Posted in Coursework, Part 2

Part 2 Approach

I’ve been trying to work out how best to approach part 2. To consider the best approach I’ve considered the volume of work, and my thoughts

Volume of work

The following is a list of the Projects, exercises and elements for consideration needed in this part of the course:

  • Need to practice of close observation and interpretation, the use of colour, and choice of media such as pen and ink, crayons, oil pastel, wax crayons, pencils and ballpoint pens. Use of: Pens; Pencils; Soft pastel; Charcoal; Coloured pencil; Oil pastels; Coloured inks; Markers; Conte; Pastels; and Range of papers
  • Project 1: Composition
    • Practice of still life compositions, especially Atmosphere, viewpoint, technique, medium and lighting.
    •  Research Point: Still life as a genre
    • Research Point: Positive and negative space
    • Research Point: Conveying multiple viewpoints
  • Project 2 Detailed observation of natural objects
  • Project 3 Still life
    • Exercise 1 Still life using line
    • Exercise 2 Still life in tone using colour
    • Exercise 3 Experiment with mixed media
    • Exercise 4 Monochrome
  • Project 4 At home
    • Exercise 1 Quick sketches around the house
    • Exercise 2 Composition – an interior
    • Exercise 3 Material Differences
  • Assignment two – At least A3 drawing bringing together: the use of colour in drawing; the most appropriate medium for the subject; composition and context; mark-making and contrasts of line and tone; accurate and expressive depiction of form; and experimentation with idea, material and method.

Looking at the Projects and Exercises there is potentially a lot of work here, and I’ve given myself until early April to complete it.

Tutor feedback

I produced the list just after I sent off Part 1 to my tutor, but the part of it that concerns me most is my lack of experience with different media. This concern is backed up by the feedback from my tutor:

Your line work is less convincing, especially when doing in fine-liner or similar. It’s hard to get a variety of line into the work. Better to use a dip pen and risk a mess.

To be honest I’ve struggled with getting a convincing range of tones with fineliner from my Foundation work. I have tried looking at Rembrandt etchings for inspiration, and adding Morandi’s line work to that looks like a good idea.

Another relevant piece of feedback is that I have been overly ambitious:

The ‘ceramics tools’ work is ambitious as the forms are complex. … Assignment One: This is ambitious. There’s a lot of colour to deal with and lots of patterned surfaces. In short, I think you’ve bitten off a bit more than you can chew. … More preparatory work would have helped, I think, as it would have revealed the complexity. Little decisions mater. Had you picked a contrasting cloth for the background the objects would appear more solid.

Combine this with the suggestion of doing 20 preparatory drawings and the volume of work that is needed starts to increase further. In fact, the feedback gives rise to an action plan of the following form:

  • Look at Matisse
  • Consider better editing of the drawing.
  • Extend my approach to sketchbooks. Stick stuff in from other artists and more experiments. Consider links between my work and this.
  • Improve mark quality and tonal range in different media.
  • Interact as directly as possible with the work I encounter, document MY reaction to the work as much as possible. Think about the practicalities of the work, too.
  • Take time to consider the following once you’ve completed a section: what works? what doesn’t? what would I do differently next time? what an I take forward into other work? are there any ‘happy accidents’ that I need to process?
  •  Its’ important to start connecting artists to produce a network of relations. It might help to develop a large, ongoing, mind-map to plot these.
  • Make stronger connections between your my and that of others.
  • Be patient and focus on the potential for the media to make marks. Don’t try and make ‘finished’ works.
  • Make lots more preparatory work

Initial practice

To make a start I’ve been trying to draw simple natural objects using different media. In effect this is making a start on Project 1, but using that focus as a way to experiment with different media. The results are consistent with my thoughts and my tutor’s feedback.

The line work is less convincing, as the variety of mark falls away a bit. Try using a single dip pen and getting the most out of it other than using fixed with nibs.

The suggestion of using a dip pen, for example, has resulted in some initial experimentation which wasn’t too successful – and so I needed to research the use of a dip pen. The results from this were an improvement, as I can now at least make a range of marks using the pen. Next step seems to be pick a nib and try to do some more extensive drawing with it.

The images provided in the tutor report have also helped me consider the overall approach to the part, and how to mix the consideration of other artists’ work in with my own practice.

Overall: Parallel working

The volume of work in the basic projects and exercises, combined with the general needs from my own thinking and my tutor’s feedback means I have a lot to do in limited time. To do this in the limited time I have available will mean being somewhat creative and “parallel” in approach again.

The Assignment piece will need to be finished relatively late in the part,but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t play with ideas and experiments through the part. Similarly there is nothing stopping me doing Project 1 in one media, moving on to later parts and then coming back to Project 1 in another media. This fits with my tutor’s feedback that I should be less focused on “finished pieces” and more on experimenting with possibilities.

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