Response to feedback on Assignment 1

Assignment 1 Feedback is a comprehensive look at how I tackled my first assignment. As I work through Assignment 2 I will be attempting to incorporate this feedback in 4 main areas.

  1. Set my intention for an exercise. Find out where my interest is.
  2. Use prep sketches to look at how I can use tone, composition, etc. to express this intention
  3. Analyse what went well and why as well as areas of improvement. Try to take this into the next exercise/assignment.
  4. Continue research using recommended articles/resources

The feedback points out that I focus on the areas that I think need improvement rather than the areas where I am working well so I’ll round up the areas I’m working well first, then go on to areas I will be focusing on improving.

Areas I am working well

  • asking questions as I go on
  • good beginnings at experimenting with approaches, media and techniques
  • reflecting on observation and acquiring drawing skills
  • bringing in personal aims and ideas outside course material
  • learning from exercises
  • using thumbnail compositions to make quick, informed decisions
  • learning about composition from research and practice
  • Assignment 1 drawing contained: “some well-observed, sensitive mark-making across the jar and brushes and a subtle and simple approach to the ring and shell.”
  • “You have approached the assignment with thought and consideration with regard to choice of media, selection of objects in relation to your research and reflections on vanitas genre and also a personal narrative content.”
  • Good use of sketchbook to make prep drawings
  • Continue the succinct yet useful notations alongside prep drawings
  • Using my blog to reflect on my research

Areas to focus on improving

  • regular practice and exploration of techniques
  • look at tonal values during preparatory sketches
  • attempt to solve problems I find in my work, take that forward into planning work for the next exercise.
  • look at what works as well as what doesn’t
  • Expand upon sketchbook prep work by setting my own specific aims for the assignment. Draw in series – for example: 6-8 thumbnails to explore composition, tonal values and negative space; 4-6 thumbnails to explore how the object/subject sits or fills the page; 6-8 small loose drawings to explore mark-making qualities in relation to lighting/tonal qualities
  • Use the constructively critical way I approach others work in my analysis of my own work. See OCA study guide “Looking at Artists”
  • set some intentions and aims for my own work. Ask broad questions about my intentions when beginning a drawing and ask similar questions when looking at others work.
  • Harvard reference all research

Suggested reading/viewing

Context

www.drawingcenter.org  Research through current and past exhibitions.  Red Drawing Papers no: 128 Cecily Brown’s Rehearsal and Paper : 117 on ‘Small’ are good starting points.

https://drawingroom.org.uk/

‘FOUND’ Cornelia Parker curated exhibition ( Aug – Sept 2016) at The Foundling Museum.

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect and act on the suggestions and recommendations throughout the feedback.
  • Set yourself some specific aims to apply to your own drawings.
  • Reflect upon both what works / what doesn’t work in equal measure- then set some aims to develop and enhance both aspects.
  • Expand upon the preparatory drawings: work across a number of thumbnail sketches to explore tonal values, relationship between object / subject and negative space, mark-making qualities (in addition to composition).
  • Suggested reading / viewing (as above) and reflect on these on your blog.

Feedback from Assignment 1 from Tutor Cheryl Huntbach

Overall Comments

Thank you for your submission of Assignment 1. You submitted a well organised and thoughtfully edited portfolio, a supporting blog archiving research and commentary on process, media and range of exercises.

Throughout the feedback I have made some recommendations on approaches to media, process and critical analysis: your work and research.  It will benefit your progress to act on these and reflect on the benefits or otherwise on your blog.

You have a methodical and committed approach to experimenting with different media and recording the process.  

You have made a good start to researching with reference to historical and 21st century research.  You ask questions of yourself and others, exploring a more open inquiry rather than sticking with assumption.

You’re using the blog to track your progress and to reflect upon your use of media and technique.  There is more scope to reflect on the connections between your breadth of research, your own learning and potential.

There are some experimental approaches to exploring tonal values in creating three-dimensional form.  In observing and conveying objects you have attempted to explore and communicate differing surface and material qualities.  You’re noticing and exploring how to communicate reflective and transparent matter.  Good beginings here, regular practice and further exploration will improve these effects.

In some of the drawings you pay more attention to the objects and less to the space in-between, foreground and background.  Here it would be beneficial to revisit some of your research: Morandi for example.

You are clearly reflecting on your observation and acquiring drawing skills with an open, inquiring approach .  At assignment 1 it is very good to see that you are bringing in some personal aims and projects outside of the course material.  

Assignment 1 Assessment potential

You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.

Feedback on assignment

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

An expansive range of monochrome media has been utilised in the preparatory drawings and the final outcome.  

These work best when you’ve explored and conveyed  texture, surface and reflective qualities and form through specific mark-making and handling processes.  You’ve clearly reflected on and learned from the exercises and projects, which you’ve then fed into the assignment itself.

