Tutor report 3

Student name

Eve Andrews

Student number

512408

Course/Module

Drawing Skills

Assignment number

3

Overall Comments

Thank you Eve for your third assignment; it is always a pleasure to look at your work, especially in the flesh, as I anticipate what I will find in the content, and each time now seems to affirm and consolidate a signature approach from you. There is a sense of your drawing having a leaning towards illustration, as well as animation perhaps, as your depiction of people has a suggestion that they could move from their ‘frozen frame’ and step across the page.

You are making clear observations and incorporating some different medium approaches, particularly pleasing is the freer work on coloured papers with ink, however be mindful of settling into any safe approach and keep pushing the boundaries of your drawing experience, or mediums used and of scales of work. Testing the limits of your present drawing outcomes may well reinforce your preference for certain mediums or approaches in your current practice, but also open up other possibilities. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It is good to see your actual drawings to get a full sense of the surface and scale of the works.

Feedback on assignment

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

Sketchbook walk

There is some varied mark making in sketch 1, with a more extensive range of tones and shapes in this opening piece. Sketch 3 has an interesting layout, with its high horizon line, larger foreground vegetation, with dark tones and shapes in the near matter.

360

You continue to give good impressions of the landscape observed here, with a sense of the energy and rapidness of your working on the spot. There are good tonal values being employed, where you create a strong block shape of trees; you have given the top line of the trees some visual interest in the subtle differences between the trees. ‘South View’ is more complex and somewhat unfinished, but this is a more multi-layered view which might require more time, or colour, to convey. In comparison, ‘West View’ has a complete feel and has the potential to be a revisited location for future studies, to depict the colours and tones of different seasons, times of day or weather; the high tree line makes for a pleasing compositional arrangement.

Clouds – This certainly is a challenging subject, working from a moving and everchanging substance; however, you focus well on the task, working on smaller parts or groups of clouds, not tackling too much at once, and produce some worthy outcomes. You explore the subject not only as a positive form, but also as negative space using the sky backdrop, whereas the single colour line approach shows you working to depict light, mid-tone and darker shadows on a cloud. Whilst they may feel somewhat abstract without the context of a surrounding landscape, these are good initial studies. There is a more vibrant colour use in the oil pastels study, and this is something you might continue, either as an ongoing sketchbook practice or in making some sky studies in themselves as images, perhaps with a small amount of landscape.

The least effective study is the oil pastel / graphite combination, in which the remaining white paper area is just too flat, having no shading at all to suggest three dimensional form.

Landscape

Roads are awkward spaces / areas to include well into drawings or paintings; they can occupy a large area of the picture format, unless some clever cropping is employed to reduce that area, and their colour and surface texture can become a desert of plainness in an otherwise interesting view. One might look for and maximize the variations in the surface colour and texture, to bring variety and visual interest, just as with a hedgerow; additionally, observing any changes between the near and far could be beneficial in steering the road area away from a single tone or colour surface.

The A4 study has some variety observed and conveyed in the tree shapes, foliage and hedgerows, and treating the distance with a softer tone is effective. Nonetheless, neither of these quite has the compositional dynamic that you have achieved in some of your sketchbook walk and 360 degree views; perhaps the road is too central, when it could be more off-centre.

Perspective

This section, especially the up close perspective views of a room or books, certainly was more of a struggle for you, although interestingly when you are facing a broader town view, you seem to observe and depict the perspective element more ably. Overall, in the nearer situations you do observe the degree of angles, just not acutely enough; commonly you place them more gently angled, when they need to be steeper. Further practice will improve this. Interestingly, in your book base page sketches you do complete some smaller, quite accurate studies incorporating some perspective views of books, tables and room views.

Trees

You bring some real variety in the responses you make to this subject, using different media, working more loosely and finding out some of the effects a coloured paper ground can make, rather than white. The blue and yellow ochre papers have a sort of Japanese or Chinese scroll quality in the drawing with ink; whilst the drawing approach is a little wild or unruly, this could be improved with further practice. I certainly think it’s something you could investigate more, working on the line and mark with the same focus and simplicity you give to the fine pen work. There are some mixed media combinations happening too, which again would benefit from some further development and possible, but not too much, refinement; that or work slightly larger, as some studies here feel a little restrained for space.

