Thanks for sending the second submission for Drawing Two. This is – again – a long report. The key message in the last report was for you to make much more work. While this submission is better, there is still work to do on this front. You’re making progress in terms of placing your work in relation to that of other artists, but as you note, you need to do more of this. I suppose it boils down to you being bolder and more productive. Try and throw yourself into the kind of experimentation showing in the strawberry images for the whole submission.
A note on your reflection on the last report: I am a little concerned that you have
misunderstood something fundamental. You say that ‘I was pleasantly surprised, the work I have created so far was good’. While I wrote that some of the source material was good or that it’s ‘good that you’ve noticed’ something, I didn’t explicitly state that the work was ‘good’. You’ve written a checklist in the sketchbook, which is much better. In future, put this content on the blog and write notes about how you’ve gone about addressing the issues.
Assignment 2 Assessment potential
I understand your aim is to go for the Fine Art Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. However, from the work you have shown in this assignment, I am concerned that you may struggle to meet the assessment criteria, and recommend that you instead consider either pausing your HE level studies for the time being and taking the personal development route rather than seek assessment (see Conditions of Enrolment, Section 2 a). Contact the OCA Course Advisors to discuss this further. You may well complete and pass Drawing Two, but I am concerned that you will struggle with what is required to pass the degree. There is, however, a lot of work to do. Some of that is related to your technical ability and some of it is more to do with developing a way of working that is fruitful and self-sustaining.
Written feedback on exercises / assignment / parallel project
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of
Exercise One: There needs to be a lot more work done for you to learn form this way of
working. At the moment you’ve established that it’s difficult and have recognised some of the problems without solving them. Look at the right hand side of the Rembrandt and compare it with your version. In his, the dark side of the face sarges with the gloom that extends to the edge, but you have the gloom stopping short of the edge. As you have noted there are other issues with the proportions. The larger version of the head is better, but still has a sense of a light background. Well done, though, for noting that the texture of the paper matter. Think about his as you proceed. The reclining figure is better in terms of proportion and structure and the forms are rounded, giving the drawing a convincing ‘3D’ effect. Making many more studies images (10-20 for each subject) would help.
Exercise Two: You’ve played around well with the materials and media. I’m pleased you
experimented with different substrates. The underlying drawing is too simplistic, though. Try and keep the rigour of observational drawing – with all the complexity and interest the real world offers – embedded in the work you make. These experiments – which I like – need to be anchored to a more sophisticated foundation. A couple of things to think about:
● Did you think about painting onto the heavily textured surface?
● Cropping these images would give you the chance to compose them more. At the
moment they peter out at the edges.
● Think more about what you use to make the drawings – sticks / feathers / fingers /
etc. Make ,lots of notes about these tools.
● Could you draw with the cotton reels or thread…?
● Imagine you’re Cormelia Parker making work form strange materials. What would
Exercise Three: Using the golf bag as a ‘portrait’ of your husband – especially when backed with the grid of small houses – is an interesting move in creative terms. What’s missing here is variety. You need to explore the possibilities of the motions more. Investigate the details, and how they are arranged. You’ve decided very quickly of the view you’re going to depict. You could have pushed the image around a lot more. It’s this inquisitiveness that you need to develop to succeed. Use drawing to explore.
Zoom in – trace – overlay – rub – print – explore the way the object is made and make another object – find other drawings of the object and use them as templates
In short, play around with the thing to get to them bottom of it. Look at these masks made with sports equipment by artist Brian Jungen. Could you repurpose stuff in this way? Don’t worry about it being ‘drawing’ or not at this point…
Assignment Two: You’ve explored different ways of representing your subject there are some good discoveries here. The early pieces on the white background are sensitive and
convincing. The blue dots overwhelm the motif a little, but a good experiment. Perhaps a
more translucent blue would evoke the ‘see-through’ quality of bubble wrap more? The ‘final drawing’ is a bit of a step back. The mark-making and energy in the experimental pieces is lost in favour of a kind of smoothness.
In summary, there is potential in the attitude shown in the strawberry piece. More of this
inquisitiveness and more improvisation as you work.
Parallel Project: It is still early days for this. You have collected some photographs, made
drawings from them and written about the two Intimist painters I recommended. You write in your email that you are ‘flailing around’ with this part of the course. I can’t set you a project; that has to come from you.
My suggestion to focus on the domestic was to help you turn a difficulty into a positive. If you want to follow another path, then that’s fine. However, in relation to the work you’ve posted so far, my thoughts are as follows:
● investigate more artists whose work is focussed on home life (search for ‘kitchen sink
painters’, Gwen John, Harold Gilman, Vilhelm Hammershoi, Vermeer). That should
give you lots to look at and follow up, but doing an image searching for domestic
interior artists also yields lots of things to look at. Follow up lots of these leads and
make notes about the work and think about it in relation to your home.
