Having looked ahead to the next section on visual storytelling, I suddenly realised that in doing this exercise I have not fully fulfilled the “reportage” brief but have moved on to a more narrative structure. Having discovered this at the end, I decided to stick with it.

I think this happened because I had been considering my critical review which will involve graphic novels, so narrative was in my mind.

I ended up not using any of the sketches I actually made on the journey although I did use the reference photos. I made these sketches at too early a stage, when my ideas were not worked out so they didn’t quite work with the angles and viewpoints I wanted to use. What I could have done, was to make the journey again and then make more sketches and make more notes. As it was I was able to find images on the internet to work from.


sketches made on the journey but not used

I thought I would make the shape of each image in the form of a train carriage, i.e a long rectangle on its side. I considered doing a concertina format or four boxes on two sides of A4.

I used a journey I have made many times, a local train journey. I had previously taken reference photos and made drawings of other passengers, knowing this exercise was coming up. The simple narrative structure was; waiting on the platform, boarding, passengers on the train, the view from the window, waiting at a station, the conductor coming round, arriving at the other end and finally meeting up with my daughter. I wanted to catch the rather monotonous, rythmical nature of the journey, quietly enjoyable without anything very exciting happening.

I made some rough sketches of my ideas but when I started drawing them out I realised that the format was too long. I was using a ratio of 3:1 but I had to alter the images to roughly 2:1. This meant using 3 images per A4 pages, which I was happy about, it was easy to lose a couple of boxes from the train.


sketchbook ideas


refining the images

Eventually I had 6 images I was relatively happy with. I printed them out and asked for feedback. It confirmed what I was thinking, that I needed to include some foreground people into each picture, also to alter the final image which wasn’t working.


first six images that I asked for feedback on


Final images, 1,2,3


Final images 4,5,6


One thought on “Exercise: There and back again

  1. What strikes me about this blog is the ambition, which you seem to be very matter of fact about. You’re illustrating vistas with complex architecture and perspective without batting an eyelid!

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