Posted in Assignment 5, Assignments

Assignment 5

Artist’s Statement


Developing a body of work that conveys the feeling of the landscapes.

This enquiry was focused on building a body of work, rather than a single drawing, which was trying to convey the feeling of places in landscape drawings. This meant selecting an appropriate approach to creating the image that would convey something of the image which isn’t based in technical accuracy.

To approach this I executed a series of cycles of work each focused on a different intent. These were run in an overlapping fashion, so that experimentation in later cycles influenced the work in earlier cycles on occasions.

As part of the work I explicitly integrated the work of different artistic influences into my own practice. This was achieved partially by discussing the artists relevant to each cycle as part of its write up, and by discussing the work in the context of different artists.

Assignment Work

The first work I’m submitting for assignment is from Cycle 1: Tone. The image was partially inspired by the Odilion Redon tonal work, and was heavily simplified to convey the feeling of the scene:

Rockcliffe winter sunset, A1, Charcoal..

The next work is a simple sketchbook image worked in line, and based on the line work of Van Gogh:

Lazonby home. A4 line sketch

Although a simple sketch with many technical issues, the image does use line expressively. There is a level of rhythm in the image, and different densities and approaches to mark making. The work that went around this image then progressed into the representation of Fountains Abbey:

Fountains Abbey, A1, Watercolour

The work is the result of a number of experiments, and is intended to convey the beauty and tranquillity of the site. This is achieved by the simplification of the scene as a whole, as well as keeping the detail of the composition in the Abbey and the water reflecting it. There is some adjustment of value to keep the light Abbey separated from the darker elements of the path, trees and their shadow.

The next image is a representation of a blowy winter’s day on Tankerton slopes:

Minnis Bay waves, A4 watercolour – Line and wash style

This came out of trying to find a way to convey the state of the sea and sky on that day. Shifting the viewpoint to near the wave tops is used to emphasise the drama of the scene in a way that a more realistic interpretation failed to do.

This leads to the following image, which was starts to provide a little more realism in the representation:

Chania lighthouse in stormy weather, A3 Watercolour

In this case the weather is again robust, with state of the sea and the wave breaking on the lighthouse being the real subject of the image. The lighthouse provides a context for the wave and sea, rather than being the subject itself.

As a counterpoint to this is the following image of Tankerton slopes at sunset:

Tanketon slopes sunset, A4, pastel

Here, the essence of the image is the portrayal of a sea as the sun starts to set. The image as a whole is in a high key, with a few darker areas for contrast. The beach huts are provided as much to provide an implied line pointing to the horizon as to be part of the scene itself.

The last image shifts back to the dramatic:

Elbigenalp cross, A4, Watercolour sketch

The image conveys the sheer scale of this cross on top of a mountain, as well as the drama of its alpine setting on a day when the weather is moving in. The cross is the subject of the image, with the mountains and clouds providing a context it.

Suitability for submission

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

Materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills

This part has developed my technical and visual skills across a number of areas, including:

  • The early work on tone and line has developed my ability to avoid the “heavy outline” which is present in much of my work on the course. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am completely avoiding this, but I am developing in the right direction.
  • Trying to convey aspects of the landscape beyond a reproduction of what is observed has lead me to consider concept, composition and construction more carefully than previously. The experiments in drawing the sea and Elbigenalp cross demonstrate this.
  • I have been using colour in the landscapes more than in previous work, which has improved my use and appreciation of colour hue, saturation and value. This has, in turn, lead to me considering the way the I use and apply colour more carefully to support the composition.

Quality of Outcome

Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, with discernment. Conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

The degree of finish in the assignment images varies significantly, but the challenge of this part has allowed me to develop ideas in a more concerted and focused fashion. This has meant that I’ve started to be more discerning in the way that I approach and present the construction and experimentation with an idea. This is improving the quality of the images that I am starting to produce, and if continued along these lines should be able to provide a basis for continuing improvement over time.

Demonstration of Creativity

Imagination, experimentation, invention, articulating independent judgements and a personal creative voice.

The cycles of inquiry applied within the part have provided a strong framework for applying creativity within an overall intent. The part has allowed me to better develop an approach for integrating research of other artists and feeding of that back into my own work, in conjunction with my own learning through drawing.

In the work on the sea, for example, I tried a number of approaches on my own, then considered others responses to the challenges and fed that back into my own work in a series of cycles. The result demonstrates, in my opinion, significantly more creativity than much of my previous work.


Demonstrate awareness of appropriate historical, critical, professional and/or emerging contexts, debates; in your creative practice and use critical and reflective skills to support a self-directed and sustained personal and/or professional position.

This has been a development area for me from early in my drawing work with the OCA, and will continue to be so for a while yet. I am starting to understand the linking of my work to that of other artists, and to consider the wider artistic context of previous works and thereby my own. This supports, and is supported by, my reflections in my learning log and my critical analysis of my own work and others. I still, however, feel I have a way to go before my knowledge of the contemporary and art historical context of drawing and art in general is sufficiently strong to provide a robust foundation.

In the Part 4 Feedback, for example, my tutor identified the need for me to review the work of the the John Virtue OCA blog . I had looked at the material previously, but on re-reviewing it I was able to consider a new angle, and found some new lessons based on what I needed to know at that point. Similarly, I am finding that the visit to the National Gallery has also provided a on-going set of lessons to learn from. As I find time I am expanding not just the set of artists and styles I’m viewing, but the way in which I’m viewing their work, and hence the lessons I’m learning from it.

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