Assignment 1 – Tutor Report

Assignment 1 – Tutor Report

Overall Comments

Part One Form and Gesture

Thank you for submitting the first assignment for Drawing 1. It is clear that you are completely engaged in your work and you have already a clear and confident voice growing from your work, evaluation and reflective accounting around the work made.

I have identified a small number of things that need to be addressed such as the organisation of your blog but otherwise this submission is strong, articulate and personally challenged throughout. It is clear that you are taking elements of risk but I encourage you to continue to take more. You have identified your preferred way of working but are taking the time to try out new materials and processes. Your sketchbook work is strong and already there appears to be a contextual underpinning of your work surfacing which should really hold the work together when it needs it.

I am unsure as to whether you completed the warm up temporary drawings. If you did please pop a photograph of what you did in your learning log under a subheading so that at assessment these exercises can be found and looked at quickly by your assessors. It is imperative that you do not miss any of the exercises out either from your log, sketchbooks or physical output.

If you put categories on your blog that can be easily identifiable such as Part One Form and Gesture then all the work can then be categorized in subheadings such as Project 1: Feeling and expression, Project 2 Basic shapes and fundamental form and so on. It will help if your title the exercises too above the content so that your learning log starts to get an order to it at the earlier stage as the content as the content will just grow and grow.

Overall this is a very strong submission for the first assignment of Drawing 1. Continue to take the time to develop your ideas and continue to take creative risks. Your confidence will grow and you will be more at ease about the skills you have and are building on within your studies.

Assignment 1 Assessment potential

You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Project 1 Feeling and expression

Exercise 1 Experimenting with expressive lines and marks

Designed to be a warm up exercise, you have managed to create a good number of drawings that express anger, joy, love and so on. You have analysed the work well and in a personal way not frightened to be either critical or supportive of the outcomes you have clearly walked head on into the exercises. You have embraced you mediums and techniques well throughout communicating your emotions in a visual and critical way.

Exercise 2 Experimenting with texture

You have clearly enjoyed this exercise and have made some really interesting outcomes. You have evaluated and analysed critically each stage through annotations in your sketchbook so well done, just remember to pop the heading exercise into your sketchbook to keep things organised and clear for others. The works on tracing paper feel very real and raw as well as exciting in their ambition. Scratching into part of the drawing also adds interest so well done with these.

Project 2 Basic shapes and fundamental form

Exercise 1 Groups of objects

You have started off well despite your hesitancies with your own drawing ability with a number of sketches in your sketchbook. It is good to see you supporting yourself in your sketchbook with ways in to work in a way that you are afraid of. I am in no doubt that over time you will lose this fear, as your drawing ability is evident. In these types of exercises look at the negative space and draw that, as the rest will fit into place. Working on varying surfaces is fine if this is how you prefer to work and if it helps you get through those first hurdles. These exercises are all about looking and seeing what is actually there rather than working with the lazy (and sometimes arrogant!) side of the brain that thinks it knows what is there. Think about the connecting parts and don’t be afraid to slow down when your confidence starts to grow. You may wish to explore the more textural or softer aspects of your subjects as it feels to me that this is something you are naturally attracted to. The bunny is essentially a circle and cylinders so try to break down aspects of this to ensure that you are drawing what is actually there. Your observational skills are strong so lets work with this level of skill and build on it rather than undermine the skills you so clearly have already.

The larger piece works well but has probably lost the more observational side that you achieved in the first instance. Applying your looking skills to the cast shadows and more tonal aspects that would have been present could have allowed this drawing to be more grounded on the page as well as take up a more three dimensional approach to drawing. You can do this, just try to lose the fear of failure and instead enjoy each exercise in its own right and allow the work to fail, as it will take the pressure off.

Exercise 2 Observing shadow using blocks of tone

Despite your difficulties with this exercise your approach is open minded and positive and what you have achieved is good. Further and more sustained development of working tonally will help you improve and I would suggest that you set up a still life in a very dark corner with a strong directional light such as an angle poise lamp will help you differentiate between the light, mid and dark tones of your composition. Sometimes it helps if you take photographs too as it clarifies the areas even more although I wouldn’t suggest that you work from photographs as this will give you a flatter image outcome but use it instead more as a tool. Once you start to understand these elements the outcome will be much more enjoyable.

Exercise 3 Creating shadow using lines and marks

For this exercise you have produced a number of sketches in your sketchbook that are less about observation and more about creating an outpouring of creative mark making. There is an argument here to make work creatively but with closer observation, as although the drawings appear more spontaneous looking closer at where you should make a mark i.e. closer observational skill of what is there rather than what is implied would have allowed your preliminary sketches to be more convincing tonally. Try not to dismiss closer observation instead try to work creatively with it.

