Part 5 – Assignment 5 – The Personal Project

Notes sent to Tutor prior to Telephone Conversation.


On Becoming Myself


  • What I have done is build up some notes myself under the 4 headings, subject, research, artists and techniques.   I have then added to these from your recent tutor report on Part 4.
  • As far as subject is concerned you are entirely correct in that I am engaged in thinking about identity and particularly femaleness, femininity and am further interested in using the dolls and doll parts as a part of this enquiry.
  • One of the ideas that also interests me is that of the containment of the female – particularly via dress.   This sparks with me the more recent popularity of women’s shapewear which are the modern textile equivalent of the corset and other “shaping garments”.   I am partly interested in getting larger women squeezed into such garments to look at how the excess female flesh behaves in these circumstances and the absurdity of the aim of the ideal  “outline” . Or even thin women with the garments hanging off them. Or myself – but I don’t really want to work from photographs.
  • My reading, study list gets longer and longer and feel I will have to be more specific in themes that I follow. I have already commented that I need to look at how I study and make notes in order to find clarity in taking on theories and ideas and be able to use them critically myself.
  • As far as the artists to look at are concerned again I have added your brilliant suggestions to these.
  • As far as techniques and materials I have been thinking a lot about the materials which were involved in doll making in the past including, fabric, linen, plaster of paris, sawdust, leather, wood, rubber and am looking at different ways to try out and work with these materials. As well as many others on my list.
  • I am aware from your comments that I have to think more critically about my own work and analyse what is happening in my head as well as the physical work itself. Obviously I do find this hard to capture and acknowledge that it is something I have to work on.



All images from ebay adverts.

training corset

The training corset – I like the concept that even as you are running as a completely liberated woman in your vest and shorts you still need your corset!

The wasted flesh like quality of the discarded garment

maternity spantex


Through inanimate dolls or through my own body


Using my own anatomy as a metaphor for investigation into the self through drawing. ..exploring the human condition and its vulnerabilities of what it is like to be human.


Work much harder when writing around my own working ideas from a more visually analytical viewpoint….Develop a deepened critical viewpoint to support my own work and don’t be afraid to consider context in regard to housing my work.


Trees and me…body parts

Doll body parts and trees


notes in the self via doll parts

becoming a woman sex and all

Others labeled me…see word list

The body…personal political cultural economic

Dolls…female objects of affection substitute

Male convicted for importation of child inflatable dolls.

Containment..corsets.shapewear….fashion…high heels

Different parts of me different parts of the doll body…different signifiers.

What am I talking about… investigating myself via still life and self portrait.

Noir..darkened room…seclusion.unspoken…hidden..misunderstood…unknowing.. keeping silent..muzzled…


Looking into mirrors a bit else to tackle.

Develop a  more established voice when it comes to unpacking my own drawings – write and analyse much more…..

Visual impact of my own ongoing artists research against my own work.



What is allegory?

Explore Academically around the purpose of Drawing

post feminism etc

Female feminine woman…back to De Beauvoir….

One becomes..on becoming.

Semiotics – signs and signifiers

What are the signs and signifiers… semiotics..try to understand.

Feminist Political Theory

Feminist Visual Culture

Literature, philosophy and experience

Questions of identity…

Giles Deleuze – The Fold

Tate online

Jstor (via toby’s library ticket ) particularly academic journals



Hans Bellmer ..erotic normal age sex

Hans Bellmer became a surrealist without knowing what that was… others labeled him

Louis Bourgois

John Currin

Ana Mendita

John Coplans

Annette Messager

Joseph Cornell

Hannah Hoch

Herman Bas

Jean Debuffet

Carlos Alonso

Ergon Schiele

Rebecca Horn

Robert Rauchenberg

Glenn Brown

Helmut Newton

Allen Jones

Man Ray

Laurie Simmons

Lucio Fontana

Jo Spence



Be experimental, enquiring and ambitious

Depth..layers must investigate this more…

Lots of different techniques combine.

Box within Box

Rust – Iron Filings

Oil Bars – in-bed things into the surface

Latex liquid – hand stones (I have for years collected stones from the beach that fit comfortably into the hand) – elbow joint, knees, underarm, behind ear etc…..

Crayon Shavings

Reverse Oil Pastel – Klee

Household Paint – matt /chalky/flaky


Wax resist -+ ink or watercolour


Photo Transfer



Burn – Destroy –

Sawdust, leather, plaster, glue – composite – traditional materials for doll making, wax, corn husk, rubber, topsy turvey doll.


