Categoría: Part 2

Assignment 2 Feedback

Assignment 2 Feedback

Reflection on formative feedback – Part 2

You have produced an interesting and varied range of project exercises that
demonstrate a confident handing of a range of media. Most of these studies work better than your final piece. Your sketchbook and learning log need to be developed further to support and enhance your progress…..

……I have had to be quite negative about your final piece but there is enough evidence elsewhere in this assignment, that you are developing good drawing skills and a more confident handling of media. Keep building on this and develop a greater awareness of tonal values.

The feedback I received on Part 2 was interesting, encouraging and the basis for more work ahead.

Positive comments and encouragements included:

“Still life using line….the charcoal study of the vase of flowers and the Raoul Dufy inspired piece….have an energy and sense of movement through variation of mark making and fluidity. For the charcoal piece you are exploring the qualities of the medium and combining direct, expressive marks with more delicate areas. Similar techniques are being employed for the ink study”

“Still life in tone. Your still life using pastel is vibrant and on the whole you have handled the media well, keeping the colour clean and intense…..It would be good to see you try and retain the vibrancy of colour but be more mindful of tonal contrasts”

“Mixed Media.  Aspects of this study work very well – the eggs and lemons in the blue basket are well rendered with a convincing sense of surface texture and confident handling of mixed media. The two lemons in the foreground are also very sensitively executed, again with a subtle surface texture achieved through carefully combining media. There is no overworking here

“Monochrome……There is potential here and I do like the area of repeated linear
detail behind the eggs …..I think your challenge might be to combine your interest in materials and mark making with more rigorous observational drawing skills – making more quick sketches and really looking at the subject”

“Material differences. Your study of the living room does work quite well in terms of composition and where you use colour it has an intensity that almost appears to glow. This is emphasised further by the contrasting black pen marks”

I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the course especially the still lifes and experimented with media that I had never previously used or used very little, so I was pleased with the above comments. I have highlighted (in bold) the strengths that I must enhance further by more experimentation/practice in the following exercises and in my sketchbooks. One very important point which was stated in the mixed media study was that I had not overworked the piece – whereas I personally thought I had gone too far! There is always a very fine line with overworking and sometimes it is personal taste, but a general theme throughout the feedback was a reliance on line and a general lack of tonal contrast (see negative feedback below) – for me it may also be a fear of overworking!

Negative feedback and improvements required:

“Still life using line…Instead of over emphasising the outline with black, try varying the tone more to include more darker shades of colour

“Still life in tone…..The overall effect is rather decorative, especially as the effect of the flowers against the background becomes almost like a flat pattern, due to the tones being so close

“Monochrome…… More careful observation would have helped you describe the form – the bowl doesn’t look quite accurate and again, there is a lack of shadow at it’s base”

“Material differences….outlines should not not be relied upon too much. There can be a tendency to get a little bit lazy with mark making when using pen because it gives such an immediately satisfying quality of line. For instance, the lines around the sofa or those used to describe the curtains – they are quite fluid and expressive but at the same time, they do sit on the surface a little. Like I say, overall this is quite a good drawing but I am mentioning outline again, not because I want you to stop using it but because I don’t want it to be used at the expense of tone where that would be more effective. This is an interesting area for you to work with as you continue – exploring tonal variation rather than containing/describing objects with outline”

“Final piece. I have to say this is probably the least successful drawing that you have produced for this assignment……Overall, this drawing lacks coherence and depth due to a very limited tonal range and a lot of slightly fussy detail that has not been rendered with the sensitivity you have demonstrated in previous studies. It is a very complicated arrangement and you have tried to describe the different aspects with a range of media – this has led to some overworking. Oil pastel can be quite crude and difficult to manipulate, particularly on this scale and with this amount of detail.
A lack of definition and contrast means that it is actually slightly confusing and difficult to read…..It is important to remember to keep looking at your subject and notice all the subtleties without taking anything for granted. If you want to make another study of this arrangement, I suggest you just look at a section of it and crop it, make a larger piece of work in pencil, ink or watercolour. Keep the colour vibrant and remember tonal contrast”

