Thursday, 10 July 2014

Tutor Feedback: Assignment 4

My own responses to the comments are in blue italics

Overall Comments

Thank you for submitting Assignment 4 for Drawing 1. It is clear that you have worked extremely hard on this assignment and both your drawing skills and contextual understanding have been enhanced as a result of that hard work. Your confidence in drawing figures has really moved on from where you started and with further research and careful study of the work of others and their working processes you really have gained confidence as well as experimental in your approach to drawing as a whole. Although this initial lack of confidence did abate with experience your creative skills and open mindedness needs to be commended throughout Assignment 5, as you really have moved on a space from start to finish.

I have certainly enjoyed this section of the course and can see improvement in skills and confidence 

You have worked extremely hard throughout Assignment 4 and your extended research is exemplary. Through repetition experimentation and practice, I have no concerns that you will take on Assignment 5 with gusto. Enjoy the last Assignment in terms of creativity, research and play and I look forward to the completion of Drawing 1 in the near future. I have highlighted small areas to consider in your figure drawing below but on the whole the work is far reaching and in depth throughout. Well done.

Assessment potential 

I understand your aim is to go for the either for the Painting or the Creative Arts 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, I suggest that you are likely to be successful in the assessment.

Feedback on assignment 

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

Project: Project Proportions
Exercise: Quick Poses

You have produced a large number of drawings for this exercise with a good reflective account of what worked and what didn’t and why. You are clearly nervous through inexperience of drawing figures, but this is a good start. Remember to build on what you know already, like negative space, light and tone. 

Yes I was nervous at the outset when faced with drawing people so did show a tendency to forget soma of the techniques I had already learnt and just randomly bash and flail about. As the exercises proceeded I calmed down and was able to apply previous learning and progress.

Exercise: The Longer Pose

You have managed to settle into the proportions of the model here and have started to take on quite complex poses.  The rapid warm up sketches feel more confidant than the quicker initial poses and the drawing on page 27 feels in proportion and the stance of the figure is successful. The final, more overly drawn piece holds good proportion from head to torso but the models top right leg is a little over shortened and lacks width at the top of the knee but again, your difficulties have been reflected upon well in your learning log. It is easy to see that you are working hard at depicting reflected light and tone, so well done.

Yes - I was aware there was a problems with that leg.

The second attempt is to draw yourself drawing for around an hour to satisfy those questions that had arisen from the first. You have been very brave in your analytical approach to the proportions rather than the impact at staring and judging your own figure and the result is good. The head is slightly smaller than the rest of the body but the proportions of the trunk and legs is good. There are some lovely marks being made on the paper, particularly around the legs within this drawing. Proportionally your right arm is a little too narrow and the foreshortening is a little out but this is a wonderfully personal replication of the self, so well done.

Check and log


Personal research

You have looked at the work of Maria Lassnig, Paul Klee (Tate Modern), Ellen Altfest, Laura Simmons, Allan McCollum, Hans Bellmer, Maria Merz and Imran Qureshi. An extensive and wide ranging research profile I am extremely pleased that you have written up and included images of their very varied working styles. You are as usual very open minded to researching your own interests as well as those highlighted throughout and this will no doubt be incredibly informative in regard to your own working practice. Great, keep going.

Project: Form
Exercise: Essential shapes
Exercise: Essential elements

Again you have submitted a wide range of supporting sketches in your sketchbook with a clear written account supporting your understanding within your learning log. Breaking the body down to its simplest shapes and units is a good way to quickly get down information.  Although some proportions are not accurate the overall approach is positive, so well done.

Try to lightly make out some connecting factors. Mark out the tip of the head to the chin, the chin to the belly button, the belly button to the waist and so on using the one eye closed movement and your ruler or pencil angled ahead of you but with your arm out straight each time at a 90 degree angle away from your own body. Always mark out your position if you can on the floor if seated by using masking tape to tape out your feet as leaning forwards and backwards really can alter the measurements. It is very much to do with your own body positioning as well as your models. Errors can be made if you don’t keep your own arm straight whilst measuring also, so be mindful of this at all times, whatever you are drawing from life.

Yes, this still needs work. I will take more accurate note of the position of my body and measuring arm for future studies.

You have also included a few experimental pieces of your own in support of your studies, so again, well done.

Project: Gesture

Well done again for the extensive research of the artists Ryan Woodward, Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse, John Singer Sargent and Tracey Emin. It is clear that this research has heavily influenced your own drawing research, which is investigative, quick and varied in material. The needle and ink drawings are loose and exciting as are the brush and ink, so well done.

Exercise: Stance

You have submitted a wonderfully free and well studied series of drawings using ink for this exercise. Your confidence is clearly moving from strength to strength and all of your hard work and enquiry is producing some every confident outcomes.

The line of axis has been drawn in on a photocopy of the original to map out the position and aligning of weight distribution and stance without interfering with the finished product and is clear that you have managed this exercise very well. You have submitted a range of drawings with good explanatory annotations throughout due to your knowledge of anatomy before hand and have written up your account very clearly in your learning log. You have managed to get the whole of the figure into each drawing too, so well done there. Your drawings on a coloured ground with conte and coloured pencil are really very successful.

