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


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.



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