Strengths and weaknesses – further development

My tutor has suggested I make bullet points of ways to develop my strengths and address my weaknesses

Strengths

  • Analysis of my own and other artists’ work. Develop further by connecting other artists’ work to my own.
  • Experimenting with line, composition, media. Continue to experiment and focus on what works and what doesn’t. Make more frequent sketches.
  • Develop my sketchbook work using more notations, testing or marks, palette and tonal values. Use what I learn to set aims at the assignment outcome stage
  • Do more analysis of other artists and how they relate to outcomes I want to achieve.

Weaknesses

  • Tonal contrasts. Practice working with darker tones
  • Be more focussed and specific about the connections I am making in my research. Use bullet points and set out aims relating to my own work.

Response to Tutor Feedback on Assignment 3

I found my tutor’s feedback really helpful and encouraging as I found Part 3 very challenging.  I feel I have almost grasped some of the practices I have struggled with including:

  • exploring composition more in my preliminary sketches
  • taking the work of other artists and incorporating ideas into my own practice
  • setting a concept or parameter for a subject to direct my work (I’m still finding this difficult) and exploring this in my sketchbook.

I think these are the areas I am weakest and will continue to work on these areas when working towards the next assignment. I will also look at tonal contrasts which is an area my tutor picked up on as needing more work.

I am glad that my own reflections on the Assignment are described as “insightful” and that I seem to be on the right track when analysing my own work and the work of other artists. I will also continue to network with other artists where possible.

My tutor gave me pointers which I intend to work on over the coming weeks. I find it quite hard to adopt new habits although I do think I am gradually taking my tutor’s advice on board! They are as follows:

  • From your analysis and insights: Make some clear, bullet-points as to what you aim to develop further (strengths) and what you wish to improve .  Keep referring to these as you progress through the next assignment.
  • Be more focused and specific about what you are making connections with in your research.  Draw out the specific points or connections you wish to explore and develop in your own work- make bullet points and set some aims.
  • Your tonal values are still limited at the dense, darker end; try and explore these much more through heavier gestural marks, swathes of ink or wash or built up through dense areas of marks or line.  To review these tonal qualities view the drawing through half-closed eyes, turn the drawing upside down and try viewing them in a mirror.  
  • I recommend that you continue to use your sketchbook regularly by exploring composition, mark-making and palette: monochrome & colour.  Try and use more notations, testing of marks, palette and tonal values.  Make sure that what you learn from this process you set aims to develop at the assignment outcome stage.  
  • Post photos of your visual refs to sketchbook / blog with brief notations (see Sketchbook comment)
  • Further analyse the Doig / Berg paintings I recommend, using the specific elements.  How might this analysis help you to understand possible composition, use of mark-making, palette and depth / surface qualities.  How do their and Virtue’s work explore notions of abstraction, that you say you’d like to explore.

 

Peter Doig regarding his compositional devices: 3rds and horizontal / vertical reflections. I also think you may find interest in his juxtapositioning when representing depth, whilst also reinforcing (painting’s) surface. Analyse these aspect of the works alongside the rich mark-making qualities, surface pattern and monochrome / high-key palette.

The Architect’s House in the Ravine

White Canoe

Ski Jacket

Reflection

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/jul/27/peter-doig-scottish-gallery-interview

Adrian Berg look at and analyse his Gloucester Gate, Regent’s Park May 1980 series. There’s a strong sense of composition, mark-making and palette.  I believe there are some connections between Berg and Doig’s composition, palette and use of mark-making.

John Virtue in relation to landscape and abstraction.  This particular article by Simon Schama is of interest for various reasons, but specifically what he attempts to convey through landscape and his influences.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2005/feb/28/art

 

Tutor Feedback on Assignment 3

20170602_120407

Overall Comments

Thank you for the care taken in editing, selecting and organising your portfolio.  This contained the assignment outcome, two examples from exercises, one course sketchbooks (with organised Post-Its) and one ‘creative sketchbook’. I will comment upon specific aspects under the key headings and briefly comment on the ‘creative sketchbook’.

