Assignment 3: Tutor report

Here is the tutor report for Assignment 3.  My responses are typed in blue italics.

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Overall Comments

Thank you for your submission for Drawing 1, Assignment 3. It is clear that you have yet again worked extremely hard throughout this assignment and as a result have managed to produce some very new and exciting outcomes in regard to materials, mediums, perspective drawing and colour. You have worked methodically and clearly throughout, maintaining a high standard of work as a result. Your ability to interweave full and extensive research into your own work is exemplary and it is clear that you are extending both your visual and technical skills as a result. Discovering new artists next to familiar ones is allowing you to build up a great number of references to draw on and your work reflects this in its own ongoing journey.

You are clear and articulate throughout, communicating the highs and lows of the journey in a mature, constructive manner. Your difficulties with understanding and seeing perspective didn’t dissuade you in any way and you are clearly taking on new challenges and fighting the difficulties with perseverance and in a cohesive way.

Your use of the sketchbook is of a high standard and your annotations throughout support your learning well. In this assignment you have taken on colour and have found a great way of limiting and selecting colour to enhance your working ideas.

Your learning log is clear, well written and organised throughout as is your bibliography and your use of good, clear images for research purposes underpins your own practice throughout.

Feedback on assignment

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

Project: Landscape Drawing

Research point: Albrecht Dürer, Claude Lorrain, and L. S. Lowry

A very articulate, in depth and questioning personal response to the work of artists that have historically embraced landscape or have emulated their surroundings in a variety of different ways. Your written research demonstrates that you are good at knitting together ideas and formulae taken from artists working techniques and your visual skills at reading an image are particularly strong.

Exercise: A sketchbook walk

You have made four quick suggestive sketches from your walk around a very interesting public garden and have annotated well, describing the tone, light and points of interest within the compositions. Your drawing suggests influences from Edward Burra with their real yet imaginary fluidity of studying organic and natural forms. These drawings photograph well and suggest an increased interest in texture, mark making and researching new materials.

Exercise: 3600 studies

You clearly critique the difficulties you had within this exercise as you get to grips with drawing outside, exposed to the elements and indeed passers by. What you have done is attempted to work quickly, a new exploration for you and you have managed it reasonably well. Despite your personal difficulties in drawing this way with this type of landscape it is clear that you need to relax more into it, concentrate on mark making and enjoy it as much as possible. It will become much more normal the more you do it.

This exercise was a turning point in my attitude towards mark-making, so that in itself was a positive outcome. 

Research point: Monet, Pissarro, and Cezanne (I chose Monet, Paul Nash & George Shaw)

Good detailed research containing relevant contextual information. Your research standard is high with many threads woven throughout to merge your readings with your discoveries on artists and their surrounding history, so well done.  Well selected images and critique throughout, particularly of George Shaw as he is a relatively ‘new’ artist to research.

Exercise: Drawing cloud formations

You really have explored a range of media and techniques for this exercise and have maintained good annotation and learning log entries in support of your additional research and practice of drawing cloud formations throughout. For me the charcoal pieces are particularly enigmatic in ‘charcoal 1’ and ‘charcoal 2.’ They are dark, looming and really quite mysterious. Your explorations with colour are also particularly strong considering your dislike for the media.  I am afraid that I was unable to view the last image on the blog (although I do have it in your sketchbook) so I would just take time out to see if there is a problem with some images you have put up. Good annotations in support of your studies in your sketchbook.

I don’t see a problem with the last image, so perhaps this was a temporary blip? 

Exercise: Plotting space through composition and structure

Plotting and selecting an atmospheric scene on Dartmoor has allowed you to produce a very dramatic, pictorially interesting landscape with good supporting studies in your sketchbook. Overall you have critiqued your drawing studies well. It is important, even when studying fore, mid and backgrounds that you spend time refining what it is you are seeing. You have submitted some great studies with good supporting annotations throughout and your drawings hold a refreshing, textural representation of working outdoors. The sense of space, the fore, mid and backgrounds work well throughout, suggesting that you have a good understanding of aerial perspective. The last drawing however really tightens up, which is a bit of a shame but will of course come with more practice. In a bid to perfect the drawing this often is how a drawing becomes tight, too descriptive and a little flat overall. In your log you clearly state the reasons why you think this happened and it is good to see that you have a full understanding of your practice and the pitfalls that come with that. However, within that last drawing, the palette selection is very good. I would suggest that it was the use of the media and careful study that influenced this last piece and strangely I think that if you were to cut this drawing up (in a non destructive way!) into carefully sliced squares you would bring the mood back slightly in terms of being more abstract in nature.

