Tag Archives: standard grade

Self Reflect


Mia B (S4/OLSP) has been experimenting and practicing for her Standard Grade expressive exam in a few weeks. She’ll be among the last of all Scottish Pupils this year to sit the exam as the qualifications change next year.


The pastel drawing above was actually of a different girl, though when we draw portraits we seem to project ourselves into them and now the image looks a lot like Mia, in fact, more so than the original model.

One of the last Standard Grade topics is ‘reflections’, so instead of going for the obvious light reflections, Mia has chosen to go with thought reflections and I think that really comes across. I love the use of subtle blues and purples that express an air of worry or concern.

Making An Impression



Jeannine H (S4, OLSP) has been trying hard do refine her pastel work and try and show off her strokes and colour skills. By using a pointillism technique, Jeannine has been able to take control of her previously messy oil pastel work and make it look like an old master. This technique takes time and patience, though she has done such a good job on this trial for her expressive exam, I had to make it an ‘Artwork of the Week’ and show you all this bright, bold and delightful landscape.

Just Face It

Paula H (S4, OLSP) finished her Standard Grade Art & Design recently, on her last day, she’s sits an expressive unit test were pupils have to complete a piece of expressive work in a day. This work is then sent for assessment. The work above is a preliminary ‘try-out’ for the exam. Paula re-drew the pastel image at least 5 or 6 times so that she would be confident in her exam. It’s a beautiful piece of pastel and quite a close resembling self-portrait.

A Rose By Any Other Name

Lauren K (S4, OLSP) sat her Expressive Pre-Lim exam for her Standard Grade recently. After a day of hard work and some fine observations she ended up with the piece above. The piece is a very simple rose, though her use of vivid reds and contrasting tones have helped make the image look very dramatic. A great piece of oil pastel work.

Lillias & The Puffin

Lillias H chose a puffin as her animal theme for her Standard Grade Lighting Design unit. After initial investigation drawings, she experimented with materials to create a piece of lighting for Edinburgh Zoo. As you can see, Lillias’ development page includes cheap Ikea lights to show her experiments with opacity and colour and her final sheet displays her design in light and dark, showing off her use of fiber optics. This was a project I had tried with S4 Intermediate a few years ago. I was worried that it would not be possible for S3 Standard Grade, that the techniques and materials would be too complex and that the time frame would be too short to complete. Lillias shows that I was entirely wrong to doubt her. Beautiful work.

Spots Before Your Eyes

Tasja L‘s cheetah drawing won ‘Artwork of the Week’ at the start of term last year, so it’s only fitting that her final mounted sheets win ‘Artwork of the Week’ at the start of this term. Tasja was absent for a great deal of the course, though when she was in, she worked hard on getting all the elements of her sheets completed, and as you can see, it was worth all the effort.

Tasja’s ideas are the key to this piece of lighting. Her final piece is a strange, though incredibly beautiful and simplistic product. It’s interesting form and colours far outweigh it’s gruesome inspiration and source. The centre of the lamp is based on a cheetah’s fur, while the outside comes from the cat’s mouth, its gums and teeth.