Things to do for part 2….and reflections as I near the end…

Here is a list of things to work on during the next part of the course.  This list comes from the feedback provided by my tutor after Assignment 1.  I intend to edit it as I go through the course, showing where I have begun to address a specific issue.  Some are as written by my tutor and others have been rephrased so that all read as tasks.

Things to focus on for the next assignment – from tutor feedback….

 Ø    Try using a limited palette to “break into” colour gently! Update: I have tried this in the drawings with ink, using twigs for mark-making. The A2 drawings of plants appears to have used predominantly pinks and blues but I was surprised when tidying up afterwards at the wide range of colours that were included.

Ø    Try to get more range with mark-making and try to pull all of this into a drawing when needed so that I am responding to the subject rather than establishing a style or way of drawing. Update: I have worked at this through the ink / twig and blending colour activities, amongst others.

Ø     Experiment with line and texture to show depth and distance:

  • light lines will recede– while dark, thick lines will come forwards.
  • flat colour will recede while texture will come forwards.
  • polluted (muddy) and translucent colour will recede while  clean,  opaque colour will come forwards.

Update: I did this in the still life using line. I still need to develop this more consistently as a way of indicatíng depth.

Ø    Have a look at Picasso’s line drawings – what did he pack into a single line? Update: I still have to do this as a formal research point.

Ø    Research Cezanne’s still lives – look carefully at composition. Update: I did a formal study of Cezanne’s work and have written a blog post on this, as well as having notes in my sketchbook.

Ø    ANALYSE artists’ work specifically in terms of the visual language (shape, line, form, tone, texture, mark making), Work out how they are using their technical skill, their compositions and their choice of media to make interesting and inventive drawings. Update: ongoing. Last week, an art teacher colleague gave up some of her time to discuss composition with me, giving me some tools to clarify analysis as a process. This was a valuable experience which I must now put into practice….

Ø    To develop imagination, think around the suggestions made by the course and solve the problem in my own way. Update: Ongoing. I tried to do this in the A2 plant drawings where drawing 2 turned out to be a solution for problems with drawing 1!

Ø    How do colour and form relate?  I have begun to block out areas of tone in colour but need to go further so that it is the main focus of the drawing. Update: I am getting a clearer idea of this and it shows in some of the simpler drawings of fruit & veg (I think…)

Ø    Beware when using pen and ink that the pen line doesn’t become a hard outline. This will emphasise shape and work against tone. Update: the stipple and dot exercises helped with this. I now have a strategy for producing a gentler / broken line while enabling the piece to develop in a structured way.

Ø    Still life viewpoints are limited thus far. Discover least three SIGNIFICANTLY different view points and using at least  three significantly different arrangements before choosing one to develop. Vary eye level, above, below etc. Update: ongoing! I will try to address this in planning my second assignment piece which is fast approaching…

Ø    I need to consider my composition more in relation to the frame and consider the shape made by the objects in relation to the edge of the canvas, as well as their individual placement within the composition. A frame helps to “place” a composition because it is always seen in relation to its frame.  I think that this is what Alexis means when she says “commit to the frame that you are working AGAINST”. Update: I have made a conscious effort to address this and (some) compositions are improvements over earlier ones.

Ø    Think of collage as another mark – and enjoy exploring it with curiosity! Update: I have used collage only in one exercise for this unit and had expected to do more. Not sure why I didn’t consider it… I am hopeful that I can develop this in the future.

Ø    Don’t forget the negative spaces between the objects and the edge of the frame that you are working in relation to. Commit to a frame during drawing or afterwards by imposing one (using tape or a cut out frame). Update: I have become more aware of negative space and specific exercises to address this have supported me. The A2 plant drawings used negative space within the plant well, in my opinion, but perhaps less well elsewhere in the drawings.

Ø    Try to work bigger and faster and to resist the temptation to overdo it.
Update: I have tried to do this in some exercises, such as the ink drawings of fruit & veg still lives. The second plant drawing was much faster than the first. The medium seems to have a role to play in this – I work more easily with certain media – such as water-soluble crayons- than with others. Ongoing!

Overall, I have addressed or begun to address most of the things that I set out to look at back in October so I am pleased with this, even if it might be a while before real results will be evident….

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