Part 2: Assignment 2 – review following tutor feedback

Assignment 2 – Tutor feedback, follow-up review, page 1
Assignment 2 – Tutor feedback, follow-up review, page 2
Assignment 2 – Tutor feedback, follow-up review, page 3
Assignment 2 – Tutor feedback, follow-up review, page 4
Assignment 2 – Tutor feedback, follow-up review, page 5
Assignment 2 – Tutor feedback, follow-up review, page 6
Assignment 2 – Tutor feedback, follow-up review, page 7

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
11 February 2017


Part 2: Exercise 2.4 – Research point


Conclude your work on Part Two by looking at some contemporary artists who work on metal or mirrored surfaces. You might want to do your own research into the work of these artists and others who work in a similar way.

I decided not to explore the artists mentioned in the course notes in more detail, but rather to seek out some more contemporary artists who work(ed) on metal or mirrored surfaces.

For this artist assessment I chose to adapt the previous format I had used in Part 1 of the course, mainly to simplify the format on the page. For this I referred to Williams, G. (2014) How to write about contemporary art. e–book edn. London: Thames and Hudson; and decided to go with the “What is it?”, “What might this mean?”, “So what?” format.

Please click on each image to enlarge it and to open it in a new browser tab. You should also be able to zoom in (+) to read the text better and zoom out (-) of each image.

Part 2 Exercise 2.4 research point, page 1
Part 2 Exercise 2.4 research point, page 2
Part 2 Exercise 2.4 research point, page 3
Part 2 Exercise 2.4 research point, page 4
Part 2 Exercise 2.4 research point, page 5
Part 2 Exercise 2.4 research point, page 6
Part 2 Exercise 2.4 research point, page 7
Part 2 Exercise 2.4 research point, page 8
Part 2 Exercise 2.4 research point, page 9

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
11 December 2016

Part 2: Exercise 2.4 – Painting on a painted surface


Paint a thin wash of colour on three or more sheets of A4 paper using ink- or water-based paint and leave them to dry; make some dark and some light. Now choose a paint medium you’d like to try and depict another of your collections. This time really look at the tone of the collection. Which are the darkest and which are the lightest areas? You may find ink, watercolour, acrylic or gouache most suitable for this exercise, but feel free to experiment.

As an extra exercise, you could paint a collection of your choice, leave it to dry and paint a different collection on top on the same piece of paper.

Whatever medium you use to paint with, remember to consider your surface. You might want to paint the surface you’re using with a dark acrylic paint first or a white acrylic paint or ink. Use the techniques you picked up in Part One and repeat any you’d like to experiment with further.

Conclude your work on Part Two by looking at some contemporary artists who work on metal or mirrored surfaces. You might want to do your own research into the work of these artists and others who work in a similar way.


I selected six collections for this exercise:

Buttons collection photo
Ties collection photo
Thread collection photo
Blues collection photo
Painting tools collection photo
Drawing tools collection photo

The ‘collection’ paintings

Buttons collection

I had originally intended to paint this collection as part of Exercise 2.1 using Pebeo Cerne Relief paint and face painting sticks. Rethinking this I chose to include it instead in Exercise 2.4. With a black gesso wash on an A4 sheet of 300gsm HP watercolour paper, once dry, I used gouache paint to place out the various sets of button cards and then picked out the individual buttons in relief paint. My original idea for using face painting sticks was a non-starter as it proved far too messy to obtain any real sense of proper button shapes. I think this composition works quite well. However, trying to obtain tonal niceties in this piece proved quite tricky.

Ties collection

This is a collection of ties which I stopped wearing once I retired. The ground is a light wash of brown/orange acrylic onto which I have painted the ties in a manner akin to a celtic art motif. The original ties had many colourful designs and images on them, but I decided to edit this down to a more minimalist rendition. This time I have tried to subtley capture more of the tonal variations of the collection.

Thread collection

This painting again started out with a darker brown acrylic wash that I immediately disliked, so I sprayed varnish over the surface and sprinkled ‘Ballast medium buff’ sand over it (this is intended to realistically act as crushed rock and stones for model railway enthusiasts to sprinkle between the tracks!), which was slightly darkened with brown and white acrylic.