Not sure if this means cut it up metaphorically?! I can see that breaking it down into different parts does help, though. I might try this drawing again at some point, to see how else I could approach it.

Research point: Claude Lorrain, Turner

Excellent research again throughout, demonstrating your understanding of contextual references of working with foreground, middle ground and distance in the pictorial plane as well as feeling emotion through artwork. You have again been very observant in your deductions regarding the issues that each artist was involved in and your approach to writing about this is very good, demonstrating that you have good visual and research skills.

Project: Perspective

Exercise: Parallel perspective – an interior view

You have managed two attempts at parallel perspective and clearly have an understanding of how it should be with the second drawing. Overall these studies are not bad for a first attempt and you have clearly learnt from this exercise. Perspective can create huge mental blocks when the brain simply doesn’t understand what is happening in front of it but with perseverance you grasped it, so well done. You have provided good annotations in support of your struggles and further gratification with this exercise.

Exercise: Angular perspective

Again this has been another interesting and challenging exercise for you and you clearly have worked extremely hard in a bid to understand and reference through perspective drawing what it is you are attempting to see in front of you. What you have produced as a result is a great series of technical drawings depicting aerial, parallel and angular perspective. This can be very difficult to pull off successfully and you have really had great results through persistence. Concentrating the eye and brain to draw what is actually in front of them is also difficult and exhausting so well done with this exercise as it’s been a success.

You have analysed the difficulties faced clearly in your learning log and it is hoped that with more practice you will obtain further knowledge and understanding of this topic to enhance your drawing and visual skills overall.

Project: Townscapes

Exercise: Study of a townscape using line

You have managed to submit a great range of drawings and small studies with annotations for this exercise looking at perspective, line, tone and wash to create depth. Using a range of materials to emphasise the ‘feel’ of each place you work your way through some compositionally strong sketches in your sketchbook. Your final drawing of The White House is strong due to its interesting aerial perspective, the swoop of the road in the foreground and its interesting pictorial plane in regards to slicing it up with interesting details. This is a very strong study indeed demonstrating your interest again in the textural qualities within drawing outdoors as a theme.

I think there might have been a bit of confusion here, as the above comment seems to relate to the following exercise. My blog post for the ‘Study of a townscape’ in line can be found here

Exercise: A sketchbook of townscape drawings

Subsequent architectural drawings in your A5 sketchbook reveal an attempt to tackle composition. The framing with boxes allows you to do this competently and the work feels much calmer overall. You mover on to colour studies, charcoal studies and lightly drawn scenes of Venice, all seemingly more interesting and varied in terms of composition.

The sketchbook in question was actually A4, if it’s relevant. Also, I smiled at the reference to ‘lightly drawn scenes of Venice’, as all the sketches were made in and of Devon!

Exercise: A limited palette study from your studies

You have submitted a highly competent and well-executed drawing that demonstrates a good eye for perspective, scale, colour and tone. The limited palette works well and the decision to leave the white house in the foreground white was definitely a good decision. So too was choosing lilac as a colour over black. I really like the effect this has given and it feels very contemporary overall. Compositionally this drawing is very well selected and the image fills the height of the paper, really and truly suggesting the enormity of the rolling hills in the background. The telegraph pole works well but is not too overbearing and all in all this is a really good drawing, carefully considered from start to finish.

Exercise: Drawing statues

The weight, stance and power of these statues really come through your work. The sense of movement captured is good as is the collection of information using a variety of different drawing mediums. You managed to do it and be successful overall, so well done to you, a great range of varied statues.

Project: Drawing trees

Exercise: Sketching an individual tree

Exercise: Larger study of an individual tree

The enquiring textural qualities of the details within the trees, their surroundings and their overriding detailing works well and your decision to keep it simple works well as you move through the studies.  You have annotated clearly throughout your sketchbook and have made good and varied attempts throughout.

