Assignment 3. Part 3 Expanse. ‘My Garden’ Drawing.

Assignment 3

Draw an outdoor scene of your choice. Try to find a view that includes some natural objects- trees, shrubs, pot plants, fields, garden plants. Also try to find a view that will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of aerial or liner perspective- in other words a view that has some demonstrable depth. Look for a view that offers an opportunity to draw straight-lined objects as well as items drawn from nature; buildings, walls, fences, gates and so on. This seems a lot to look for, but most views from windows and doors will offer you a bit of all of these things.

Here is my final drawing for Assignment 3. Part 3 Expanse. I have called it ‘My Garden’.

'My Garden' Ink and watercolour on paperI became interested in drawing my garden whilst reading about Van Gogh’s ink and Reed pen drawings of gardens. During his life time Van Gogh drew an extraordinary amount of pictures, many portraits, landscapes and my favourites, his gardens. He was largely self-taught, believing that drawing was ‘the root of everything.’ His reasons for drawing were numerous. He felt it necessary to master black and white before attempting to work in colour. Drawings formed a complex part of his development as a painter. There were periods when he wished to do nothing but draw.

My favourite Van Gogh garden drawings are those created in Arles during 1888. In my sketchbook I have dedicated a few pages to his work.


The reason I chose Van Gogh’s drawings are simple, I am interested in the textures, mark making and the forms he made using simple and cheap tools, reed pens and inks. I wanted to use some of his mark making ideas in my own drawing.

So to practise these marks, I drew with a reed pen and Indian ink in my sketchbook, and in Part 1, I also researched Van Gogh’s marks on a tone paper, which I have included here.


For my final drawing I decided to take a variety of photos of my garden, to help with the composition and perspective.

My garden
My garden
My garden

Using my photos and loose sketches I drew in coloured inks I knew this would make a good composition for a large A 2 drawing.

IMG_3256IMG_3127IMG_3129IMG_3133IMG_3131Referring to some of my previous exercises on perspective, I decided to focus on one point perspective and a high horizon for my drawing.

In addition I drew some extra features such as plant pots, wheel barrow and watering cans. I also painted some birds, they don’t feature in my final drawing, but I could often see them when I was sketching outside.

Flower pots in ink
Birds and watering cans
Wheel barrow

Materials for my final drawing;  The Langton, Daler Rowney Watercolour paper, 300 lb weight, size A2 (594 X 420 cm), black Indian ink, Reed pen, and White Nights watercolour paints.

So using my reference materials I started to draw my garden sketching out with ink and pen first, and then building up the mark making and textures, letting some layers dry out. Once I had an overall picture and it was dry I dropped in some loose watercolour washes. I decided on a limited palette of Sap Green, Violet, Dark Green, Brown, Paynes Grey and Cobalt Blue. Leaving the white of the paper for the highlights and some tones.

This is my drawing with a light colour wash.

Drawing with a lighter watercolour wash

And my final drawing with more textural marks and dark tone watercolour washes.

'My Garden' Ink and watercolour on paper
Final drawing with darker tones and textures

My Reflection and Assessment Criteria points

Demonstration of technical and visual skills- materials, techniques, observational skills,visual awareness, design and compositional skills.

I feel I have shown my technical skills by demonstrating my use of perspective (one point perspective) by drawing my garden from the top towards the house, with a slightly side view. There were additional perspective issues regarding some of the sheds and fences, but these all lead to a vanishing point. Also I made many observational sketches and took photos to help me with my composition. Which made me decide to have a high horizon, giving me a big foreground to play with. I chose the relevant materials for watercolour and inks, watercolour paper is strong and has the correct surface that can hold ink and water without damaging the paper.

I wanted to make a visual record of my garden that also showed my skill with ink drawing and watercolour painting.

Quality of outcome-content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

I always try to present my work in a way, that I hope is enjoyable to the viewer and easy to follow. I enjoy artist research and hopefully this shows in my explanation and reasoning for the progress of my work.  I have tried to photograph my sketches and drawings from my sketchbook, so they become an integral part of my reasons and concepts for my final piece.

Demonstration of creativity- imagination,experimentation,invention, development of a personal voice.

I believe I am a creative thinker and I like to experiment with materials. In my final piece ‘My Garden’ I decided to work larger, which has it’s challenges, and using Indian ink with a reed pen gives an unpredictable result. I am trying to develop a personal voice by following my spontaneity in my drawing and pushing myself to explore new and exiting subjects.

Context reflection-research, critical thinking (learning logs and, at second and third level, critical reviews and essays)

I continue to use a logs and record my research and exercises, in addition I enjoy reading and writing about interesting artists. For this assignment I researched Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Emil Nolde and Utagawa Hiroshige. I chose these artists for their use of mark making, colour, composition and their observations in drawing, painting and printing gardens.

Reflecting on my work is often hard to do and I don’t find writing about myself very easy, something I need to practise.

Final Thoughts

I wanted to say how much I enjoyed this assignment 3, drawing outside, taking photos and reading about Van Gogh has been very interesting. My final drawing was created quite spontaneously, it does have faults, such as the right side is slightly too big, but I really explored making textures with ink.  I wanted to show my skill with watercolour paints and hopefully I did this.  I have tried to draw on and use my exercises to help me with this final drawing.  It took me about three days to draw my final picture, as I needed to wait for it to dry between layers. Taking time has it’s benefits, time gave me a chance to look and observe closely and in detail.

Looking at the beauty of Van Gogh’s drawings has really inspired me, he always surprises me with his skillful draughtsmanship, stunning mark making and wonderful composition.


Rainer Metzer Ingo F. Walther. Vincent Van Gogh 1853-1890. Taschen 2008.

Sjraar Van Heugten, Van Gogh draughtsman, The Master Pieces. Van Gogh Museum. Mercatorfonds. Publication that accompanies the exhibition, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, 2 July 2005- 18 September 2005. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 11 October 2005-31 December 2005.

David Sauders. RSPB Guide to British Birds. Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd, 1975



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