Categoría: ASSIGNMENT 3

Part 3 Tutor Feedback

Yesterday I had a Google Hangout with my tutor Clare Wilson. It was an experience I feel should be carried out more frequently throughout the courses – As it can certainly build a better rappor with the OCA Team and help build up confidence in your work, or give quick guiding help to those who need it.  

I was pleased that my tutor confirmed that I was making good progress – this is a copy of her report with my comments added:

Overall Comments
It was good to talk to you today via google hangout. I have given you a summary of the
main feedback points.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of
Confident, fluid studies in a range of media. The quicker ones work best.
360º Studies
Pencil studies – sensitive and well balanced compositionally. Tonal perspective well
rendered. confident, fluid marks.
Pen – we careful to avoid making severe contrasts as these can look a little contrived.
Developing your studies
Engaging, well considered composition – the strongest is the pencil drawing (good
combination of decisive linear detail and softer sense of movement).
Foreground, middle ground, background.
Interesting to see the development of your ideas – the first study is delicately rendered
in terms of the mark making and slightly animated line. I can understand your
frustrations in terms of perspective but in correcting this, the second and third attempts
lose some of the quality of line and are overworked in comparison.
You are resolving this in the final watercolour study. Here you are achieving depth
while also allowing the medium to inform the results without overworking.
This is developed further with your ariel perspective piece of a similar scene. The
indian ink piece is beautiful and the watercolour has luminosity and the right amount of

I feel confident using both indian ink and watercolour, in addition to charcoal – there is a need to take this strength further and push myself to the limits using these mediums. I was pleased that my tutor recognised a continued improvement in my mark making and confident use of different media. 

Townscape studies
Quick sketches have energy. Final piece quite well executed though the central placing
of the sign lets composition down a little – though it’s shadow does work well. Placing it
further to one side might have created more effective balance while retaining sense of
Townscape using line
Again, an energetic use of mark making. Particularly like the square/tower block pencil
Charcoal and soft pencil study of moving figures is well executed with sense of
movement. There are inaccuracies – the arms of the figures don’t quiet look in
proportion but overall it still works because of the way you have suggested movement.

I enjoyed working on these pieces and was pleased with the comments made. I wish to take the movement of people in the towncentre further in Part 4.

Limited palette study
Good tonal range and some delicate linear detail. Becoming overworked in places –
lower section is a little heavy. Works better where you use the edge of the pastel and
break the line up a little. Preliminary collage pieces have potential but try allowing more
space/inactivity to inform the results. Looks a little dense in places but worth pursuing
as a process/technique.
Final piece
Of the two preliminary pieces – the second is the strongest, with greater tonal contrast
and a more effective use of media. The foreground of the first is a little too hazy and
lacking definition. Slightly overworked.
The final piece has potential in terms of process and technique – however, the different
elements are getting lost because of a lack of definition and contrast. I can understand
you were wanting to retain the fluidity the materials were providing – and the sense of
transparency but this could have been emphasised with more contrast. For instance,
had you made the road much darker, with shadows, this would have allowed the
vehicles to stand out more. Compositionally, it is well balanced and the perspective is
accurate. It would be good to see you try making another piece with these materials
but try to build up a little more tonal contrast to add more depth.

There was a great deal of experimenting/testing out included in the work leading up to the final piece – the comments made were fair and encourage me to take these techniques further.

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
Examples on blog suggest you work freely and quickly in your sketchbook. Watercolour
studies are strong. Remember to try and keep this fluidity own the more finished

I have now included a Sketchbook section to my blog and intend to use it to improve my use of sketchbooks and include them in my workflow.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Some improvement – good to see you looked at some of the artists I suggested and
your reflections are honest. Also good you are using the research more to inform your
own experiments. Resist adding to much biographical information and keep building on
the level of reflection.

I will include details and thoughts from my research in the learning log as a part of my workflow.

Suggested reading/viewing
Figure – Look at Jenny Saville who creates large, fleshy oil painting of the nude – she
also does interesting studies in pencil and charcoal. Egon Schiele made beautifully
angular and haunting images. Paula Rego’s pastel drawing are worth looking at for
their sinister narrative. A dark undercurrent can also be found in the work of Ana Maria
Pacheco and Chantal Joffe.

Paula Rego, Ana Maria Pacheco and Chantal Joffe are new artists I will check out and use in Part 4 

Pointers for the next assignment
Sketching the figure in motion with an energetic line will increase you confidence in
responding to the human form when you need to work on more careful studies.
Continue to develop your understanding of tone
Avoid overworking – allow areas of space to inform the results.
Make quick and slow drawings – keep looking

Assignment 3 – Outdoor scene

Assignment 3 – Outdoor scene

I chose a scene that I pass everyday after work on my way home.  The outdoor scene is one of the traffic light junction in front of the town’s local football stadium. A spot that I also chose for a previous exercise.

I tried various approaches from photos and also from quick pencil sketches made from those photos – one such sketch is featured above.

I made two initial wide angle style drawings using pastels and indian ink on a prepared surface of gessoed newspaper print on mixed media paper – the surface worked well for both sketches and I liked the effect of the print showing through:

_20171226_124921_20171226_135813 I tried drawing these images on a larger scale but they did not work for me – one drawing I made in pencil was ok but not in my opinion of sufficient substance to put forward as my final drawing:


I therefore took a step back and looked again at my sketches – and also my interest in John Virtue and Robert Birmelin.

I needed to move in closer and find a context for the drawing – I have been particularly attracted to cross roads and traffic lights for a while and also find intrusive the very large promotional signs – that much of the time are left blank! The movement also called for something extra and I immediately thought of the use of transparency and overlap – hence Robert Birmelin – that came from my studying of Margaret Davison’s book on Contemporary Drawing.

There was then an opportunity to put all this together – I picked the scene drawn in pencil in the featured image above as the starting point and used Indian Ink and fineliner pens/brushes on Duralar .004 Wet Media Film:


The scene incorporates many elements – transparency, angular perspective, line and wash, trees, stationary and moving objects.  I used the rule of thirds to help me in the composition.

In relating some of the issues raised in Margaret Davison’s book, I would comment as follows:

Relation between mark and surface – there exists an interesting interplay between the ink and the surface which differs in its behaviour when using different methods of mark making such as brush pen, fineliner and brush/ink wash. I was also able to scratch and rub the surface in places to include small highlights.

Space and composition – The space is roughly broken up into three sections, the white sky, the busy middle distance and the heavier darker foregound. As commented on before I used the rule of thirds as my compositional guide and included a detailed traffic light and heavily toned foreground, a bus and small cars in the middleground and vanishing point/blank sky as the backrgound.

Scale – Initially I tried to meet the brief outline of an A1/A2 size paper but it did not suit me nor this drawing.  The actual size is 35 x 25cm. With this size drawing there is a need for the viewer to look at the overall image and then inspect closer the detail such as the small cars to the left and the fading building vanishing away to the right.

Intentionality/Context – I achieved what I set out to achieve and opened the boundaries in my mark making and use of different media/support. Like watercolour there was an element of accident in the marks when dry which was experimented upon briefly before (see previous exercises).

The bus driving through the heavily painted part – seemingly triumphant – crossing in front of the signage – breaking their support posts perhaps and the blank signs saying nothing  – the scene is without people, nobody to read the blank signs.