Using parts of dolls for drawing instruments

Creating “pinkness”

More wet on wet with other materials


Telephone Discussion:-

  • Clearly my interests lie with women and identity
  • Particularly in relation to control and limitations
  • idealised figures based on gender stereotypes
  • dolls and their influence on female self-awareness and fetishistic responses
  • body parts – the de-personalisation of women

We talked about:-

  • pinkness
  • flesh and signs of ageing
  • wrinkles
  • imperfections
  • enhancements – clothing/surgery

Materials:- particularly those used in doll-making (historically)

  • leather
  • linen
  • plaster of paris
  • latex
  • sawdust
  • wax
  • plastic etc.

It was agreed that I should make Part 5 :-

  • An enquiry looking particularly at material exploration using the subject matter as text
  • Series of drawings and makings
  • Responses to drawings – lots of self critical analysis and reflection
  • writing about why I am interested in this material 
  • looking at other people’s work about identity and ask myself a series of questions.
  • maybe become voyeristic with a camera and focus in on skin.


From Roll-on to Shapewear – My Bodily Journey








ASSIGNMENT 4 – My Response

  1. Taking ideas from sketchbook to final drawings

…Sketchbook work very strong…keep the same approach if working larger

  1. Purpose of Drawing

..explore more academically around the purpose of Drawing

  1. Material Exploration

…there is still some way to go in terms of material exploration

  • try to act exactly the same when it comes to the final work.  Be experimental enquiring and ambitious at the same time
  1. Critical analysis of my own work and the work of others

…develop a more established voice when it comes to unpacking my own drawings

  • keep going and remember to really unpack it in written form as you move through.. Underpin this with wider reading. You could expand your narrative through literature, philosophy and experience.
  • write more around this from a personal perspective ….what worked. what didn’t, what you enjoyed and so on…
  • please continue to research and analyse further the visual impact of your own ongoing artists research against your own work with more frequency
  • don’t be afraid to annotate more critically around this as you move through each page.
  1. The Activity of Drawing

….when drawing:-

  • hint at context
  • consider the form through a series of lines and measurements in the first instance
  • don’t forget to step back and decide when you think there is enough information.
  • devise strategies for success
  • try if you can to work more on tone and volume to allow for a more in depth enquiry overall.
  • …you are starting to ask yourself some important questions around identity

These 5 points seems to sum up the comments from my tutor’s report most succinctly.

In the time between submitting my assignment 4 I have been thinking about what I am most interested in and following the receipt of the report I put some notes together which I sent to my tutor.   The basis of which was a telephone conversation regarding my focus for Part 5 – Personal Assignment.




Assessment 4 – Drawing 1

Formative feedback

Overall Comments Thank you for submitting Assignment 4 for Drawing 1. You have clearly worked very hard at what can be a very difficult Assignment as Figure Drawing and Portrait work is far from easy. Your sketchbook work is very strong and many of the preliminary studies and enquiries are more successful than the larger, more final works. Try if you can to keep the same approach if working larger, not easy, but certainly something to be aware of when scaling up.

You have attempted to move away from your normal approach to drawing by stepping back, slowing down and looking. Whilst this has created some issues, I think you have en route started to consider your own interests through your studies. You deal with interests in female identity, of the female form and what it is to be female and I think this has a lot of scope as you progress through the next Assignment. You have been ambitious when it comes to viewing work and I think that the doll idea that is starting to fester is a strong one.  

You need to explore more academically around the purpose of Drawing. I have given you a number of links for you to research in your own time to support your own ideas.  

There is still some way to go in terms of material exploration. Don’t be afraid to work with non – art materials or materials that link more to the context to add kudos to the work. For example, drawing in plastics or drawing the body parts of dolls or figures will add further context to your drawings. Could you draw through the eyes of the doll or make drawings up by tracing around limbs or use the foot of a doll or draw in the exact pink (or other skin tone) of the doll. This might seem a little ‘out there’, but further reading and intelligence added will enhance your drawings as they should be limitless in terms of the enquiry.

Continue to look, react to and make work as you discover new things.  Develop a more established voice when it comes to unpacking your own drawing.  This is crucial in terms of your personal development. Write and analyse much more around what has worked and what hasn’t and whether you have built up on the things you have learnt so far or seen.

