subject and with the materials. This is not cold blooded fancy footwork, but sensitive enthusiastic perhaps even joyful concentration on the matter in hand.
Look here to begin with at the exuberant use of the rubber as a drawing medium and tool. The rubber is effectively your ‘white’ when you are drawing in pencil or charcoal, and I personally believe it should be in your hand 50% of the time when drawing from direct observation.

DSCF7362Look now at this handle, this is the point where the handle of the coffee pot turns in on itself to join the body of the pot. Can you see how wonderfully the ‘turn’ has been constructed. No outlines dampening its complexity – the thing just kind of puffs into existence on a cloud of observed tonal differences and gestural élan.

DSCF7365Shadows cast by the objects are given their full importance throughout and really contribute to the composition; they are crisp and defined and as carefully observed as the solid objects, they are integral, not an afterthought.


Reflected light has been captured with a lovely balance of lightheartedness and precision which suits the humble subject and means that the whole drawing flows very fluently.

I hope my snaps and commentary have conveyed something of the pleasure this drawing gave me to look at, and I suspect the pleasure it gave Melinda to make it. Crucially, this is a drawing as well as a rendition of the objects; its nature as a drawing informs how it is constructed and affects how it is viewed. The drawing is as much a subject as the coffee pot and sugar bowl.


Voiced by Amazon Polly

Posted by author: Emma Drye
Share this post:

6 thoughts on “A drawing visited

  • A great write up of a great drawing, I reckon. I agree that erasers are as important as any other mark-making tool and ought to be seen as more than things to get rid of mistakes.
    The rhythmic lines make this a DRAWING first and foremost and I like the importance given to the background. The black shadow that run ‘north east’ to the top right hand corner, especially. It’s great to see a student who can ignore lines and get on with the tonal work.

  • WOW. This has given me a huge confidence boost which is always needed when starting on a new OCA course where self disapline and positive mental attitutue is needed by the bucket load. My tutor has also helped me to understand that when drawing I need to think more about the media chossen and the conections to the media with regards surface and how this is affected when taking away the mark and the lighting choosen when drawing.

  • Thank you Emma (and Melinda) for a stimulating and thought provoking blog. I am thinking of taking drawing 1 as my next course, so this is a great insentive to get started 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to blog listings