3.4 Interpretation & communication

The purpose of this exercise was to ‘build awareness of, and increase confidence to create observed narratives. through processes of editing and stylization’.

Key words from the brief:

  • Review the drawings you have made so far for the unit and select three which you think have potential to develop further visually.
  • Your aim is to choose one place and create a narrative as a result of your interpretation of it.
    • (S) substitute– change one aspect of the drawing for another
    • (C) combine– for this process you could either combine different pages from your sketchbooks or add in other images to the mix from other sources, photographs you have taken, words, other drawings etc
    • (A) adapt
    • (M) modify
    • (P) put to another use
    • (E) eliminate
    • (R) reverse
  • Use at least three processes from the SCAMPER system to generate new drawings that explore how to build the narrative.

What I did

I really had fun with this exercise. My emphasis was on experimentation and trying out as many different techniques as I could without necessarily caring too much about ‘quality’ of artwork.

I created five A2 sized images.

Image 1

This picture used the following images as reference.


SCAMPER processes I used included:

  • Combine: I redrew the portrait of the man on a train and the city skyline background
  • Adapt: The windows were an adaptation of Barbican pillars using the same print roller and lollipop stick method of applying the black poster paint
  • Modify: The skyline was taken from a new reference photograph and was a modification of the line drawing buildings in the original reference image
  • Put to another use: The commuter sketch was used in a different office context
Sketchbook pages 01
Office window – Dip pen, liquid watercolour, poster paint and ink pen

Image 2

This image used a couple of sketches and photographs as reference:


SCAMPER processes used:

  • Combine: The image combined the sketch of the man and newspaper and the drawing of the Bank of England
  • Modify: Both reference sketches were redrawn using a dip pen and liquid watercolour and collage was added for the newspaper
Sketchbook pages 02
Bank of England – Dip pen, liquid watercolour, Sharpie, Posca Pen, liquid watercolour brush pens and collage

Image 3

Combined the following elements:


SCAMPER processes used:

  • Combine: Three commuter sketches were combined into a single image
  • Modify: The original sketches were redrawn using different media. I added a book for the character in the foreground to read
Sketchbook pages 03
Commuters – Dip pen, liquid watercolour, Sharpie and liquid watercolour brush pens

Image 4

Used the following reference:

Blind contour drawing 03

SCAMPER process used:

Modify: The original blind contour sketch was recreated using different media and experimental techniques.

Sketchbook pages 04
On the phone – Liquid watercolour and poster paint applied with a print roller, Sharpie and Posca pens

Image 5

The final illustration combined several different sketches. Some were redrawn and some were digitised and repurposed.


SCAMPER processes used:

  • Combine: Four different images were combined together
  • Modify: The portrait in the foreground was redrawn and all reference sketches were digitally recoloured
  • Put to another use: The commuter portrait was reused in a cafe context
  • Reverse: The foliage image was digitised and reversed to better work in the image composition

The final image was created using Illustrator and Photoshop.

Team room
Tea room – Composite image recoloured using Illustrator and Photoshop


What went well

  • I enjoyed continuing experimentation with mixed media using techniques started in 2.2 Investigating a process, and subsequently refined
  • I was surprised at how easily the different components in Image 5 worked together without too much modification

What I would do differently/better

  • I need to continue to be more critical in my observational drawings and avoid just redrawing the same thing repeatedly. By this I mean focus on what is different and harder such as posture, hands, relationships, expression etc. Bring more narrative into the sketches
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