Assignment 4 Assessment potential

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 pass 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  

Part Four The figure and the head Project 1: Fabric and form Exercise 1 Drawing fabric using line and tone You have explored this exercise through a number of materials The strongest work for me is the smaller drawing using water pencil. The broken line against the more tonal aspects of this drawing has a good balance. The other preparatory sketches are ok but lack the depth overall. Don’t be frightened to really try and get something out of these exercises from a personal perspective. You could for example make a study of cloth but hint at a figure lying beneath. It’s really important to have a go at these exercises but really find something of interest to you within them. Set yourselves challenges.

Exercise2 Emphasising form with cloth You have challenged yourself with your material here. Tonally things are starting to be understood (the chair arm, the seated hip and the seat itself in this section works well. Try to make connections from the clothed arm to the armrest, the collar to the breast and so on and don’t be too tempted to overwork all of what you see. Start off by mark making and getting the form, then fill in the areas that are of interest. Where there are tonal differences, things will happen through connection. The eye can fill in the rest. Do you know the drawings and prints of Glenn Brown? They may be of interest.

Research point  You are clearly engaged with ongoing research both requested and personal. The sensibilities around intimacy, both protective and passionate hold a way in to you making more personal work perhaps distanced through inanimate dolls or through your own body, of movement and emotion. Using your own anatomy as a metaphor could easily house your own investigations into the self through drawing, something that feels very exciting in terms of exploring the human condition and its vulnerabilities, of what it like to be human.

Beyond this you look at the female nude and start asking many questions around this through practice. Your research is varied, well done.

Keep going and remember to really unpack it in written form as you move through. Underpin this by wider reading. You could expand your narrative through literature, philosophy and experience.

Project 2 Proportion Exercise 1: Quick studies For this exercise, you have managed to produce a developing body of work looking at tone. Where you have convicted the black of darker tone this does ground the work. You manage to concentrate on stance well through light and dark. For me the figures at the start are competent and allow the eye to fill in the gaps. The dynamics of the figure in space work well. There are moments when the sense of proportion gets a little lost, this is normal as often it is being you are trying to grasp another approach so try to allow yourself the time to think before continuing any marks. Remember to hint at the context. Decide what may ground the figure in space such as a chair, the corner of a room, the floor.

Exercise 2 A longer pose Despite your initial difficulties where some of the measurements are out the second drawing feels more considered. Think about the connecting parts before you join up the dots if you can. Consider the form through a series of lines and measurements in the first instance. This may seem painstakingly slow but will allow you the time to understand the skeleton underneath when tacking complicated poses of the figure. It is good to see you researching around the figure in space. This will get you the understanding you wish for over time.  

Project 3 Form Exercise 1 Basic shapes It feels at this stage that you are not panicking and drawing without looking, instead you are looking and representing the form through lighter lines which is giving your drawing ability the time and space to interpret the information in front of you. You are starting to allow the form to flow much more carefully. the second drawing for this exercise has a more considered feel to it. The figure lying back on the sofa feels grounded and you are starting to command the work much more by adding tonal aspects as well as line. No overworked, the component parts appear to be coming together with much more fluidity.

Exercise 2 Essential elements Your 10 minute sketches are really gaining confidence here and I really like the longer drawing with its controlled palette and poised elegance that your sitter is exuding. There are measurements that are a little confused so take the time to consider carefully measuring as often as you need it. This again is a discipline, but well worth it when understanding form and its connecting parts. The simplicity of this drawing is very appealing, you have captured the elements with this exercise, so well done.

Exercise 3 Stance By the time you get to your fourth drawing you have managed to really command this exercise producing a drawing that is interesting to look at and in proportion overall. This pose is subtle and this comes through in the drawing. For me the final drawing goes slightly back to old ways and while I like the layering of colour to add tone the overall stance feels a little more wooden overall. Don’t forget to step back and decide when you think there is enough information to step back and say its complete. This is often hard to do, but a good lesson to learn as you work through your studies.

Project 4 Structure Exercise 1 the structure of the human body It is good to see you have started an anatomy sketchbook. These disciplined exercises should that you are making a significant investment in time to explore the structure and form in order to develop an understanding. These drawn studies and observations will hopefully lead onto working with the figure more creatively at a later date, let’s see.

Research point: Historical and contemporary artists that deal with the figure You have looked at a wide range of artists for this part of your studies. This research it is hoped, has given you the opportunity to take stock and observe others that have used the figure in all sorts of ways over time.  

