Tag Archives: face

Mighty Morphing Painted Teenager

This oil painting by Chantelle McIntyre (S6) was created by photoshopping images of her and doll faces together, the image is then printed out over a series of A4 pages which are then ripped into pieces and glued onto larger card to create a textured image. Chantelle then painted over the top of the print outs which sounds like a cheat, but it’s incredibly difficult to colour match and avoid making mistakes. It really just cuts out the time wasted on scaling up and drawing out.



This week’s AOTW comes from Kat M (S5 OLSP). Unfortunately, Kat has now left school to move onto college. Some people enjoy their senior years of school, others grow impatient and can’t wait to get out.

I’m always against pupils leaving school for college, it lacks the support, the authority and the strong planning that school provides. For me, it is a rare occurrence to hear that someone has completed their college course, they normally drop out before completion, but I know Kat has the drive and the talent to see it through and make her leaving a good decision.

This piece is a collaged background painted with oil paints. It is created in a similar fashion to how Dave McKean (artist for Batman and Sandman) would paint his covers. I’ve tried to talk Kat into letting me keep this work when it comes back from marking, though she won’t let it go.

About Face

What better way to start my new fresh faced blog than to focus on a great artistic pupil who I have been working with for the past year. Chantelle M (S5, OLSP) is an amazing artist on every level; driven, full of emotion and substance, observant and taking everything in – like a human sponge.


For her Higher Expressive Unit this year she focused on self portraiture and explored the idea of morphing faces, emotions and body parts fading in and out of consciousness. Her final piece (above) looked at the idea of what exists and doesn’t, is the subject fading from view or is she trying to obscure herself from us, but remains in sight. It is an enigmatic and thought provoking image.


Chantelle M received great praise when her unit was first verified at the start of the year and should do well when the results come back tomorrow morning. The final piece (a collage of book paper, tracing paper and mixed media including acrylic paint, pencil, charcoal) also won a local competition to design a school library card.

Killing Time


I haven’t really updated the work from home section in a long time and have a huge backlog of doodles and drawings to get through, so to try and keep everyone happy, I will try and feature one piece of work from each pupil. If you’d like to see more from any single individual, let me know and I will sort something out, otherwise, enjoy the variety.


Above, Nicole H (S2, OLSP) gives us a weird, surreal, but very entertaining poster image. The bun character looks insane, though it is mildly discerning that it is labelled ‘Mum’. I have a hundred questions about it, but don’t want to ask them as any answer that was given would not be as rewarding as looking at that image. Below, Lauren C (S2, OLSP) has drawn a beautifully simple bird drawing on ripped paper. there is something very sad and lonely about this image, I love it.



Above; Hana K (S2, OLSP), who has been previously featured (1/2) provides us with this very graphic and stylised face drawing. I really like the nearly non-existent nose, I would’ve liked it to have been completely removed. The pen work to fill in the shapes must have taken ages to do.

Face Paint


I haven’t taught Paula H for nearly a year now, so when I saw the higher work she had been creating with my friend and colleague, Miss McInnes, my mouth dropped open. Last year, she fought so hard to achieve a good result in her Standard Grade exam, getting a ‘1’ for her oil pastel self-portrait. The work she is creating now, makes her older work look like a monkey drew it. Below are just some highlights of her new painting skills and her highly analytical pencil drawings. Truly amazing.



UPDATE: She’s also just finished the painting below, I had to take another photo and show it off. Great work.


Don’t Always Take Things At Face Value

Rebecca D (S1, OLSP) brought in these few items from home that she worked on in the past. I’m not entirely interested in the Children in Need design as it is what it is, though I’m completely mesmerised by the portrait below. First impressions show a kind man, gently drawn, though on close inspection the man’s eyes show sadness and emptiness. His mouth show lips that have a lot to say, though remain tightly shut and silent, down turned, but with a slight, knowing smirk. What is he hiding? Then I am drawn towards his cheek scar, how has this been caused? In defense? A really interesting piece of work that I will visit again. Thanks Rebecca.

Katie’s Magic Eye

Katie H-M (S5) from Oban High School is a photographer and an expressive artist. When she isn’t painting large colourful paintings with stains and inks, she is photographing resources for those paintings.

I first witnessed her work when she had brought this collection of images along to a Young Brits at Art workshop, and although I liked the style of Katie’s paintings, it was her photographic resources that really blew me away.

Katie’s photos reminded me of the faked fairy pictures taken by two sisters many years ago. Not just because she wore fairy wings in some of the images, but more because of the feeling of the photos, the magic, the mystery.

