Did you do enough preliminary work before starting on your final pieces?
I would have benefited from doing more preliminary work for both of the drawings. In drawing one this meant that I changed the composition several times even when doing the larger scale pieces and ultimately the final composition was not as interesting as it could have been. It would have been better to work all of this out on a smaller scale so that I was sure of the composition I wanted to use before getting larger.
On the second drawing I didn't do enough compositional development sketches. I had lost confidence in being able to identify a good composition because my efforts to improve the previous drawing had actually made it worse.
More experimentation with mark-making might have helped to make the final drawing of the made objects more lively and interesting.
Do your large drawings give and accurate interpretation of the still life groups? If not, what went wrong?
In the first drawing, the main problem with form is the pineapple. I chose to draw this from a difficult angle. As I've mentioned before, it is difficult to deal with foreshortening in natural forms which don't have the same defined shapes as man-made forms. The pineapple and especially its leaves have ended up looking elongated. The folds in the fabric also look rather stiff as if they've been starched.
I think the representation of form in drawing 2 is more successful. The folds in the fabric look a bit better. However, the fabric was a satin which had a lovely sheen to it which I found impossible to capture with the coloured pencil.
Did you make a good selection of objects or did you try to include too much? Would you change the arrangement if you were to start again?
I always seem to start off by trying to include too much and removing objects as I develop the composition. Because of this, in the first drawing the idea of my original theme is essentially lost. I don't think anyone looking at the final drawing would understand what I originally intended. It just looks like three rather random natural forms plonked on a page for no good reason. So yes I would change it to try to give more depth and a more obvious connection between the objects. My idea had been to link the separated objects via the drapery folds but as I struggled in drawing folds I couldn't pull this off.
The second drawing works a bit better from the point of view of an identifiable theme but there is a large mid-toned area where the red fabric is so maybe it loses some impact. I'm not sure how to change it to improve it.
Do your drawings fit well on the paper or could they be improved by working on a larger sheet of paper?
The drawings do fit well on the paper. However, with drawing one I think larger would have been better. The reason for this is that I did some mark-making in my sketchbook with soft pastel for the texture of the pineapple. When It came to actually drawing the pineapple for the final piece I realised that I couldn't employ this technique because the pineapple was on too small a scale to build up the lovely marks I'd made effectively.
Did you have problems with drawing?
Drawing the same objects many times shows up all too clearly how inaccurate my drawing is. However I am already seeing some improvement compared to my very first drawings. For example I wouldn't have considered trying to draw a complex shape like the vertebra at the beginning of the project. Although there is variation in my representation of it in the preliminary studies I have resolved it reasonably well in the final drawing.