Exercise: Energy
You have submitted another wide ranging and extensive series of drawings for this exercise.  I am particularly fond of the blind contour continuous line drawing on page 38 as it is in proportion, holds great energy and says a lot about you the artist and your ability to capture the essence of an exercise well. The varied materials used suggests that you are challenging your own abilities and creativity and the marks you are using are confidence, enquiring and skills based. You are also very experimental in the syringe, needles and ink drawing. Knowing your background and interests this approach really reflects you as much as the subject as is full of energy and passion for drawing, so well done.

I thoroughly enjoyed the gesture exercises.
Check and log
Very good.

Project: Structure
Research point: Anatomy

Good and wide research throughout looking at anatomy, the skeleton and the construct of flesh over bones. You have supported your research with good note taking and it is clear that you understand what you have read and have put that knowledge into your own drawing investigations, so well done. You have produced an impressive number of studies looking at the hands and feet in particular, studied the masters of anatomical drawing as well as contemporaries such as Fernando Vicente. Your larger skeletal drawing on black paper works very well.

Exercise: Three drawings

You have written up a good account of the exercise and I would agree that there are some successful parts and I would urge you to draw the feet, however crude in order for the drawings to feel ‘complete’. You have tackled drawing on larger paper well and the use of brown ink makes the drawings seem very fluid. More work on the models arms would add strength to the drawing, perhaps draw the negative space first to help you ascertain what is actually taking up the space first? It is just as important to remember that the width of the arms should be measured against the head as they are surprisingly wider than we are led to believe. A good effort all round, well done. Foreshortening needs to be practiced more using close measurements to get it completely correct.

I was still struggling to get everything on the page and tending to leave out the feet because I found them difficult. Point taken. Yes I was definitely struggling with the foreshortening.

You move on to produce drawings that really get to grips with foreshortening. The lying down poses are extremely competent and it feels like you have really cracked earlier problems in this regard.

Thank you! That is reassuring as I had tried very hard with this and still wasn't sure whether I'd succeeded.

Project: the clothed figure
Exercise: Fabric with line and form

Clearly this is a new way of working for you and you are a little nervous about it and find it difficult at first. As you persist and draw a number of large studies of cloth over a chair your seeing ability improves and you manage to draw some lovely studies of fabric including a great varied page on page 66. You tackle numerous way to do this in a variety of different mediums which really evidences your continued focus within this exercise depicting drape, folds and texture of cloth throughout and with more time and more confidence in varying your materials you can have produced some very effective drawings throughout. 

With further research into artists that have depicted cloth, you move on to produce a number of smaller studies in boxes on page 69 that embrace a number of different mediums culminating in a lovely page of varied study.

Exercise: Form and movement in a clothed figure

You have submitted some drawings from an OCA drawing workshop and some larger works that have been placed in your sketchbook. The first drawn in conte shows a huge leap in depicting form as you have produced an extremely competent well composed drawing of your model in a toweling robe. The cloth is depicted well with the light hitting parts of the cloth well suggesting the form beneath the cloth surface. The foreshortening of the models legs is particularly successful and you have managed to draw the feet. A well - executed drawing, despite the feeling of ‘dullness’ described in your learning log highlights the complexities of the human form in garments very well indeed.

The second drawing, although less complete than the first feels as if more tonal study could have given the drawing much more depth. Proportionally however, the subject is handled well. More time on this one could have brought it into completion.

I was feeling frustrated they day and abandoned the second drawing before bringing it to resolution - it sounds like I should have continued with it.

Project: The moving figure
Exercise: Sitting and waiting

You have submitted a number of quick sketches drawn at the airport as you travel so often. You have annotated well and managed drawing in public with some degree of confidence. Good, loose, expressive outcomes, well done.

Exercise: Fleeting moments

Again, you have produced a number of check sketches for this exercise and have included a methodology of Klee’s, which is always great to see. Although you haven’t really mentioned it in your learning log I quite like the drawing on page 78 with its introduction of bright colours and loose expressive mark making techniques. You have produced an interesting series depicting the odd stances of people taking selfies in places of great beauty. Capturing the body shapes and odd behavior in isolation is really interesting.

Research point: People watching
Again another interesting set of drawings confidently rendering using a range of drawing materials and approaches. Your submission is very characterful throughout.

Project: Self portrait
Exercise: Drawing your face

Good preliminary sketches again using a variety of different mediums and poses. You have managed to capture small parts in your studies that depict an earring, an eye. Your detailed sketches are good in scale, proportion and fine detailing, so very well done. You mention struggling with preliminary sketches in your learning log. They are designed for you to settle into drawing, look carefully at what it is you are drawing and play through experiment a range of ideas before settling down on a larger or longer drawing, so have fun and try not to worry, what you are doing is absolutely spot on to the requirements.

Exercise: A self - portrait

You have submitted a range of preliminary works supported by a good learning log entry and annotations throughout. You work through a number of different approaches using line and tone as well as working looser and more experimentally. Proportionally try to work out where the position of the mouth should be. Quite commonly is you are working on a board or in a sketchbook the bottom of the page can get skewed in terms of proportion simply because the seeing and depicting is further r down the page and away from the line of vision.