Project Structure Exercise 2 Three-figure drawings You have produced a range of positions for your figure in this exercise, the lounging, the standing and the seated. You have been experimental with your mediums and processes throughout however in your critical reporting after the event you have noted a couple of difficulties. Drawing the figure takes time and perseverance. If this is something you wish to pursue, try to keep your hand in by practicing between life drawing classes so that you are looking more often and practicing at the same time. Don’t be too hard on yourself if things go wrong, THIS WILL HAPPEN. Just keep trying and you will improve which will in turn give you more confidence in your achievements. Find a material that you enjoy. If this is charcoal, then maybe go for it as a treat after you have tried other mediums out. Draw the clothed figure, don’t worry about the nude and work quickly and often in a bid to complete a series of warm up exercise before you head in to your class. Devise strategies for success.

Project 5 the moving figure Exercise Single moving figure Exercise 2 Groups of figures Lovely, quick, enigmatic sketches, keep going. Add colour if you wish.

Project 6 The Head Exercise 1 Facial features Again you have produced a range of studies looking closely at your subject, the face. Remember to write more around this from a personal perspective if you can. What worked, what didn’t and why, what you enjoyed and so on.

Research point A great range of research here. You can draw with paint in my opinion! Drawing with wet materials is just as valid…

Exercise 2 Your own head You have produced a range of multi media outcomes for this exercise looking at your own head as a study and it is clear to see some of the influences from your artist’s research here in support of your own learning. You are starting to ask yourself some important questions around identity here. There appears to be interest in this so start to develop some research around this in support of your ideas for assignment 5. I am intrigued with the doll idea and see that the idea is perhaps well under way for assignment 5. Helmut Newton, Allen Jones, Man Ray and Laurie Simmons may be of interest to you.

Research point Artists self portraits Solid research, keep looking at new people that may be coming along.

Exercise 3 portrait from memory or the imagination Interesting exercise from the starting point through to the finished drawing (with extras). I always find this exercise a strange addition at the end point but you have handled it well and to my mind done a number of drawings in your sketchbook that could go under this heading.

I am delighted to see you stumble across Cathie Pilkington’s show.  I have a piece of her’s here and always get very excited when I see it. There is a dark brooding there and the diversity and repurposing of blankets holds a sense of awe to me. You stare and are scared, all at the same time.

Assignment Four Two large figure studies and a portrait/self portrait You have reflected well across the whole of Assignment 4 but please continue to research and analyse further the visual impact of your own ongoing artists research against your own work with more frequency.  

Your preliminary studies for the seated figure have produced creative outcomes across a number of initial drawings. There are some difficulties with aspects of the figure such as the shoulders and some foreshortening of the legs in the final piece and it does feel a little hurried. Try if you can to work more on tone (through line) and volume to allow for a more in depth enquiry overall. The final piece feels illustrative as it is very surface orientated and is not the best work you have produced overall. It would have been good to see a number of further developments of an idea, looking back at what you have achieved in this assignment such as the broken line, stance, tone and so on. Don’t be afraid of your materials, get them to work for you. You have produced a number of experimental drawings across the pages of your sketchbook. Try to act exactly the same when it comes to the final work. Be experimental, enquiring and ambitious at the same time wherever you can.

While you are not expected to have success at every turn, I do think that you have made some steps forward in terms of finding interesting ideas behind your own enquiry and I look forward to seeing these in the next Assignment.  

Your figure study using tone suggests a much more expressive approach to drawing. The information you have given feels deliberately vague and goes back to the use of wet materials again, something that feels very true to you. The print out of the wet on wet in your sketchbook feels very exciting to look at as it is an interesting image. At first you cannot see if it is a landscape or what it is, therefore intrigue sets in and the work appears to draw the viewer in. The final piece holds this. There are some interesting shapes coming out of this study. Just try to get things like the hands and arms in proportion to the rest of the figure (always larger than you think).  Tonally there could have been more conviction in the dark areas to really seat the figure in his environment.

Your portrait work as preliminary studies has been recorded well. The compositional aspect is reminiscent of the tonal drawing in that it has large expanses of colour around the subject. It does feel a little naïve in places and I am not sure if this is your intention? If it is, then make sure your write down your intentions in your learning log to underpin the journey as you work through it. The building up of colour is something that you clearly enjoy. They remind me a little of Munch’s paintings (see below).

Edvard Munch, Sittende ung Kvinn, 1916


Sketchbooks  Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity  You have submitted a number of sketchbooks for this assignment and so it is clear that they are being used regularly, for academic purpose and for creativity. Remember to build up on previous enquiries and exercises on a personal level and don’t be afraid to annotate more critically around this as you move through each page.  There is a personal enquiry happening so continue to explore this in terms of demonstrating your personal voice. Your technical and visual skills are improving as is the creative risk taking with your materials.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays  Context  This has been well written and explorative in terms of artist’s research and personal development. Work much harder when writing around your own working ideas from a more visually analytical viewpoint wherever possible. You are citing well and referring to images throughout. Develop a deepened critical viewpoint to support your own working and don’t be afraid to consider context in regard to housing your own work.

