Tutor Feedback – Assignment 5

7 - Playing with Phone A3

Overall Comments

It is never easy to change tutor at assignment 5 but this is the situation that we find ourselves in. The task has fallen to me to give you feedback on what you have produced for assignment 5. You will have to bear with me as I have not seen anything of what you have done until this point.

Due to my tutor not being available until further notice because of family matters I was contacted and asked whether I would need a replacement tutor. So close to the end of my first course I thought it was important to find a replacement tutor. There was an extreme contrast between my previous tutor feedback’s which can be viewed below and this one.

Assignment 1, Assignment 2, Assignment 3, Assignment 4

Feedback on assignment 5

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

I see that you have chosen Option 4, the figure. Students can often find it difficult when working from the figure mainly due to preconceptions as to what a drawing should look like and particularly a work made from the figure.

For the most part the quickly made drawings in the quick sketches work are weak; you have generalised far too much instead of drawing what you have seen. This has resulted in some poor understanding of proportion and  how bodies engage with the space around them. The interpretation of the hands and feet in this series of work needs thinking about. It is important to make changes as you draw correcting  and changing to get the whole operating cohesively. Writing on a drawing what is wrong with it or what needs to be done to it will not benefit you at this stage. Change the drawing!

Drawing 8 - Standing Up - 3B on A3
Quick Studies
Drawing 29 - Kneeling 3B Sketchbook
Quick Studies

I agree that some of these quick studies were weak, out of proportion etc and said so in the learning log. Others were strong with a 100% resemblance and correct proportions. What needs to be realised here is that I am drawing figures of a ‘different race’, i.e. If I was drawing Japanese models, legs would be shorter. I made notes on drawings before making a fresh, I was drawing quick and so I thought this was a better approach than spending so long editing the drawing. These notes helped me to capture my thoughts at the time.

Varying  the speed that you draw can often open up new ways of seeing as can holding your drawing implements differently or using your ‘wrong’ hand. Quickly executed drawings can be good and bad. Drawings made more slowly likewise. It is the intent and nature of the outcome in reference to what your subject is and the quality of the drawing itself that matters.

Now interestingly the batch of ‘more gesture’ drawings mostly made in pencil are really well seen and interpreted for the most part; working quickly has worked for you here! The works from the female model are full of life and movement; the proportions are very believable as is the weight distribution through the figure and the stances in general. Some of the male studies demonstrate some good understanding of foreshortening through some quite difficult poses.

For me here you have investigated as you have been drawing and it has allowed you to interpret the figure much more successfully through the use of the media itself. This approach has negated some of the repeated faults that your work can have i.e. too large heads and poorly articulated extremities. When an approach is working it is important to capitalise on it and build on both the methods and the look of the outcomes

My idea of a gesture drawing and a quick study are two different things. For me a quick study is a quick study in the style of my ‘would be’ finished piece, if he had looked at the previous assignment he would have seen the quick studies were closer to the way I finish a drawing. However, the ‘more gesture’ drawings were more satisfying and so maybe I am looking in the wrong place to find myself.

It is imperative that you look hard at all times at your subject; look draw, alter, draw again, change, look, you need to build up a dialogue between yourself, the subject and the particular medium that you are using. Different media require different approaches as do different subjects. It is good to build your drawings in this way.

You included lots of work which in itself is fine, however, it is very important to us some objective discernment both as you are working and as you look at a completed body of work. Interestingly the drawing in line of the ‘woman playing with her phone’ is the most successful of this group of works. The proportions are fine and come together and form a believable figure in action. You have this marked as ‘out of proportion’, it isn’t! This tells me you are not seeing things clearly enough as you look; look at this drawing closely and try to recognise how you have articulated the figure in space; how well the head sits; how you have changed sizes of  parts of the body as they recede (foreshortening in other words). You have been looking here and not generalising. The shaded version of this pose is not as successful as the line version; it is stiff and lifeless by comparison. I will talk more about discernment later in the report.

6 - Playing with Phone - Out of Proportion
Playing with Phone – Out of Proportion
7 - Playing with Phone A3
Playing with Phone A3

I have to disagree here, this drawing was from a photo as I didn’t have time to do a life drawing in this pose. My girlfriend is only 5 foot and the second drawing is ‘spot on’. I like the first drawing in just line but it is as I said out of proportion.

The tonal studies revert back to generalisation for the most part; you are forgetting to ‘look’ here and are trying far too hard to make a picture instead of investigating your subject. As a result proportions are out again; heads too big, feet and hands and legs too small. Some of the drawings are somewhat kitsch also which is a look you should avoid at this stage in your development.

