Artist Research – Sketchbook Examples

Take a look at some of the sketchbook examples below.  Remember, try to have at least 3 to 4  studies per artist and use relevant material for each one of them.

You will also need to annotate your artist research – pay reference to the GCSE booklet you were given at the start of the week.

I  will try and add some more examples throughout the week.








Malika Favre

You may recognise Malika’s work as she recently worked on Aldo Shoes Spring/Summer ’13 advertising campaign.

Malika is a French illustrator living in London.  She loves all things simple when it comes to her work – focusing on the use of colour and shapes to get her message across.

My favourites are her animated jpegs which you can view on her website –


Mark Powell

Mark Powell likes to draw on vintage materials such as envelopes, newspaper or old bits of music score.  He uses a biro (if you haven’t noticed already, I love artwork where biro has been used) to create his intricate drawings of random people.

The reason for drawing on antique material is Powell finds it interesting – he tries to connect the material to the portrait.  For example, he found a WW1 envelope from a soldier who didn’t managed to send it to his loved ones; Powell then drew his interpretation of what the solider may have looked like.

This is a really interesting way of working – connecting your material with the theme you are looking at.  If your artwork is based on music, use sheet music or CD’s to draw/paint on.  If you are drawing a portrait of your dad, draw on one of his letters which has come through the post (ask permission first!).

Follow the link to have a read of an interview he did for the Huffington Post.


Visual Aides for Portraiture

9d4f70f0120070d941c7477781ccb886Some good resources for you to pay reference to.   I would print these off and stick them in your sketchbook so you always have them to hand.
Just click on the image, opens up on a new page, then hit print.  Simple.



YouTube – Portrait Layout

Watch the video to help you draw a basic portrait.  You have been introduced to the grid method when it comes to drawing – if you find it easier to use the technique then continue using it to get a high quality drawing.  Remember the marks needed to get the grade you want!

There are other videos available for you on YouTube, you don’t have to pay reference to the one here.

Have fun drawing!


I loved working in sketchbooks when I was at school and at university.  Your sketchbook should be seen as piece of artwork in its own write I think. As well as focusing on the content, I also wanted my books to look visually interesting – it just didn’t make sense in having a plain looking book then a visually interesting outcome.

Simply adding a colour wash, considering where I was going to place my drawings/photos, title or adding a background using various papers changed the feel of my sketchbook pages.

Take a look at some of the images.  What could you take away from the examples?  How could you make your sketchbook a piece of artwork in its own right?

sk1 copy







To get further inspiration, take a look at the following school – their work is amazing!

Say What? Annotate

Annotation is key a tool to use when developing ideas, photos or explaining to your teacher what you are doing.

You do not need to write reems and reems of notes, just simple and straight to the point.  All you need to do is explain and give reason to everything you are doing.

Benefits of annotating:

  • Explains what you are doing with regards to ideas, techniques and experiments – this can help you gain extra marks.
  • Allows the examiner to understand what your are doing with your work.
  • Gives you a clearer understanding of what you are doing and what the next stages are to your work.

Professional creatives use annotation within their work – its not just a school thing.  So its good to get in to the habit of doing it now.

Pay reference to the examples below.  They’re really good.  They can also help you with your observational drawing as well.


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