Assignment 4. Reflection on assessment criteria

1.Demonstration of technical and visual skill

I hope that I have displayed some technical skill in drawing these three pieces. On the whole I feel quite comfortable drawing the human form except for the face! During this part of the course I have become increasingly anxious about drawing portraits. I have had some success but mostly my inability to see a head and face as a connected whole to the body is evident (culminating in a headless body!) it was therefore with great trepidation that I attempted my final portrait. it is not perfect but it demonstrates an improvement in technique. Up until now I have only really drawn outlines of heads in media that can be rubbed out and re-worked – or left blank. Now I have been forced to add features in a coherent manner, something that I have struggled with, so to end up with a believable portrait that actually captures a likeness is quite a success. My final drawings perhaps don’t display a huge range of materials, charcoal, coloured charcoal and conte crayon, but my preliminary studies that led up to these three final pieces used a greater range of medium including wet media. Compositionally I have taken into consideration the viewpoint and the effect this has on the viewer, as well as considering the negative spaces in the drawing. These factors add atmosphere and narrative to the images. I hope that I have demonstrated different techniques, in particular the idea of drawing a line with an eraser. This type of line is quite different to that produced by the conte crayons in the portrait, In addition to different line, I have produced different tones. In the reclining pose tone has been very much added by smudging and layering the pigment on the paper. In the portrait, tonal values come from different colours of the conte crayons, and blocked in using line.

2. Quality of outcome

I have presented my work in what I hope is a coherent manner, however I am aware that I lack the seemingly required set of small thumbnail sketches outlining ideas and preliminary work. I understand the benefit of this approach and I was just starting to get the hang of this as a way of working in assignment 3, where the benefits paid off, but I have to say that it isn’t a particularly natural thought process for me. This is once again evident in this assignment and I fully expect to be criticised for it. My experimental approach for this part was to try different poses and different materials in a series of quick (and some not so quick) larger drawings. I often felt constrained with my work space (or rather lack of it), bad lighting and lack of access to a compliant model for hours at a time. This led to me working by doing lots of drawings in different media and in different styles, grabbing the opportunities when I could. Each study should be considered an exploration of the human form and my final pieces grew out of trying lots of things rather than detailed small sketches. I would argue that the process was the same as a series of small thumb-sketches even if the execution was different.

I was also constantly battling with time, not just to fit drawing in with general life (I certainly put the hours in) but the time I feel I wanted to spend on each exercise. I felt a constant nagging in the back of my mind to get a move on to the next set of exercises when I really wanted to stay on one set of drawings and keep on experimenting. If I hadn’t had deadlines to deal with I would still be on part 1! Not because I am slow, but because I haven’t mastered it yet!!

3. Demonstration of creativity

Much of the preliminary work was experimental, which I really enjoyed and became quite engrossed in. In my last assessment feedback it was suggested that I try drawing with a pen on a stick, or using my non dominant hand. I tried both of these several times throughout the whole unit. The results were quite liberating. With regards to my assessment pieces I feel that I have demonstrated creativity but placing an overlay of a severed neck onto my headless model. This has turned a quite boring pose into a statement piece. My portrait ended up being quite experimental, using line and colour to create tone – and in pinks too. I suspect that I could have used any colour series to the same effect, but it was liberating to draw in colours that I would not naturally warm to. I chose pink for two reasons, firstly because I had several tonal values to choose from and secondly I have never drawn with them before! The blue shades in my box have had many more outings!

4. Context reflection

I have tried to put my work into a context by referring to artists who have inspired me. I used my research file quite a lot to leaf through in between drawing time. I think this reflective time led me to come up with my line-tone cartesian space, thought the observation of different styles of drawing. I was they able to understand my own practice more thoroughly, leading me to try interesting ideas such as drawing with the putty rubber in the way Jenny Saville does for instance. I have spent a considerable time researching artists suggested in assignment 2, Marlene Dumas, Lucien Freud and Jenny Saville for instance. I found that the artists suggested were very much to my taste and relevant for how I see my artistic practice develop. I am not sure I have developed much more of an artistic voice, but I am becoming increasingly aware that it may be quite a dark side of my character. I am constantly drawn to the darker, more edgy and energetic type of drawings. The stand out drawings that I have discovered in this part have been no exceptions.



Assignment 4. Reflection on assessment criteria

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