Painting on this surface proved tricky, but I think that using thicker applications of acrylic paint to the spindles and threads was reasonably effective. I am also happier with the rendition of tonal variations in the overall composition.

The Blues collection

This is another collection that I decided to move to this exercise. It was originally intended to be depicted in pottery glaze on a black gesso ground for Exercise 2.1. But, rethinking things over I chose instead to use an A4 sheet of 300gsm HP watercolour paper washed over with light blue acrylic paint.

This collection of Blues magazines and CDs was collected over a number of years in the early 1990’s and still holds shelf and listening space in our home. I was intrigued by the idea of curating a collection of a collection and I quite like the way in which the ring binders are stacked against one another, hinting at the hanging magazine sleeves inside the binders. I have a thought that there is something of the design evident in the work of the Glasgow artist Hannah Frank:

Hannah Frank (1932) “Night Forms” [Accessed: 5 December 2016].
Media used for this painting was Relief Paint for the binders and pottery glaze for the sleeves and shadows.

Painted collection on painted collection

Painting tools collection

Although somewhat pushed for time to finish this exercise I took up the challenge of painting a collection on top of a collection. I used a previously black gesso washed A4 sheet of 300gsm HP watercolour paper over which I placed a greenish acrylic wash.

Onto this background I sketched and painted in my brushes collection using acrylic paint.

Drawing tools collection on painting tools collection

I had originally intended to paint the drawing tools collection in total over the top of this background, but looking at the dynamics of this it became obvious that in doing so I would lose too much of the painting tools collection. So, what emerged was an edited and ‘chopped up’ version of the drawing tools collection overlayed onto the painting tools collection.

This has a kind of abstract feel to it which I like and I decided not to overdo the delineation and toning of the pencils in particular to avoid over-busyness.

Further research

Conclude your work on Part Two by looking at some contemporary artists who work on metal or mirrored surfaces. You might want to do your own research into the work of these artists and others who work in a similar way.

This research point is dealt with in a different post:

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
5 December 2016

Part 2: Exercise 2.3 – Painting on a 3D surface


Choose another of your collections to depict. Consider the examples discussed in the introduction to Part Two. Paint an image of your collection or objects from your collection on one of the following surfaces:
• paper cup
• piece of wood
• stone
• a handbag
• packaging
• a conker
• porcelain.
You could also use card, paper or tin foil to make a three-dimensional surface that you then paint on. Acrylic would work well for this exercise.


In my sketchbook for this part of the course I had curated collections of boots – wellingtons, rigger boots and walking boots. Also curated was a collection of my ‘crocks’ for wearing about the house and camper van (images bottom left and right in the image below):

Boots and crocks collections (from sketchbook)

In Exercise 2.1 I already produced a 3D representation on my curated hats and gloves collections which I enjoyed creating. Building on this experience I decided to create a globe (of the world?) onto which I would paste printed images from my hats collection. For the globe I bought a polystyrene unit that came in two halves, pasted together and then glued on cut-outs from the boots collection.

Once fixed and dry, I decided to change my sketchbook idea of using nail varnish for painting the crocks to glass paint and coloured relief paste as I felt that this would lift the crocks much better on the surface of the boots collection globe.

3D Painting

I have photographed six angles of the finished hats and crocks globe to hopefully give an idea of the finished painting:

3D globe painting of crocks and boots – image 1
3D globe painting of crocks and boots – image 2
3D globe painting of crocks and boots – image 3
3D globe painting of crocks and boots – image 4
3D globe painting of crocks and boots – image 5
3D globe painting of crocks and boots – image 6


My intention in the exercise was to marry the two collections in a way that hinted at some connection linked to footwear and walking – boots for work and serious walking; crocks for leisure wear and chilling out.

Placing both collections on the globe also seemed to work in relation to travel and exploration of space. The relief painted crocks somehow stand out almost as wee islands of relaxation against a global world of practical working footwear .

