Thank you for the care taken in preparing and organising your portfolio. The portfolio was supported by a link to the learning log.
Just to clarify that it was negotiated to submit Assignment 4 prior to Assignment 3.
I will comment upon specific aspects under each of the headings. In relation to you reflecting on and responding to feedback from assignment 2: there is limited evidence of you following up some of the Research and Pointers, particularly in relation to your visual analysis and application of composition: Bonnard / Morandi.
The portfolio generally evidences a sound development in confidence, an awareness and practice of some good observational skills in both the life-drawing class and figure-drawing of family members.
You are using your sketchbooks to experiment and explore a range of media, mark-making and textural surface effects. This experimentation is beginning to feed into other drawings and the assignment piece. There is evidence that you are taking what you learn from the exercises and experiments, purposefully applying this to other drawings.
You evidence a range of research across primary and secondary sources; this is good practice. I wonder if you are still not recording fully, your breadth of research and analysis. More commentary: as to how the research might inform and influence your drawings would help you to apply what you are learning from looking at others work.
It is good practice, that you are beginning to set some of your own aims and intentions (alongside those set by the course). You are making some qualitative judgements on your own work- this is a start to defining possible strengths, areas for development and improvement. Some of these judgements tend to be of a general nature, being more specific will help you to focus on particular qualities, techniques and approaches that you can further explore and develop.
To help you analyse and understand what is working (or not working) more commentary, analysis and questioning of the visual and the content, will help you put flesh on the bone, enhance your confidence, develop your strengths and set clearer aims.
It is good to see that you are spending time looking, planning, preparing and thinking about the assignment in helpful stages.
Assignment 4 Assessment potential
“I understand your aim is to go for the B.A 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, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.”
assessment (see Conditions of Enrolment, Section 2 a). Contact the OCA Course Advisors to discuss this further.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
You tried out a number of possible compositions, exploring cropping-in, colour saturation, qualities of mark-making and texture via drawing and digital manipulation.
You have approached the A1 sheet with a decisive and bold composition, by cropping into the image you have ensured the figure confidently inhabits the space of the page. You have used varied qualities of wash, line and drip to provide visual interest and a reflective mood to the drawing. The form of the hand pressing the frets of the guitar is much better perceived and drawn than the strumming hand.
As I mention under Sketchbooks there is a digital image with test stains / washes which I feel works well, due to you leaving areas for the marks and blotches to breath. In the final drawing, it would have been interesting to see you approach the right-hand side of the drawing in a similar manner.
There was a small digital image (guitarist) in your sketchbook, which you’d used to test monochrome strokes and blotches on. This offered some dynamics in scale of marks and suggest associations with old, worn or melting photographs. This also worked due to there being areas left white- allowing the marks and blotches space to breathe. (see Pointers)
The portrait of your husband has areas that are well observed and sensitively drawn. A bold sense of foreshortening and detail in the foot, calf and leg. The other leg isn’t perceived as well and the neck and head are too small and narrow. There is a sense of character in the manner of how you’ve drawn his hands. More research and observation into the proportions of the head (it is quite common to underestimate the width of a skull and the structure and width of the supporting neck, accordingly. You make a similar misjudgement in the guitarist’s back / top of skull, though the neck is better perceived. (see Pointers)
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
There are some really interesting and experimental drawings in your sketchbook. These show a confidence in your use of mixed media and exploration in a range of visual language. Particularly the life drawing: gesso on newspaper with ink. The range of transparent, opaque and linear qualities work well, the figure floats within the centre of the page and contrasts with the heavy dense paint scraped at the seat of the page. You’ve used differing qualities and densities of line to draw elements of the figure, without creating a solid, physical edge or outline to the figure.
Good to see some further development in how you use the sketchbook to more fully explore some compositional options and surface, texture and media techniques. Continue to explore these options more for assignment 3 and 5. (see Pointers)
Your combination of sketching, making notes / descriptions and reflecting works well. The combination of visual and textual notations helps you to notice and become more aware of specific visual elements. It would help you to use these different notational strategies when planning the prep for assignments. (see Pointers)
Look at Theodore Gericault’s drawings: studies for The Raft of the Medusa and his anatomical drawings. Look at how he uses tonal washes and line to work out his composition, tonal values and convey form.
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
You are using your research into technique and method to inform your life-drawing skills: proportion and foreshortening.
A range of primary and secondary sources referenced. Good to see that your OCA visit was stimulating and useful in a contextual and very practical sense. Take practice of drawing from others works (and your own) to practice looking, visual analysis of composition, visual dynamics such as marks, tonal values, balance of positive / negative space…. Drawing from your own drawings can also be a useful means of developing more resource material for you to work from.
It would be good to see you even more purposefully using and applying your research to your own thinking and drawing skills. Ask yourself and note this on your blog: How can I apply what I learn from my research to my own work…. what can I take to inform and benefit my drawing practice, thinking and content of my ideas? Then set some specific aims from this questioning. (see Pointers)
Good Harvard referencing throughout.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
A well organised and structured blog reflecting your developing progress.
It is useful that you’re using the log as an archive of your thinking, research and drawing process.
You have used the blog more as a reflective space and this has helped you to plan, experiment and consider each stage of the assignment, in a purposeful yet experimental way.
There is an improvement in the quality of your commentary; there being less of ‘what’ you ‘do’ and more analysis and questioning. Continue to practice and deepen this approach in relation to your own and other’s work. (see Pointers)
As you work on Assignment 3 you will need to think about editing and selecting work from assignment 1 – 4 for your assessment (September submission for November deadline). Look through the assessment guidelines:
Euan Uglow : Measurement, proportion and composition.
Theodore Gericault’s drawings: Studies for The Raft of Thee Medusa and his anatomical study sheets.
Robert Kaupelis’ ‘Experimental Drawing’ – You need to be committed to working through the actual exercises to benefit from the ‘experimental’ nature of the book. You’re a visual learner, so through practicing the exercises your visual language and confidence will grow.
Pointers for the next assignment
- Reflect critically on this feedback in your learning log.
- When you make a broad, generalised statement on your own drawings such as:
‘very successful’ or ‘very good’ – expand on what criteria and qualities constitute ‘successful’, ‘good’. Ask on what are you basing your judgements? Does a sense of proportion, representational qualities, dynamics of mark-making, strong and impactful composition, conveying interesting content….or other notions? This questioning and analysis will help you make clearer and better informed judgements for yourself and the work.
- Critical thinking: Follow your lines of questioning & thinking further. For example where you recognise a connection or idea of interest, flesh-out your thoughts to help you analyse, understand and explore the particular qualities, content and ideas.
- In both your life-drawings and assignment: reflect on and work out options for composition, negative & positive space, mark-making and varied tonal values in preliminary drawings. As previously recommended: 6 x A5, thumbnails before starting the assignment work.
- Think about and reflect on what you choose to ‘leave out or edit’ as well as what you might add. For instance consider the relationship between mark-making / wash / texture / line and the space it inhabits.
- Follow-up on the research suggestions under Research and Suggested Reading / Viewing. Post your thoughts and analysis, and how you might apply this to your own thinking / making to 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.
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