29th November 2019


To conclude, I have thoroughly enjoyed this project. Before this project I had only created reportage illustration in places such as on the tube. Most of my illustration was based around individual people. This project broadened my horizons and gave me more inspiration. Drawing in public is definitely something that takes practice. Whilst carrying out my illustrations the weather was particularly difficult, I visited Brighton on a rainy windy day. This made me realise quickly that wet materials are not the best for reportage illustration, after I had opened a bottle of ink on Brighton beach and attempted to illustrate the pier. ‘Reportage Illustration: Visual Journalism’ particularly helped me and made me realise the value of reportage illustration. I realised early on that it was a positive thing to create an interpretation of what you are drawing, if it was a replica you wanted to create, then you would take a photograph. Taking a smaller sketchbook out in public helped me as I could hold it easily and create scenes quicker. Inspired by Chloe Regan, I used soft pencils so that I could easily create marks and keep the energy. Looking at Rachel Gannon’s work made me think about perspective, and what sort of story I want to portray with my work. Gannon also uses colour to portray mood and energy in her work, this is something I tried to do in my own practice.

I was pleased with the final piece that I had created. I feel that the way I had collaged my smaller pieces that I had created worked well. As a whole all of the colours were vibrant. I used pencil so that all pieces would feel fluid and create a sense of unity. The feedback I got from my peers was positive, they said that they liked the 3D lido that I had created, the only criticism I had received was that they wished I had made it bigger, as it was the size of my A3 page. Perhaps if I was to create it again I would have made it the size of both A3 pieces together, so A2 not A3. If I was to carry on with this project and add to my work, I would have experimented more with perspective, and perhaps worked on creating finished scenes. To do this I would play more with shadow, and weather to give the viewer more of a sense as to when the drawings were made. Furthermore I would have made more 3D pieces as from the feedback that I received it was one of the most successful parts of my final piece. 


My final piece

26th November 2019

Here is my final piece. I decided to create two pieces rather than one big A2 piece. I decided to do this as all of the work I had created in person was ranging from A5 – A4. There are two locations that I contrasted with each other, Brighton and Margate.




Final Exhibition

25th November 2019

Body and Experience Exhibition:

Today we had the final exhibition for ‘Body and Experience’. In our groups that we formed last week we had to think about how we wanted to present our work to reflect our topic. Our topic was ‘environmental juxtapositions/location specific’. 

We had to create a statement that linked our work to an issue that we all thought our work was linked to. We all chose to create art that linked to a specific place, which showed contrast. After talking to each other we all decided that our work linked as it portrayed how we take things for granted. Everyone did a piece that appreciated the location they were in, and drew attention to specific parts of it. I specifically thought about how this could link to phones and how we are busy looking down rather than up. I think sometimes people are too focused in the virtual world rather than thinking about what is reality. 

Our collection of pieces represent the importance of appreciating the environment you are in. 

As our exhibition was about juxtaposition, we decided to try and juxtapose our work, and not place pieces together that were similar. We flipped tables over and create a Z shape that would make it harder for people to read, they would have to turn their heads and move positions. We did this to create a contrast and juxtapose ‘the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect’.

I found it quite hard to link all of our work to an ‘issue’, as this came after we had done all of the drawings in the second week. Our locations were very broad, for example we had Margate, Brighton, London and Essex to link together. Therefore we thought about the issue of appreciating the most minor details.

I received verbal feedback from my peers which was that they really liked the 3D Lido piece in the middle of the two pages. Furthermore, they said that they had wished it was bigger. Perhaps if I was to improve this piece I would have created an a2 sized 3D piece rather than a smaller one.




Rachel Gannon

24th November 2019

Rachel Gannon

Before I got to work with my own reportage illustrations, I decided that I needed to look at a few artists work first, in order to get a feel for their way of working. Whilst reading ‘Reportage Illustration: Visual Journalism’ (blog post here: Reportage Illustration), I was instantly drawn to Gannon’s work.

Rachel Gannon is an illustrator and educator living in London. According to her website; her work is ‘routed in documentary illustration’. Her 2015 work titled ‘Frontiers’ documented areas in the UK that could be classified as ‘contemporary frontiers’ and in particular the ‘docks of the South East cost’.

What is a frontier?

A frontier by definition is a ‘line or border that separates two countries’. I was drawn to Gannon’s work on frontiers due to her use of texture and shadow.

