N.C.A.D. Audit Credit Module:

Drawing & Mixed Media - Project 1


See below for outline and research for this project


See HERE for drawings from this project



Project Outline 

Once we had gained experience in some of the basic techniques used in Drawing and Mixed Media, we were then provided with several topics to choose from in order to start our Drawing project.  These topics were all very open to interpretation and we also had the option of choosing our own subject if we so wished. 



A lot of the themes and subjects are distributed by the tutors in order to provide a starting point for any students who may be unsure of what direction they wish to pursue within their work, however, if you are certain of the direction that you wish to pursue then the tutors will often allow you to choose your own theme and direction.  It is advisable to try something new and different every so often so that you may develop in areas that you may not have imagined beforehand and thus push yourself to a new and fresh direction.  I chose the subject "Exploration of ‘The City'’ and focused on Grand Canal Square and the surrounding docklands area of Dublin.


(Focusing on Grand Canal & docklands area)




Grand Canal Square (Dublin) is a very interesting area as a focal point of study due to the contrasting characteristics it displays whereby the ‘old’ meets the ‘modern’ within the city. 



This area changed quite a lot during the ‘boom’ times in Ireland (one reason being the redevelopment plan as part of the Dublin Docklands area project) and it now contains a hub of booming professional and creative businesses.  However, it is interesting to observe how some of the streets and buildings remained untouched during the boom times and hence still hold their old neighbourhood charm and character. 



Due to the bubble 'bust' in the Irish economy, some buildings are now abandoned and lie derelict within this area thus making it an interesting urban environment to study for this project.  The presence of the canal and the Liffey create further exciting opportunities to focus study on within this area.  


Some of the subjects that I hope to explore and investigate within this area are as follows; boats, birds, bridges, graffiti/street art and the architecture i.e. the contrasting modern buildings (such as the Bord Gais and Lir theatre) and the older derelict buildings (such as Bolands Mill).





We were again referred to a similar list of books as per the recommended book list during the Certificate in Drawing & Visual Investigation.  This included some of the following books - Vitamin D’,Art Now!’, 'The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain'  and The Drawing Book’.





The below lists information on three of the artists who inspired me throughout my research for this project.  These artists deal with landscape, the environment and animals in a very beautiful and delicate manner.

Lucia Nogueira

Michael Raedecker 

Tania Kovats

Research Diary

Research Diary

Research Diary

Research Diary



Visual Diary / Photography


Brainstorming at the beginning of a project tends to be one of the first steps that I use in my research.  This can be as simple as listing all of the words that come to mind in regards to your subject/theme, or, another example would be by creating a mind map - as I did for this project (see below picture). 

I then spent a day walking around Grand Canal taking both photographs and notes in my visual diary in order to record any ideas and subjects that interested me within the environment.  




During this project I really started to focus on how you can take a subject that interests you and re-work it many times, using different techniques and mediums, in order to allow the subject to grow and develop.  Through thoroughly and tirelessly investigating a subject one can discover new and interesting ways to view and explore it. 


I started using some collage techniques for the first time in my work.  I created some work using thread - a medium that I would return to again during the Diploma in Art and Design.  Also, for the first time, I attempted some image transfers using mod podge (see bird image below). 


Bord Gais Theatre 2

Bord Gais Theatre 2

Bird Photo Transfer

Bird Photo Transfer




Although I experimented with some new materials and techniques throughout this module, I still ended up reverting back to my favourite material of choice - that of ink.  I really like the simplistic, stark and minimalistic pieces that can be created with ink. 



Similar to the work of Michael Raedecker, I attempted to focus on empty spaces and a feeling of nostalgia.

Grand Canal Dock 1
Ink & Paper
Samuel Beckitt
Ink & Paper
Birds 1
Ink & Paper
Ink & Paper
Lir 2
Ink, Bleach & Paper
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The docklands also created a feeling of confinement for me as I worked in a large building in this area and this office overlooked the ships docking along the River Liffey.  The majority of the building block that I worked in is composed of glass and the floors are open plan, therefore, while you are sitting confined to your desk (and expected to work long hours every day) you would also have the visibility to gaze out of the glass building and view the ships entering the docks.  At times I would feel jealous of how some of these cruise ships would dock right outside of our office door and we would see the passengers and crew members exiting the ship to explore the area.  Sometimes I would almost have the urge to set sail with them with no plan except for escape and discovery!

Docks 2
Pencil, Pen &Paper
Docks 3
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Bord Gais Theatre 2

Collage - Photograph & Music Manuscript