Drawing 1 – Report for assignment 5

Feedback  on  assignment  

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

Below  three  drawings  make  a  good  sequence.

Looking  at  all  three  together  I  get  a  real  sense  of   narrative:  first  there  is  a  person  in  the  periphery  of  the  room,  than  she  is  gone,  and  then  replaced  by   cat  on  bed.  I  think  this  could  be  a  way  for  you  to  go,  or  consider  multiple  points  of  view  (see  below   sketchbook  comments).     On  the  blog  the  three  drawings  appear  to  be  of  the  same  scale  (not  sure  that  this  is  in  case  in  reality).   Using  same  size  paper  can  unify  a  body  of  work  –  for  future  projects  maybe  worth  considering?

Project  preparation  is  conscientious.  Very  strong  is  the  assignment  study  Corner  of  bedroom  in  dip  pen   and  watercolour.    You  refer  to  this  one  and  Corner  of  Living  room  in  pencil  as  “loose  drawings  for   assignment”  (letter  with  parcel)  –  but  for  me  that  ever  so  slightly  looser  handling  of  media  makes  them   the  assignment  itself.  Because  one  thing  stands  out  when  looking  at  your  work  for  real,  and  not  on   blog:  you  need  to  become  bolder  and  more  confident.  Some  of  this  you  are  beginning  to  achieve  by   substituting  pencil  and  coloured  pencil  for  tonal  wet  media  (watercolour,  also  try  ink,  and  try  much   larger  brushes!).  Your  compositions  are  generally  very  interesting,  and  work  very  well  in  these  two   drawings/  paintings.    In  Corner  of  Living  room  your  composition  is  complex  –  the  way  the  French   window  frames  another  reality  out  there,  outside  the  domestic.  I  like  the  tangle  of  tree  branches   suggesting  a  thicket  or  wilderness  (see  also  comment  final  sketch  in  sketchbook  below).  Your  daughter   looks  somewhat  not  quite  right  –  perhaps  a  matter  of  adjusting  scale?)  but  I  do  think  you  might  want  to   persevere  with  this  interesting  indirect  referencing  of  the  figure.  See  also  the  study  of  your  daughter   sitting  at  table  in  sketchbook  (below).

Final  drawing  Living  room  with  French  window:  There  is  something  attractive  about  the  contrast   between  neat  lines  for  interior  and  slightly  swampy  feel  of  outside  vegetation,  almost  a  bit  alien  (alien invader  kept  at  bay  but  inviting  itself  through  open  French  door?).  Perhaps  a  bit  fanciful,  my   interpretation…..  I  like  the  suggestions  of  nature  having  a  dark  underbelly  (see  Peter  Doig,  George   Shaw’s  slimy  green  urban  woodland  scenes).

In  some  ways  I  prefer  above  preparatory  sketch  to  your  final.  Having  said  so,  the  final  version  here  has   much  improved  since  you  introduces  limited  colour  and  used  the  eraser  to  ease  the  tangle  of  the  trees:

Looking  at  the  real  work  and  looking  at  the  blog  –  what  strikes  me  is  that  perhaps  there  is  also  a  case  to   be  made  for  you  to  go  smaller  with  this  very  light  work  (it  makes  me  think  of  silver  point).  Or  if  you   were  to  work  to  scale  you  could  consider  a  gesso  board  support  (these  type  of  supports  would  work   with  silverpoint.)  Looking  at  the  drawing  in  reproduction  I  get  more  of  the  sense  of  miniature,  an  Alice   in  Wonderland  feel,  which  would  also  go  with  theme  of  daughter  present/absent  in  this  sequence   above.