After finishing Assignment 2, I realised that working from a poorly lit photograph (no excuse as I have previously studied photography to NVQ4 level!!) and working directly from a computer screen to paper in the evening in my study was not a good method of working. In looking at the arrangement first hand with my own eyes it was clear that the lighting needed to be improved and direct sketches made to use on the final piece. I had also decided on a composition without fully exploring the potential of the subject/s being included – an element that had already been studied during the previous exercises! It is therefore important to note that a successful outcome relies on a considered combination of many elements – subject matter/context, feeling/mood, tonal contrast (well lit subject), expressive use of line, texture, composition, appropriate use of colour, among other considerations…..very much like conducting an orchestra but playing all the instruments at the same time solo! This requires more concentration, practice, experimentation and commitment.

Rework of Assignment 2

An important message from within the feedback was the importance of tonal contrast, so I referred to the section on tonal scales in Experimental Drawing and practiced a little before reworking the assignment:

 

I needed to think more on composition and tonal contrast, and also about the lighting of the subject and if using a photo to work from – to use a good quality print.

The following two pieces were completed from good quality photos taken with good directional lighting – the first in charcoal working from a dark tone and erasing to find the lighter tones, then finally recovering the very dark tones.  The composition was a close crop of two of the bears in the original study.

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Whilst this drawing included a full range of tones, the drawing is flat because I studied the tones and not form!

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In this drawing I used colour and achieved a greater sense of depth and form using tone. I started by building up the tones first and then added the lines. I finished by achieving  a greater range of tone using bold ink for the hats and shadows and then increased the tonal range of reds and yellows. This was a much more succesful drawing but my ink mark making was a little restrained due to my fear of making a mistake on top of my tonal background! I still have a lot of practicing ahead to gain more confidence in using a full range of tones together with expressive mark making.

Sketchbooks and learning log

These are major areas for me to improve particularly the use of sketchbooks in general exploration/experimentation of media and compositional studies.  I need to use the sketchbook to develop an idea to a final piece – clearly showing my inspiration and thought processes.

Critical review of artists and art should include  digging deeper into my own thoughts and reflections…..and to ensure that my written research also investigates different ideas and processes employed by a wide range of artists.

Suggested reading/viewing

“Look at the drawings, etchings and watercolours of contemporary painter George
Shaw. He is more famous for his paintings in enamel but his monochrome works depict an eerie sense of alienation within the landscape.

Also look at the variety of mark making in the abstract drawings by Julie Mehretu and
the angular and expressive quality of line in the work of Egon Schiele. Claude Heath
makes drawings that have an active, energetic quality that might inspire you to explore a more animated approach.”

 

 

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Part 2 Intimacy

Part 2 Intimacy

Assignment 2 – Still life

During the work making sketches around my home I noticed a particular subject that I wanted to explore – in our lounge dresser we have a collection of souvenirs/presents from around the world – China, Russia, England, Spain and Chile.

I was also interested in using the idea of a large group of objects as the subject – similar to some of the tables of objects painted by John Bratby – see featured image above (John Bratby. Still life with chip frier, 1954 – detail).

I also wanted to use bold colours – so I explored the use of oil pastel blended/worked with white spirit, and incorporate soft pencil (and line work) also blended with white spirit – to demonstrate use of colour in drawing, accurate and expressive depiction of form, and a range of mark making with contrasts in line, tone, texture and form.

I took many photos of the subject at different angles and because this drawing would be made over several days, I decided to work from photos displayed on my large computer screen – this also meant that I could work at any time of day. The initial exploration/experimentation worked well and I already had an idea of what I wanted in respect of composition…

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I then laid out the initial drawing using a 6B pencil and whitespirit…

Then colour was added using oil pastel/6Bpencil…

When I reach what I felt was enough colour, I then reworked the lines and added deeper shadows.