Suggested reading/viewing  Context  You have asked in your feedback to be pointed towards different kinds of drawing. You may be interested in the following:


The slippage between traditional drawing and painting is often debated and discussed and should be where you house your work if this is of interest to you. You may be interested to read Giles Deleuze’s Article ‘The Fold’ or study Lucio Fontana’s marks as drawings to start a dialogue about what drawing is or can be. Whilst this is a step up from your Level 4 course, I think that it could help you pull apart your own work and add value to it. You may like the work of Jo Spence.

You are demonstrating that you are hunting down exhibitions and artists to underpin your studies. Try to find academic journals to develop a more rigorous research pool. Look at the Tate online or at Jstor to find written pieces to shore up your own ideas and don’t be afraid to reference books wherever you can. There are links to wider reading on the OCA website so please visit as many as you can find in support of developing a more academic approach to theory from reliable sources.

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Go all out when it comes to materials that can underpin your drawing enquiry
  • Consider working in smaller scale and in series for your next Assignment submission if it feels more in keeping with your ideas
  • Continue with your ideas around the human condition through Drawing.

ASSIGNMENT 3 – My Response

  • …but for your next assignment I would like you to explore more.

I wish I could – I am trying to be more adventurous but finding an inherent stuckness over this some of the time.   Compiling a list of alternate materials to try out – the non-artistic type.

  • I think you have been pleasantly surprised by what you have managed to achieve in 1 hour, well done.

This part of the course has been the most challenging and the most surprising so far.  I loved doing the trees and my introduction to landscape was a revelation.   Had a much greater response to it than I had expected even though most of it was completed through the winter months when I could not hang around and “enjoy the view”.   It did however teach me skills for bringing back into the studio which is very useful.

  • It would have been better perhaps to work on a series of developed ideas taken from your initial studies to play around more with tone and depth as well as widen your drawing tools to push the edges once more of what drawing means to you.

These comments refer to some of the townscape work and the architectural studies which I found the most difficult.   The views of Shoreham-by-Sea over the river from different angles I did find interest and if the exercises had not been as specific there would have been views that I would much have preferred – over the river, mudflats, taking in the tide at different times etc.

Buildings I find difficult and my sense of perspective still goes out of the window – literally.  I could I admit have taken more time over them but in the end they are not my area of interest.

  • …. had you have used a sturdier paper

I have discovered good 300 gsm watercolour paper which bears a lot of work – although I have yet to push this too its limits.   Something which I need to undertake in the name of experiment.

It is very satisfying allowing water based materials to blend with the surface – and move them about – take them back when necessary. Just beginning to experiment with different supports.

  • Working in parallel will help you see where you are going wrong. Don’t fill in any detail until you have those measurements right.

Again referring to the buildings – a symptom of my irritation with the subject matter.

  • Again for me the tonal definition is lacking which makes the piece lacking in the overall lustre that I can see in the preliminary.

This comment has cropped up over the last few assignments.   I am still not making enough decisions about dark, medium and light as well as fore, middle and distance.  Again this is about becoming more critical and then being bold enough to express what I see.

  • More in depth critique and understanding of the work of others could benefit you in terms of extending and widening the research aspect of your studies.

As yet I am unsure how to address the research aspects of the work.   My note taking is not effective at this stage and I am going to revisit some of the early papers and HE Study assignments in order to apply order to this part of the work.

  • Try to see a range of exhibitions away from drawing and painting. This will help you consider your materials for drawing in closer detail. Think carefully about what drawing is and can be for your next assignment. Don’t always use traditional drawing materials to draw with…try lots of other things particularly things that surround you.

I have seen quite a number of non-traditional fine art work now.   Some of it I respond to really strongly and am aware that from my previous textile work it would be easy to lapse into 3D – textile pieces drawing me away from the focus of this course.

Again the reference to other materials is highlighted.   My list is growing of the non-traditional items some of which I have tried in the Part 4 assignment.

As to the question of what drawing is – I remain confused.   I have looked at the book Eight Propositions a number of times but this does not as yet make it any clearer.

  • …. in order for you to become more fluid in your approach to drawing.

