Category Archives: Pupil Spotlight



This month’s Pupil Spotlight is on a pupil from my Int 2 Photography class. Jenna M (OLSP) didn’t really think she had a skill for photography, though I completely disagree. Her shots display a level of layers that peel apart, the more you examine the image.

jenna manray b&w

The above image is Jenna’s Manray inspired image. Several different poses were photographed and each variation on the left eye was placed and merged onto her cheek using Photoshop. This photo reminds me of the work of Charles Burns, expecially his ‘Black Hole’ graphic novel. It’s got that mutant feel, though still looks very pretty.

Below, Jenna creates a single cover for the band ‘Passenger’. Using a variety of different photographs (taken herself, no Google Images here!), composited together and then, looking at the type of David Carson, she laid out the image (finding and downloading her own free for use fonts). It’s absolutely brilliant and one of the best designs I’ve seen from a pupil. It’s things like this that make me happy to be a teacher. Great work!!

jenna album cover flat bw final cover

Poised & Focused


I have only recently discovered that Lois M (S2, OLSP) takes photographs. She kindly brought a few examples in for me to see and I was blown away with how strong they were. Lois is in S2, so to have an understanding of framing, composition and contrast of shapes and forms when snapping a shot is very impressive.


Lois has used the surrounding structures in Glasgow very successfully to attract the eye to the background of the image as well as reflecting the shapes in the lower half of her pictures, creating a broken symmetry and an interesting pattern. Her use of mixing strong, bold colours along with very stark and drastic monotone black and white shots make her selection here very accessible, almost telling a story or setting a scene.



She uses recognisable photographic compositions to achieve beautiful shots, middle symmetry above and leading lines below. Each attracting and moving the eye in a pre-determined manner across the image. The leading lines photos below are particularly strong, as our eyes are drawn into the centre of each photo, almost feeling like we are travelling through a tunnel or down a track, which I feel is really clever as the subjects (an avenue and a road) are all about movement and the journey.



I can’t wait to see more of Lois’ photographs and hope that she maybe tackles close ups, still life or portraiture next.

Piles Of Drawings, Drawing On Tiles

Kathleen M (S3, OLSP) provided her sketchbook to let me photograph a few pages from it. There was a huge range of images to choose from, though the small selection below is just a few of the drawings that I liked. Kathleen created a ‘Lowry’ New York scene last year for the previously featured ‘Disaster and Emergency’ ILC News broadcast. Kathleen has incredible skill, her range is not captured in these few quick drawings.

Kathleen also sent this photo of a mosaic table that she helped create for a family member’s garden. Having worked with mosaic tiles and enamel paints a few years ago myself, I can tell you that it is extremely hard to keep control of the image and to carefully arrange the cut tiles. Great work Kathleen, I can’t wait to see and publish more of it…

Kiss And Makeup

Rachel A is an ex-pupil from a few years back. She is very driven and does not fear hard work and graft. She had previously been featured as Artwork of the Week a few years back and her snake light was selected as one of the top ten artworks of all time on this blog. She has been really busy recently completing her HNC in Fashion Makeup in Aberdeen and is currently looking to take her career into a more professional setting.

Rachel’s creative work is incredibly varied. It ranges from the commercial, to the couture and the insanely theatrical. Of course, it is not just about makeup, it also involves costumes, lighting, photography and locations. There are so many factors involved in capturing a moment, along with the right composition and not distracting the viewer’s attention away from the actual makeup. The photos shown are just a few of the examples of her breadth and skill.

I absolutely love the image above, I can’t believe how professional this image is; the lighting, the atmosphere, the overall feeling… from someone still young and learning her trade. I could quite easily see this image as a commercial advert for perfume, fashion or jewellery. It’s quite magical, reminding me of a still from a Lars Von Trier film.

Rachel is looking to widen her experience and is open to any opportunities for shadowing or commission. If you are situated in the UK (especially in the Scotland area) and might have an opportunity for her, you can contact me through the site and I will pass it on to her. You can also check out more of her work below:

More Than A Photo

If the next three sheets are not proof of why artistic skill is much more successful than portrait photography could ever be, then I do not know what is. John L (S5, Gleniffer) is an ex-pupil and he kindly sent me some pics of his final sheets of expressive portraiture work. I’m so glad he did, so I can share them with you.

His first investigation sheet show a real skill for observation, I love the colours used in the bottom eye drawing, it shows that John can not only mix analytical skill, but he can also experiment with style and colour. It looks like it’s been attacked with a multitude of Photoshop filters… really great work.

This is where John shows that he is a very confident artist, his use of media, the oil pastel, the pen, the chalks, the paints, each piece as successful as the last. I really love the painting in the bottom right corner, the daubs on the hands is such a fine piece of work. Truly staggering.

You thought it couldn’t get better, didn’t you? Look at this final piece… honestly… just look at it… the pose… the staring eyes… the greens and blues used on the skin, the variety of textures and colours to form a surface that has more life than skin itself… honestly… just look at it. I’m speechless… it’s just great. It’s just great…

Jackie Zom-B


Jackie B (S3 from Lochgilphead) is full of surprises. One of her most extreme surprises are these little gems below. She gets together with a few friends in her spare time and makes short zombie films. The use of special effects are really impressive for something that is essentially shot on a mobile phone.

The town of Lochgilphead and its surrounding areas is small and quiet, so it’s perfect to shoot something like this. Zombie shots need desolation and emptiness. These are by no means Jackie’s attempt to be really hard hitting and professional, for her, they’re something to do, a little mess around. Have a little fun and do something creative. What better way to spend your day?

Those regular readers or people who know me out there will know that this very much, ‘my cup of tea’. I love horror films and dressing up for Halloween. It’s quite hard to pull off a good zombie, but the use of contacts, the lack of care for clothes and skin when it comes to adding blood and getting a believable walk are the three main keys to perfecting a zombie. Jackie looks absolutely fantastic.

I have also had the chance to see some short clips that Jackie has produced with a friend and I hope that she will get a chance to make them into a short film or a show reel, because they really were very scary. With the right music and sound effects, she could make Romero or the Shaun of the Dead crew tremble.

Jackie is currently working on more youtube videos and will probably be scaring the skeleton out of you soon. Carefully watch this space…

Qic Time

Connor M from Oban High School is very busy indeed. Busy creating websites, busy making packages, busy taking photographs… busy, busy, busy. You would think with all this ‘quantity’ that the quality simply wouldn’t be there, but you’d be very wrong.

He is creating industry standard work while still currently studying in S5, not only is this amazing, but it’s also very annoying, he’s so young, talented and brimming with ideas. It could make you angry, he’s so good.

Spending a little time browsing through Connor’s work you’ll soon see that he has a very distinctive design style. He likes clean lines that are usually juxtaposed with a little messiness or something unexpected. It’s this combination that makes his sharp design ideas even more dynamic.

Not limited to software and design, Connor also takes a huge range of photographs, each image lingers in the viewers mind as either something a little humorous, tongue in cheek or provoking.

I am incredibly impressed by his photographs, though it’s Connor’s design work on Illustrator and Photoshop that bowls me over. His ideas and ability to design diverse and varied shapes, from dirty, grimey illustrations to simple and clean logos, is just staggering. Keep an eye on this pupil. You’re sure to see him again very soon.

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