There was also an air of Courtney Love about the pictures. They reminded me of the Hole cover artwork due to the sense of sadness and portraying a feeling of being lost inside your own bubble. I’m also reminded of the visual work of Amanda Palmer due to the exquisite face make-up and self-produced ethos.

Katie experiments with the use of light to cause blurring and obstruction within her photos. This forces the audience to look a bit longer and try a little harder to gain reward from the image. Some images are bleached with light, making them feel heavenly.

As you can see, Katie has a great eye for composition, even if she’s in front of the camera. A cottage industry within a single body, she’s the ideas girl, the lighting operator, the cameraperson and even the model. Inspiring images for anyone who’s interested in taking up photography. Fabulous.

The Art Of Gore


Quite a strange Artwork of the Week this week. I figured since it’s the season of the witch, I had to feature a piece that was appropriate for the time. I have no spooky examples of pupil work that haven’t been featured previously, so I thought I’d twist the whole thing on its head and award a teacher the prize.

Anyone who knows me, will know that I am a huge fan of Halloween. I hold it above any other time of year, even Christmas. This is quite rare in the UK though not unusual at all in the US. I feel that Halloween is the perfect time to show off your artistic skill, your creativeness and your unique ideas. The type of costume you wear and how it’s been made, says a lot about you. Most people rent or buy items, some make from scratch and many customise their outfits from whatever they can.

Attending the Alton Towers Scarefest this year, I and a few friends thought it would be appropriate to become Zombies for the festivities. We applied make up to our faces to look cut, bruised and dead. Ms Ledingham applied the make up to my face. Those of you who have ever used theatre make up before will know how difficult it is to make a realistic cut or paint realistic features, so I was amazed when I viewed the work that Ms Ledingham had done. I looked completely gruesome (more than usual… I knew you were thinking that).


If you’re interested in creating your own Zombie make up you’ll need the following items:

1 Dish of face wax

5 Dishes of face paints (white, purple, black, blue and red)

1 tube of theatrical blood

1 Spatula (Ice cream spoon) and several cotton buds/sponge

How to create the effect:

Create a sausage with the wax and apply to a clean patch of skin. Flatten the edges of the sausage against the skin creating a mound. Slice through the mound with the spatula and create a cut. Apply black and red inside the cut and red and purple around the edge of the cut to look like bruising. Apply black and purple under the eyes to look like bruising and death. Apply blue and purple to sink in the cheeks to make the face look gaunt. Cover the entire face in a light cover of white and smudge and finely touch the colours. Apply blood to cuts and face, let them drip (careful of clothes). If you want to look more gruesome, teeth enamel can be painted onto the teeth and a blood capsule can be chewed… now you’re a zombie.

So… a very weird Artwork of the Week this week. A horrible photo of me, a teacher as the winner (Congratulations to Ms Ledingham) and advice on how to make yourself look like the living dead.

It must be Halloween…

Heather B (S1) – As Prolific As Studio Ghibli



After receiving a serious amount of creative work from Heather B that would make an elderly artist proud, I had to make an entire new category to draw people’s attention to pupils like herself. ‘Pupil Spotlight’ will be an irregular feature that will highlight certain pupils that are extremely productive and talented.

Heather B, although being a young S1 pupil, has produced triple figures worth of images and animations, expanding her skills and experimenting within the medium of manga and anime. She sent me a link to a folder with nearly eighty images and shorts, all of which were absolutely incredible. It has taken me a few weeks to finally get around to publishing some of my favourites, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it was worth the wait.

Using a mixture of sketches and computer colouring, using a tablet and drawing with a mouse, Heather mixes her traditional drawing skills with her computer knowledge to her advantage. The above image has been drawn by mouse, which I’m sure, some of you will know how tough it is to get anything worthwhile out of that tool.

The video below is a little 2 second sample of Heather getting to grips with animating a little creature’s face. Notice how the blinking eye and fluid motion of the chatting mouth make the little guy look and behave realistically.

Below, another eye study. By getting the eyes right on a character you can bring them to life. As human beings, we are prone to looking towards the eyes upon first contact. Therefore, for any character to make a impact, the eyes must be believable.


Heather does not only push her skills in drawing linear and simple line characters, she also spends a lot of time working on giving the impression of style and subtlety as evident in the orange and tree studies below.



I’m sure you will agree that there is a lot of talent exposed in these images. I know as a fine artist and designer that using tools such as stalling software and crashing movie editors, uncontrollable computer mice and frustrating pen tablets, that sometimes it is a good thing to achieve any kind of output, but to actually achieve the output Heather is producing now… is staggering. Below you will find a few images of how one of Heather’s images comes together using a variety of sketching and layout, designing and impressionistic computer painting, then composition and combining.

Len sketch (tablet)

Len Kagamine Gender Bended (Tablet)