Research for my personal project

Hey guys!

So I know that I’m a couple of weeks overdue for my next post, but it’s just been a hectic month what with other exams and stuff so I do apologise, but hopefully from here on out I will have a bit more time on my hands so I can post more frequently as I had planned.

Ok, so getting straight down to it, I last talked about how I had chosen the theme of environment for my personal study project, and that my next steps were to get on with doing some drawings that reflect which of my environments are important to me, and personally, I think that the results are awesome (if I do say so myself).

I had a lot of fun with the first experiment (black and white painting). I did this drawing from a photograph that I took of the equipment next to the sink in the art room, and used a technique called ‘impasto’, which means the ‘process of laying on paint or pigment thickly so that it stands out from a surface’.

(Helpful Tip – Always try to use the proper art terms when describing a piece of work, this skill will come in handy when you come to write your essay)

For this, I used only black and white acrylic paint, and I actually applied the paint using sticks! Like actual sticks from the garden! (I know… wild times right). I found that this was a really good way to produce a creative piece of work in a relatively short amount of time (which is a key thing for a perfectionist like myself). This experiment linked nicely to an artist called Frank Auerbach, who uses a lot of impasto in his work.

(Helpful Tip – Get into the habit of finding and linking an artist or two into every piece of work/double page that you produce. Showing that you are able to analyse other artists’ work and how they influenced you to create your own work is a very key aspect, as it is one of the four assessment objectives that your teachers will be looking for when marking your sketchbook)

Moving on, I decided next to focus on my garden environment. I did an oil painting of a pot of flowers that I took a picture of in my Nan’s garden. Now, due to the chosen media, it did take a ridiculously long time to complete, but in my opinion, it was well worth the time and the effort. As you can see above, i’ve put up an image of the real thing, alongside an image of my painting. So far, I’ve had lots of positive feedback from my close friends and family, but I would also love to hear what you guys think! (Any feedback is helpful, wether it’s positive or otherwise).

Well that’s it from me for today. As I said, I will try my best to post more frequently, but in the mean time, if there’s anything specific you would like me to write about or if you have any questions/comments about the work I’m doing, then please feel free to write in the comments section below. Bye guys!


Starting the new project!

Hi everyone!

As you can remember from my first post, I mentioned that we were just about to start our second project of the course, so over the Easter break, I have been doing some research into what I would like my theme to be over the next year.

I decided to go with the theme of ‘Environment’ because it is very broad and can encompass lots of things.

(Helpful Tip – If you want to do Art at A-Level, it is helpful to think of a theme that will take you in lots of different directions, this way you won’t get bored with focusing on just a few small areas)

Originally I wanted to go with the theme of ‘Figures’, as I found out that I was rather good at drawing them (check out the images above), but unfortunately I’m not so good at portraits, so I decided to steer away from that (it would look kind of weird to just have lots of figures without any faces… creepy). Anyway, I realised that ‘Environment’ gives me the opportunity to look at a wide range of things, including figures if I really wanted, and I also had the chance to make it more personal to me.

So, to start my research, I went out and about in my local area and around my house and took pictures. Lots of pictures. Pictures of everything. (I may have got slightly carried away – I felt like a professional photographer!) I chose to take pictures of my environments, the things within them, and the things that mean a lot to me. The reason for collecting lots of your own images is so that:

  1. You can show that you have used primary research in your work (your own images rather than ones from the internet)
  2. So that you have lots of inspiration when it comes to planning out the next few double pages in your sketchbook.

My next step was to think of questions that I could answer through research of my theme. I created a double page of these questions in my book, so that if at any stage in my project i get stuck on what to do next, I can always refer back to them to get the creative thinking flowing again.

Now I have my next few double pages planned out (because I’m just that organised) I can start getting to the fun part of drawing, painting, and getting messy with experimenting. First I’m going to focus on my Art environment, which is one that definitely means a lot to me, at school and at home, to show the differences and similarities between them, and to explain why they mean so much to me.

That’s it from me for today, I’ll be back in two weeks, (I’ll be posting every Week A Monday), but in the mean time, if you have any questions about Art at A-Level or would like to give any feedback about the blog, then please write in the comments section below and I will get back to you. Thanks guys!

Introduction to Art & design

Hi guys!

So as this is the first post for the Art & Design section, I thought I’d tell you what the A-Level Art course entails.

The course is made up of three projects:

  • Project 1 – September to February – for this first project, you are asked to respond to a ‘theme word’ by carrying out research in school and at home, and to develop and produce a piece of work in a choice of media
  • Project 2 – March to January – this is your biggest project and it is entirely up to you what you choose to base it on. For the first 6-8 weeks, you carry out research on your chosen theme in your sketchbooks, and from then on and over the summer, you focus on your essay, which is made up of a minimum of 1000 words and 8-12 artist copies that link to your project theme (this gives you a better understanding of the topic and will gain you new skills that are influenced by other artists
  • Project 3 – February to May – this final project is your exam. You will be issued with another ‘theme word’ by the exam board, to produce research and a final outcome for, however, this time when you produce your outcome, it will be under exam conditions and you will given a time limit of 15 hours

So that’s the breakdown of the course, and so far my class has just finished Project 1 and we are about to move on to Project 2.