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
1 December 2016

Part 2: Exercise 2.2 – Large-scale line painting


Create a line drawing in paint on a large sheet of watercolour paper or lining paper (A1 or larger). Choose another one of your collections to paint using any of the materials listed in Exercise 2.1 or acrylics, watercolours or inks. You don’t have to paint the whole of the background colour in unless you want to.


For this exercise I selected my curated Tape Collection (top image below):

Tape Collection (top image)

My drawing table is always covered with a wallpaper liner paper so that I can keep the table surface clean. In thinking about this exercise it seemed appropriate to make use of the most recent lining paper – I usually just burn these once they become too covered in splashes and over-runs of paints before replacing them. In this instance I cut the messy lining paper to an approximate A1 size.

I forgot to photograph the liner paper background to this exercise, but you will get an idea of this from the image above, and I believe you can still see the marks and shapes of the backing lining paper showing through the painting (below).

For this exercise, inks seemed to me to be the most appropriate medium, so I used coloured inks applied with the wooden tip of a brush and PITT ink pens to paint my line painting.

My large-scale line painting

Part 2 Exercise 2.2 – large-scale line painting

The various tapes of my collection were a selection of measuring tapes, packaging tapes, masking tape, cassette music tapes and reel-to-reel tapes.

After sketching the lines and shapes onto the wallpaper lining paper with a graphite pencil I painted out the outlines and filled in the shapes using the wooden end of a small paintbrush to mark in the inks (no brush hairs were damaged in the painting of this image).

For the measuring tapes I used a PITT ink pen to mark out the inches and millimetres in a not too fussy way,

This picture represents my connection to using measuring and packaging tapes in my current artistic work, and also my connection to music tapes from cassette to reel-to-reel. Most of my music tapes have now been converted to MP3 computer files, but I still have the original tape collections.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
30 November 2016




Part 2: Exercise 2.1 – Unusual painting media


Make paintings of any of the collections you’ve collated using three (or more) of these materials. All of these media have been used by contemporary artists:
• coffee (e.g. Paul Westcombe)
• Coca Cola (e.g. Marcel Dzama)
• Marmite on a white plate
• jam
• nail varnish (e.g. Nadia Hebson)
• make-up (e.g. Karen Black)
• food colouring
• chocolate sauce (e.g. Paul McCarthy)
• resin
• ice (e.g. Liz Ballard, Francis Alÿs)
• Humbrol enamel paints (e.g. Geraldine Swayne, Genieve Figgis, George Shaw)
• egg tempera (e.g. Andrew Wyeth)
• sand
• graphite
• marble dust (e.g. Antoni Tàpies)
• icing
• household paint (e.g. Gary Hume)
• ink drawn with a stick or the wooden end of a paintbrush.

Useful tips
1. At the moment keep these paintings quite small, A4 or equivalent at the most. This will help you to gain control of the media you use in a limited space.
2. You might also want to use paper/card/a paper plate/metal/found packaging/doilies as a surface to make the paintings onto.
3. If you use Humbrol enamel paints, you can dilute them with turps or the thinners that are made to go with them. You can paint them onto canvas, board, card or paper, or onto ‘oil-primed’ paper.
4. Photocopying objects can be a useful way of making them more manageable to depict.

These painting materials may be messy so you might have to document them with photographs and then print the photograph out to create a physical record. The
photograph might then become the piece of work.


For this exercise I chose 14 curated collections from which to select my final 5 exercise ideas. Of these, 3 collections are individual collections of materials, and 2 are combinations of four separate collections. Some of the remaining curated collections will be used in future exercises in this part of the course.

Individual collections

Oil paint tubes collection on palette

For this idea I photographed a collection of my oil paint tubes and transferred the composition onto the cardboard back of a disposal paper palette. Leaving a single paper palette sheet glued on top of the cardboard backing I coated it with black gesso and drew in my oil paint tubes with a polychromos white pencil.

I tried out my original idea (from Sketchbook) to use Spectrum Noir pens, but soon found that the colours did not stand out against the black gesso background, so changed to Djeco Gel pens and POSCA markers to create my painted interpretation of the oil paint tubes collection.

