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.

 

 

Advertisements

ASSIGNMENT 4 – TUTOR REPORT

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: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/microsites/sota/tracey/philoshy.html

http://www.c4rd.org.uk/ https://drawingroom.org.uk/

 

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.

Reflection – Part 4 – Assignment

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

Materials

  • I have tried to extend my use of materials as I have worked through this part of the course but unfortunately found myself drifting back to those I find most comfortable.   I don’t think I have been very successful in using free flowing materials and struggle to find the composition and form rather than the more emotive possibilities of different kinds of drawing materials.
  • It would be useful to be pointed towards different kinds of drawing and I remain confused about where drawing stops and painting begins.  Is there are dividing line – I don’t think so but fail to apply this to my own work.
  • In terms of trying materials I enjoyed going out on a limb and using edible stuff and spices. However felt constrained by time limits and the push to get through the different exercises.
  • Pleased with working on heavier paper and the wet on wet technique – could use this more and with a greater variety of media

Techniques

  • My technique has developed in some areas but it remains patchy.   It is still hard for me to pause and consider rather than dashing in to get marks on paper.   This is somewhat driven by the format of life class itself.
  • I did surprise myself with getting the essence of the figures in some of the quite short poses – I find that the longer I work on a pose the more it tends to deteriorate  learning to work in stages on a drawing – particularly ones of up to 2 hrs or longer is a challenge for me.  It is a bit like the experience of doing the Assignment 4 seated pose.    The studies are far more vibrant alive and energetic than the final piece.

Observational Skills & Visual Awareness

  • Again the issue is consistency – sometimes I can manage to hold my concentration. I think the skills are developing even if it is to notice more accurately what is not working. I don’t always know how to rectify this.
  • I believe I am still easily distracted by what I think is there rather than really effective looking.   It is easy to get carried away with an exercise or study and loose the essence of piece.

Design & Compositional Skills

  • Interestingly I think this has been less successful in this part because the body gets to dominate my thoughts rather than how the body or head is in the landscape/frame of a piece.
  • I have tended to draw whole bodies because that is what I think is expected although we have been encouraged to look at other artists where obvious dynamic compositional choices have been made.  I don’t think I have done this I have just centred on drawing the form of the body.

Overall although I have loved completing this part of the module I don’t think in terms of these components it has been as successful and I would have liked.   Maybe it is about identifying all the issues and hurdles initially before I can move things forward.   A body/head is so much more subtle a subject to capture and therefore needs more than I have to offer at this stage.

Quality of Outcome

I think key words for this whole part  4 are patchy/unpredictable/inconsistent.    This refers also to the quality of the outcomes.   I think my work is coherent but as commented in the previous section sometimes hits the spot and sometimes does not.

Again this is due to the way I consciously or unconsciously approach the exercises.   Sometimes I start out with conscious intentions and can sustain through the piece but this is not always true.   There is still not enough stepping back and reviewing.  It is not that I over judge my own work as being successful when it is not but have not found a way to take the lessons forward and incorporate them into the future work.

I believe that the necessary review before I make choices for Part 5 will be critical in becoming more discerning.  I will need to build in some key learning and development targets into this.

Demonstration of Creativity

Not surprisingly some of the comments related to the previous sections are also relevant to these area. There are ideas bubbling away through this section particularly those that link my interest in the dolls with Hans Bellmer and my own image (self-portraits) designing myself as a package.

Experimentation has taken place not only within the course exercises as with the food stuffs and packaging but when taking the short course about textures and surface.  These have all fed into my moving forward thoughts about areas of interest to explore further.

Context

I have aimed to look more widely at sources and images to give greater depth to my understanding of the context surrounding the body in art. There are books etc that I wish to tackle but have found some of the writing rather opaque and don’t believe I have enough understanding of the way art historians think about artworks.

My reading has though made me more aware of the cultural, historic, economic, social, gender and identity aspects of art – particularly in relation on women’s’ artwork. Though as yet I am confused about what is being talked about with feminism and post-feminism.  My last foray into being analytical about the arts was in the 80s not at the height of the feminist era but when many of the first wave of feminist art history was emerging as well as development of philosophical thinking i.e. Griselda Pollock, Rozsika Parker etc. Some of these books are now coming out again as “classic” editions. Presently I would like to tackle this as part of the Part 5 study but need time to think about how to approach this without being sucked into too much theoretical analysis.

Seeing work like the Cathie Pilkington exhibition has encouraged me to believe that there is some good/successful/strong women’s work out there that does not pander to excessive response to male stereotypes.   I don’t precisely know what I mean by this but that is how it came out.

Conclusions

I have hugely enjoyed working through the part of the module and would like to have stayed longer with some aspects of my work.

I am clear that I need to:-

  • Think more before I act
  • Make more conscious decisions at different stages as I am working through a piece
  • Stand back more
  • Review more
  • Experiment more
  • Mix up the media – extend my vocabulary
  • Become more analytical about artists work – ask myself questions

 

 

 

Assignment 4 – Seated Figure

Seated figure study 2

The first of 3 preliminary sketches for the assignment.   I used the working blind drawing method and then two further drawn lines over this.  Plus some overworking in areas of the face.   I particularly like the activity or energy of the drawing and the way the face has emerged from the different lines and overworking.

Could definitely have worked much slower on the blind drawing stage to establish a stronger layout for the fiture.

Seated figure study 3

Second drawing using water soluble wax crayons – again I worked in various layers overworking each colour and then used water to blur/fuse them together. Is using water drawing?  I don’t know.   This drawing also has a freshness about it but looses out a bit on the accuracy side.