Continue reading “Introduction to Art & design”

The Writers

We currently have 10 subjects each having there own  writer. We also have our own editor and two serious admin and this is what they have to say about themselves:

Admin: A-Level Life and Mr. T Mills

Hi, we all hope you enjoy your time on this wonderful blog. We do remind you if you would like to comment please respectful to everyone as this for all of you to learn something new and maybe see what you would like to do at Abbeyfield Sixth Form.

Hope you have fun,


Editor: Lotty Mansfield

Heya, I’m Lotty! I am currently studying Biology, Chemistry and Psychology at A-Level and I will be an editor for the ALL blog. Personally, I find psychology the most enjoyable out of my three subjects, as there is always new and surprising information to learn. I am an editor for the blog as I enjoy reading through and helping others with their blogs, whilst also learning things myself along the way.

Art and Design: Jaz West

Hi, I’m Jaz! I am currently studying Art, Graphics and Maths at A-Level, all of which I am really enjoying. As you can probably tell by my choice of subjects, I am a very creative person, and I am here to help you find out more about Art. I will be explaining to you what Art at A-Level actually entails, and will give you updates on the fun things that we do in our lessons as the year progresses. I hope that my entries on this blog will show you that a Fine Art course isn’t just about painting still lifes and portraits, but that it’s a brilliant opportunity to try out new and exciting things, experimenting with different media, and gaining new skills that you will carry with you all the way to university.

Biology: Erika Blinkova

Hi, I’m Erika!

I study Biology, Chemistry and Psychology at A level, which are all fascinating subjects. I’m here to help you find out more about Biology as it is the foundation of all characteristics of life on Earth. No wonder why its name comes from the word ”bios”, which means ”life”. I hope that through this blog I can show you Biology from a different angle and that it is not only big, fat, boring books, and I can help you to discover if my subject is right for you to study in the future!

Enjoy x

Chemistry: Daisy Sexon

Hey, my name is Daisy. I am in year 12 and I study chemistry, biology, and maths at A level. I’m here to introduce you to the type of lessons that you will be experiencing if you choose to take a level chemistry. I will show you pictures of experiments that we have done to show you that chemistry isn’t just about learning from text books but also learning practically in a stimulating environment. I chose chemistry because of my love for learning about the world that I can see and also the microscopic world that I can’t see. The lessons can be challenging but they are guaranteed to be fascinating if you desire to learn about the elements that all matter is made from.

Geography: Bethany Savage

I’m a sixth form student (year 12) at Abbeyfield school studying Geography, English literature and Media studies. My future career will hopefully be in geography from which my dream job will be studying volcanoes in Italy or Hawaii. Outside of school, I love to read and have considered a job in publishing/anything related to young adult fiction.

Graphics: Jack Edwards

Hi, I’m Jack and I’m 17. I’m currently studying Graphics, History and Media at A-level. Graphics is a great subject as it allows you to create interesting visual designs using a variety of different mediums, not just basic pen and paint. Graphics is very enjoyable as it allows you to be as creative and interesting as you like. Interested in graphic design work in the future, more specifically creating album covers.

IT BTEC: Megan Brown

Hi, I’m Megan. I study IT at BTEC, Business at BTEC and Media at a level. These subjects are amazing to learn about. But the subject that I will be helping you on is IT. IT is fascinating subject because you can learn all about the computers and the different software that runs the computer. Through this blog, I will help you to discover if this subject is right for you and if it is a subject that you want to go in to when you entre Sixth Form. I hope you have a great time reading my blog!

Maths: Joshua Bastow

My name is Josh and I’m currently in year 12. At the moment I study Biology, Chemistry and Maths. I would like to study Biochemistry/Biomedicine at university. I have done a lot of maths in the past including taking Further Maths and Statistics as any extra GCSE and I am working at to an A in maths at the end of Year 13. I understand maths isn’t for all and I will try to make it as interesting as possible. I hope you enjoy reading!!

Media Studies: Lea White

Hello, my name is Lea White, I’m 17, and I study English literature, Media and Geography. I’ll be writing the blogs section on media; I chose to do this because media is a very good subject to study, in my opinion, it gives you an overview of how people are represented and why people see them this way. if you enjoy learning about feminism, sexism, racism, and stereotypes, then media is perfect for you. You get to study a wide range of media texts, such as movies, music videos, newspaper articles, CD covers, magazine covers, documentaries etc. I enjoy media mostly because I like to learn about the changes in discrimination and the things that have stayed the same in this area, I also like to analyse media text as they can be fun and interesting to watch or read, and it gives me knowledge I can take outside of my lesson.

Psychology: Olivia Taylor

Hi! I’m Olivia Taylor and I am here to tell you about everything Psychology. I study Biology, English Literature and, of course, Psychology at A level, which are all fantastic subjects to learn. I hope that through this blog I can show you a little bit about a subject that has always fascinated me. I am mainly known around the school for my win in the CET 2016 speech competition and my participation in Young Enterprise. I hope you enjoy my posts and I can help you discover if my subject is right for you!

Sociology: Gabriella Vokes

Hi, I’m Gabriella and I study Sociology, Psychology and Media at A level. Out of all of my subjects, I find that Sociology is the most interesting, you find out new things and learn to view life in a completely different perspective. I’ll be showing you all what we learn in lessons and why it would be a great subject to do as an A level.