As for the previous project I’m going to start with reflection on the image itself…
Observation and Construction:
I think the image is an improvement on my previous submissions, but there are still a number of areas that I’m not happy with. The feel of depth is improved over my previous work, and I think adding the grain to the wood has helped here. Mapping out the image using perspective lines in 6H also helped. It’s surprising how long it has taken me to work that one out.
In terms of construction the parts that I think have worked are the chillies and onions:
There is a slight “blurred” effect on the rear onion that is a little strange when looked at closely. Its caused by a light arc that disturbs the form somewhat. Unfortunately I didn’t really notice it until after I’d “fixed” the image.
The cinnamon is reasonable, but oddly I liked it more earlier in the process. I may have over worked it:
Areas I don’t think so well include the garlic in the top-right, as it is still and bit too “spherical”, and the Onion’s strand’s binding on the left hand side as it isn’t sufficiently defined:
In terms of the object’s feeling solid and sitting on their surface I think the work is a significant improvement on previous submissions. In terms of the basic form, the opened garlic still has issues, and I struggled to get it to the point where I was happy to accept it:
Overall, I think the image works and is believable – but with areas to work on in the future.
The image meets the brief, in that it is an A3 depiction of several organic objects arranged on a surface. The depiction of three dimensional form is improved over previous attempts, though as noted above I still have areas where I need to keep working. My mark making is also improving, though I’m beginning to understand why I need to go back to some of the early exercises again. I struggled with some of the textures, and never really got the paper-thin parts on the garlic to work to my satisfaction.
In terms of the balance of detail I’m reasonably happy, an example is the garlic strand:
The reality of this was very complex, and was not achievable. To render it, therefore, I have significantly simplified it, but I feel I’ve kept the idea of the strand’s form and feel reasonably well. It’s possible this need for balance is the reason I struggled in a number if the elements. It is definitely true of my petunia garlic sketch.
I’ve taken a slight risk with the context of the board the pieces are sitting on, in that I’ve minimised the surface area of the background and then just rendered it as a dark fuzzy mass. I didn’t feel it worthwhile trying to draw in any of the room background, as it would have subtracted from rather than added to the scene.
The setting of the objects on the board, however, I’m reasonably happy with. The wooden board has worked, and hopefully I’ve struck balance between including and excluding detail on the board. My intention was to show enough grain to allow the fact it was wood to be clear, without getting lost and making the wood the subject.
In terms of context with respect to other artists I still have a way to go. I can’t really claim to have placed the image with respect to an art movement or other artist.
I’m happy with the com position, including the arc of vegetables in the background and the cinnamon sticks in the foreground. Keeping the viewpoint low to the board makes the image more interesting, and keeps the focus on the foreground. The space left on the surface has allowed sufficient scope for interesting shadows to develop on the surface.
Colour and Tone:
The range of tones and variety of marks has improved over my previous work, which helps keep the image interesting. Much of the mark making on the elements I like are bold, though one of the reasons I’m less happy with the strands and garlic is that they don’t come across as strongly as other elements. The use of tones to describe form is acceptable, and I have put considerably more effort into it this time. There is, for example, significant variation in the strength of the grain lines as they traverse across the surface.
Reflection and Evaluation
What went well?
Overall I’m happy that the image represents a good step forwards from my previous submissions. The perspective and form has improved, and the mark making is more varied.
The theme for the project was “larger than life organic forms”, and in that it has succeeded. Of particular importance in the brief was bold, rather than timid, and interesting mark making. I think this was successful as well. Both of these flow directly from my changed preparatory process for assessment 3. Whereas in the previous assessments I, more-or-less, just followed the instructions in a single pass I tried and developed ideas to a greater degree on this pair of projects.
Where I still have much work to do is placing my work in an “Art History” contexts. Although I did some research for the projects, I can’t really claim to have placed this work in context with other artists. I am only beginning to develop an understanding an appreciation of art history, and I suspect that this is an area that will take a while developing.
One area that my preparation has helped me develop is working with charcoal. I am beginning to find a feel for using it, and am enjoying it much more. The range of tones I am getting out of using it has improved significantly, and I found I much preferred doing this project with charcoal over graphite pencils. I have a way to go with pen and fine-liner though. The brief for the next Project should give me plenty of scope to develop here though.
What could have been better?
I still have a way to go in rendering form effectively, and aspects of perspective and three dimensional form still elude me. The effort I needed to put in to get a passable rendering of the garlic indicates that. I suspect I need to keep working on the basic forms. There is a similar story on lighting, whereby I suspect practice is needed on more subtle light effects.
Suitability for submission
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills
There are many aspects of visual skill that have demonstrably improved wit this project over previous assessment submissions. This includes understanding and representation of form, use of charcoal as a medium and mark making. I still have a way to go across the spectrum before I’ll be fully happy, but this is a step on a journey rather than the destination.
Quality of Outcome
There are parts of the submission that I am very happy with, and others that haven’t worked so well. Overall, however, I’m happy that the piece is of sufficient quality for submission.
Demonstration of Creativity
In some ways I think that the practice piece with the mushrooms was a more creative image, despite its technical flaws. The process of refining the image and ensuring technical accuracy has, at least to a degree, reduced the creative flow. If I can find a way to keep that feel in the final image then I will be creating more interesting and lively final pieces. Overall, however, I think the process of experimenting and channelling ideas into a final piece has worked reasonably well and produced a strong result.
This is the weakest of the assessment areas, as for the previous project. I have been working on my approach for providing evidence of discernment and self-reflection in Part 3 of the course. If I can develop my approach and understanding of why and how to fit work into context in a similar way in the next two parts then I’ll be happier.