Looking at other artists – in some cases I can see how this is relevant to development of a drawing style but in others I could not identify what my tutor was trying to have me see.   I drew on the styles of Degas, Auerbach, Dix and Schiele in the next Part 4 drawing.

  • Continue to take more risks with your drawing

Still not doing this enough and have not yet grasped a willingness to create the un-successful or non-traditional in my work.

When I look back I realise that I have often played too safe – —-

ASSIGNMENT 3 – Tutor Report

Project 3 Expanse

Overall Comments

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Thank you for submitting Part 3 for Drawing 1. You have worked hard at grappling an unfamiliar area, landscape, and have worked hard to connect with it on a personal level. You have had some successes. Take the time to work on tone. This will give you the depth and weight to what you are trying to depict with conviction.
You have a good sense of how to develop an idea from your first preliminary sketch. Working widely with a range of materials has made you embrace some difficult aspects of your studies but has brought a richness to the type of work you are making. Keep looking and take the time to slow down and observe before making a mark. This will help you make decisions prior to execution, something that will make your work easier to handle. Your material enquiry has broadened but for your next assignment I would like you to explore more. You research widely so why not bring some of that into your own exercises, controlled of course so that you don’t get too distracted from the coursework.
Project1: Trees

Exercise1: Sketching individual Trees

You have made a good start in your sketchbook observing trees with good supporting annotation.

Exercise 2: Larger observational study of an individual tree

For this exercise you have managed to sketch out some strong compositional considerations in some smaller boxes. The tonal contrast of light and dark is striking. You have taken some good photographs of the trees you have observed whilst out and about considering texture and form. Keep playing around with looking at form from varying viewpoints to enhance the work.

Exercise 3: Study of several trees

Again you have considered a strong sense of composition from selection to depiction. Working through a series of exercises you have developed a way of working from each study from pencil to coloured crayons to charcoal and then through to pastel. You are proceeding well but taking an idea through to another medium, so well done.

Consider tone, depth and space to add other dimensions to the work.

Project 2: Landscape

Research point: Research artists that use landscape across time. Albrecht Durer,

Claude Lorrain, L.S. Lowry, George Shaw and Sarah Woodfine.

You have submitted wide and varied research that is reflected upon carefully. There is a visual link to many of your selected artists. There is a similarity of palette, mark making and textural qualities, where dynamic marks are reduced to their simplest form.

Exercise 1: Cloud formations and tone

You have submitted sound critical reflection on the work of Vija Celmins. You haven’t as yet found the time to complete the cloud exercises so I am unable to give you feedback at present.

Exercise2: Sketchbook walk

From the drawings you have submitted you really get a sense of the winter’s cold and unforgiving nature. As this is a new experience for you have managed to get as much information down as you can as well as the textural qualities of the sea and beach in your local vicinity. The black and white charcoal studies are quick and confident in their mark making. I think you have been pleasantly surprised by what you have managed to achieve in 1 hour, well done.

Exercise3: 3600 studies

The work you have produced for this exercise is reminiscent of Paul Nash for me with its sweeping blocks and almost flat sense of the landscape overall. It is important to balance the sense of place with closer observation. Make sure that the balance produces an image that can be read reasonably clearly by the viewer as tonally they could be improved upon for depth of field within the work.

Research point: Monet, Cezanne, Hockney, and Nicholas Herbert.

You have produced a widened sense of landscape research looking at a variety of contemporary artists that draw the landscape from different viewpoints. The pooling of your ideas, your artists research and your outcomes comes through well in your sketchbook. Again, excellent research on Nash.

Project 3: Composition

Exercise1: Developing your studies

You have annotated well throughout this exercise in your learning log. Moving on from your initial studies made in October you have produced a vibrant drawing that denotes the light and dark of our chosen landscape. Again, further understanding of building up the foreground would give you a broader sense of depth so experiment with this where possible to gain more experience. At the moment this drawing lacks the depth due to the lack of tone and detailing throughout. It would have been better perhaps to work on a series of developed ideas taken from your initial studies to play around more with tone and depth as well as widen your drawing tools to push the edges once more of what drawing means to you.

Research point

Again, you have submitted wide and varied artists research, which is enigmatic and compelling at the same time. It will be interesting to see if you develop any of these techniques in your own work at a later stage. You have analysed these images well.