I submitted drawings here that others would have left out, mainly because the folders I have submitted digitally from my computer contains everything. Below is a photo of a very spontaneous easel drawing that was neither planned out or marked. It shouldn’t have been submitted but it was and as since been omitted from my learning log. However, there are positive drawings in this exercise, that were not generalised, were not drawn quick and were a result of looking. The tutor has nothing positive to say about any of these and that’s annoying. The ‘kitsch’ he talks of is a result of depicting tone using colour, the results were spontaneous not planned.

 

Tonal Study Nude in Monotone
Drawing that shouldn’t have been submitted
Large Tonal Drawing in Colour Pastel
A2 Tonal Drawing in Pastel Pencil on Ingres

I will be reproducing this in charcoal pencil.

Drawing with Angled Easel
Drawing with Angled Easel
Tonal Study Nude with White Pastel
Tonal Study with White Pastel
Tonal Portrait in Pastel
Angel in Tone

The work that you did for the assignment piece itself is actually much better. The understanding of proportion is better and the use of tone is quite successful also. The ‘looking at the door handle’ in water soluble pencil looks to be working better than some others as does the more expressive version in watercolour pencil which you have marked ‘Sad Attempt’. The expression that this study has could be pushed even further.

10 - Sad attempt in watercolour pencil
Sad attempt in watercolour pencil

The tutor and I obviously have different tastes, styles and understanding of what I was trying to do in this assignment, the above drawing was not it.

The larger drawing is a reasonable resolution on what you were trying to do. The sense of isolation within the figure is present and the pose supports the idea also. The relationship of the figure to the background maybe needs some more attention to get the areas of the drawing reacting together more.

Maybe the figure looking at the door handle would be sufficient as a concept to carry both the pose and idea. The pastel one maybe over done.

It is always good practice to work on more than one version of assignment pieces; this will give you much more scope to select when the time comes and it will also help you explore your ideas and methods more also. Remember this for the future.

I wasn’t trying to create a sense of isolation within the figure, I was trying to create a feeling of anxiety and fear, which I think the oil pastel, ‘over done’ drawing did well. The larger drawing in Gouache, watercolour and watercolour pencil was a second version of the assignment piece and if I preferred it to the oil pastel would have been submitted as such.

Sketchbooks

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

I presume that you have been keeping sketchbooks through out the course. The more investigative the more useful they will be. Bear this in mind for the future.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context

The blog is far too descriptive. You need much more critical comment on what you look at and indeed more of an in-depth comment on your practice and methods. Say more about why more often rather than how. More comparative statements about the quality of your work and how you think that you could improve it. It needs to be less descriptive and more of an analytical tool that you can use in your practice in a real sense.

This should have been pointed out to me at an earlier stage instead of getting pats on the back, is it too late to change?

Generally a learning log/Blog should contain objective and comparative comments on your own work and development. Comments on work of other artists relevant to what you are doing. Evidence of art you have seen, in the flesh in books or on the web – with images, annotated where necessary. The log should also contain the set theoretical studies from the course and your tutor reports.

Suggested reading/viewing

Context

Look at drawn figure work by Manet and Cezanne to see how they use their media fluidly and openly, Seurat’s drawings are good examples of inventive use of tone. Look at Degas for his use of pastel and inventive composition and Van Gogh for his use of mark making and line. Picasso and Matisse have both made exhaustive drawings in line  which would be beneficial to see as would some of Rodin’s work from the figure in line also.

Other

Discernment is going to be very important for you as you select for your assessment submission. You will have to do this as I can see that you have a lot of examples of work some of course more successful than others. You need to pick out the more successful work.

Some of the work throughout a all five assignments will not be quite as successful as others so you will need to select well. Look through all your reports to help you select. Spread all your work out in front of you and remove the less successful ones until you have a coherent group which satisfies the submission criteria. Put the best drawings in as the assignment pieces i.e. re designate them if you need to. Pick out your most successful pieces as support work also. You will find the submission criteria in your course book and check out the OCA website for tips on submission. You need the right balance; not to much but not too little either. Present your work in its best light.

 

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Tutor Feedback – Assignment 3

My finished Study of Several Trees

Overall Comments

You produce work of a high standard Mark and your submission for this third part of the module is no different. I can see a steady progression in your practice and evidence of it further gathering momentum with the introduction to new disciplines such as the natural landscape. Just as in prior submissions you have also delivered an extremely precise and well-considered learning log. I am greatly encouraged by the quality of your work Mark and look forward to seeing your next submission.