Your larger attempt in sketchbook six works ell at this scale. The eyes are very large and take up a significant amount of the page but tonally it works well overall. You produce a range of painted drawings as well as another charcoal piece. In this last charcoal drawing the proportions work much more successfully. You have managed to grasp the form, flesh and expression well throughout. The coloured drawing is much more involved and feels quite penetrating due to the intensity of the stare. This feels a little overworked but otherwise another very good study overall.

Yes I can see that in my first few attempts the eyes are too large and tend to dominate. I suspect this is a common fault with beginners. The last charcoal drawing felt better in terms of proportion and likeness.

Exercise: Portrait from memory

You have annotated well and very succinctly the experience of drawing from memory in your learning log. These are weaker drawings I would agree but your explanation as to why makes this backwards step very valid. Recording in your learning log is very beneficial in understanding the why’s within your approaches to drawing. Your looser continuous line drawing works well in terms of capturing a memory, as it appears ghostly, undefined and open to interpretation, just as memory is itself.

I'd never thought of it like that but the lack of definition does fit very well with the representation of a memory. I certainly felt that these continuous line drawings were much better than my original attempts at drawing from memory.

Research point: Rembrandt, Van Gogh and others
Excellent exploratory research throughout supported by relevant selected images in support of your writing on the blog. Your selection is wide ranging, questioning and contemporary, fantastic.

Assignment Four
Line and shape

You have submitted a large range of preparatory drawings looking at both the figure and its context. The supporting annotation and learning log entry is detailed, honest and enquiring.  You really have reflected well on your learning to date and the fluidity of the mark making is really taking shape. The line works on acetate on page 25 have a simplistic charm and confidence to them and it good to see you scaling up and down as you move through your preparatory drawings. You are being very experimental throughout the work and the wire and subsequent slightly abstract drawings again are very good in regard to challenging what you know and what you hope to get from the work in terms of experimental enquiry. The gridded work demonstrates your understanding of how to scale up and also how you wish to exaggerate certain aspects of the figure in front of you. The experimental approach to using line is exemplary resulting in many variations on your chosen theme. For me, page 35 in your largest sketchbook really sums up the leap from start to almost completion of this assignment. You are crafting the selected materials well and have the confidence to tackle the figure under many of its guises. Your final drawing is well proportioned, creatively executed and confident. The context, although you are a little unhappy with it does not reflect away from the figure and becomes quite illustrative overall, a very good effort throughout.

Again you have submitted a wide range of varied preliminary studies and drawings. You are not frightened of taking on anything new and pages 37 you really tackle complex poses with great tonal ability. The final tonal drawing reflects well the exercise where you were asked to tackle folds in fabric. Both the sofa and your subject hold many folds and you have tackled what is a very complex image quite well. The arms do not quite make sense against the torso (imagine the figure standing up) as the foreshortening again needs further understanding but overall, once more you have worked hard at this assignment in regard to tone. There are some great studies within the whole of this assignment and you have clearly worked very hard at each stage of Assignment 4.
Yes I still need to work on foreshortening. I can't put my finger on what is wrong here. His torso was crunched up and he was leaning slightly forwards.

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity 
Your sketchbooks are being used extremely well for this assignment, are prolific in terms of content and enquiry and contain number of varied content such as varied research points and experimental techniques and processes. You are clearly using them as part of an ongoing investigation both within and outside of the exercises set. You are clearly adding your own ideas and research enhancing your thoughts and confidence throughout in a deep and personal way. 

Your visual and technical skills have moved on considerably through experimentation and experience and your looking skills at tackling and understanding the human form have become wide reaching as a result. 

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays 
Your learning log is clear, organised and very easy to follow.  You have good writing skills that demonstrate that you are engaged fully in your studies and for this assignment you have pooled your interest in science with your artistic experience in understanding how to draw the figure.  You are critical and analytical throughout and your research is both contextually relevant and full of individual enquiry on top of what is expected of you in regard to the course. The learning log is extensive in regard to your learning experience throughout.

Suggested reading/viewing 
Visit at least two exhibitions in your locality (Italy or the UK) and write up your thoughts about the visit with supporting images as part of Assignment 5. Read at least one article from two of the books on the reading list if possible.

Pointers for the next assignment
Despite your reservations around Assignment 5 this is the final part of Drawing 1 for you and you should relish the chance to complete the exercises in your own personal way as you have done similarly in Assignment 4. Don’t be fazed by what you think may be repetitive and a little dull. Stick to the outline of the Assignment but really enjoy the freedom to run away with things in terms of your own creativity.

I'm very pleased with the feedback on assignment 4. My tutor has clearly looked at my work in depth and noted the amount of effort that has gone into this section of the course. There are a few things to look at for the next assignment. In particular taking more care with measuring and getting to grips better with foreshortening.

Tutor name: Hayley Lock
Date 04.07.14
Next assignment due 17.08.14

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