Assessment 4 – Drawing 1
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
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.