Feedback on assignment Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

The preliminary studies and notation describe the developmental stages of the creative process heading towards your finished assignment piece very successfully. The consideration applied to the experimental trials for a suitable medium shows an admirable determination and engagement in the developmental process. The finished drawing for the assignment is well composed and displays a thorough and successful understanding of the portrayal of single-point perspective. I think, on the whole, the final drawing holds together well and is a convincing depiction of the landscape. It displays a strong composition, a good portrayal of depth and your handling of the medium has been effective. My one criticism would be in the rendering of the foliage in the middle ground. I feel you could have been a little bolder in the depiction of the light and shade created by the layers of leaves, thus validating the ’bulk’ of the foliage and accentuating the illusion of a receding background. The lightness of touch has made it appear a little flat with regards form (light and shade) and this slightly affects the overall depth of the piece. Watercolour pencil can be quite a difficult medium to achieve ‘heavier’ or solid depth of tone due to its hard quality, but as you have accomplished this in the rendering of the roof supports, I feel you could have pushed it a little further.

Submitted Piece for Assignment 3
Submitted Piece for Assignment 3

I wasn’t particularly happy with my submission for this third assignment nor the task for this assignment as finding a view that was suitable was very difficult.

‘A View from a window or door – that offers an opportunity to draw straight-lined objects as well as items drawn from nature, buildings, gates, fences and so on. It then says that ‘this may all seem like a lot to look for, but most views from windows and doors will offer you a bit of all these things…’ 

This could have been my favourite assignment if I was in the countryside or back home in Yorkshire but not in the built up area where I live in Bangkok. There were views with some of the above but not all, the view from the school window was the best I could do but I wasn’t really keen on it. 

However, besides all this the tutor’s comments were very positive and he was right saying not being bold with the depiction of light and shade made by the trees has ‘made it a little flat’ and so with other drawings that need attention I shall try to give it some depth before assessment.

Learning Logs or Blogs / Critical essays Context

You have continued to produce a thorough investigative learning log Mark. You honestly identify situations that have hindered you and are equally open about your successes. Although you mention in your notes for this part of the module that you were not overly excited by the prospect of drawing landscape you have proven to me, and most importantly to yourself, that you do have the ability to overcome this doubt. I was pleased to read that you found looking at the work of other artists (Claude Lorrain and J. M. W. Turner specifically) helpful, by recognising the importance of defining fore-, middle and background, and that you have employed those findings to your advantage. I get the feeling that not only due to your obvious growing abilities it is your determination, enthusiasm and wholehearted interest in drawing that will define your progress to me as your tutor, but most importantly to you. That realisation is patently the greatest benefit to even further progress!

Sketchbooks

This part of the Drawing One module concentrated on working outdoors, or en plein air. Due to the unrest in Bangkok I’m sure the prospect of doing these exercises must have felt like particularly poor timing for you and been very difficult at the time! I must say however, even with these enormous obstacles, you have undertaken the exercises and the assignment very well indeed and have produced an extremely thorough and well-focused collection of work.

Your drawing is strong Mark. The enthusiasm and engagement you put into the exercises shines through in the work you have presented. The ‘Sketchbook walk’ and ‘360 degree’ studies are dynamic and show a methodical understanding of how to portray the illusion of depth in a two-dimensional image. I particularly liked your fourth and final sketch for the ‘Sketchbook walk’ series: it is confidently rendered, very well observed and displays a solid understanding of perspective and composition.

A Sketch book Walk Fourth and Final Sketch : Charcoal Pencil, EE and HB
A Sketch book Walk Fourth and Final Sketch : Charcoal Pencil, EE and HB

I must admit the drawing above was one of my favourite drawings from this exercise and I am thinking about enlarging it for my assessment….but will it work?

It was also great to see you wholeheartedly taking on the challenge of new media for the ‘Drawing cloud formations’ exercise. You are lucky to be in a country where there is a defined difference between cloud and sky! The results were well considered in terms of their delineation – the most successful, and intriguing, for me were the night-time clouds on black paper. The drawing has something of the Odilon Redon about it. The developmental sequence for the ‘Plotting space through composition and structure’ exercise was transfixing and I think a very successful drawing.

3 - Plotting Space through Composition and Structure - Watercolour Pencil Mostly Dry
3 – Plotting Space through Composition and Structure – Watercolour Pencil Mostly Dry

The perspective exercises again have been undertaken with confidence and have displayed a good understanding of the representation of both parallel and angular perspective. The angular perspective drawing is particularly well-observed. This thorough understanding of the rules of perspective is confirmed by the beautiful series of townscapes you have included in your sketchbook. These are excellent studies Mark that show wonderfully realised depth through perspective and the subtle but effective use of tone. I especially liked the ‘Limited palette’ studies.

