Thank you for the care taken in preparing, selecting and organising your portfolio. This contained the three assignment outcomes: two A1 and one A3 drawings, two A4 / three A3 part-filled sketchbooks; (with post-its to examples,) three drawings from Pj 4, Ex 2. The log was available and up to date. I will comment upon specific aspects under the key headings.
You have worked hard and developed a momentum throughout the assignment. Actively reflecting on and working through the feedback and pointers from assignment 3. This has fed into and informed your approach to the life-drawing, research and exploration of media and process.
You are recognising some key strengths and that the process of working, erasing and redrawing offers interesting and dynamic visual qualities. This also conveys the act of engaging visually with your subject; reflecting time-spent, paying attention to the drawing (in action and outcome) and the ‘sitter’. Developing sound observational skills to take forward. This erasing and redrawing process may be a purposeful strategy to begin your assignment 5 preparatory studies.
Your approach and application of research is becoming more purposeful, as well as being relevant. The reflections and insights you make, are feeding into developing your drawing strategies, process and visual language. There is a sense that this is beginning to inform more personal intentions.
You began the course with an inquiring approach to drawing and research, asking questions which have continued to feed your curiosity and deepen your understanding. This is an important aspect of studying at degree level, I encourage you to continue this whilst trying to formulate and develop a visual vocabulary and emerging personal voice.
Good to see and read your appreciation and critical analysis of what you are doing, making and thinking around your work. Take this balanced reflection and analysis forward into assignment 5. Remember to acknowledge the qualities and approaches that work for you, and think about how you might apply and develop these at assignment 5.
Assignment 4 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.”
assessment (see Conditions of Enrolment, Section 2 a). Contact the OCA Course Advisors to discuss this further.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
There was an acknowledgement on your difficulty at scaling-up from A4 to A1 and how this translates to a less-fluid quality of line. When you draw how much do you take notice of how you position yourself in relation to paper, support etc, are you seated, croached or standing. This affects how you draw and how you observe your subject, whether ‘real’ or photograph. For example if you draw flat on a table-top, seated in close proximity then this limits your gesture and movement (probably) to finger – wrist fluidity. Try standing and have your paper / support propped up, stand far enough away to be able to draw from the shoulder, elbow… and expand on the way you ‘feel in your body’. Mark your feet (with masking tape), so you can return to your observational position. Try this out and record your thoughts, learning… notice how the different position inform the quality, fluidity, control, freedom of the line and marks. (see Pointers)
You made some very astute and interesting comments in your log, which I encourage you to further explore and expand on. One being your response to your friend who asked “Is that how you see yourself?” and you chose to add a slight smile or softening of the mouth and jaw-line.
Do we smile much when undertaking a self-portrait…? Look at the evidence throughout history; Rembrandt, Alice Neel’s nude self-portrait, Lucy Jones, Frida Kahlo, John Coplans, Jenny Saville… Cindy Sherman. Self-portraiture is self-reflective / reflexive and contemplative there may be moments of joy and insight, yet it is an internal-external dialogue or conversation with ourselves; as we draw or paint. I wonder what your thoughts are on this and how it might inform your next self-portrait? (see Pointers)
Three quite different approaches to your; self-portrait , seated figure and your son. What I notice having them spread out before me; yours is the smaller, contained and perhaps reflects the approximate literal size of the mirror, though it may be / proffer a more psychological, spatial connection / reading. I wonder if you spent less time considering the scale / format / composition of the self-portrait. How would it be if you drew the self-portrait again on A1, how might that open-up, invite a challenge to explore and expand on your visual language? Do you have a full-length mirror to draw yourself; ‘Self-portrait as artist’?(see Pointers).
The seated figure has certain fluidity of line, the figure is hanging-in space rather than situated within the ‘room’. There are various diagonal and sweeping lines around the figure on the page, but I’m unsure what these are meant to convey, they don’t relate to any edge, structure of elements in figure or chair, table. Interesting that the figure appears calm / self-contained whilst the lines convey a frenetic quality.
The drawing of your son (undertaken from photograph) offers an arresting figure. You say you noticed how you draw differently from photograph, yet don’t elaborate…. can you do so as this will be helpful to you (record on your log). Your son’s gaze fixes the viewer, it is steady and direct, yet soft. You have captured the point at which he is about to shift; hand out toward the viewer and foot slipping off the edge of the sofa and the edge of the drawing. Thinking ahead to assn. 5 plan to do lots of different studies of your son, especially his fidgeting hands, feet, head…
Analyse the range of quality of the surface, marks and tonal values of this drawing. Looking closely there are some aspects; the far arm of the sofa where you use the eraser to draw and though minimal means use a variety of tone, erased mark and conte. How might you use these marks to indicate movement in his foreshortened arm and fidgeting foot, lower body. I think the black and white image in your log has an element of movement / out of focus hand. These may be useful thoughts and consideration to inform the assignment 5 prep work. Writ up your thoughts on your log). (see Pointers)
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
A good use of your sketchbooks and exploratory drawing processes.