With regards to the preparatory works; you’ve explored differing compositions, mark-making qualities and varied tonal values (especially in the background / negative space).

Some simple, concise analysis on the thumbnail compositions has helped you to make quick, informed decisions.  You are clearly learning about composition from your research and practice.

In future consideration at the prep stage for the range of tonal values: in the background and foreground would also be useful. (see Pointers).  Half-closing eye at this stage may help you to break these down.  Also focussing upon the negative space only to first lay-down tonal values.

‘Lots of things that I’m not sure about in this picture’:  Being ‘unsure’ is a normal and acceptable state of being, especially when learning new processes and approaches.  

You make judgements on your work that suggest you’re dissatisfied with some elements, yet offer no problem solving or alternative approaches i.e: ‘messy’ background, edge of books and image too small.  Ask yourself how you might have planned: the composition, placement on the paper, the range, balance and dynamic of the tonal values across the work?  (see Pointers)

It would be useful to spend some time reflecting on the analysis of what works / doesn’t work- in equal balance.  Then set some aims as to how these might be developed further or addressed.  I suggest that this will be helpful to recognise both emerging strengths and qualities to be further explored, as well as weaknesses to be developed and problem-solved.  (see Pointers)

Some well-observed and sensitive mark-making across the jar and brushes.  You’ve captured and conveyed both a play of light and qualities of transparency in the jar.  There is a both a subtle and simple approach to the ring and shell.

You have approached the assignment with thought and consideration with regard to choice of media, selection of objects in relation to your research and reflections on vanitas genre and also a personal narrative content.

Sketchbooks

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Good use of your sketchbook to make notational prep drawing, with concise analysis of compositions.

It would benefit your development to expand upon this prep.  Set some specific aims of your own around the assignment work.  Pursue the prep by drawing in series before you begin a final drawing, for example:

6 – 8  small, thumbnail sketches to explore tonal values, negative space (in addition to different compositions or viewpoints)- work out the more interesting composition and tones before you start.

4 – 6 small, thumbnails to explore how the object / subject sits or fills the page.  Test out portrait / landscape format.

6 – 8  small loose drawings to explore mark-making qualities in relation to  lighting / tonal qualities- to test out the varying qualities of tone and marks across the drawing.  (see Pointers)

Continue the succinct yet useful notations alongside the prep drawings- these will aid your thinking and visual analysis at each stage of the planning and drawing process.

Research

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

You’re using your blog well to reflect on your eclectic research.  A very diverse range of both primary and secondary sources.

Harvard referenced research.

You seem more constructively critical when analysing the work of others; considering elements that work / strengths and elements that don’t work / weaknesses.  How might you bring a similar balanced analysis to your own work?  Could you utilise the OCA study guide looking at artists… to your own work?  (see Pointers)

The research and inquiry is thoughtful, so now it is timely to think of how you might apply or reflect on the content, context and qualities in your own work?

Set some intentions and aims for your future drawings- applying your research to your work.  (see Pointers)

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

You’ve made a good start to using your blog as an archive for your research, reflections and learning process.  Maintaining this practice whilst feeding your curiosity and exploring the practice of drawing is essential for your development.

You understand that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ approach to drawing, though there’s a tendency to focus on what doesn’t work: this is a great opportunity to problem-solve.  In addition to not repeating the process or strategy,  consider how you might not do / do something else.  Follow this problem-solving by trying out your new ideas and approaches. (see Pointers)

You are using both trial & error, research and analysis to underpin and feed into your learning.  By reflecting on your blog regularly, this is supporting how you think and also how you draw.

You are reflecting on your learning throughout.  What would be useful is to take these thoughts and insights forward – Set yourself some specific aims to apply to your drawings.  This will help you to develop and deepen your autonomy and personal voice.  (see Pointers)

Begin to ask some broad questions / intentions (as suggested in Research) about what your intentions may be when beginning a drawing (& ask similar questions when reading or looking at others’ work).  Try this approach out and record your reflections on your blog.

Suggested reading/viewing

Context

www.drawingcenter.org  Research through current and past exhibitions.  Red Drawing Papers no: 128 Cecily Brown’s Rehearsal and Paper : 117 on ‘Small’ are good starting points.

https://drawingroom.org.uk/

‘FOUND’ Cornelia Parker curated exhibition ( Aug – Sept 2016) at The Foundling Museum.

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect and act on the suggestions and recommendations throughout the feedback.
  • Set yourself some specific aims to apply to your own drawings.
  • Reflect upon both what works / what doesn’t work in equal measure- then set some aims to develop and enhance both aspects.
  • Expand upon the preparatory drawings: work across a number of thumbnail sketches to explore tonal values, relationship between object / subject and negative space, mark-making qualities (in addition to composition).
  • Suggested reading / viewing (as above) and reflect on these on your blog.

