OCA Foundations Drawing, Part 5 – Options (5.5)

Option 3: Collage and Text

Project 5.5 Hand-drawn text

A collage using hand drawn text

Choose a single letter of the alphabet and draw the letter at least twice the size of your normal handwriting…fill the sheet with repeated marks. Choose another sheet and do the same with another letter. …create an interesting image made up of sections of your coloured letter sheets.

I started by experimenting with drawing patterns with letters and words in my sketchbook.

Before beginning the process of drawing different letters for this assignment, I gathered together various sheets of white and coloured paper in different sizes, and painted stripes of coloured acrylic paint across the white pages.

The process of writing the letters repetitively was very interesting, I quickly felt I was drawing a pattern, and one I was both familiar with and finding it difficult to maintain. I began with an ‘f’ as I wanted to draw something that had a curve, also because my f’s are written without a line across the middle and so I could continue the fluid drawing. They remind me a bit of old fashioned s’s. The origin and evolution of writing is of particular interest to me, it was intriguing to have in mind the history of the alphabet while engaged in the activity of drawing each letter.

I had a look at all of the sheets I’d covered in letters and began by cutting strips of uniform size across the painted stripes. I played around with laying these strips over one of the A3 sheets, then wove the strips together to form a fabric-like, cross-hatched pattern. Finding I could move this woven piece around into different shapes, I experimented with moving the shapes around the page. I quite liked how this looked on it’s own, but wanted to incorporate the other letter drawings too.

I experimented with different arrangements and creating different patterns, wondering whether adding fewer strips to the composition actually created a better image than including a larger amount of cut pieces. In the end, I wanted to make sure I used lots of strips and shapes I’d cut from my drawings so that I could build up an interesting and varied collage drawing.

I spent a long time trying to get a balanced piece, thinking of the strips I’d cut from my drawings as lines I was now again drawing on a new page. The final arrangement I settled on involves layers of different strips and shapes.


The two thick stripes of white paper which show glimpses of the curves of the l’s I drew break the page up into three sections, and I have broken up one of these strips further by placing a strip from the m’s drawn in blue soft pastel. I then decided to join the two thick strips in the centre with a slightly thinner strip also cut from the ‘m’ drawing. I layered square cut-outs in the centre of the drawing, over the top of the ‘m’ strip, then more square and triangular shapes in the top and bottom sections in an attempt to maintain a balance in the composition. I stayed with angular, as opposed to rounded, shapes to contrast with the curves I drew throughout my letter drawings. I placed the interwoven strips I originally cut out over the top of the centre of the final drawing. I felt the diamond shape echoed the triangles at the top and bottom as well as contrasting against the horizontal lines going through the drawing. I finally added extra triangles as corners to balance the central section of the drawing.

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