Gannon writes on her website that ‘the borders of this country are much discussed and are a greatly contested political ground’. She describes the frontiers as a ‘concern’ to UK citizens and ‘those wanting to make the UK their home’. Gannon expresses that the frontiers are not a ‘clearly drawn line’. I feel that this is such a sensitive subject to cover, as it is all over the news. With subjects such as Brexit on the tip of people’s tongues, I am interested to see how she portrays the subject.

The outlook that she takes on the matter is interesting. Gannon pays attention to the landscape, and aims to ‘cast a poetic eye over the structures that exist’ in the spaces. Instead of thinking about the more political side and the experiences of those who pass through the frontiers, Gannon with this project aims to focus on how the borders are ‘constructed, signposted, policed, managed and maintained.’

The idea is that the project would reveal they ‘way we are seen from the outside’. I feel like this project is very interesting because it is a very observational project, paying attention to things that we perhaps take for granted. The project is very much from her perspective with the art she creates being an interpretation of how she sees things. I think that this is what reportage art should be like, as it is your own style and interpretation of real events – otherwise you might as well take a photograph to document something. 

These pieces below were created by Gannon for the Frontiers project. I absolutely love the tone and textures in these piece. Gannon has used pencil, coloured pencil and ink. The colour palette of greys, black, and white portrays to me that the frontiers in the South East are perhaps not a particularly nice place. Either that or the weather when Gannon was creating the pieces was not nice. By using different tones of the same colours, Gannon has created depth and created a sense of spacial awareness.

Brighton Drawings

23rd November 2019

I spent a whole day in Brighton creating drawings of my surroundings. I decided to use dry materials. I sat on the beach with ink and a brush pen, but after attempting to create it did not end well. The day I went was rainy, cold and especially windy. I found that wet materials were not a good idea as my paper was soggy and the ink ran. I picked up pencils and pastels in order to create quick, bold mark making.

Souvenir Shop On The Seafront:

I created this using pencil, coloured pencil and oil pastel. I used a small A5 sketchbook to create this, as I wanted to be able to draw on the go and carry everything. I focused more on the colours of the scene rather than tone/shadow. I was drawn in by the contrasts of the toys with the bright red wall.


Cafe In Brighton:

I sat in a cafe here and drew a lady who was waiting for her food. I used pencil for this as I found that the lady kept moving  positions and I wanted to just focus on the scene rather than the colours of everything – which is the opposite of what I did with the toys. For this drawing I did focus more on shadow and tone. I quite like this drawing as I think that I captured her expression well, where she was just looking around the cafe at her surroundings.


Candy Floss On The Pier:

This is a drawing I did of candy floss in the window of a sweet shop on the pier. I used pencil, coloured pencil, felt tip and a pink crayon. Again this is similar to the first drawing that I created due to the fact that I focused on colour and a more graphic approach.


Helter Skelter:

This is a drawing of the Helter Skelter on the pier. I liked the colours of the helter skelter and I again used simple scratchy lines to try and depict shadow. I quite like this piece due to its boldness.


Man In Cafe:

Here is another illustration of a person in a cafe in Brighton. I decided to experiment and use coloured paper and highlight areas using a white pencil and oil pastels. I quite like the effect that it has, I enjoyed experimenting with it. Also it was a quick way of creating marks on the page.


Condiments In The Cafe:

Here is a drawing of condiments in the cafe. I used pencil for this and focused on the shadows and shape. I wanted to record menial things like a vinegar bottle as I want to portray every aspect of a trip to the seaside – and cafes and fish and chips is an important part of this.


Waltzer On The Pier:

Here is a drawing of the waltzer on the pier. I used coloured pencil for this. For some of the dots on the waltzer I used gold ink, but I added this later whilst I was at home. I like how well the colours work together, with the boldness of the blue with the yellow, orange and gold.



Reportage in Margate

22nd November 2019

Here are the drawings I created in Margate. I was particularly drawn to the Lido there, and the arcades and shop fronts. I think that if I had more time, and was going to carry out reportage drawings again, I would experiment more with shadow/background to portray the weather/time of day that I actually was there drawing.

