Posted in Assignment 5, Assignments, Coursework, Part 5

Assignment 5 Feedback

Overall Comments

You set out a clear plan – described as a series of ‘cycles’ – for the creation of several work informed by the work of other artists. As discussed, the submission seems a little thin when compared to – for example – the figure drawing submission last time. You have time to return to the project(s) you have set yourself and flesh them out and explore them more fully.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

As discussed: 

  • In the last report I wrote about the need to explore a more tonal style to counteract the predominance of outline. You’ve addressed this ins the charcoal work but the painted work still relies on outline. Keep this in mind as you progress as tonal work can be more ‘weighty’ and sculptural, which we discussed as being your real interest (See below).
  • The Fountains Abbey piece looks ‘light’. This precipitated a discussion about your practice being more concerned with sculpture than with pictorial representation.
  • The coloured pieces are not as strong as the monochromes. Part of this is down to the ‘lightness’ mentioned above, but there’s also a sense that you’re using ‘local’ colour and not allowing the colour to reflect and bounce around the images. Look again at the works you’ve encountered in the National Gallery and see how intensely coloured the works are works.
  • The ‘cross’ image is better in relation to these issues. The sky is dark and intense in the ‘last’ image which is worth exploring (see Kiefer, below).
  • The water colour of the cross is an interesting sketch. The simplicity combined with the variety of marks works.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

As discussed:

  • The assembled ‘ring binder’ contains experimental piece that could be applied more to the ‘finished’ pieces. The pastel ‘waves’ sprint to mind in this respect.
  • Well done for exploring the motifs and for making drawings in the style of others. This is a great way to discover new ways of drawing / mark-making. I recommend that you keep this up in your future studies.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

As discussed:

  • Returning to the John Virtue film and WEAREOCA blogpost has helped you realise that returning to stuff you’ve already looked at can be useful as yoke things in a new light. I’m sure you know this in abstracters but it’s good to read what you’ve written about the experience in the blog.
  • The accounts of the British Museum and National Gallery visits are a step forward.
  • It became clear as we spoke (especially about your next step), that you should worry less about pictorial representation and move towards a whole-heartedly sculptural understanding. Let the drawings you make serve that end. 

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis   

As discussed:

  • The task you set yourself is clearly laid out and referenced and you are honest in your reflection on the work you’ve made.
  • You are linking your work to that of others and deliberately allowing a kind of ‘crossfertilisation’ to happen. Well done. Your accounts of this decision making process is well written.
  • The account of approaching pictures – the distance between the painting and the viewer and what is revealed as that distance closes – is particularly good. Think about the implication of this in your own work.

Suggested reading/viewing


As discussed:

  • Following tin from your visit the National Gallery you might be interested to read The Sight of Death by T J Clark. It’s not a simple text, but shows how making and looking at pictures is a complex and rewarding experience. also, one of the two paintings discussed is usually on display at the National Gallery.
  • With reference to the Alpine Cross work – which you may work on before submission for assessment – I recommend looking at the work of Caspar David Friedrich and Anselm Kiefer. This is related to the motif and the ‘heavyness’ of the piece, respectively.

Pointers for assessment and future study

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
  • Follow up on the suggestions I have made.
  • Make sure you read and understand the submission requirements for assessment.

    You are free to remake work and/or to edit, rewrite, or add to learning log entries.
  • Think about your proximity to the subject. I recommend immersing yourself in the drawings that sculptors make (Henry Moore is an obvious starting point, but there are many others) to see how they depict space, weight, and volume. Composition for sculptors is different from that kind practised by picture-makers, though there is overlap. 
  • You are aware that your technical ability is not your longest suit, but you applied yourself to Drawing One and have learned a lot. You have shown – especially in the figure drawings – an ability to gather, process, and depict visual information that should provide a foundation on which you can build in future study.

Congratulations on completing Drawing One. Good luck in your future studies.

Notes from the audio

  • Assessment Submission
    • The volume of work this time is less than previous assignments. Consider adding to it before the Assessment.
    • May be worth reworking blog posts, add  more writing and more work. In doing this make it clear that this is “further learning and reflection”
    • In terms of sketchbooks try and send as much as possible. Keep them full and relevant. There is a weight consideration, and you can overload assessors but it is worthwhile.
    • Write a statement about the course. It is worthwhile even though it isn’t yet compulsory. A few lines on each piece on why it made the cut is useful, and a (humble) statement about what you’ve learnt along the way.
  • Comments on the work
    • You have wrestled with the relationship between line and tone, you’ve made that part of the focus of what you’ve done. I think you’ve also been nice and ambitious in that you’ve deliberately engaged with the work of other artists to inform what you’ve done.
    • Some of the total world with the charcoal actually is probably better than the painting. Tone is at the moment your strong suit, the way you can use charcoal.  There’s something kind of grounded and tough about those about the charcoal figure drawings that you’re doing. Whereas I think that the watercolours kind of dissipate a little bit. Some of the colour work is too light – that is too much white from the page is still on display. Need to practice working away from that.
    • Some of the drawings and more “painterly”, whereas some of the paintings are strongly line based. The result is an unclear style and feel about the work. Try and be more painterly.
    • Colouring of much of the work tends to be discreet. Blue sections are blue, and Green sections are green. This is a little too simplistic in most cases, as its all local colour. Practice more complex tones and use of colours to provide a more sophisticated look. (e.g. Reflected colour.)  Things aren’t one colour, they kind of change with the light conditions.
    • With the image of the cross, the cross doesn’t stand out as well as it could. The glowering cloud works, and then the image of the cross is also grey. It needs to “pop out” more strongly. The complexity and boldness of that image could be pushed further and make some quite interesting work. Try looking at Anselm Kiefer and the way he does that kind of thing, and Caspar David Friedrich and his cross in the mountains. This is a motif on which you could meditate. You could bash this around a bit. It’s a powerful motif, the cross in the mountains. Yeah, it’s a real thing. So it’s a view. But there’s something about it, which is it’s kind of it’s more than just a landscape. And it’s got something physical in it. You could play around with that. There is real potential in it.
  • Writing up and learning log
    • I think your visit to the British Museum and the National Gallery, and the writing up of that, has some really good solid writing. You’ve realised stuff, you know, such as the light and dark.
    • The deliberate referencing of others artists is working, and something you can really capitalise on.
    • There’s a really nice reflection on reflection,. You’ve gone back to the John Virtue, and you’ve looked again, and you’ve said actually watching it again you noticed something completely different from the previous viewing.
    • The mind map is a list rather than a mind map. It would be worth working on that. If necessary just photograph a piece of paper with it on. It would be worth spending more time and effort in this area.
Anselm Kiefer. Walhalla (2016). © Anselm Kiefer. Photo © White Cube (Charles Duprat) from

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