Drawing 1- Report of assignment 4

Overall  Comments

Summary  of  Video  tutorial: we  discussed  areas  to  go  for  in  part  5  –  a  more  personally  driven  project   approach.  You  wanted  to  continue  working  with  the  figure,  and  experiment  with  a  greater  variety  of   supports  and  drawing  media  and  instruments  as  additional  objective.  I  suggested  you  write  up  a   proposal  for  now  which  you  can  email  me,  this  will  then  get  reworked  into  your  project  statement  later   on  when  you  had  a  chance  to  revise  your  ideas.  There  are  (optional)  possibilities  to  implement  close  to   home  aspects  to  the  figure,  by  including  furniture,  interiors  or  other  domestic  ‘stage  settings’  for  the   figure.

Strengths  of  submission  of  part  4:

1. Sensitivity  in  mark  making  and  use  of  line

2. Tackling  large  scale

3. Sketchbook  work  –  freshness  of  mark  making

Weaknesses  of  submission  of  part  4:

1. Up  scaling  of  marks  to  larger  scale

2. A  laboured  finish  –  freeing  up  gesture?

3. Use  of  supports  (low  quality  papers  can  limit  the  results  especially  if  working  with  wet  and  dry   media)

Although  on  a  budget  investing  into  some  better  papers  would  yield  better  results,  especially  if  working   with  fugitive  media  (pastel/charcoal)  to  allow  better  integration  of  pigment  into  surface  of  paper.   With  wet  media  like  ink  again  the  potential  to  explore  washes  for  immediate  tone  would  be  better   explored  in  heavier  papers  with  a  watercolour  finish.  We  discussed  Bristol  Card  and  Senellier  cartridge   300gms  weight  as  inexpensive  alternatives  to  Hot  Press  heavy  grade  watercolour  paper.

The  nature  of  this  part  of  the  course  leads  to  quite  self-­‐conscious  results  in  many  students,  and  as  in   previous  assignments,  the  sense  of  having  to  finalise  and  conclude  all  what  has  been  learned  in  the   assignment  can  lead  to  a  lack  of  freshness,  or  spontaneity  and  lack  of  risk  taking.

Areas  of  strengths  in  previous  projects:

• Landscape  and  perspective  work  was  strong  in  sketchbook:  you  offered  unusual  perspectives   and  beautiful  integration  of  clouds/  weather  with  rooftop  drawings;  your  townscape  drawings   in  sketchbook  in  particular  where  often  very  atmospheric.

• Portrait  work  in  part  4  through  less  predictable  formats  to  reinvent  the  genre  portrait  stand   out  in  part  4  and  could  form  part  of  your  project  approach  for  part  5?

Assignment  4  Assessment  potential  

  I  understand  that  you  are  still  currently  enrolled  as  leisure  learner.  We  discussed  this  and  as  you   seem  to  wish  to  go  for  assessment  now,  and  consider  studying  for  degree  in  Drawing  or  Painting,  I   urge  you  to  contact  OCA  office  to  let  them  know  about  your  decision  to  go  for  assessment  and  to   discuss  your  degree  path  options  further.  From  the  work  you  have  shown  in  this  assignment,   providing  you  commit  yourself  to  the  course,  I  believe  you  have  the  potential  to  pass  at  assessment.In  order  to  meet  all  the  assessment  criteria,  there  are  certain  areas  you  will  need  to  focus  on:

Feedback  on  project  work  and  assignment  

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

Project  portrait:  a  number  of  good,  some  excellent  results:

Your  husband  from  memory  is  interesting  as  you  dislike  it  so  much,  yet  you  are  very  inventive  in  the   use  of  support  and  handling  of  media,  an  outcome  demonstrating  creativity,  and  the  overall  result  has   a  lot  of  personality  even  if  anatomically  incorrect.

Your  context  research  (Sonia  Boyce)  shows  that  you   are  interested  in  less  predictable  formats  of  portrait-­‐  this  could  be  another  direction  for  part  5  to  take   forward?

Self-­‐portrait  inspired  by  Graham  Little  –  this  is  very  sensitive  and  works  very  well.  Here  your  tendency   to  labour  in  small  marks  is  fully  justified  as  you  keep  this  light  and  let  the  ground  of  the  paper  work   with  it.  The  use  of  colour  with  blues  for  shadows  and  reds  and  whites  for  highlights  works  well  to   suggest  a  sense  of  plasticity.  This  is  one  of  the  best  outcomes  of  this  submission  and  pairs  up  well  with:

The  portrait  on  right  (Project  Facial  Features)  also  shows  off  your  sensitive  mark  making  skills.  Here   more  economically  working  with  pencil  only,  but  conveying  character  of  the  sitter  very  well.