Arlington House:

Here is a sketch of Arlington House in Margate. Completed in 1964, it is the tallest building in Margate. Whenever I was taken to Margate I knew I was close when I saw Arlington House. I saw this ‘block Brexit’ sign on the building and thought that I would record it as I thought it was an important expression of opinion by a local. I used pencil.



Chip Roll from the Cafe:

This is drawing in from my own personal experience when I go to Margate. I always get a chip roll and a tea. I wanted to illustrate my own experience in Margate as well as touch on other people’s experiences. It is also quite an English thing to have a chip butty, so I think that it is something that is unique that links directly to the British Seaside!



Here is a sketch of Dreamland. I used coloured pencil and a highlighter crayon. The reopening of Dreamland has done a lot for Margate, by bringing in tourists and keeping with Margate’s heritage ( Dreamland was originally opened in 1920).


Margate Seafront:

I drew this ‘Dolphin Lamp’ as I was attracted to its elaborate design. Furthermore I liked the view from this being the focal point, with the sea and Arlington House in the background. I used pencil for this. What also drew me to this as these are the same as the Dolphin lamp posts on the Southbank along the river thames. I thought that it was interested that they were the same.


The Flamingo Arcade:

This is a drawing of The Flamingo Arcade on the seafront. I used coloured pencil and a highlighter crayon to create this piece. I decided to draw this specific arcade as it had the most interesting design out of the others. Furthermore, there is a large seating area the other side of the road where I could perch. I decided to contrast the damaged scaffold cladded building with the vibrant signage.


Dog Walkers:

Here is a quick sketch of dog walkers on the beach. I used pencil for this and tried to focus on their form and their position on the beach. I found it hard to quickly record them instead of being able to sit and focus for a while.


Margate Lido:

Here is a drawing of the Lido. I found the building particularly interesting to draw, as it was built in the 1920’s, but is has been left to go to ruins. It is a very unusual contrast, an art deco building with boarded up windows and graffiti all over it. I used red paper as I felt that it would make an interesting contrast between the blue and white.



Here is another pencil drawing of Margate Lido. I decided to use coloured pencil and pencil to create contrast. This is one of my favourite pieces as I like the colours. I think if I was to add to this piece I would perhaps use shadow/add weather to give more of a context to when I drew the picture. lidoread

Snooker Club:

Here is a quick sketch of the Snooker Club at the Lido. I used highlighter and pencil. I wanted to portray as many details of the Lido as I could.



Here is another drawing of the Lido. I wanted to contextualise the lido a bit more, and draw in the background. I think again if I was to add more detail I would have added shadow/weather. However I was stretched for time as I needed to draw before it got dark. I wanted to highlight the lido, by using colour for the lido and grey for the rest.



Brighton – An analysis

21st November 2019

Brighton – Research

On an article titles ‘Latest Figures Show Brighton & Hove’s Tourism Sector Going From Strength to Strength’ written by Hannah Midgley for Brighton Journal, statistics show that Brighton’s tourism is thriving. Figures released in 2016 by Tourism South East show that Brighton & Hove attracted ‘around 11,234,000 visitors’. This is a 6.4% increase on 2015. Compared with Margate, Thanet District Council received 4.2 million visitors in 2017 (according to Thanet District Council’s website). This is such a vast contrast – what does Brighton have that Margate is lacking? 

To start with, trains are quicker to Brighton than Margate. The day trippers from London can travel for 50 minutes to get to Brighton from Victoria, as opposed to an hour and a half from St Pancras to Margate. Brighton has a pier, the lanes which are full of vintage/thrift shops, junk shops and trendy cafes/restaurants. It does remind me of parts of London that have been gentrified. There are events that bring tourists to Brighton, such as gigs, Pride etc. 

I knew I wanted to focus on the Pier at Brighton, as I feel that it really is a tourist hotspot and is a really interesting part of the history of Brighton. According to the Brighton Palace Pier Website (http://www.brightonpier.co.uk/history-of-the-pier),  the pier was officially opened on the 20th May 1899. It cost the equivalent of 2 million pounds to build. The pier was listed as Grade 2 in 1971 – Brighton recognised its importance early on. Brighton pier has ‘67,000 lights illuminating the pier’ every night, and employs ‘400 people from around the world’ to work on the pier. The pier’s website even has a gallery for those who hashtag ‘Brightonpalacepier’ on social media. The pier has a wide range of amusements, from more traditional fairground rides, to a pub, to a gigantic arcade, food stalls and even a tarot card reader. 