Exercise 2: Foreground, middle ground and background

This exercise has brought with it some challenges that you have reflected upon well in your learning log. For this exercise you have produced a subtle yet complex drawing, which, had you have used a sturdier paper could have been worked and worked upon in terms of building up tone. The lightness of colour overall is quite flat throughout so perhaps this drawing could be worked on further in the further perhaps as a mixed media piece. It would have been good to see the eye travel through this drawing through careful execution of the foreground with perhaps a lighter area on the horizon to pull the eye through? Again, tonal aspects need to be worked on further s o that you get a sense of distance in the work.

Your reflection on this part of your studies is well considered. It is good to see you explore and further the potential of drawing from the landscape by working through collaged drawings and studies from the collections of things you have found from your winter walks. Your combination drawings from the hard pruned trees outside the Tate have a wonderful energy to them and I hope that this will propel you through any future considerations you may have towards working in and with the landscape.

Project 4: Perspective

Exercise 1: Parallel perspective – an interior view

Perspective is a hard area to grasp as we take so much for granted. Marking out your eye level as well as parallel perspective can be a slow process that takes both patience and time, often resulting in an image that has very little detail and a series of lines lightly filled in. Whilst this is possibly the antithesis of what you enjoy doing, getting to grips with the basics can really allow your seeing skills to develop.

Exercise 2: Angular perspective

There are a few smaller errors but overall this is a good attempt. It might be a good idea to reverse the process by drawing in your eye level and angular perspective first, and then measure the buildings length and height against it. Either that or start by drawing the information lightly and then fill in in more detail once you realise that the information is correct. Working in parallel will help you see where you are going wrong. Don’t fill in any detail until you have those measurements right.

Stating that previous drawings are more accurate isn’t really doing the exercise the justice it does deserve. The drawing that you have submitted does suffer, as you have recognised in your learning log, with slight errors in the perspective. Slow down and get the architectural qualities right, then fill in with the fun stuff. Mark it out as much as you can before filling in. This can see very laborious at times or use a viewfinder that is gridded up to help you translate the information in front of you onto a lightly gridded sheet. This type of repetitive exercise will be a huge investment in terms of time but will improve the overall look and visual understanding that is, at times, required.

Exercise 3: Aerial or atmospheric perspective

You are starting to consider the tonal aspects of drawing more in this exercise. Working in black and white is easier than working in greens if you are having difficulties. Perhaps if you squint more the varieties of different greens will be revealed a little bit more to you? You have been very aware of the lack of attention you have given to preparing your materials. All of these things that you are considering at the same time can get confusing. You will get better at taking time over the prep and the working of a drawing as you gain more experience. Again, slow down and take your time in considering what needs to be done before putting your drawing medium to paper.

Project 5: Townscapes

Research: John Virtue and others

Good research; just remember to expand your written critique and reflection wherever possible.

Exercise 1: Sketchbook of townscape drawings

The sketches you have produced for this exercise are demonstrating a keenness to respond more emotively to your subject than to draw carefully what you see in front of you. I understand that making work needs to feel attractive as otherwise the interest is soon lost however I do think that some level of studies drawing needs to come to the fore so that you getting more experience at working with the difficulties. Be mindful of how you draw. Only draw what is needed rather than the whole when it comes to making studies o your subject. Our brains often fill in the rest of the image if incomplete.

Exercise 2: Study of a townscape using line

Working on the long view has been successful you, particularly the view by the road bridge. . You have completed this exercise developing the drawing as you move forward. The final drawing is a more illustrative representation of your first drawing and I like the way you have handled the roofing and architectural aspects in this way. Although not accurate I would agree the depth is starting to come into the work as you have managed to lead the eye up the river for this drawing.

Exercise 3: A limited palette study

Your second drawing for this exercise is the strongest by far. You have by now managed to get to know your landscape quite well and all is appearing to fall into place much more smoothly than the first drawing. The limited palette has been carefully considered and you have managed to leave space where necessary to balance the view. The reflective qualities within the water works well and the mark making throughout is understated yet successful in its execution, well done.

Exercise 4: Statues

The drawings of statues after Cezanne for me feels the most compelling and well executed. The roundness of the form and the light that you have depicted have grounded this form through carefully execution of line, light and tone. The hand made qualities of the paper adds something more textural to the last drawing and the editing of what you chose to depict makes this drawing the most successful out of all the works you have submitted for this exercise. The viewpoint adds a more visceral feel and the way you have handled the light, mid and darker tones makes this a successful drawing, keep it up.