You have used your time well, to explore a range of wet and dry techniques and processes. You have also chosen to explore fewer media in an experimental and purposeful way. By exploring the combination of emulsion paint as a ground for pencil, charcoal and tinted paint. Continue this process as you experiment and make studies for assignment 5.
Your range of approaches across the life-classes has enabled you to focus upon your observational skills. This has clearly improved your looking and drawing skills. There is a lovely sense of energy and fluidity in some of the drawings reminiscent of Egon Schiele’s female nudes.
There is a sense of weight and gravity in others: the two large males online: Croquis cafe drawings. A decisive use of tonal values and strong directional marks, conveying the bulk of form. Interesting how the figure ‘embodies’ the space on of the page. The diagonal composition and placement in one, and the relationship of the figure to the ‘ground / surface / negative space’ in the other. There is an interesting notion in the latter regarding being of the same matter; an interconnectedness. (We can discuss this at Hangout on Tuesday 29th at 3pm).
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
Your research into Auerbach and Saville has proved inspiring and purposeful. Through your reflections and visual analysis you applied and developed some useful strategies. Incorporating creating a tooth for the charcoal (emulsion paint) and experimenting with erasure and reiteration of marks. An interesting approach to expanding upon your visual vocabulary. Continue to explore this approach at assignment 5. (see Pointers).
Regarding following up on previous feedback; you undertook good critical analysis of the compositional structures in Doig and Berg’s works. This also included colour and how these elements convey certain visual and psychological responses. It would be useful to take this further and see how you might apply, what you learned from this analysis, that you could utilise in your own composition or use of colour. Don’t force this if it doesn’t seem appropriate at assn. 5. (see Pointers)
Good concise reflection and analysis of a range of research across historical and contemporary figuration. Try and visit one or two exhibitions during the progress of assignment 5 for e.g: Giacometti at Tate Modern:
Read the (mixed) reviews of the forthcoming film on Giacometti;
Good, consistent practice of Harvard referencing throughout.
See Research / Viewing / Pointers
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
Good use of your log to archive, critically reflect on your research and developing processes.
The log is a site where you are concisely and analytically reflecting on your creative strategies and how you are using these to explore qualities of charcoal, ink, pencil, pastel and paint.
It was a smart choice at this stage (about to launch into the final assignment 5), to focus upon a smaller range of media, whilst exploring what you can do with this range. You made good use of your exploratory process to explore making ‘interesting drawings’. Try and develop these aspects at assignment 5, rather than further expanding on your range of media.
Focus on what you are doing well and what you feel excited and inspired by, and apply this to your assignment 5 proposal. Think about creating a structure to help you set an: Exploratory & Research stage, Review and Preparatory stage, Research and work on final outcome, Reflection on assignment with reference to the assessment criteria. We can discuss this further at Hangout early next week (email me some dates & times).
In relation to the notion of movement, linear dynamic, sense of energy in drawing;
Giacometti’s drawings and paintings of; Caroline, Diego and Annetta
Claude Heath use of touch / blind fold drawings / introduction of colour through layering of line….etc
Kathe Kollwitz German Expressionist; useful in relation to her dramatic use of full range of tonal values and drawing of children.
Charlotte Spencer is an interdisciplinary dancer, choreographer….. the link is to a specific collaborative project. It is a bit tangential (so do ignore if it doesn’t resonate with you), however it seems to connect with the notion of being in a continuous state of flux / movement ( your thoughts on your son… youthful energy and vitality..) also the quality of the residual marks are interesting in how they are both a record of an activity and interesting as ‘drawings’ https://charlottespencerprojects.org/2011/11/23/embodied-drawing/
for the next assignment
- Reflect critically on this feedback in your learning log.
- Explore your media and processes to convey qualities and ideas for assn. 5: movement, energy and the ‘enigma’ of children.
- #In relation to your critical visual analysis of Doig and Berg; ask what you may specifically take / apply -to explore and develop in your own work? Is there anything you might learn from these to inform your composition, use of colour and marks, then set some aims?
- Try shifting and exploring your positions when drawing. Notice / record how your position in relation to the drawing support and your ‘subject’ affects the qualities of line and mark.
- Try and undertake a larger self-portrait (A1?) and if possible use a full-length mirror ( do this after the above exercise).
- Continue to use your sketchbook (and loose sheets) regularly to explore composition, mark-making and palette: monochrome & colour. In relation to your ass. 5 aims make notations, test of marks to convey movement & childhood energy; rubbing, erasing, smudging through the range of tonal values. Record what you learn from this experimental process; set aims to explore these at the prep stage.
- Continue to record the erasing, smudging and rubbing stages as you draw. Do this through series of digital images, notations and short video clips. Note your thoughts on the technique and visual elements; how might you incorporate some elements of these as part of your planning / prep process?