Thank you for submitting Assignment 2 for Drawing 1. You have clearly worked hard at Assignment Two for Drawing 1 and have made some significant developments on a personal level in all areas of your studies.
It is good to see you embrace the developmental aspect of your working exercises in your sketchbook, they are appearing to be very fluid at the minute and have good solid annotation running throughout. You have taken on new challenges in regard to looking, seeing and playing with new techniques and materials. Your sketchbook work is gaining momentum through experimentation and expressive outlay and you have responded well and it is good to see that you are visiting exhibitions in the flesh to encounter the many techniques and outcomes that so many different artists employ.
Further time spent and paying attention to tone has really paid off, particularly in your last two drawings. You are look carefully, slowing down and taking greater care when try to discern what is needed in the work and what is not.
Your overall drawing skills are moving forward well. You must remain open minded to new ideas and continue to takes a developed sense of what surface to draw on, what to include and what to take forward in each exercise. Your seeing skills are developing well and the evidence is apparent as you move through the exercises.
I understand your aim is to go for the Painting Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Research Point: Traditional approaches – 16th/17th century Dutch painters, 19th century, modernist painters, and contemporary painters
You have made a great start with your artist’s research and have grasped contemporary artists well (this ordinarily means artists that have made work in the last fifty years or who are working now). You have managed to collect a range of artists that work across many differing approaches and materials, so well done.
Positive and negative space
Research point: Gary Hume
Good research making a link to Gary Hume and negative space backed up with a number of other artists who edit as well as duplicate layers of negative and positive space.
Project 1 Detailed observation of natural objects
Exercise 1 Detail and Tone
For this exercise you were asked to work on a number of drawings considering composition using tone, colour or shape. You have moved through a series of drawings in your sketchbook that have embraced these elements and have annotated well along the way. You have managed to take control and edit aspects of each drawing well setting yourself some challenges along the way. You have produced some wonderfully expressive marks in the still life with lilies however this has progressed in a way where the exercise remit has become a little lost overall, although the outcome is far from a failure. Try if you can to not jump around quite as much as you ordinarily would. You have good drawing skills and a great sense of colour but aspects of your drawing need to show a slower, more considered approach (outlining the smaller developments of each task) than they have at this juncture, although I really don’t want to stamp on your enthusiasm at all. You have annotated some concerns around this in your sketchbook, which is good to see. So slow down, think carefully about what you want to achieve from this drawing and then know when to stop.
Project 2: Still Life
Exercise 1: Still life using line
For this exercise you have produced a number of sketches that have identified the issues that have cropped up along the way. Overall, I think that this exercise brought confusion to you and then secondly I think the objects that you selected didn’t really chime with the more textural surface of the khadi paper. For example the first drawing you selected round objects, one a natural object, one a made object and one a man made object that was reflective and hard surfaced. This in itself as a whole is quite complex in terms of a still life and would suggest perhaps calm, clean and perhaps colour orientated work. The second still life of three stones feels much more connected visually and yet again the surface paper adds another layer that perhaps confuses and overcomplicates what you are trying to depict in the visual overall. When struggling in this way try to take a step back and think about the composition and what you are trying to show in your drawing. Think about colour, the surface of your paper and again what to leave in and what to leave out in the drawing overall. Perhaps draw on a flat paper that has a slight blue or cream tone to it; perhaps draw in grey rather than black ink and so on. Often we are so desperate to draw that we don’t realise what we want to say and how to achieve it in closer detail. Something perhaps to consider overall as you move through the next assignment…
Exercise 2: Still life in tone using colour
You have an excellent eye for colour and the photograph you have taken for this exercises is sumptuous, well thought out and considered in terms of composition. The first drawing has some exciting elements to it such as the shapes of the cast shadows, the vibrancy of the pattern on the bowl and you have grasped some elements of tone with the fruit although I would agree that a more committed approach to darker and mid tones would have added a little more volume over all. I think that in the first drawing you capture the depth of the composition more than the second drawing in that you do get a sense of the light hitting the objects, the table and the background. In the second drawing you have committed yourself to more tonal aspects within the objects but for me this lacks the interest and depth overall that you brought into the first piece with more emphasis on the dramatic light. Overall this is a very good effort though and certainly something to really commit to in the future to get the volume of your objects to work convincingly.
Good sketches and preparatory work coming forward in your sketchbooks so well done.
Exercise 3 Experiment with mixed media
This exercise has been portrayed really well across your blog and is extremely successful in showing the development of an idea, the changes that were made in the journey and for your critical analysis to be voiced within the content. The developmental aspect of these studies really emphasises your creative approach to this composition. Adding and taking away and knocking back the pattern using a variety of mixed media is explained well
Exercise 2 Monochrome
You have submitted some great photographs once more and have found some very interesting contemporary artists to support your ideas. You have set yourself quite a lot of challenges within this exercise and have tried out lots of developmental compositions both in your sketchbook and on loose sheets. I personally think that you are considering composition in a lot more closer detail and it is paying off. The slice of dark ground at the top left corner really grounds the work as does the diagonal line that the tray holds cutting through the picture plain. The textural contrasts work well from the rubber gloves to the lemons and corn on the cob and it is interesting that you are trying to cut them into a squared gridded format. Why is that do you think? I think it may be because you like the graphic qualities and formal elements that you see in design and although this wrestles at times with your love of texture I think that with more experience you will get to know how to bring these things together in a satisfactory way. This is a successful exercise as you are clearly setting yourself many goals and are achieving some of them quite successfully.