A Limited Palette Study in Conte, Pastel and China White
A Limited Palette Study in Conte, Pastel and China White

I am wondering whether or not to include this in the work for submission. It is probably a good choice as I have some great studies from the previous exercise.
Your studies for the ‘Drawing statues’ exercise raises my expectations to see your work for part 4 of the module. These again are very well-observed studies. The conté and pastel study of the Soonthorn Poo bust has been beautifully realised, the solidity of the representation skilfully rendered. This is also true of the studies for the ‘Drawing trees’ exercise, particularly the larger study of the individual tree and strong oil pastel study of several trees – I agree, it does appear like an admiring nod to Georges Seurat.

 

Soonthornpoo Conte and Pastel Pencil
Soonthornpoo Conte and Pastel Pencil
My finished Study of Several Trees
My finished Study of Several Trees

Suggested viewing/reading Context

As it is obvious that you are continuing to make gallery visits and are clearly getting a lot from these sojourns there really isn’t much I can suggest you look into Mark. I am undoubtedly preaching to the converted but continue to gather references of other artists’ oeuvre and truly look into the way they work. Then look at your own work in a similar depth. You may be familiar with the writings of John Berger but if not check out the following two books:

Berger, John (2008) Ways of Seeing Penguin Classics ISBN: 9780141035796

Berger, John (2009) About Looking Bloomsbury Publishing PLC ISBN: 9780747599579

I couldn’t find About Looking without purchasing online but I was very lucky to find a copy of Ways of Seeing and exercised my new fresh view of seeing things in the research point Investigating Artists’ Self Portraits.

Pointers for the next assignment

As you know the next part of this module is all about the figure which I’m sure will suit you. Hold on to the enthusiasm and commitment you have shown and carry on looking and researching. It is evident that this way of working is very good for your practice. I look forward to seeing your submission for ‘Drawing figures’ Mark.

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.

Research – Antonio López García

Antonio López Torres’ House, 1972-75

My tutor suggested that I should look at the works of Antonio López García a Spanish painter and sculptor known for his realistic style. As usual I started my research by popping onto Wikipedia to see if I could find some valuable keywords that could take me elsewhere and seeing that he is still alive I looked on YouTube to see if I could find a documentary or interview and i found a small part of an interview here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2rXX2FhUeI

It’s not only good to hear the artists voice but it’s also good to check any contradictions.

Antonio López García was born into a farming family in Tomelloso 1936 and was probably expected to carry on the family tradition as a farmer until his uncle, Antonio Lopez Torres a local landscape painter took an interest in his drawing when he was 13 years old.

As he says in his interview “…at 12 and 13 he didn’t pay much notice of me, I did the kind of drawings that all children do and he didn’t pay much attention to me…at 13 he saw something that made him intervene. He told me not to copy illustrations, that this was not good and I should do things directly from nature”

Antonio moved to the Spanish capital in 1949 to study so that he could qualify for entrance to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, which he did and won a number of prizes while studying at the school from 1950-1955. While attending the school he met his future wife and several friends who would later form a realist group together in Madrid. In 1955 he won a scholarship which enabled him to travel to Italy where he studied paintings from the Renaissance.

From the moment i saw the examples of his works that my tutor sent me I realised why my tutor suggested that I look at this artist. Facebook can be a bit of a demon sometimes and since I started this course I’ve been receiving regular posts from various hyperrealism pages which I think have had a big influence on my finished pieces. As a painter I seem to follow a more surrealistic path but this course has taken me in a very different direction. However the negative side of this like my tutor says is that I tighten up while working on the finished pieces.

Antonio López García was regarded by the critic Robert Hughes to be ‘the Greatest Realist alive’ with his style sometimes deemed hyperrealistic and yet his works are still very fluid, something that my drawings lack at this time.

López García has devoted himself to creating images of everyday subjects such as buildings, plants, his bathroom and even the red brick wall in his backyard but then he expresses them in such away that make them both beautiful and captivating.

As the artist explains, “the pictorial nucleus begins to grow and you work until the whole surface has an expressive intensity equivalent to what you have before you, converted into a pictorial reality.“-Wikipedia

At this time I can genuinely say that I can see this artist having an influence on my future work especially now i have discovered new mediums and I  am beginning to develop my drawing skills. I have had very similar ideas from time to time but lack of skills and knowledge of mediums have prevented me from putting my ideas on canvas or paper. Two of his works that particularly stand out to me at this time are ‘Antonio López Torres’ House, 1972-75’ which my tutor sent to me in the sample of his works and ‘Sink and Mirror, 1967’.

Antonio López Torres’ House, 1972-75
Antonio López Torres’ House, 1972-75
Sink and Mirror, 1967
Sink and Mirror, 1967