In relation to you reflecting on and responding to feedback at assigment 2: there is evidence of you acting on most of the Research and Pointers suggested.  This has clearly fed into and informed your approach to the assignment preliminary sketches; developing your options for viewing, composition, mark-making and cropping techniques.

In your sketchbook it’s good to see you using notations, sketches to prepare for your assignment,.  You’re beginning to explore and develop confidence in a variety of approaches to exercises and your preparatory work.  There are some energetic, dynamic line compositions (townscape / landscape) and stretching your own comfort zones away from the central compositional focus.

You’ve experimented with a broad range of media including: charcoal, pencils, Inktense, masking fluid and inks to expand on your mark-making, representation of depth, composition and form.

A developing analysis and reflection, with a more evenly balanced critique of what works and what doesn’t work, with some intentions on how you can move forward and bring these insights to future work.

As you progressed to the  assignment itself you evidenced a pertinent, concise and focused approach to your preparation, research and brought what you’d learned from the process.  It is clear that you are more readily applying your learning to each subsequent stage of your development: on an intuitive and conscious level.

Your research and analysis on specific artists and on composition has helped you to move away from habits, to see and understand a greater range of options and possibilities for your own work.

You have developed in confidence in terms of how you are thinking about research, planning and preparation with some persona aims coming to bear.

Well done.

Assignment 3 Assessment potential

“I understand your aim is to go for the B.A (Hons) Fine Art Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.”

Feedback on assignment

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

You undertook some good professional networking in order to create an opportunity to draw plein-air with others, create opportunities for discussion, feedback and future exhibition opportunities.  Good practice.

Your prep drawings helped you to expand on compositional and mark-making options.  The panoramic drawing was especially interesting.  Rather than discarding the ‘spiky plant’ it may have worked to radically increase it’s scale, to create a greater sense of depth the the work.

The research and analysis into composition has informed your own understanding and increased confidence in exploring and experimenting further.  (see Pointers / Research)

I tend to agree with your reflections on the final outcome as in the aspects where you’ve explore mark-making and wash with the masking-fluid, do work well and the use of the vertical post of the pergola creates an interesting vertical frame in the drawing.  

Weaknesses are the ‘bodged’ top of the drawing, the vague patch at the middle right hand side and too much detail in bottom right.  Your tonal values need exploring at the darker, denser end of the range especially when conveying depth and distinctive shadows.  (see Pointers)

Other than wishing to convey, ‘plants, structure and depth’, I wonder if you had any other aims or intentions?  What might these be about landscape, nature…?

You utilised a broad range of media: charcoal, ink, masking fluid and pencil in some areas creating abstract shapes suggesting distant trees, loose varied marks to suggest foliage and undergrowth.

Sketchbooks

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Of particular interest are a number of pages in the course sketchbook. The ones specifically relating to the assignment with varied compositions- panoramic, use of 3rds and large ‘spiky plant’ in right hand 3rd: an interesting layout.  Look at Adrian Berg to see how he structured some of his Regent’s Park works (paintings and watercolour sketches).  Further look at and analyse Peter Doig and John Virtue (see Research / Viewing / Pointers).

You mention that you utilised photographs to provide references for composition and other visual elements; it would be useful if you posted these to your blog or in your sketchbook with brief notations of how they were useful.  Just helps me to see how you are using and translating information from photo – drawings.  (see Pointers).

Utilise your sketchbook on a more regular basis, if possible everyday.  Use notations, explore mark-making with/ without masking-fluid and especially extent your tonal values, explore the more fluid and dynamic linear qualities in sketches.  You are touches on a range of interesting visual language and notions- if possible just do and practice more regularly.  (see Pointers)

{ ‘Creative sketchbook’ }:

Though not linked to the coursework….