Assignment Three

You have started off well by returning to drawing after a bit of a break and the series of drawings on tracing paper where you have played around with various approaches feels lie a strong start to returning back to drawing your garden. There is an excitement in the mark making and the mindfulness to push the boundaries of your normal approach has paid off. The building up and stripping back as well as taking care to look and understand in closer detail the composition has allowed you to make a sustained drawing using a build up of varying materials. The successes I think are the chair and the right of the image with the statuette against the dark ground. Well done for this.

Your smaller preliminary studies and sketches for this Assignment explore a range of compositional viewpoints to see the effects that these can bring to your final assignment as suggested as well as evidence a sustained development of an idea through different mediums. Further reflection on what you have learnt so far in terms of techniques, materials and processes have helped you to take more risks in your preliminary studies.

Your larger preliminary sketch feels confident, energetic and overall is very successful. The composition, tone and perspective of the study works well as does the colour study. Areas where you have depicted the darker tones has lifted areas in the foreground so continue to explore this as you move forward o your next assignment.

The final assignment piece for me lacks the clarity of the larger preliminary sketch although I do like the complexity of the layers and the references to your artist’s research. Again for me the tonal definition is lacking which makes the piece lacking in the overall lustre that I can see in the preliminary. Perhaps when it comes to assessment the former larger study should be submitted…one to consider in the future perhaps


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

You have a sustained confidence exuding from your sketchbooks as you explore a range of possibilities at every turn. The pages of your sketchbook are energetic, enquiring and full. Continue to work like this as you move to the next assignment. You manage to extend and force new ideas for exploration in your sketchbook demonstrating your idea development as well as the development of your drawings.
You are visiting a range of exhibitions and are keeping notes and postcards in your sketchbook, well done. Your technical, visual and creative skills in regard to materials, is improving, just remember what has worked before after reading my report and continue to experiment as you do so. Time investment often pays off.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays


Your learning log is articulate, reflective and wide in its content, particularly with your artist’s research. More in depth critique and understanding of the work of others could benefit you in terms of extending and widening the research aspect of your studies. An ongoing dialogue between your work, the work of others and its critique as a whole will be most beneficial to you and your studies so keep going.

Suggested reading/viewing


Try to see a range of exhibitions away from drawing and painting. This will help you consider your materials for drawing in closer detail. Think carefully about what drawing is and can be for your next assignment. Don’t always use traditional drawing materials to draw with…try lots of other things particularly things that surround you.

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Your next assignment is ‘The figure and the face’. Look at the work of these artists in order for you to become more fluid in your approach to drawing. Gustave Marchetti, Egon Schiele, Ron Muek, John Currin, Otto Dix, Ana Mendieta, Sam Taylor Wood, Tracey Emin, Hope Gangloff
  • Have a go at replicating the techniques of other artists to bring to your own working aesthetic.
  • Continue to take more risks with your drawing

Assignment 2 – My Response

  • So slow down, think carefully about what you want to achieve from this drawing and then know when to stop.

This remains an on-going issue for me.   Although I often intend to take a particular path with a drawing and even write down what I am intending to do once I start I get carried away – and veer off-course.   This also ties in with not stepping back enough and looking from a distance – particularly in the life-classes I feel impelled to get on with things because time is limited.

I know I need to concentrate on doing less, being more selective about what I am undertaking.   However this still remains a challenge when faced with certain exercises and assignments.

  • 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.

I am not sure that I often think about what I want to “say” about a particular pose – it is easier with still-life as this is something I can set up with a purpose in mind.   When I review what other’s are undertaking in a life-class – not by way of criticism of my own work but because I am fascinated by the different styles and interpretations.   Sometimes I think I should just sit behind someone and see the way that they work – what stages, what choices, what materials etc.   This might be an interesting learning exercise.

But when the fire of drawing takes hold it is difficult not to be drawing myself and just watching!

  • 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 absolutely true I like both aspects as well and the tight and free styles in mark-making.   This is a lot to take on board at this stage.  Which goes back to more experimentation without necessarily an end drawing in mind.

  • 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)

Again this is connected to the 2 points above.   I have a strong sense of colour but do find tonal qualities difficult.   This is something I need to keep working on – being aware of and self-critical when looking at a composition.

Perhaps if I view this compositionally – i.e. make clear choices of the dark, medium and lighter tones when I am planning a piece, it will be more successful.   Part of me thinks though this is just more and more and more practice.

  • 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.

I very much enjoyed falling across my own narrative in the pieces . It surprised me how absorbed I became in the still life drawings as initially I could not engage with this as subject matter. Yes the dark, dark, and noir aspects continue to fascinate and may bring this into the Part 5 pieces.