Research point: Odilon Redon

You have submitted very good personal reflective accounting of the work of Odilon Redon. You have analysed his approach to making work well and have clearly connected to it on a personal level. Don’t forget to cite your research academically by creating an ongoing bibliography or reference list using The Harvard System of Referencing. Well done, the mind mapping is a good supporting visual here and works well on a personal level to explain in closer detail your thoughts and ideas surrounding what you know about his work.

Exercise 4 Shadows and reflected light

You have submitted a good visual that explains your difficulties with your subject and it is good to see perseverance as I recognise that drawing still lives in charcoal is a struggle for you. Try to enjoy the mark making aspect of this drawing. There are elements that can be improved with more experience but overall this is not a bad first attempt. Allowing yourself to not start again is a good discipline. Learn from it (i.e. map out the composition on the page lightly first before filling in any detail) and then allow the work to do its think. Again looking at the negative space (The space around the objects) will help. There is more on this subject later on in your studies, so remember that you are just at the start of your learning and you are making big leaps already.

Assignment 1

The selection of your objects for this assignment has arrived at a point where you are starting to reference your Allegory to Childhood, which allows your work to be purposeful, directed, and to have an underpinning contextually in support of your drawing. Work is often autobiographical and I am in no doubt that as you move through Drawing 1 these ideas will allow your work to develop but with purpose. Your supporting research is analysed and evaluated coherently and the selection of The annunciation with St Emidius is notably of interest. Researching can be a very fruitful experience and I would suggest that you evaluate your findings in brief to start off with as you find research so easy to get weighed down by. Your preliminary drawings demonstrate your ability to synthesize a personal idea into a formal outcome and requirement of the course. The almost theatrical background is of interest as you have suggested aspects of the box to be grounded in personal experience. Your mark making is evocative and wide reaching to the viewer as well as being extremely interesting to look at The darker references within the work of Odilon Redon has quite possibly allowed this work to filter through so don’t be afraid to write about this if you feel it is relevant.

The overall quiet and underlying sense of these selected objects in this setting suggests an understanding of your research, to cite the work of Redon against the symbolic references of vegetables and rotting fruit. The hanging vegetable and the contained toy delicately placed in a box are highly suggestive making this drawing in my opinion very successful. The dramatic use of heavy tone as a background against the light delicacy of the face of the doll suggests an understanding of what you have learnt so far at the start of Drawing 1. Your conceptualization of thought and discernment is exemplary for this stage of Drawing 1. Overall you have slowed down, allowed mark making to be purposeful and introduced textural qualities to your drawing. Very successful outcome, so you should congratulate yourself on your achievement, well done.

Reflection on your progress

Your review suggests the peaks and troughs of experience. Feeling excited, anxious, elated and despairing is really quite ordinary for the creative mind. There is the need to develop some elements of risk and not be fearful of failure, as this is where the learning aspect of your studies comes into play. This course is designed to support and challenge you through the whole experience and in my opinion you are taking on these challenges but need to allow yourself the space to convince yourself that you have a lot of good drawing abilities but the point of this course is to challenge you with new techniques, processes and new ways of working. You are achieving these despite your concerns.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Remember to label the pages of your sketchbook against the exercises so that your assessors can follow at the assessment point. You are using your sketchbook well with supporting annotations on the development of your ideas. There is some lovely work in here and it is good to see you using it for a variety of different reasons. Your technical and visual skills are developing and this seems a place to naturally house your creative ideas. Keep going.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays


Your log is being used well and you are clearly recording and documenting your learning through this tool.  You have a developing personal voice and you are reflecting, evaluating and analysing your own work against the work of others. It would be nice to see your research voice coming through a little although I recognise that at this stage you are concerned that will swamp the practical work. Over time you will be more efficient at obtaining a balance between research and your work, as it is clear that the research is underpinning your own work already throughout this assignment.  Clearly define your projects and exercises from the content for clarity. Add a page for your on going bibliography that should be Harvard Referenced. Add a little more written work in support of your research into other artists work in support of your own studies. Good, solid reflection and evaluation is already present.

Suggested reading/viewing


I would suggest that you evidence in a little more detail your research that you are clearly undertaking. Continue to read widely and start to add your own interests and exhibition visits to your work. See at least one exhibition that takes you out of your comfort zone within your next assignment.

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Take your time to look at what it I you are trying to represent.
  • Look closely at artist’s compositions. These can be very varied, so record them and analyse what you see
  • Embrace “intimacy’ as an idea in your own way and take each exercise on in confidence.

{Coloured highlighting my own for reference}



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