I think why Brighton attracts so many tourists is because it embraces its history, but also attracts a modern audience. When I visit Brighton I want to make sure I record the arcades and parts of the environment that I think are aesthetically pleasing, drawing attention to things like signage and things that draw tourists in. 

Screenshot 2019-12-23 at 19.55.03.png

Brighton Palace Pier Website

Chloé Regan

20th November 2019

After reading ‘Reportage Illustration: Visual Journalism’  by Gary Embury and Mario Minichiello I came across Chloé Regan. According to her website, Chloé Regan is an ‘artist, senior lecturer and researcher’. Her work instantly appealed to me as I like her style and think that the way she draws is similar to my own aesthetic. Regan ‘explores the potential of sketching’. I find sketching really energetic and emotive, especially if it is reportage drawing. 

Regan ‘explores the ability of the sketch to capture a first person point of view’. This includes ‘one’s observations, past memories and future imaginings simultaneously’. I like the idea of a ‘first person point of view’, I think that is interesting, as with reportage illustration you are often capturing scenes that you see, rather than perhaps one person’s perspective. Furthermore, I think that creating sketches surrounding past memories and future imaginations is also an interesting concept. I think this because when I usually think of reportage illustration, it is from something that is happening live – the idea of reportage that is a memory or an imaginary thought is unusual!

The British Museum:

I feel particularly inspired by Chloé Regan’s sketches of The British Museum. Regan used an 8B pencil on paper to create these sketches. Using an extremely soft pencil allowed her to create marks quickly and keep the pages energetic. These sketches were drawn on location, Regan describes them as focusing on ‘form and shape’ and some drawings move ‘beyond the sketchbook page’ which helps to capture a ‘sense of temporal experience’. I feel that the soft pencil helps to create a sense of energy and movement as the strokes that Regan uses vary in size and tone. 

Some of the sketches feel very controlled, and some feel slightly messier. I prefer the controlled sketches as the detail is more precise. However it still has its own style and sense of energy due to the pencil used. 

By looking at Regan’s work I have found that using different types of pencil can really make a difference. I will try using soft pencils in order to create tone and texture quickly, as it is harder to create reportage illustration over a long period of time (if you are dealing with a public space such as a museum). Regan also works with scenes and individual objects. I think that it is important to experiment with both, as it creates different focuses and perspectives.

Reportage Illustration

Reportage Illustration –  by Gary Embury and  Mario Minichiello 

Image result for reportage illustration book

In order to gain a good understanding of what Reportage Illustration actually is, I decided to look at this book. My aim from reading this book was to gain inspiration and a better idea of what I will have to do in this project. 

So what actually is ‘Reportage?’

‘Reportage in ‘event based’ meaning that it is an art applied to things of significance happening in the world’ p.1. From reading this I understand that reportage is the art of recording on the spot what you see in real life. ‘The illustrator acts as a particular kind of visual journalist’. I like the idea of this as there is photography journalism, which captures the scene exactly. However, a visual journalist has the gift of style and interpretation, which allows room for an interesting type of recording things that you see happening. 

In the book, the authors portray the difference between photographing events and drawing them. ‘A key difference between the camera lens and the eye is that artists directly interpret what they see through drawing; drawing is both a thinking and physical process.’ This allows the artist to be selective, whereas the ‘point and shoot’ nature of the camera captures everything and has to be edited at a later stage. By contrast, the artist selects what to draw as they draw.’ p.10. I find this really poignant, as it is portraying the creative freedom that an artist has whilst creating reportage illustration. 

Another quote that I particularly identified with in this book was ‘If reportage drawing purely relied on an ability to represent a subject photographically, then all drawing would result in very similar stylistic outcomes’ p.43. I think I really connected to this quote as it describes how reportage drawing does not necessarily have to be hyper realistic. I feel that with reportage drawing it is important that you put your personality into your art, this makes you individual. I feel that if 30 illustrators were asked to draw a market in London, every single person would have a different outlook and outcome, whether it be colour scheme, material, style or focus. 

Two artists from the book that I particularly identified with were Rachel Gannon and Chloe Regan. Their work particularly appealed to me, therefore I feel that I want to explore their work further in order to gain more inspiration. After having read this book I definitely feel that I have more of a sense of what Reportage Illustration is, and I am looking forward to this project.