Tutor report 4

Student name

Eve Andrews

Student number



Drawing Skills

Assignment number


Overall Comments

Thank you Eve for your fourth and penultimate assignment. Whilst getting to grips with a more analytical study of the figure, you have certainly pushed the boundary of your experience to date with other mediums. Some of this takes risks and even merges on such looseness as to become more painterly, and at times messy; however, this is no bad thing, as when you push drawings to different ‘breaking points’, you can make discoveries. The most whole or positive outcomes are those works created using oil pastel, especially the self-portrait drawings, in which you handle a scale of line, mark making and definition with a clarity and deftness. The choice of colours you have used in the flesh area shadows are especially enjoyable to see.

I understand your aim is to go for the Painting/Creative Arts Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, and providing you commit yourself to the course, I suggest that you are likely to be successful in the assessment.

Feedback on assignment

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

Drawing Figures

Proportions Overall, you cope well with the limited time frame for drawing, capturing a jist of the shape or pose, though the commonest weak area is the scale of the hands to the figure or torso – too small. Hands are quite a size normally, the span covering about half a face, or the length going from chin to mid forehead, so some additional practice on this area would be beneficial to your observations of general proportions.

In the longer pose the hands are the weakest area, being too small in proportion to the body and head, and it is a pity that this drawing doesn’t include the whole upright leg, chair and foot. Nonetheless, this is a credible pose and a precise study with real clarity. The second pose here feels almost like someone else’s work, having far less surety in this ‘angle-on’ position; this requires more practice on working from such a viewpoint to convey this convincingly, so the perspective tips less.

Form The two pink wash drawings deal better with foreshortening than the previous sketches here, which just lack the accuracy of the depth or width of some limbs. The ten minutes ink and stick drawing makes good and appropriate use of hatching, both on the figure or clothing, but also as a contrasting backdrop. Sometimes the accuracy is lost in the speed of the short timed pose, but also you are achieving moments of eloquence, so there is a balance here as you find your way with the subject.

Gesture There is some variation in the quality of the outcomes here, with some showing you handling or managing the medium, some getting nearer to an accuracy of the pose or some still building on your knowledge of the human figure in this type of observation, of being analytical.

Structure A change of medium here, with the application of a green wash line with brush; whilst the head looks a little small in relation to the body, the line you make is expressive and liberating in comparison to pencil. In such poses, do aim to include the chair, as this is half of the pose, is fundamental and key to the shape the figure makes, and anchors the pose to the ground rather than it floating on the page.

The Clothed figure The initial studies here contain some reasonable record of your observations from the folded and draping fabric, although this could go a stage further and be more meaty toned, if drawn in charcoal and at a larger scale. This work then takes a more abstract turn in the blue wash studies, where I must confess, I do not see drapery over a sofa arm, but instead tree reflections over a lake. The jacket over a chair is similarly elusive, being more angular blocks of tone, than folds and dips of material; there is a different definition going on here. The 5 minute squares also emit pattern or mark making, rather than form, which you acknowledge; despite this, your drawing is extending beyond your previous range, and at this scale, and so rapidly, it is hard to depict folds with this medium. Charcoal would be a more productive medium here.

Then, when you actually depict the figure ‘wrapped’ in drapery, in this dressing gown, you convey it; you draw the curving and cascading lines of the material around and over the body. The oil pastel line has a pleasing quality in this study, and the subsequent two blues line and brush makes a good effect; it is a pity the feet get cropped off.

The idea of the frottage and ink drawing combination is good in principal; refining the frottage to create a scale of texture mark proportionate with the figure would be advantageous, as would tearing the frottage to fit the body shape more closely. The geometric sharp edges are less harmonious with the figure and fabric, but this could easily be refined with practice.

