Review of previous assignments, noting problems/successes.
- I felt I exhibited technical and visual skills. I was careful to focus on accurate observation and to draw only what I could see. I liked the looseness and expressive nature of charcoal and how it lead me to focus on shapes, contours and contrasts rather than getting too stuck on finer details. I think I depicted the contrasting surfaces and 3D shapes of the objects, to create a picture that captured solidity and depth, with sufficient shadow to ground the objects and give them mass/weight.
- I worked logically and developed my idea from concept to finished drawing. This was a good start to the course.
- I tried out a few different compositions and media but could have developed my ideas more.I also should have used my sketchbook more to try out different ideas/media and made more comments for reference. I came away from this assignment wishing I had tried other methods to bring out the shiny reflective surfaces on the subject (such as pen and ink). I was afraid of making mistakes in my sketchbook and need to loosen up.
- My tutor’s comments focused on a need for greater fluidity and more gesture work. She thought I was too held back, especially in the more detailed work.
- I think that appropriate materials were used for the effect I wanted and that the drawing ,of the pheasant at least, was well observed (form, colour, perspective & composition). I did not quite master an accurate perspective of the wooden board! I am not sure if this was due to failure to observe or just the fact it was at an awkward angle and hard to see.
- I felt confident about what worked and what did not! I was pleased by my use of colour the techniques used. I approached the assignment logically, with some experimentation in my sketchbook of both media and composition, but in hindsight I should have done more experimentation and planning in my sketchbook. The set-up of the still-life was rather contrived- I was trying to suggest a narrative about game being ready for the pot.
- This picture feels like an honest reflection of my natural “go-to” style. I did not refer to other artists for this work -as I probably should have- but responded to the subject in front of me. I am constantly drawn to the notion however, that I want to try to develop a freer, more abstract style.
- My tutor’s comments: were to use expressive media more and to develop a more gestural approach. I should try not to be so pictorial in my approach. I was still not using my sketchbook enough (experimentation or notes) and I needed to attempt some larger pieces. Basically- more spontaneity/ fluidity/ energy/ abstraction/ narrative.
- I think compositionally this assignment demonstrates an understanding of perspective, and has an interesting composition. There is a definitely sense of the cottages receding. I also managed to capture the atmosphere of a bright winters day.This was a subject that I could relate to and I think this was expressed in the visual communication of my thoughts and emotional response.
- I was also pleased by my choice of media which I think was used successfully to create textures of the stonework and the plants/trees. I was amazed by some of the effects I managed to create using just coloured pencils, by blending and creating layers, and using mineral spirits to merge colours together.
- I was very pleased with the outcome of this drawing. I managed, in places at least, to introduce a looser style into the work (e.g.the pavement) to contrast my more detailed default style. I find it very hard not to have a fairly detailed approach in my finished work.
- My tutor’s comments were still encouraging me to be more fluid, free and abstract. There is something in me that will not quite let go, but I need to find out what happens when I break some of the “rules’. I need to be more ambitious and courageous by being more innovative and experimental. More atmosphere might have been created by letting more mistakes happen (bleeding/ diluted area etc).
- Assignment four was a much greater challenge in terms of both interpretation and execution. I loved doing the figure drawing part of the course, but found it much harder to capture the subject on paper than more permanent subjects. I tried very hard to be more expressive and experimental than I had been in previous work. I found this was hard, and was possibly not achieved.
- I have really struggled working in a large format as this has often required scaling up from “sight-size” and numerous errors have tended to be introduced. Smaller drawings, by contrast, whilst being more accurate, tended to be more restrained in their style. There was a tendency for my figure work to look as if I had tried that bit too hard!
- For some reason I particularly struggled with the head in my full figure assignment drawings. I felt the charcoal drawing turned out quite well, but my tutor commented that it was too stylistic and miss out too much detail. I liked the finish though and thought it had a greater sense of 3D form than a lot of my figure work as well as greater fluidity. I also enjoyed the contrasts of light-dark.
- In the Self portrait I struggled to get the light right- mainly because, looking at my reflection, the light and shadow was subtle. I seem to have introduced strong contrasts. The image is rather too full on- it has a real intense stare- probably because I was looking so hard at myself!
- One thing I really struggled with in this section of the course is the temporary nature of poses and expressions. I was not good at capturing fleeting movements- which led to inaccuracies or stilted drawings. It was very frustrating and definitely my weakest area.
My tutor’s comments acknowledge an improvement in my experimentation and observation skills and that I am developing the use of more expressive media (pen/ charcoal /pastels) for a more energetic outcome. She also commented that where areas of the pictures are left out, or just hinted at, the work becomes more engaging, and that I have a tendency to outline too heavily. She encourages me to use more dynamic and aggressive marks so the work becomes more frantic. I used my sketchbooks much more during this section of the course and had lost some of my fear about making mistakes.
A couple of comments in particular stood out for me:
To concentrate more of the absence of details and exaggerate form without outline- overlapping lines with physical and gestural lines, marks and blocks of tone. Also to use more coloured backgrounds as when I do tend to move away from more formally styled drawings. More spontaneity/ fluidity/ energy/ abstraction/ narrative.
My starting point for assignment five will be the outdoors. Although I hope I can include consideration of line, space and form in tackling this.