Project  groups  of  people  /  moving  people:

Here  I  much  prefer  the  sketchbook  work  that  gives  a  genuine  impression  of  movement,  to  the  over-­‐ finished  drawing  of  people  from  a  photograph.  The  sense  of  capture  of  a  photograph  gets  in  the  way  of   suggesting  a  large  group  of  people  in  flux.  Although  technically  the  drawing  is  very  fine,  it  seems  to  not   fulfill  the  objectives  of  the  course  here  asking  for  real  observation.       The  experiment  on  red  paper  is  much  more  satisfying.  You  dismiss  it  as  you  felt  it  didn’t  represent  the   mood  or  coldness  of  the  day.  Perhaps  this  is  of  consideration  to  you  personally,  but  from  a  tutor’s  point   of  view  the  objectives  of  the  course  are  met  much  more  here  than  in  the  previous  study.  I  do  get  a  real   sense  of  movement,  as  you  deploy  a  head-­‐on  perspective  where  the  crowd  is  moving  towards  the   viewer,  this  gives  it  a  sense  of  actuality.  The  sparing  out  of  the  coloured  ground  of  the  paper   demonstrates  excellent  use  of  negative  space.  It  also  lends  itself  towards  painting  practices  in  future.   Cropping  some  of  the  foreground  area  would  enhance  that  sense  of  actuality  further:

red  by  Graham  Little  –  this  is  very  sensitive  and  works  very  well.  Here  your  tendency   to  labour  in  small  marks  is  fully  justified  as  you  keep  this  light  and  let  the  ground  of  the  paper  work   with  it.  The  use  of  colour  with  blues  for  shadows  and  reds  and  whites  for  highlights  works  well  to   suggest  a  sense  of  plasticity.  This  is  one  of  the  best  outcomes  of  this  submission  and  pairs  up  well  with:

I  stole  Degas’s  device  to  cut  off  sections  of  people  here,  as  this  seems  to  make  the  viewer  feel  part  of   the  scene.

Moving  figures:  you  used  pen  very  effectively  for  this  (see  sketchbook  below),  but  I  agree  that  as  a   medium  this  is  challenging;  the  broad  side  of  pastel  or  charcoal  and  drawing  with  a  brush  would  allow   you  to  work  more  rapidly  but  you  would  need  to  use  a  larger  scale.  Lining  paper  is  useful  for  this  –  a  roll   is  quite  inexpensive  and  you  can  work  on  a  large  area  of  paper  using  your  upper  body,  arms  and  wrists,   to  exercise  gestural  marks.  Perhaps  not  practical  in  the  city  or  on  the  street,  but  you  could  ask  a  friend   or  family  to  walk  up  and  down  in  your  living  room,  or  even  just  to  capture  an  unfolding  pose  where  the   model  sits  on  the  floor  and  slowly  gets  up,  all  interesting  exercises  for  this  type  of  lining  paper  work.  If   you  use  recycled  lining  paper  you  will  find  this  doesn’t  not  yellow  as  much  as  the  standard  grade.

Three  Figure  Drawings:  there  are  weaknesses  in  all  three,  overall  I  find  this  group  of  drawing  less   exciting  as  quite  predictable  in  their  academic  poses.  Your  personal  voice  shows  much  more  in  the   portrait  section  and  figures  in  groups/  moving  figure  approaches.

Project  Energy  –  good  economic  use  of  brush  –  scale  this  up!  Essential  elements  drawing  shows  a   growing  ability  to  work  with  mass,  with  tone  and  flat  areas  of  paint  to  suggest  the  body.  This  is  worth   building  on.   Foreshortening:  feet  need  to  be  larger.

Basic  shapes  –  sensitive  integration  of  seated  figure  on  sofa  –  again  here  the  theme  of  figure  in   architectural  context  interior  or  exterior  to  think  about  for  part  5?

Quick  studies:  the  first  two  on  the  blog  show  that  you  are  struggling  with  foreshortening  but  in  the  end   you  nailed  it:  this  last  one  looks  good.
Cloth  studies  including  figures  draped  –  the  preliminary  cloth  studies  give  a  sense  of  texture  and  type   of  fabric.  You  maintain  this  in  your  two  draped  figure  drawings,  although  I  don’t  think  the  balance  is   quite  there  between  figure  and  drapery.  Above  quick  sketch  of  basic  shapes  would  lend  itself  towards   exploring  folded  garments  –  if  you  wanted  to  develop  and  apply  this  to  another  exercise.    These  days   we  don’t  portray  people  in  flowing  robes  or  men  in  togas,  so  perhaps  it  feels  strange  to  do  this  type  of   thing  when  applied  to  contemporary  art.  But  even  to  render  a  bulging  fold  in  a  T-­‐  shirt  convincingly  –  it   is  worth  thinking  about.    I  wonder  in  how  far  garments,  dress,  pattern  and  the  cocoon  function  of   clothing  could  become  a  potential  extension  to  project  5  if  focused  on  the  human  body  or  face?  Giving   it  a  new  contemporary  relevance?  (Veil/camouflage  themes  as  discussed  in  video  tutorial  -­‐  see  Emile   Vuillard  for  pattern  as  a  form  of  enveloping  the  figures,  with  reference  to  your  interest  in  Graham   Little’s  drawing  of  the  woman  with  the  cropped  head  –  the  way  the  patterns  becomes  an  independent   feature;  also  Little’s  use  of  the  dramatic  orange  garment  to  frame  the  head-­‐  almost  like  a  Tudor   garment!)