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

Well done, I look forward to your next assignment.

 

Interim feedback from Tutor Cheryl Huntbach

I have received some useful interim feedback from my tutor Cheryl Huntbach based on my blog.

Hi Emma

It certainly looks like you’re on track for submitting on 1st.  You’ve made a good start to Drawing 1 by developing a useful flow between exploring the exercises, reflecting on what works / what doesn’t and researching as you progress.  You are also initiating your own strategies to explore opportunities to practice what you’re learning and generate your own ideas: table for temporary still-lifes.  You’re developing a sense of autonomy alongside following the coursework structure- great to see.
EW: This is great to know. Thanks! I have actually let my daily table drawings go while I focused on Assignment 1. I’ll do it more often.
Joanne has given you some thorough feedback (with useful links), which I concur with. I recommend that you re-visit each point she’s made and try to respond to each one. I suggest you make your own bullet points as actions and also reflect on each afterwards.  I can see that you have responded to some of these already.  Do follow-up on the others, as this is valuable, useful feedback to learn from.
EW: This is useful advice. I’ll go through Joanne’s feedback again
Take time to reflect on the points she makes regarding what you’re doing well  (in addition to aspects that need to be developed).  Critical reflection is as much about acknowledging, confirming and developing what you’re doing well, as about recognising and developing what isn’t working.
EW: That’s interesting. It’s easy to only focus on where you can improve not where you are already doing well. Thank you.
I’ll leave further feedback to when I’ve received your portfolio.  I recommend that you read through pages7 – 9 and page 27 of the course pdf:
EW: I have re-read these pages and will do a self-assessment before sending my work off.
To do:
  • Revisit Joanne Mulivihill- Allen’s feedback and respond.
  • Continue with my own table drawings
  • Write self assessment for Assignment 1.
 

Comments on my work so far from Joanne Mulvihill-Allen, OCA Course Support

I emailed Joanne Mulvihill-Allen from OCA course support with a link to my blog asking if she had any comments on my work so far. Her reply:
Hello Emma,
I think you have made a good start here and you are starting to reflect on what you are doing and why.
EW: this is good to know!
This is something that will develop over time so don’t feel too pressured to have it completely sussed just yet, in time you will allow your research to feed into your reflections also, looking at artwork and responding to it and comparing and contrasting it with your own. There is a looking at artwork guide on the student site here.
 EW. my notes on this are here
Pick out the successful elements in your work and try to take these forward to the assignment piece. When something doesn’t work say why it doesn’t work and how you would do it differently next time, if you have time try and make another drawing inputting these evaluations. Exercise pieces do not need to be finished works, rather a place to learn, experiment and make mistakes. So you could just re-do a section of the drawing.
EW. I’m currently finding it quite hard to identify why things work or don’t work. I’ll practice this.
It’s great that you have started making thumbnail sketches, many of the compositions in each look the same however for example your jam jar is always on the left, try to move things around a bit more, perhaps try your page portrait rather than landscape. Use a viewfinder or a camera to hone in on areas and manipulate the composition further.
EW. That’s an interesting comment. I’ll bear it in mind!

 

Be careful when making expressive pieces not to lose your angles, you can create lovely gestural work that still looks ‘right’. Within tonal drawings lines are created through subtleties in light – a line isn’t a physical object, pretend it doesn’t exist. The line is an illusion created by the differences in the dark areas and the light areas. If you struggle to see different tonal values try manipulating your light source by using lamps and squint your eyes.

EW. I think I get the concept of there being no line quite well but I find it hard to keep the form of the object while being loose in my style – I will be looking to develop this.

It may also be useful for you to work on black and use white, you could do this with black paper and white media or you could cover your page in charcoal and work back into it with an eraser.
EW: I have tried this here.
If you are struggling to draw large use the gridding up technique, it may help you get your proportions right until you get used to scaling things up. The opening exercises in the course show you how drawing is an activity that uses your whole body, don’t be afraid to input this same energy into compositional work.

Until you can trick your brain into seeing what is really there and translating it to the page there are different measuring techniques you can use for example with a pencil, have a look on youtube for some quick tutorials.

For gridding up take a look at the following blog posts and an example of a youtube video – there are many more like this online.

http://weareoca.com/fine-art/jerwood-drawing-prize-2015/

http://weareoca.com/fine-art/grids-scaling-up-tracing-cheating/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LJF8OTG3N4

EW I have looked at these videos.
It may be worth your while going back to one of these exercises and try it out.
EW I think I’ll try and incorporate as much of this advice as I can in the next exercise I do.
I think you are on the right track Emma, keep at it! Do let me know if you have further questions and concerns.

Kind regards

Joanne Mulvihill-Allen