The Final Stretch

Just a week and a bit till the Easter holidays! This last little bit has been dragging out so much- I’m ready to get back to Argyll now.

I’m onto my final project now, for which we got to write our own brief which I loved. It meant I really got to do something I was super excited about. I’ve been excited for other projects (e.g the Kelpie book), but writing my own brief just feels different? It’s also nice preparation for 4th year, when most of the work is going to be self directed.

I’m planning on making a series of illustrations featuring Shrimpy the cat (you can see a sketch of him here) aimed a children struggling with anxiety. It’s my first proper digital work this semester- usually I prefer to do things by hand as much as possible. Digital work is so prevalent right now though, and I feel I’m at a slight disadvantage with it where it’s something I’m not as experienced in.

Assessment time is mere weeks away, and I’m nowhere near as stressed as I should be- I just want to be done now. I’m hoping that this semester I do a wee bit better than last, I’ve tried to really listen to my tutor’s advice and work with that.

Maybe I’ve missed the mark entirely again, maybe I’ve done alright. Honestly I have no idea, I’m just enjoying what I’m doing, and appreciating what I personally get out of it, rather than fixating on my grades. There’s no point in me getting a good grade if I don’t feel like I’ve learned anything, or that I’ve tried to do what others want rather than what I love.

Erin

Horses In Motion

I have been passionate about horses and ponies pretty much since birth. My auntie was an avid rider, and when I was little I dreamed of being like her and competing on horses.

For many years, I couldn’t ride simply because it is an enormously expensive hobby, but in the last 6 months or so I have finally gotten into it again, after over 10 years out of the saddle.

Riding itself gives me such a buzz, and after my first lesson after Christmas this week I knew that for my next project (a picture book) I wanted it to be inspired by horses. I am, of course, fascinated by the myths and legends of Scotland, so I fell pretty quickly upon the idea of a story about a kelpie (a type of Scottish water demon).

Horses are notoriously difficult to portray well, so after I finished my lesson on Monday I watched the advanced riders in theirs. Drawing stationary horses I have no trouble with, but I struggle with horses in motion, so watching the advanced riders was a perfect opportunity to observe how the horses moved, and to see the horses’ expressions during the lesson. Next week I intend to do more life drawing of the horses, as well as possibly take some photos so I have a clearer record of their bodies than my speed sketches.

Images from Monday’s drawing session can be seen here: https://erinbarkerart.co.uk/sketchbook-work/

Erin

Life drawing of horses in fineliner, all sketches drawn in approx. 30 seconds - 1 minute