‘Purposeful’ use of the sketchbook is an important phrase.  Ask what you want to use it for, how using it will help you experiment, explore and develop your visual language and your ideas and thinking process.

Creating surface on which to draw / paint can be useful / interesting, it can look contrived too.  It depends on the nature and purpose of the sketchbook.  Is the surface, insert, collage part of the ‘idea’ or does it distract or seem to make things look ‘arty’ or ‘attractive’ with little content?

The page with the paint refs and notations and two shells seems to work, as do the page of four shells, the page with bullet points down the left-side and the large loose drawing and collaged sections ‘Kitty Sabatier’ and large shell with text opposite.  There are definitely elements to incorporate into your sketchbooks with an understanding of what elements are important for you to draw on and explore.

Research

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

A very diverse, yet pertinent range of research including historical and current practitioners.  There is evidence that this is informing how you think, analyse, critically reflect and make decisions- benefitting your drawing practice.  

A good range of both primary and secondary sources.  Actively seeking out OCA study days, workshops, exhibitions and online sources.

Not yet consistently analysing and then applying what you reserach to your own ideas, concerns and practice.  Try and practice this more and foreground the relationship between what you’re researching- ask what connections there may be with hoe you’re practicing now, and how you hope to develop.  (see Pointers)

Good, consistent practice of Harvard referencing throughout.

See Research / Viewing / Pointers

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

A concise yet thoughtfully, insightful reflection on the assignment itself.  You reference each criteria and analyse how you address them; well and not so well.  You go further by saying how you aim to take these findings forward to develop your work further.

The clarity and confidence in your analysis and thinking is developing, and it’s good to read your balanced sense of your strengths and qualities, whilst also commenting in brief on what doesn’t work so well- setting some clear aims to address these.  A much more useful way of approaching the work and gaining recognition of both elements, then setting clear aims for developing and improving both.  This is a really valuable and important shift in your perspective. (Pointers)

Consistently good critical analysis of your drawings and a concise yet purposeful reflective process.  Continue this as you progress.

Suggested reading/viewing

Context

Peter Doig regarding his compositional devices: 3rds and horizontal / vertical reflections. I also think you may find interest in his juxtapositioning when representing depth, whilst also reinforcing (painting’s) surface. Analyse these aspect of the works alongside the rich mark-making qualities, surface pattern and monochrome / high-key palette.

The Architect’s House in the Ravine

White Canoe

Ski Jacket

Reflection

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/jul/27/peter-doig-scottish-gallery-interview

Adrian Berg look at and analyse his Gloucester Gate, Regent’s Park May 1980 series. There’s a strong sense of composition, mark-making and palette.  I believe there are some connections between Berg and Doig’s composition, palette and use of mark-making.

John Virtue in relation to landscape and abstraction.  This particular article by Simon Schama is of interest for various reasons, but specifically what he attempts to convey through landscape and his influences.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2005/feb/28/art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pointers for the next assignment

 

  • Reflect critically on this feedback in your learning log.

 

 

  • From your analysis and insights: Make some clear, bullet-points as to what you aim to develop further (strengths) and what you wish to improve .  Keep referring to these as you progress through the next assignment.

 

  • Be more focussed and specific about what you are making connections with in your research.  Draw out the specific points or connections you wish to explore and develop in your own work- make bullet points and set some aims.

 

 

  • Your tonal values are still limited at the dense, darker end; try and explore these much more through heavier gestural marks, swathes of ink or wash or built up through dense areas of marks or line.  To review these tonal qualities view the drawing through half-closed eyes, turn the drawing upside down and try viewing them in a mirror.  

 

  • I recommend that you continue to use your sketchbook regularly by exploring composition, mark-making and palette: monochrome & colour.  Try and use more notations, testing of marks, palette and tonal values.  Make sure that what you learn from this process you set aims to develop at the assignment outcome stage.  