My final drawing….

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Souvenirs and presents. Oil pastel and pencil on A2 250g mixed media paper.

Reflection:

Assignment 2

The use of colour in drawing: During the course of Part 2 and in particular in this final drawing, I have used colour to render form, to improve depth and to represent accurately the objects drawn.

The most appropriate medium for the subject: In this assignment I have experimented with pencil and oil pastel blended with white spirit – something very new to me. I wanted bold colours in this drawing and I believe that I have achieved this aim. The paper chosen worked well and helped produce textural effects as in the background.

Composition and context: The objects are all housed in a dining room dresser which has large double doors. I wanted to represent both sides of the cupboard using views 90 deg apart. My daughter was a little puzzled by the white space in the middle – which could be seen as strange – however it was intentional. The use of repeated colours and more door showing on the left helped to balance the composition.  The objects were not moved at all and were drawn as seen.

The objects are a mixture of sentimental personal items, presents from relatives and souvenirs from my travels abroad.

Mark making and contrasts in line and tone: I have used various mark making techniques in this drawing – including sgrafitti, brushwork in the background, textural marks with oil pastel and line/cross-hatching with pencil, also a combination of brush and line to manipulate the pencil marks in the guardsman’s busby.

Accurate and expressive depiction of form: Within the constraints of the still life subject chosen, I beleive I have achieved an accurate and expressive depiction of form.

Experimentation with idea, material and method: This was certainly a departure from the norm for me and as a method it reminds me of a childrens book illustration (with the teddies) – the material and method was an experimentation which I believe worked except for the fact that the use of a pencil drawing overlaid with bright oil pastel in places became a little muddied.

Part 2 – Intimacy

Part 2 of this course has been an exciting journey exploring many different types of media both wet and dry, and has given me many ideas to use in future work.  I have tried to incorporate influences from contemporary artists as well as find my own application of their styles/working methods.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills:  My technical and visual skills are improving, but this is held back by the lack of time to practice daily. I work on the course most evenings and more intensely at weekends – family commitments allowing. Part 2 gave me the opportunities to explore subjects that I enjoy – in particular flowers – and use a range of potentially very expressive media that I have previously not used.

Quality of outcome:  I was particularly pleased with my still life using pastel, the monochrome study of eggs laid on newspaper, and interior sketches/final interior drawing. They have I believe shown a huge improvement in the quality of my work and demonstrate that I have the ability to achieve a positive/creative outcome to the exercises through creative experimentation/thought processes.

Demonstration of creativity: Whilst I have during this part of the course been creative in use of materials and line work – I have much to learn and still a huge amount to explore further. I will continue to explore and experiment – in particular with some of the methods used by John Piper, Frank Auerbach, William Kentridge, Raoul Dufy and Joan Mitchell.

Context reflection: I need to work on this issue more in the following parts of the course. I have read several books during Part 1 & 2 (this is something I need to reflect on), visited many art galleries and carried out a limited amount of research.  I need to include these activities more in the thought processes, methods and preparation of my future work.

 

Part 2 Intimacy

Project 3 – At home (Research Point)

Find contemporary artists who focus on domestic interiors and analyse their choice of content, medium, format, etc. Consider how their work reflects its context in terms of era, fashion, mood, current issues, and so on.

Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940)

This is an artist I wish to study more – I love his complex, tranquil, intimate interiors.

Edouard Vuillard drew and painted many interiors during the course of his career. Many of his drawings include a window – almost certainly for the effect created by strong sunlight entering the room as in the pastel drawing (above) – As well as a single or indeed multiple light source for the interior. I deeply admire his interior painting of people reading, taking breakfast (not a mobile phone or even a TV in sight!) – as in the oil painting below:

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Artists mother taking breakfast

In each of the rooms we are allowed to share in all of the intimate details of his home and his mother looking out of the window, eating breakfast etc.