The Moving Figure You have applied the coloured pencil well here, using it in a bold and energetic manner, giving the line depicting the body a presence. Of the numerous finer ink sketches, the person working at a laptop has been captured with a real intent and focus in the eyes, though sadly the proportion of the hand and fingers is small again. The ‘man in the art gallery’ is a very specific, clean and clear drawing, with attention to the facial details, such as stubble; hands too small again here. Do make them bigger; practice perhaps on this area alone might help. The sketch on the bus, including a part ‘self-portrait’ of your knees and hand holding the sketchbook is both observational and humorous; it’s a quirky take on viewing, including a glimpse of you – you could extend this to your cast shadow, your feet, a reflection, and so on.

Self Portrait

The quick sketches all say something about you, whilst being a bit different to each other too, which is to be expected; the neck shape studies are correct, by the way. In the graphite study you show yourself with a focus at the mouth as you draw, and give the lines and marks a purpose, such as in the hatching on the face and neck, or on the hair. An empathetic study. The A3 pastel study is certainly a move in a different direction again; your use of colour makes a real statement here, especially placing the cerulean blue in the flesh shadows. This is a vibrant, fresh approach to the self-portrait, with a strong portrayal of the features. Good work. Meanwhile, the subsequent pink coloured pencil piece has the look of someone else.

The research you make on Degas’ self-portrait (an example that contains beautiful atmosphere, lighting, colouring and tones) obviously opens up the thoughts of other possibilities, as you then embark on a set of oil pastel studies that have a new potential. You make good use of the medium, very fresh and clear use of the colours chosen and an eloquent use of lost and found edges between yourself and the background; by not defining everything, including yourself, with ‘outlines’ this brings a different quality to the drawing. Most enjoyable.

Memory portrait – the collaged base with sections of features has an unusual

layout, almost with a feel of cubism about it; though disjointed, and possibly

not your intention, does have something about it. Overall, you seem to have a

strong visual memory, imbuing your drawings, even from memory, with a

certain specific.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Continue to use this space to record and be as experimental as possible; try

out unfamiliar mediums or surfaces here, sticking in other pages to add


Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays


The learning blog continues to be a clear pathway through your work, with

some moments of good research; to extend the work on the figure you could

consider looking at the National Portrait Gallery, the Jerwood Drawing

competition or the Bulldog Bursary competition entries- the latter devoted to

young portrait painters.

Suggested reading/viewing

Context In terms of the final assignment, and your choice of ‘mark making’, I consider there is much to look at and learn from in Van Gogh’s drawings, Auerbach’s paintings and Hockney’s charcoal drawings of the latter years.

However, in addition, the following examples might be helpful – Antony Caro ‘Seated Figure’ 1983, Jeffery Camp ‘St James Park’ 1994, Olwyn Bowey ‘Susie’ 2007, Christopher le Brun, Bill Jacklin ‘Road With Birds’ 2012, David Tindle ‘Still Life with Apple’ 1996, and Professor Michael Sandle ‘The Foyle Oak’ 2012. These have a diversity of approach and outcome to the aspects of mark making and tone.

Pointers for the next assignment

Keep pushing and experimenting with other unknown or unfamiliar mediums, as the oil pastel work here, and ink and brush, which has certainly expanded your range of experience. Whilst some approaches may yield less resolved results, the experience of this process in itself can bring newfound observations or thoughts you can apply into your subsequent work.

When putting a wash over a printed text base, consider not covering the whole area, but work it more to fit the shape or linear drawing of the subject you develop on it; breaking up the wash, allowing some text to show, perhaps as a cast shadow to the main form, will bring a different dynamic to this mixing of media, and the way the subject ‘sits’ on that surface.

Try out some different drawing surfaces, such as textured paper, recycled card or paper, corrugated card, gesso primed surfaces to add texture; all of these will alter the way drawn medium is taken and therefore the type of mark or tone achievable.

Try to take the oil pastel work further, as this was an interesting development here, with which you seem to have a natural use of application and expression.

I look forward to seeing the work for your final assignment.

Tutor name:

Heather Jolliffe



Next assignment due



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