 

  • Post photos of your visual refs to skethbook / blog with brief notations (see Sketchbook comment)

 

  • Further analyse the Doig / Berg paintings I recommend, using the specific elements.  How might this analysis help you to understand possible composition, use of mark-making, palette and depth / surface qualities.  How do their and Virtue’s work explore notions of abstraction, that you say you’d like to explore.

 

 

Please inform me of how you would like your feedback for the next assignment.   Written or video/audio

 

Well done, you’ve developed in confidence since assignment 2.  I look forward to your assignment 4.

Project 1. Exercise 1. Drawing fabric using line and tone

I enjoyed this exercise after the complexities of landscape. I used a dip pen and black ink to make a line drawing.  I like the way the ink blobs a bit which can be used to reflect darker areas of shadow.

Line drawing using dip pen and ink

To look at tone, I used turquoise ink and a brush. On one picture I also used masking fluid to make more detailed highlights.

Tonal drawing using brush and turquoise ink
Tonal drawing using brush and ink with masking fluid

I also did a tonal drawing on grey paper using oiled charcoal and yellow chalk pastel.

Oiled charcoal, yellow chalk pastel on grey paper

I enjoyed the opportunity to play around with some different materials while doing a fairly simple exercise.

I followed this with 6 short (6 minute) sketches of folds in a blanket using drawing pen, charcoal pencil, graphite and 4b pencil. It was a useful exercise to explore different media. 

Creative sketchbook course – Manchester

I attended a two day course on Creative Sketchbooks with teacher Brian Raymond at Creative Art Courses in Manchester. Fellow students were mainly from the OCA on fine art/drawing and textiles courses. Debbie, a fellow student, organised a subsidy for the cost of the day from OCASA and the tutor. Thanks Debbie!

Brian taught us a number of ways to make sketchbooks more vibrant and useful. My particular interest is using sketchbooks to develop ideas and Brian took the time to work with me on this.

During the course we learned:

  • how to prepare sketchbook pages using collage and underdrawing covered with gesso or emulsion paint which created a more interesting base for drawing than a white page.
  • using a series of drawings of a plant in pen and ink to develop areas of interest and ideas. Brian emphasised the importance of keeping previous work visible to encourage this development.
sketchbook course 1
First sketch
Sketchbook 2
Developing sketch looking at folds in leaves and negative space
sketchbook 3
Developing idea of transparency and folding
  • using a page decoratively to reflect a theme while doing an investigation of a theme – through activities such as frottage, colour & texture studies, experimenting with materials.
sketchbook 4
frottage
sketchbook 5
dividing the page and using sections to explore different aspects such as colour and pattern
sketchbook 6
creating an artists page based on the work of Kitty Sabatier
sketchbook 7
pushing aspects of the drawing – line, colour, collage, Using Kitty Sabatier as an influence.
Sketchbook 8
Final piece using ideas and techniques developed in the sketchbook
  • Annotating sketches comprehensively to look at what is interesting, what works, what doesn’t.
  • inserting pages and using interesting formats such as fold-outs, layering, etc to add interest to a sketchbook and make it more coherent.

I really enjoyed the two days and will certainly take many of the ideas learned into my sketchbook work. I am not comfortable with creating a sketchbook as a decorative object in itself but the ideas of page preparation, concept development and experimentation, annotation and artist research are all really helpful. And I do like my final drawing too!

After completing the course I found a couple of videos on sketchbooks on the OCA website which are also useful:

Turning sketches into finished work

Keeping a sketchbook useful

Assignment 3. preliminary sketches and final piece plus reflection using assessment criteria points

This is my assignment 3 drawing which is a view at Durham Botanic Gardens. I went on a sketching day with Interface Arts a group of professional and semi-professional artists based in County Durham. They have funding towards an exhibition based on gardens in County Durham later in the year. I joined Interface with a view to making contact with other artists and gaining opportunities to exhibit work.