 

Exercise: Study of several trees

You have submitted a good drawing for this exercise as well as other quicker drawings as a response to working so long on one. The depiction of colour and tone works well in your first drawing and the tree in the foreground is encapsulating with its exposed roots and twists. This is a good study of a winter scene, so well done, particularly through your use of colour.

The subsequent sketches are much quicker, varied in their mediums. The last black, grey and white drawing again is very textural and would work well as a print or as an illustrative textile study.

Check and logs

Your learning log is packed with good, descriptive writing demonstrating a critical look at what it is you have been asked to do, the journey you made and the outcomes. Contextually everything is appropriately placed and you demonstrate a sound ability to link ideas together from varying aspects of the course as you progress. The reflective qualities of your writing demonstrates that you are learning from your experiences and putting them practically into place as you progress throughout the course. The checks should be complete, extensive, well written as well as ordered.

Assignment Three

Your determination to conquer pastels has been very exemplary and the work right up to and including the final assessment work includes these difficulties.

The work in your sketchbook is exemplary in terms of your own experimental drawing and the references to very many artists and your likes for their approach to drawing through a window and in the natural landscape, albeit it rural or urban.

Subsequent experimentation in your sketchbook and a further understanding of how to obtain a ‘voice’ within your own work is clearly demonstrated in your learning log, both in a written reflection and though supporting images, and suggests a wish to be much freer in overall approach to depicting its subject. The final drawing is competent, fluid, well executed, expressive and really allows the eye compositionally to look around the page with ease. Keeping the drawing limited in terms of palette allows the work to be coherent, confident and interesting throughout.  Your supporting sketchbook annotations and reflections in support of your drawn work are really very good and it is clear that you use a sketchbook well overall, which adds to the excitement of the journey before settling down to draw the final piece. Your reflective critique at the completion of the task is thoughtful, well written and demonstrates well both your critical and visual skills through communication.

Your reflections on the assessment criteria are true, valid and well written. You clearly are good at reading your own skills base throughout and clearly demonstrate that through reflective practice your work is much more considered, thoughtful and dense in content.

Sketchbooks

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

You sketchbooks are full, exploratory and fluid. With clear annotation throughout it is clear that using sketchbooks to prepare for an experimental approach to making work works really well for you and your creativity and problem solving techniques are evident throughout. You are using your sketchbooks well and it would be good to have seen a little more evidence of your exhibition visits in there, although I do appreciate that there is an awful lot of work to absorb with each visit.

I didn’t know that exhibition-related stuff was intended for the sketchbook – I thought it was expected to be in the learning log, but will bear that in mind for future reference. 

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context

Your learning log is, as it usually is, very clear, thorough and well written. You are extremely competent at it and it is always a pleasure to read as it clearly lays out the whole journey in terms of difficulties, enjoyments and reflects on your studies throughout. You are good at threading and weaving your reading and research through your own work and the whole process is articulate, contextually relevant, wide ranging and intelligent throughout. The amount of research you do in support of your own work is exemplary but is clearly paying off in terms of your own practice. Keep going and I look forward to seeing what you manage in Assignment 4.

Suggested reading/viewing

Context

Your next assignment is ‘Drawing Figures’. Look at the work of these artists in order for you to become even more fluid in your approach to drawing.

Gustave Marchetti

Egon Schiele

Ron Muek

John Currin

Otto Dix

Ana Mendieta

Sam Taylor Woods

Tracey Emin

Hope Gangloff

…and of course, anything seen in the flesh in terms of exhibitions that contain drawing in its loosest and most interesting form.

Intrigued by some of your suggestions for artists to look at in Part 4 – a couple I hadn’t heard of, but will enjoy exploring.

Pointers for the next assignment

Look at a wide variety of figure drawing throughout history, especially at the range within each artist for example Goya started off as a state painter before the Spanish Civil War and you can follow the emotional side of the work right through the changes evident in his world. Play around with new materials, perhaps unexpected ones and draw through loose and new techniques, i.e. try out by holding the pencil at the very end, draw with garden canes and ink, wire or anything new and exciting with unknown outcomes.

Things to focus on in light of this report:

  • look at a wide range of artists who deal with the figure and portraiture
  • incorporate the work I do at life drawing class with the strands running through this section of the course
  • experiment with different approaches and media
  • try making some ‘copies’ or work ‘in the style of’ various artists, in order to learn something of how they achieved their outcomes
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