Seated figure study 1

Final study and dealing with the difficulty of using purely line to create volume in the figure.   Cheated using various inks as well as the main drawing with ink and pen. Again do like the spontaneity of this image but am becoming aware of the difficulty of working these type of methods up to A1 size. The 3 studies are around A3.

Final seated line assiggnment 4

This is the A1 final version of the drawing.   Realised how much line work it takes to build up the volume – i.e. the jumper which I think is successful   The trousers are less so.   Wanted to use another version of line but but short on time.   Some inaccuracies of proportion and placing of the limbs – particular the far – left leg.   Also head not properly placed – neck too long……

He is so nearly there but minor inaccuracies escalate when working at a larger size.   Working purely with line was challenging I found.

The Head

Second week of long pose drawing.   I knew that the position I was in would not produce a good drawing of Tom’s head as it was too much in profile.

Firstly tried a more straight on view:-

Head sketch 1

head sketch 2

The first sketches where I was trying to get the proportions of his head and face.   He has a very long face with small mouth and chin. Realised that this is perhaps not the best angle and so moved to the side and back of the class.   I was struggling to see the detail of his face and its tones from the distance I was from the model.   But decided to stick with this angle as it was the best that I could find under the circumstances in the room.

Tom Head week 2

Tom head initial layer

This was the first phase of the drawing which was entirely with water soluble crayons on pastel paper.   Had applied a small amount of water but in fact it tended to make it messy and obliterated the marks of the crayons which I found most pleasing.

I had wanted to be more experimental but in a classroom situation with limited time I had to make decisions which drew me back to the crayons.

Tom head final

Final drawing after 2 hours.   Some parts of which I really like especially the mood of pensiveness.   I am sorry that this particular angle or any angle with this pose did not allow me to capture his eyes. Nostril facing too large will have to take it down and it may help the overall structure.   Looking back at his photo the face is too long but I think that the elongation has added to its expression in some ways.

The completion of the drawing to this stage has brought up more questions than answering the remit of the assignment.

Reclining Figure

2nd preparatory sketch

In this first study I was using water soluble crayons on wet 300gm paper.   I like the way the colours and tones move together.

1st preparatory sketch

Tried something similar with water soluble pencils in this next study.  Somethings about this I like – the shapes and dynamic proportions of the composition leading towards the top right corner.

graphite outline

Just a trickle of graphite powder – can be very expressive but blurs – some how I would like to find a way to capture the liveliness of these drawn lines – except that this study is supposed to be about tone.

initial colour washes

Decided to work on the wet on wet with the soluble crayons on 300gms watercolour paper. Time is a real factor when you upscale on size.   I am just getting used to this.   This definitely took more than 3 hours to the final piece below.

final version reclining

I like how the big masses of colour work as well as the tonal variants of the t-shirt and trousers.   Along the way it has lost something of the dynamism of the original composition as well as the reclining attitude – but it did take a long time. For the first time I am please ow shape is implied by the colours without having to be explicit with lines.

Research Context

I am not sure that I have particular research for this Assignment but more as the background for the whole Part 4 which has been an on-going exploration. After the last Assignment my tutor suggested I look at the work of various artists some of which I have followed up.   These include Otto Dix, John Currin, Ron Muerk, Hope Gangloff, Tracy Emin, Sam Taylor-Wood, Ana Mendieta – the suggestion was to look at them in order to become more fluid in my approach to drawing.

As you will see from my sketchbook I looked at these and a number of others, Egon Schiele, Frank Auerbach, Piete Peere, and Degas.

I am aware that I have looked at more artists whilst working through Part 4 than I have in the previous parts and am feeling rather overwhelmed by the variety and diversity of the skills.

Conclusions

This has been a really rewarding section of the Module.   I have always loved the figure and am even more enthusiastic about it as an artistic subject but:-

  • There has been so much to take on board in a relatively short space of time.  I have progressed in my drawing abilities and am certainly looking more carefully.   But it is transient sometimes it “works” and sometimes it doesn’t.   I know this is a lapse in concentration on my part hence the challenge of this assignment because of the size of the work and the length of time necessary to work on an individual piece.  I don’t think I have ever done this before (except in the other assignment pieces).
  • In some cases I have been limited by the poses taking place in life classes, the seated pose and the head.   This has meant that I have not been able to dictate the angles, lighting etc.   Tried with the composition of the seated pose I looked at finding a more dynamic closer view but this did not work.   Similarly with the head I was quite far away in the class. This is not to excuse my work but part of my realisation on how much I need to be able to dictate.
  • Some of the styles I wanted to try did not lend themselves to the particular settings.   I like my studies for the seated figure far more than the final piece.   I could not however work out how I could combine these and keep within the “lines” literally of the brief.
  • I continue to be challenged by working on a larger scale using some of the materials and methods I have tried during this part.   Scaling up needs a scaling up of the marks too in order to create greater impact.  I am not yet sure how to do this.
  • Still there is a tendency to go back to tired (maybe tired by tried) and tested methods of working although discovering working on the wet heavier paper was successful for the reclining figure.  Interesting footnote to this is that I wanted to take this further in a long pose class recently but it didn’t work because I did not take enough time to choose the compositional angle and there was too much literally bare flesh to deal with tonally.
  • I have slowed down somewhat but not enough to be able to be consistent in what I am producing.  I am split in this in that ideas come fleetingly and want to be followed whereas drawing is a skill that will need 10,000 or is it 100,000 hours!