Week 2 In-class Activity: Drawing Portraits

During week 2’s illustration class, we got to get in pairs and draw a portrait of someone we were not close to in class. And my partner was Qistina!

The timer was set at 15 minutes and we were all paired up, observing and drawing each other.

After the 15 minutes was up, we placed all our pieces on the table for a quick view of everyone’s work and we were very amazed by everyone’s take on drawing the other person!

On to activity 2,

We were tasked to draw on our paper using geometric shapes and there were specific instructions that were given to us, like drawing the first shape in the second shape etc (I cannot remember the exact instructions), but the instructions come in a series and at the end of all the instructions, it is out end piece!

We had another round of showcase to see how each other’s works all turned out!

Inanimate Portrait — DESMOND

My partner for the first project Inanimate Portrait is Desmond!

Before starting on the project, we conversed and got to know a little bit more about ourselves and our experiences.

Some things that stood out to me is that our favourite go-to alcoholic beverage is Gin and Tonic. I usually have it on my nights out but for Desmond, it was a little different. Since he stays in hall, he has a bottle of Gin in his fridge for some nights when he feel like having a drink. Hence, I thought, a bottle of Gin has to be part of his portrait.

Apart from that, we spoke about our aspirations. For Desmond, all geared up in an Adidas T-shirt and sneakers told me that he would love to work for Nike, the renowned sportsbrand someday. I laughed and pointed out that he is in a whole gear of Adidas and he told me that he only gears himself up in one brand per day, so no Adidas T-shirt with a pair of Nike runners, ever, and I caught him on his “off-day”. That exchange spoke out to me and Nike has to be the second element.

Talking about hobbies and interests, I asked him about calligraphy since I briefly remembered he does lettering on his free time when we worked together in Year 2. He still does it sometimes although lesser due to his busy schedule. Besides, he would invest heavily into his tools, that includes his pens and ink. He commented that one of his most expensive investment he made to this hobby of his is purchasing a $300 over dollars calligraphy pen. Yet he says that having good tools shows in his works and is overall a good investment since he will use them for years. Third element it is!

With all the exchange, the impression I have of Desmond is that he is very much a traditionalist and there is an old soul within him. When composing his piece, I decided to include that element in.


I knew straight up that I wanted to first start on the bottle of Gin and Tonic. As I was researching on labels of alcohol bottles, I found many with vintage illustrations.

In thought, I realise that the logo of Nike is inspired by the side-view of the wings of the goddess, Nike. I thought about tweaking the Nike label brand a little and decided to illustrated the Nike goddess in Greek mythology instead of using merely the iconic tick. With that, I started researching on the characteristics of the Nike goddess. Through Britannica, I found out that Nike is the goddess of Victory and is often seen with a palm branch, wreath. Also, Nike is always wingless unless portrayed alone.

Also, the lettering “Gin” was also inspired by Desmond’s lettering hobby. I further looked at traditional, vintage letterings to create the final “Gin”.


taken from: https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/184033049/printable-alphabets-with-ornamental

For the consult, I had many issues with the composition.

I showed my classmates a few and that was when I decided to also include a patterned background that’s Bauhaus styled since I thought that portrays the traditionalist style pretty well. Initially I thought the background was also fighting for attention, since the pieces are to be in black and white, I decided to turn down the opacity by a tad bit.


Nike the Goddess

Inanimate Portrait — DAPHNE

Working on my own inanimate portrait, I decided to look at what interests me now and what I love to look at. It was then I realise I enjoy looking at illustrations of tarot cards especially when it looks like it is the “hype” thing now as people would pay ten over dollars to have a reading done by a random stranger online.

After looking at tarot cards for hours in a bookstore, I spoke to the store person about it as she saw me looking at them for the longest time. She explained that the tarot cards are actually based on the interpretation of the tarot card reader depending on the energy and the illustrations he/she gets from the card. Hence, tarot cards can be seen re-illustrated and reinterpreted by different tarot readers. It is a subjective reading up for interpretation and discussion.


Riding on that, I decided to look at some cards that I often see myself looking at. They are The Empress, The Sun, Temperance.

illustrations on traditional tarot cards

traditional tarot – the temperance card

traditional tarot – the sun card

traditional tarot – the empress card

These are the elements I came up with for the different cards.

the temperance card

the empress card

the sun card