Assignment 1 Tutor Feedback

Overall Comments

Thank you for your carefully prepared and selected portfolio.  The portfolio assignment 1: a sketchbook containing drawings, exercises, a number of still-lifes and two versions of the final assignment drawing.  The blog was available and up to date.

I offer a general over-view and more specific comments under the individual headings.  At the end of the feedback under: Reading / Pointers I recommend aspects for you to consider and respond to.  These I suggest you reflect, act on and record on your blog.  These comments and recommendations are focussed specifically to benefit your thinking, critical analysis and drawing skills.

Utilizing a range of dry and wet media exploring line and tonal values to convey form, qualities of light and shadow.

An interesting approach in one still-life drawing- using The Guardian as surface.  Here the drawing is juxtaposed between an article on Warhol and another on the dropping of A Level Art History, contributing to the interpretation of the drawing.

Several examples of analysis and problem-solving to develop your drawing skills.

Very focused research to support the assignment: referencing both primary and secondary sources.  Interesting that you’ve drawn upon contemporary and historical art practice, also contemporary documentary reportage.  An excellent breadth of research.

You’ve practiced a range of the exercises which seems to have given you confidence in drawing individual objects on a small scale.

Several of the drawings represent objects as if floating-in-space.  The more succesful drawings are where you’ve drawn the object(s) within a context.  There you are exploring a greater and consistent tonal range, it also offers some opportunity to explore mark-making.


As a first assignment it evidences that you’re learning through reflection, analysis, observation and trial and error.

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

You reflected in detail on the final assignment through an analysis of media and process.

The structure / content of the reflection jumps around a little.  It would assist you to gain clarity if you used the key headings under ‘Assessment Criteria’ to write your critical reflection. (see Pointers)

Your reflections helped you to recognize aspects of the drawing that weren’t working.  You then made the decision to complete a second drawing.

There are aspects of both drawings that work well.  Both have a central, pyramid structured composition leading the eye into the center.

In both drawings (to differing degress) the outside elements appear sparse or in a vacuum.  It would inform your assignment, were you to do some research on how artists compose and practice your own compositional drawings.  (see Reading / Pointers)


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

A fair exploration of the exercises across a range of wet and dry media.  You are beginning to experiment with line, mark-making and tone.

Keep testing out what you’re learning in the exercises and think about how you can bring this into the preparation and execution of the assignment.  For example further exploration of mark-making possibilities and looking at the broad extremes of tonal values.  (See Pointers)

Doing more experimentation and preparatory drawings i.e: composition, will  assist your development. (Pointers)

A number of small drawings focussing on individual objects where scale and surface qualities are explored.  These display a sensitivity to materials: pencil and charcoal.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

You’ve made a good start in your approach to reflective thinking.

Consider exploring your written vocabulary alongside your visual language.  There are some words you over-use for example ‘happy’ and ‘like’.  Perhaps other words that are more specific and say more about what you’re analysing and also your aims. . (Pointers)

Good description and analysis of your research this clearly informs the assignment.

See specific Reading: Georgio Morandi and Pierre Bonnard.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

A good use of the blog to archive a range of drawings as exercises and still-life studies.

Sometimes there is tendency to ‘criticize’ your drawings /skills. rather than ‘critical thinking, analysis’  in a balanced and purposeful manner.  Aim to analyse what are your strengths / weaknesses. Then think about how these might be developed further. (see Pointers)

You use the blog well to record your analysis and reflection- this evidences your thought processes and underpins your problem solving.

It would be beneficial for you to consider what you’re learning from the exercises, then how you can use this in the assignment- to compose, mark-make and use tonal values to convey space, form and texture. (see Pointers)

Suggested reading/viewing


Research Georgio Morandi and analyse his compositions on your blog.  Pierre Bonnard’s interiors / still life- Analyse the structure of foreground / middle / background- then try these in your preparatory drawings.

Regarding the content of this assignment:  An interesting collection, archive and one to keep an eye on regarding the interelationship between art- science – medicine.

An article on Wearetheoca on developing a personal voice:

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
  • Think about what you’re learning from the exercises; mark-making, tonal values.. Ask how you can introduce this into the assessment. You will then more consciously apply what you’re learning as you progress.  Reflect and comment on this on your blog.
  • Use the ‘Assessment Criteria’ headings when writing your critical reflection for the assignment.
  • Research and practice a range of compositions from your research references: 6 -A5 drawings.
  • To help with your composition, negative / positive space, mark-making and tonal values. Do preparatory drawings before commiting to the assignment (a minimum of 6 A5 drawings), work on quick, small drawings- half-close your eyes.

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.


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