My prompt note for assignment 3 was: “A drawing with plants, a structure and a feeling of depth.” I had trouble with this – all my exercises seemed to have 2 out of 3 – plants and a structure but no feeling of depth; plants and a feeling of depth but no structure.

At the Botanic Gardens I came across a little gazebo looking out over a pond and path. I sketched out rough compositions in my sketchbook.

I also took a lot of photos exploring composition and viewpoints.

I made the final drawing at home using a variety of photographs. I experimented with masking fluid and decided to remove a large spiky plant in the foreground to open up the view.

I found it hard to “fill in the gaps” where my sketches and photos didn’t have the information I needed for elements of my drawing – for example – where I removed the plant.

I was quite disappointed in the final drawing.  I felt the composition wasn’t as dynamic as it could have been – for example, the path is straighter than it was in my initial drawings. I like the areas in the background using masking fluid which created lively and quite abstract blocks.

I learned to more accurately assess the amount of time it will take to make a drawing. It would also have been useful to plan a second visit to enable me to fill in any gaps. I will continue to work on understanding composition and also experiment with making my work looser and less detailed as I think the final drawing became too detailed.

Reflection on Assignment three

Assessment criteria points

1) Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills

In this assignment I feel I have progressed in composition and developed my sketchbook work to explore composition and techniques. In this assignment piece I used masking fluid for the first time (after trying it out in my sketchbook). I also removed a plant that was too dominant in the foreground which is the first time I have altered a composition to make it look more interesting.

The work was based on in situ. sketching in Durham Botanic Gardens but I also took photographs which informed the detailed work in the final drawing. While there are elements of the drawing I like – the more abstract trees in the background and the swirly plants in the right foreground – I could have made the composition more interesting and I didn’t observe the beam in the roof of the gazebo properly in my sketches or photographs so it is a little bodged. I also am not sure about the almost square final composition, I had originally envisioned a much more panoramic view of the garden but, to be frank, ran out of time (having already spent 9 hours drawing) and also hadn’t recorded the scene in enough detail to draw the wider view. Finally I feel the work generally is too detailed. I prefer the more abstract areas and will take this forward into future work.

2) Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

I think the final piece gives a feeling of depth and of sunlight and shadow which is what I was hoping to achieve. It is a very detailed piece and is how it occurs to me to respond to this landscape, however, I am aware that some of the artists I have studied such as Georgia O’Keefe create landscapes with little to no detail. However, others such as Peter Doig and Pierre Bonnard are more decorative and detailed. I would like to look at other ways to reflect landscape with less detail.

3) Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.

I think the composition is creative with the dark wooden post and beams in the foreground framing the view and I have experimented with masking fluid and watercolour which I haven’t used very much before. The subject itself is a bit “conventional” – a pretty view, a path, flowers, a pond. I really struggled with finding a subject that fitted all the criteria in the assignment and this felt a little like a compromise. I am aware that I haven’t used my sketchbook as much as I could to take an idea through experimentation to completion and recently attended a sketchbook course (after completing this assignment!) I hope to take what I learned into my next assignment.

4) Context reflection – research, critical thinking.

During the course of Part 3 I have looked at a wide variety of artists including those mentioned above as well as Albrecht Durer, Claude Lorrain and Claude Monet. I also went on study visits to Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen in Newcastle and Degas to Picasso at the Ashmolean. I enjoyed the film “ Exhibition on Screen: I Claude Monet” which explored Monet’s life through his letters read out by an actor while the film showed the work he was producing at the time.

There were certain techniques I wanted to find out more about so I researched oil pastels and also found a useful video on composition.

Exercise 3. A limited palette study

I enjoyed the limited palette which reduced the number of decisions I had to make. I used coloured pencils. On reflection, the picture would have been more balanced  and better compositionally if I had drawn in the houses to the left of the central building. I would have preferred to get the perspective on the roof of the central building correct!