I  am  uncertain  which  of  above  ‘final’  drawings  you  want  to  submit  as  assignment  –  I  think  you  need  to   include  the  supporting  preliminary  drawings  in  your  submission.  We  can  speak  about  the  selection  for   assessment  separately.  In  your  evaluation  you  speak  of  “all  three  drawings”  and  I  am  a  tiny  bit   uncertain  which  three  you  mean.  I  guess  you  mean  the  final  versions  of  each  area:  bedroom,  daughter   on  table  and  corner  living  room.  But  my  sense  is  that  you  should  not  divorce  the  preliminary  drawings   from  the  final  ones  at  this  stage.  Or  as  an  alternative  you  could  still  produce  more  work  –  where  you   deliberately  align  formats  same  size  and  orientation  to  build  a  narrative.

In  summary:

The  strategies  I  would  recommend  to  push  your  drawing  further:

• Go  larger  with  soft  media  and  paint  –  use  larger  tools

• Go  smaller  with  fine  liner,  push  pencil  and  HB-­‐H  range  of  sharp  pencils  or  silverpoint

• Consider  different  supports  for  example   https://www.jacksonsart.com/blog/2014/10/07/ampersand-­‐painting-­‐panels-­‐extraordinary-­‐ surfaces-­‐art/  Clayboard  is  quite  interesting.


But  be  careful  not  to  get  too  caught  up  in  the  craft  ethos  of  hobby  arts  commercial  sector  –  I  would   treat  the  examples  and  how  to  use  sections  with  caution.  You  need  to  adopt  these  supports  for  your   own  end.  In  the  long  run  you  can  easily  make  your  own  tailor-­‐made  supports  by  buying  hardboard   (thin)  from  a  DIY  store,  get  it  cut  into  smaller  sections,  avoiding  predictable  formats  like  A5  or  A4  –   instead  going  for  unusual  formats  like  panoramic,  or  square  or  near  square  or  long  thin….   You  can  coat  wood  or  paper  with  gesso  primer  (or  make  up  your  own  with  high  quality  matt  emulsion   2/3  to  1/3  PVA).  Three  coats  with  interim  sanding  for  smoothness  of  surface  create  a  great  drawing  or   painting  support.


Demonstration  of  technical  and  Visual  Skills,  Demonstration  of  Creativity

There  is  good  potential  in  your  sketchbook;  my  only  regret  is  that  there  is  not  more  quantity  of   preparatory  drawings  in  the  book.  Use  the  sketchbook  to  dare  think  up  different  solutions  and  to  take   risks.  A  particular  double  page  spread  showing  your  daughter  in  pencil  and  blue/grey  watercolour  is   very  interesting  for  the  following  reasons:

• Multiple  views  of  room  and  daughter  exploring  different  vantage  points  –  this  makes  an   interesting  composition  and  could  become  a  compositional  device

• Use  of  wet  media  works  well  for  you  as  it  balances  out  your  cautious  and  sensitive  hand  and   brings  understated  tonal  contract  into  your  drawing

• The  right  side  of  the  double  page  spread  shows  a  really  interesting  vantage  point,  with  the   head  of  your  daughter  cropped  off,  and  the  leg  of  the  table  becoming  a  strong  interfering/   intersecting  compositional  device  –  a  composition  like  this  deserves  to  be  taken  further  (larger   scale?)  See  Degas  Jockeys  before  the  Race  painting  http://barber.org.uk/edgar-­‐degas-­‐jockeys-­‐ before-­‐the-­‐race/0

The  section  you  refer  to  as  ‘loose  experimental  and  preliminary  drawings’:   Here  the  Stove  in  Black  Watercolour  stands  out.  You  use  wet  media  much  more  freely  here.  You  should   also  try  to  work  wet-­‐in-­‐wet  some  time,  as  this  will  make  you  surrender  control  to  the  medium  further.   (needs  a  textured  heavy  weight  watercolour  paper  however  –  Bockingford  is  quite  reasonable,  but   Fabriano  better  surface  and  paper,  and  not  as  pricy  as  Arches).  Ultimately  a  good  balance  between   letting  a  medium  flow  and  control  (detail  and  controlled  compositions)  could  make  a  very  attractive   mix.