Additionally, there is some interesting compositional work occurring, such as in the group of trees, with part of a larger near tree arching across and framing the top of the view – this is a pleasing visual arrangement, where the foreground overlaps part of the distant.

The main drawing in oil pastel has a good intent and you achieve a larger piece of work with bolder colour and mark making; the tonal values of the greens remains quite high key, so the addition of some darker shadow colours would stretch this drawing and give some meatier tones for the lighter ones to work against. Darkened foliage would match the darker toned tree trunks and work more towards the light you were observing, as you comment in your blog.

Townscapes –

   You cope with the subject well, creating some confident observations from the chosen views, in which you include not only the buildings, but figures, cars and other items that give a pleasing flavour to the scene. There is line, perspective and tonal blocks in some places; you also create an ‘expressive’ response, which has an eye catching roof line. This may be a subject you return to again in the future, as there is the potential in your sketches here for further progression into more main or larger drawings.

Sketchbooks

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

In your sketchbook work you really have fun exploring and playing with your

drawn line, mark making and the surface on which you work; there is some

fundamental work going on here which already has your own stamp. How this

develops is another matter. Currently, there is a visual wit, a quirkiness and

observations being created, and whilst the figures lack some anatomical

accuracy, this is not what they are about, as they have lots of charm and

create a visual message all their own. The animals in the sketchbooks are

perhaps more anatomically precise, are amusing and captivating.

Techniques are being explored, with different mediums, collage techniques

and using various paper surfaces; continuing to push the boundaries of

what you have done so far and build on current practice

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context

The format of your blog has a clear appearance to it; there is a pleasing visual combination of the word processed font coupled with a ‘freehand’ style, such as the ‘check and log’ title.

You are forming plenty of reflective writing, making productive and worthwhile research on theoretical points, and importantly, then immediately applying that back into your subsequent practical experience. The research on Constable, Cozens and clouds is such a point.

It is good to see your reflections on exhibitions visited, alongside the visual content to support your writing; when discussing a preference for a particular artist or aspect of their work, try to break it down into what in particular inspires or interests you – their use of colour, tones, handling of materials, composition, approach to a subject matter?

Suggested reading/viewing

Context

For further pastel use on any subject matter, I would encourage you to look at the drawings of Degas; specifically, his mixture of colours and particular mark making, plus the base surface on which he works, are good examples to study.

For the application of colour and mark making, also consider Gustav Klimt’s landscapes – ‘Gustav Klimt Landscapes’, by Stephen Koja, publisher Prestel – is a worthwhile read with strong up close visuals. A contemporary practitioner in a similar but different vein is David Hockney, with his work from the 2004 onwards period of returning to his native Yorkshire to paint; the series of watercolours ‘Midsummer, East Yorkshire 2004’, plus the Woldgate Woods paintings and charcoal drawings, and other examples, such as ‘Early July Tunnel, 2006’. Looking at all of these would inform your experience of composition, colour, pattern, shape and larger scale of work.

Pointers for the next assignment

Push yourself and your drawing to new experiences; avoid any formulaic responses. I would encourage you to persist with oil pastels more, and try a larger scale of work; working larger, with chunkier drawing mediums, making the types of mark you have shown so far, will test your drawing vocabulary and take you towards different outcomes.

Continue to explore brush and ink, stick and ink, particularly on those coloured papers, marker pens especially chunkier ones, or chunky charcoal; some of these will take you away from the clarity of line you make with finer pencils or pens and broaden your experience of materials, techniques and skills. Some will have an element of randomness of mark ( brush or stick) or less control, but it would be good to see you go through this process more. Drawing on a more textured surface, like Not or Rough watercolour paper or a gesso primed surface will yield more interesting fragmented marks from the above materials, and be different to the smooth line and marks achieved so far.

Continue to work on coloured paper bases; this makes such a difference, particularly with oil or chalk pastels. White paper is so stark, flat and empty, especially under chalk pastels, whereas a coloured paper ( so many to chose from or make your own with a wash) can lend a cohesion, unity, warmth or contrast to the drawn colours on top. Push the scale of these papers slightly larger and to a more finished or complete quality.

I look forward to seeing the work in your next assignment.

Tutor name:

Heather Jolliffe

Date

27.7.14

Next assignment due

15.9.14

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