Reclining  figure  in  tone  –  successful  application  of  softer  drawing  media  onto  a  precoloured  ground.  It   is  a  slightly  unsettling  study,  psychologically  tense,  and  your  model  suggests  vulnerability.  The  legs  are   well  drawn,  foreshortened  correctly  and  expressively  handled  through  white  highlight.  Your  use  of  red   to  create  deeper  shadows  is  controversial  as  reds  come  forward  optically,  so  your  use  of  red  acts  anti-­‐ illusionistically.  For  this  tonal  handling  it  can  work  well  to  use  a  more  neutral  backing  colour  like  buff  or   grey-­‐  which  then  is  your  ‘ready-­‐made’  mid  tone,  using  charcoal  or  black  pastel  for  shadows  and  white   for  highlights.  You  probably  noticed  that  most  of  the  old  master  drawings  you  researched  area  on  buff   or  other  toned  papers  –  bleached  white  paper  was  rare  and  expensive.

Seated  figure  with  line:  you  showed  me  the  original  during  video  tutorial.  You  made  some  good   preparatory  studies  including  the  detail  of  the  hands.  Your  additional  use  of  photographs  here  as reference  material  is  not  detrimental  –  it  is  a  good  compromise  strategy  between  observation  and   photo  material.  You  are  inventive  in  the  use  different  types  of  marks  to  create  interest  in  negative   space  areas.  You  set  off  the  light  check  pattern  in  your  husband’s  shirt  against  a  more  deeply   structured  black  seat  (taking  on  here  the  square  frame  function  of  Little’s  collar  in  the  orange  drawing   you  referred  to).  You  refrained  from  the  common  approach  to  apply  a  pattern  all  over;  you  only  give   sparing  detail  of  texture  in  the  foreground  of  the  seat.  This  privileges  the  seated  form  of  the  person   and  the  shoes,  which  have  a  function  of  balancing  and  weighting  the  figure.  I  think  this  is  a  successful   outcome  –  the  best  (most  resolved  and  confident)  from  the  three  assignment  pieces.

Portrait  using  line  and  tone:  this  is  a  good  solution  to  the  task  set,  and  your  preparatory  work  makes   me  think  that  you  should  be  reversing  the  values  further  and  make  the  background  fully  black  through   intense  cross-­‐hatching  or  mark-­‐making  (see  George  Seurat’s  drawings  for  that).  Here  is  more  to  come  -­‐   you  should  push  the  wet  and  dry  media  application  further.  A  good  alternative  submission  to  this  piece   could  be  your  self-­‐portrait,  which  I  think  is  overall  the  finer  portrait  for  reasons  discussed  above  and   also  in  tutorial.


Demonstration  of  technical  and  Visual  Skills,  Demonstration  of  Creativity

Some  strong  work  here:  the  movement  studies  in  smaller  sketchbook  A  5,  which  capture  rapidity  and   motion  with  a  use  of  fast  drawing  broken  line;  these  could  be  scaled  up  as  discussed  with  larger  tools   and  larger  paper.  The  more  detailed  works  in  pencil,  in  particular  the  pages  with  noses,  ears,  eyes  –  are   quite  compelling  and  could  lead  to  new  outcomes  in  a  future  self-­‐generated  project.  (Facial  Features   project)


Context,  reflective  thinking,  critical  thinking,  analysis

You  visit  exhibitions  like  the  America  After  the  Fall  exhibition  and  manage  to  select  key  works  saying   something  personal  and  perceptive  in  a  few  lines.  For  example  an  observation  about  Hopper’s   composition  “where  the  light  from  the  building  leaks  out  reflecting  off  the  gas  pumps  at  this  quiet  but   welcoming  oasis.  The  lone  attendant  seems  an  almost  insignificant  part  of  the  scene.”  I  wonder   whether  this  painting  may  hold  a  clue  as  to  where  you  might  put  your  direction  for  final  part  5?  A  way   of  including  the  figure  into  a  landscape  scene?

Your  reflections  on  viewing  the  nude,  initially  in  response  to  John  Berger,  is  a  fluid  development  where   you  analyse  a  number  of  art  historical  examples  portraying  both  female  and  male  nudes.  This  could  be   the  gem  of  an  essay  (of  use  to  know  for  future  courses  and  your  consideration  to  study  for  degree).   You  return  to  reflect  on  ethical  considerations  when  drawing  others,  and  also  what  other  artist’s  self   examination  says  if  applied  to  your  own  practice.
Date     8th  April  2017