Experimenting  with  Media  Dining  Room  Table  suffers  from  what  I  would  describe  as  interfering  visual   noise  –  the  ink  lines  bring  in  unrest  –  (nothing  wrong  with  that  per  se  but  I  just  don’t  feel  it  works  here).   The  composition  of  the  drawing  of  the  handbag  is  very  strong;  I  would  love  you  to  take  this  further  – this  zooming  in  onto  objects  letting  them  take  over  the  vantage  point  of  composition  (also  leg  of  table   below).  I  feel  that  the  use  of  blue  in  this  drawing  is  not  contributing,  and  interferes.

Other  preliminary  studies  don’t  strike  me  as  quite  so  successful,  nor  necessarily  loose.    Charcoal  study   of  your  daughter:  here  the  paper  tooth  interferes  with  the  drawing.  Charcoal  needs  successive  layering   and  fixing  to  build  up  bolder  tonal  contrast.  Auerbach  also  used  erasers  to  etch  back  highlights.  Odilon, Redon,  George  Seurat  and  Dan  Beudean  all  use  soft  drawing  media  like  charcoal,  conté  etc  very   successfully.  Study  their  work  and  imagine  the  size  of  the  papers  they  use  to  get  a  sense  of  scale.

50  x  70  cm

It  is  really  good  to  see  you  go  large  in  above  final  study  of  daughter.  I  believe  this  is  leading  you  in  the   right  direction.  But  it  is  really  hard  for  me  to  judge  this  drawing  from  blog.  There  seems  something  not   quite  right  with  the  shoulder  area.  Compositionally  I  can  understand  that  you  don’t  want  to  crop  off   your  daughter’s  head  (as  you  suggested  in  the  sketchbook  preliminary).  Yet  a  format  change  of  support   might  be  worth  thinking  about?


Context,  reflective  thinking,  critical  thinking,  analysis

BP  portrait  awards:  good  review,  and  interesting  shortlist  of  art  work  you  preferred  to  the  winner.     With  Martin  Brooks  I  can  sense  an  admiration  for  his  boldness  and  gestural  handling,  something  you   may  want  to  build  on  for  your  own  practice?    Samantha  Fellows  is  almost  hyperrealist  in  the  treatment   of  her  daughter’s  face,  yet  balances  this  with  a  bold  green  background,  and  the  school  tie  introduces   abstraction  and  picks  up  on  green  as  dominant  colour.  This  might  be  interesting  for  you  to  consider  –   the  use  of  a  limited  palette,  yet  very  bold  use  of  colour  in  an  abstracting  capacity  set  against  fine   detail?

Drawing  Exhibition  Ashmolean:   I  noted  your  preference  for  bolder  more  painterly  treatment  of  drawing  in  Delacroix  and  Degas.  This  is   revealing  and  says  something  about  your  own  aspirations.

Statement  (reflective  and  contextualized  statement):

This  is  well  conceived  and  you  fluidly  integrate  contexts  of  E  Hoppe,  Philip  Koch  and  Mark  Karnes  as   inspiring  influences  on  your  own  development.  You  set  out  to  experiment  with  a  wider  range  of  media   and  to  also  achieve  subtle  atmosphere  and  mood  through  tonal  shifts.  The  latter  I  think  you  begin  to   realise  quite  successfully  in  your  use  of  wet  media  (see  above).  Experimentation  with  media  has  been   too  cautious  in  my  view  and  you  need  to  spend  more  time  with  charcoal  and  messy  media  to  make   them  work  the  way  these  smudgy  and  painterly  media  are  best  employed.  Upping  your  tool  sizes   would  be  useful  –  thick  will  charcoal  sticks,  graphite  sticks,  conté;  larger  brushes  alongside  finely   pointed  ones.

Your  evaluation  of  all  projects,  and  this  last  one  in  particular,  is  thoughtful  and  reflective.  You  identify  aims  and  direction  well  and  you  attempt  to  critically  evaluate  your  progress.