Project 3 At home
Exercise 1: Quick sketches around the house
Exercise 2: Composition – an interior
You have submitted a good number of sketches for this exercise from around your home which I think has allowed you to practice drawing more and has therefore led you to be more successful as you work your way through them. When you draw, remember that you can use a range of different drawing media. I would always suggest that you remain relay open minded to your materials. Think back to the temporary drawings as they were very successful and worth revisiting. You have annotated well throughout and have clearly really started to look and understand your local environment much more…looking closely like this will really help you define the things that you find interesting that just happen to be around you. You appear to be slowing down and drawing much more what is there rather than what you thought was there so well done. The Bonnard like studies work very well and feel very different to previous work that you have made, try if you can to take a few minutes to make small thumbnail sketches in boxes in your sketchbook where you draw in tone (no line) only. This will really help you understand and experience tone in closer detail and it will force you to work with it rather than avoid it. They don’t need to take long, perhaps 3 – 5 minutes each but you will find this a really good exercise that will prove invaluable to your studies. Good reflective accounting in your learning log.
Research point Anthony Green, Philip Pearlstein
Despite the fact that you have research a large number of artists I haven’t been able to find these particular artists in your blog. If you haven’t completed this could you add them to your research please?
Exercise 3: Material Differences
You have written well an account of how difficult it was working for the first time on such a large scale and despite your quite critical viewpoint I think that you have problem solved well throughout this exercise. Despite the final drawing being less successful overall you have been very ambitious and have taken some big strides in terms of risk and have managed to deal with these quite well overall. Tonally it is still very ‘middle of the ground’ and could have benefited from a little more exploration in the first instance with your chosen mediums (try to get into this habit if you can before jumping straight in) but the composition is an interesting one and it does hold some sound textural qualities.
Your assignment that you have submitted is wide reaching, personally challenged and has been directed with vigour and enthusiasm. I love the still life in the bin…very well observed. You have used your sketchbook well here, trying out a number of varying approaches, a critical viewpoint and have clearly been influenced by the amount of visits you have been making to exhibitions as well as absorbing a large amount of varied research. The efforts have been noted this end. As a result you have been very investigative from a personal perspective trying out a number of things in an attempt to get a better composition. Throughout the development of this assignment you have been clear in your intent and have managed to take a lot of creative risk here, which I think has really paid off. You are reflecting well on previous exercises, thinking about what is needed in a composition and what can be left out and have been very expressive in your materials handling. Your work shows wide experimentation, focus and an adaptability that shows an open – minded attitude to making work. The mark making you are making and the expressive yet controlled use of colour in your preliminary work shows an amount of adaptation. You have moved away at putting everything into your composition to a viewpoint where you are taking the time to consider what is needed, what works and what can be afforded to be taken away. Your research is wide ranging, exploratory and enquiring and it is good to see you asking a lot of questions from the work throughout. You annotations demonstrate a critical eye and an attention to detail, which is very positive at this stage in Drawing 1. The narrative to the work is coming through and I think that you could explore the black background in the future as I think it could lead to some very exciting discoveries.
Your large black and white drawing reminds me of the work of Paula Rego. It has a haunting evocative feel to it and you have captured the tonal variations by really committing to those darker tones. You have managed to edit the composition competently and the image is curious, compelling and competently done, well done. Your second colour study contains all the things that appear personal to you. It has a narrative thread coming through. You have handled your materials competently; tonal again you have managed to develop a good understanding of dark, mid and light tones through colour. You have clearly worked extremely hard on these last pieces. The pattern is there but not overwhelming, the drawing is controlled but not to the disadvantage of the overall composition. The tricky part of maintaining the light has been successfully rendered and overall once again your reflective learning has come through very strongly. Well done for these, you really have moved on as you have passed through this second assignment.
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
You have submitted sketchbooks that are personal and expressive, are annotated well and have been clearly enjoyed. Your work is moving forward and maturing well throughout this assignment outlining an experimental yet controlled approach to the development of your ideas. You are clearly taking a lot of creative risks, particularly with your mediums in your sketchbook. Your thoughts, note taking, references to articles, colours, shapes, patterns, are all being poured into the pages, so keep this up.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Your learning log entries are personally critiqued and evaluated throughout. At times the exercises do not follow the same sequence in your blog as they are laid out in the study guide so try if you can to put your comments up as you work through each exercise in order. I recognise that you didn’t always manage to write things up as you went along but it is crucial that when you put your work forward for formal assessment the assessors can find the work they are looking for. Assessment turn around is always tight and your assessors will not have the time to go looking for things as I have done for this assignment. Try to factor in a time a week to add things to your blog, then you will time manage much better as you get into the stride of writing up your thoughts. Your research is extensive, coherent and well thought out from a personal perspective. Don’t forget to research the artists that are suggested in the study guide as well as this is a mandatory element of your studies. You are remaining confident in your own written ability to reflect on your studies and are engaging fully with the research aspect of the course.
Part 3 is titled expanse. Look at the artists I have listed below to add to your own personal research. Try to get to see at least one exhibition that looks at landscape and drawing outdoors. This may help if you are unable to venture outdoors in order to get a greater sense of what landscape can be
John Sell Cotman
Pointers for the next assignment
Keep working for the next assignment as you have here, just try to stay in sequence in the pages of your blog and remain open minded to the sensibilities of ‘expanse’.