One surprising effect achieved by accident was the random ‘distressing’ of the oil tubes on applying the media in areas on the palette where the glue had not fixed the paper palette to the cardboard backing. I feel I could almost squeeze the tubes!

White on white crockery collection

The photograph I took of this collection of crockery, cutting board and iPad charging socket/cable distinctly showed up the stark light/dark areas of the composition. To represent this in a painting/drawing, I chose to use graphite powder on a white gessoed A4 sheet of canvas paper. In order to manage the graphite powder I used a paper stub and finger to move the powder about. There are a few smudgy sections that I found hard to correct, even with putty rubber, so I reverted to trying to lift some of the white highlights (particularly on the wire) with a white watercolour pencil – not really successful.

Computer inks for recycling collection

On an almost-A4 sized piece of sheet metal I chose to represent the used computer ink cartridge collection. My selected media for this was a PITT black artist pen to outline the cartridges and then Humbrol enamel paint to pick out the substance.

I maybe got a wee bit carried away with my ideas on recycling and decided to paste some ink cartridge ‘political’ statement on four of the cartridges.

Combined collections

Watches collection on postcard collection

The postcards were collected by my father during his RAF service during the 2nd World War. He spent time in Italy as a radio operator and the collection contains scenes of Milan and Syracuse on Sicily. I discovered these in a bureau drawer handed down to me and which now sits in our living room. Having laid the postcards out in a grid on the kitchen table to photograph them I decided to combine this collection with my photograph of a family collection of watches. My late father’s watch is the one in the centre with the strap fully extended. The fob-watch at the bottom belonged to my mother’s father and the other four watches are my own bought over a number of years (I haven’t worn a watch for about 20 years or so as I have developed a sense of time that suits my daily life style without the need to constantly be looking at a watch).

The watches were painted on top of the postcard collection using Pebéo Cerne Relief tubes and Djeco Gel pens to create the framework outline. Within the raised outline of the watches I then used a mixture of coffee and dark soy sauce to apply a wash of brown colour applied wet over dry as separate applications to provide the leather effect to the watch straps.

My feeling of this combined curated collection relates to the passage of time – from my father’s collected postcard images from the war years to the watches all stopped at different times. The brown/sepia colouring also adds an aura of melancholy.

Gloves collection on hats collection – on a hat – top

Thinking about how best to display my hats collection and gloves collection, I picked up an old cap in a charity shop which I then covered with plaster molding material to give it a harder surface and gessoed it in white. The photograph of my curated hats collection was printed out, cut up and pasted onto the new hard surface of the cap.

The gloves were painted over the hats using nail varnish and pottery glaze (I had tried using T-Shirt graffiti pens as I indicated in my sketchbook of ideas, but found this to be ineffective). The glove outlines were picked out using indian red PITT ink pen and the whole composition was finished off by combining washes of dark soy sauce/coffee and pottery glaze colours in between the hats and gloves.

The following images show this ‘wearable collection’ (not sure I would have the nerve to wear this cap outside!) in different viewpoints – front, back, left and right – to give a better idea of the final shape and look.

Gloves collection on hats collection – on a hat – front
Gloves collection on hats collection – on a hat – back
Gloves collection on hats collection – on a hat – left
Gloves collection on hats collection – on a hat – right

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
19 November 2016

Part 2: Sketchbook for Exercise 2.1 – Unusual painting media

Please click on each image to enlarge it and to open it in a new browser tab. You should also be able to zoom in (+) to read the text better and zoom out (-) of each image.


Part 2 Exercise 2.1 Sketchbook, page 1

Selection of media and colours

Part 2 Exercise 2.1 Sketchbook, page 2
Part 2 Exercise 2.1 Sketchbook, page 3

Ideas for collections for painting

Part 2 Exercise 2.1 Sketchbook, page 4
Part 2 Exercise 2.1 Sketchbook, page 5
Part 2 Exercise 2.1 Sketchbook, page 6
Part 2 Exercise 2.1 Sketchbook, page 7
Part 2 Exercise 2.1 Sketchbook, page 8
Part 2 Exercise 2.1 Sketchbook, page 9

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
9 November 2016