Exercise 17:Abstract illustration


“Listen to a piece of instrumental music by a musician such as:

  • George Gershwin
  • The Gypsy Kings
  • Beethoven
  • Miles Davis

As you listen to the music create marks which convey your interpretation of the essence or mood of the piece. Work quickly and intuitively to bring a degree of self-expression to the exercise. Be selective in your use of materials, colours, marks and textures.”

My chosen musician was “Charlie Burg” and the song I listened to was “Lancaster nights”.  Below is a video of the process of the illustration I created whilst listening to the song:

This was a really interesting yet challenging experience due to the fact that I only had 3 minutes to creat the illustration, therefore I had no time to plan the illustration, I had to go with the flow. Here is an image of the final illustration:


“Stand back from your worksheet and choose an adjective or word that you feel describes the tone of the piece. This is your interpretation and not a definition of it. Go through your drawings and choose a square area that you feel communicates the meaning of your chosen word and has visually interesting qualities.”

Below is the cropped part of the image which I chose the word “passion” to represent:

The yellow line looked like the profile of a woman so I started to develop that idea:

Final illustration

This illustration represents a woman smoking and the smoke of her cigarette becomes the night (as clouds and stars). I also wrote the tittle of the song to see how it would look as the song cover.


This exercise was really challenging, I am pleased with the end results but if I could start it again I would create a different image for the first brief. But on the other hand, I really enjoyed painting while listening to a song and representing what it makes me feel. I will definitely do this exercise on my free time again.

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