● The photographs all include people. Think about how you might represent them,
aside from simply drawing the photographs. The birthday cake image hints at the
possibility if simply making all the important events in a visual diary. What of you filled
a dirt with a drawing every day of something worth celebrating…?
● You might want to explore the house in detail. documenting corners and cubby-holes,
or details that people might otherwise miss.
● Non-art texts to read that could be of interest:
○ Against Nature, J K Huysmans
○ My House, Primo Levi (a short text to be found in the collection ‘Other
People’s Trades’ (This links memory to space in an interesting unpretentious
● Look at the ongoing project of Lee John Philips who is drawing the contents of his
grandfather’s shed: https://www.leejohnphillips.com/ Could you, for example, draw
EVERYTHING YOU OWN?
Put some ideas together regarding the critical review for the next submission. Try and link it to your parallel project. It needn’t be much: bullet points about what you’re going to address and how you’ll go about it. Think about the critical writing techniques you learned about on UVC. Try and find a good solid text to write about. You can include content about how you have been influenced by your selections and the writing process, but that shouldn’t be the focus.
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
I the sketchbook you have lots of hand-written notes about artists that relate to ‘research
points’. I recommend that you do the following:
● put responses to research points on the blog. That’s where they are most legible. By
all means make notes on paper, but transfer all that material to the blog.
● keep the sketchbook for drawing and visual notes (if an artists if interest, sticking
images in is a good idea so that they interact with your work)
Doing this will allow the sketchbook to be a space in which you can experiment and play. It’s REALLY important that you develop a vibrant sketchbook practice. As mentioned in the last report I recommend you look at the blogs of other students to get a feel for what they do in sketchbooks. Write about this investigation in the log and let their ideas and practices influence you.
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
You have written brief descriptions of the concerns of the artists in research points. You need to dig more deeply than this. The Cornelia Parker is the kind of thing you should be
producing more of. There is some good insight here.
The Vuillard and Bonnard pieces are longer, but focus on biographical material. You’ve
begun to analyse the Bonnard ‘bath’ painting, though. Keep at it. Write a couple of hundred words about each image (colour / shapes / marks / composition / depiction of space / etc). It would help you to make drawings of the works, too. This will for you to work out what’s going on in more depth.
This research into other artists needs to be linked more clearly to what you are doing. Don’t just describe the work of others, but see it as part of a complex network of inter-related practices. This should help you see them in relation to your own work. You’ve begun to do this (Cotton reels / Angela Eames) but it’s not sophisticated enough yet. Push harder and read much more about the artists.
Learning Log and Critical Review
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
You write clearly and the blog is easy to navigate. Well done. The referencing is good.
It’s now time to push harder with the research and how you put evidence of that on the blog. read more complex texts bout artists / art movements / and the subjects that will inform your development.
I recommend dedicating a page to a bibliography for the entire unit. Put anything you’ve
referenced in this and add notes about the texts if you fell that’s useful. You could also
develop a glossary of terms.
In addition to he Parallel Project suggestions above…
Though I haven’t read this particular title, it is part of a GREAT series of books about
contemporary art. Each title is themed and contains writing by artists, critics, and so on. You may found copies online second hand. It might well have something that could act as the catalyst for the Critical Review and also inform your PP: https://shop.whitechapelgallery.org/collections/documents-of-contemporary-art/products/the-everyday
Look at the blogs of other Drawing Two students (start with the email I group I instigated) to see how they develop ideas.
Pointers for the next assignment
● Reflect on this feedback in your learning log. Do this in relation to the work and revisit
exercises and blogposts if you feel you can add to them. Revising and revisiting work
is an important way to mine more from them. Often it takes time for all the lessons to
● Follow up on the suggestions I have made.
Please inform me of how you would like your feedback for the next assignment:
Written or video/audio. For Level Two and three students I recommend having as
many video tutorials as possible though you’re under no obligation to have any.
Well done, I look forward to your next assignment.
Strengths Areas for development
Material experimentation is improving Keep working at the underlying drawing in technical terms
Tutor Feedback part 2.
Response to notes.
- I have reflected on this feedback in a diary style post.
- I have changed my poor wording in my reflection for part 1.
- I have redone exercise 1 by creating another portrait using less light than before and positioning it better on the page.
- I have made 10 studies regarding my reclining figure before completing my third attempt at Rembrandt’s “Self Portrait”.
- Have created two further pieces for exercise 2 enlarging the cotton reel and then using the cotton reel and cotton to create them.
- Created rubbings of golf clubs and gold balls for exercise 3 experimentation.
- I then created vintage style drawings of golf club heads and pushed it further by combining it with frottage.
- I have updated my Parallel project ideas with further research ideas and I have made bullet points on where I wish to take my critical review as it stands.(31/05/2019).
- Completed my Assignment again in a similar way to my first experiments on a white background and I diluted the ink used on the bubble wrap as suggested.
- I have completed a bibliography and glossary of terms.
- I have started completing my catalogue regarding my living room if I have time I hope to draw the items in other rooms.
- I have written up bullet points regarding my critical review.