In the painting of his mother taking breakfast, the busy table is balanced by the very decorative wallpaper, the open door/dresser and the wallpaper are counterbalanced spaces. The artist has used a limited palette to mantain harmony which has resulted in a very tranquil, quiet space. The subject is looking down at the table aparrently unaware of the viewer. A wonderful painting.

John Bratby (1905-1992)

Bratby 1
An image of interior with fireplace and window at Greenwich
bratby 2
Interior with Monopoly board

These contemporary paintings by the British painter, John Bratby are busy and full of life – crowded spaces with recognisable items such as a woodburner, open fireplace, childs highchair and floral curtains. These rooms are on display with the viewer given a ‘circle’ seat from which to view the scene. The viewer is invited to see very nearly the whole room with all its clutter – the upper image displays living room, dining table, bed and what looks like a cooker in the background, whilst the lower painting shows us just the kitchen/diner with a person playing monopoly in the nude (was it a very hot day?)

Both paintings have used many triangles in the composition, along with strategically placed chairs.

Alberto Giacometti (1909-1966)

During the course of my studies so far, I have joined many other students wondering what defines a painting and what defines a drawing – Giacometti has very much blurred the answers to that question.

I will explore and investigate further Giacometti`s work in the next part of the course and in Part 4.

Studying the two images above it is interesting to note that in the LH drawing Giacometti uses darker lines in the foreground and lighter lines in the background to create depth, also the diagonal emphrasis of the table and other object to the front RHS draws the viewer into the picture, whilst in the RH painting darker tones are used to represent background areas with lighter areas in the foreground. Again there are diagonals in the placing of the stools and door frame/table legs.

Part 2 Intimacy

Project 3 – At Home

Exercise 1 Quick sketches around the house

This was an enjoyable exercise but I found that I was limited to the lounge and bedroom of my house due to the other areas uninteresting or too tight a space to draw in.

I used a 2mm permanent black artist marker pen which I found reasonably expressive and meant that I had to keep all the marks without erasing.  I made the sketches A2 size on Daler Rowney smooth cartridge paper 150g.

Bedroom…

I then moved on to the lounge…

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I found the lounge much more interesting, the other two corners included a door to the kitchen and a fairly blank corner. So remaining with the second image, I experimented with a little colour.

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Exercise 2 Composition – an interior

I then looked at my compositions and tried various cropped portrait formats of the colour image above…

 

I liked the LH crop best and my use of a large 8mm permanent marker – both sketches were A2 size on smooth cartridge paper.

I also made a colour copy of this crop…

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I then decided that I had not quite followed the brief correctly and made a few more sketches moving around a little – also experimenting with more media – this time childrens ‘Tempera’ paints…

Chosen image to carry forward….

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More dramatic foreshortening perspective – more potential

Exercise 3 Material Differences

After choosing my composition, I decided to move ahead using the children’s tempera paint as a background, black expressive marker pen outlines/deep shadows etc, finishing with 6B pencil and soft pastel highlights.  Nearly all of the sketches were made in the evening with only interior wall lighting – which made a cosy intimate environment (but a difficult lighting to actually work in).

Final drawing…

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The final drawing was executed on A2 smooth cartridge paper 150g. I was extremely pleased with the outcome and the combination of materials. On occasions I was too loose with my lines but on the whole I was able to combine expressive mark making with good tonal rendition.  The white spaces help to keep the viewers eye moving around the image whilst the central focal point is balanced by the ornaments on the table and the white spaces – lamp, cushions and space to the right of the table (the RH vase should have been a little more to the right). Once again (I made a similar mistake in Assignment 1) the floor lines were badly executed and I did not follow the closed in perspective chosen for other elements in the drawing – however black marker pen is impossible to remove!

I sat in front of the drawing for quite a long time and made several final observations/adjustments for instance: reflections in the TV, reflections on the table, deeper shadows in pen and pencil, highlights in yellow soft pastel.