Final Selection for Assessement

After much deliberation here is my final selection of 12 drawings that I am submitting for assessment. I present them in order they were done on the course with a couple of sentences for each explaining the reasons behind my choices.

Rational behind my selection

Throughout this course I have completed drawings that, amongst many others, I considered to be technically competent. However to discern my final selection of drawings I looked for atmosphere, tension, drama, a sense of life and a sense of experimentation within my work rather than just the skill of representing an object or scene. The biggest criticism, from my (second) tutor has been that I try too hard to make art. I completely agree with this and have discovered that my best works are usually ones I haven’t had fixed ideas about before I started; experimentation is definitely my friend! I did a couple of trawls through my  coursework, firstly picking out the more competent drawings. I then used the above criteria to further reduce that section. Once I was down to around 16 drawings eliminating the final few was one of the hardest things I have had to do on this course. Many of my drawings have some of my required qualities but not all and it is often hard to compare two that I consider good for different reasons. However I finally managed to discern my final 12 by considering what this body of work says about me as an artist. I rejected work that may be technically competent but didn’t have, in my opinion, something of the essence of ‘Anna’ in them. This could be a risky approach but I can identify with my final selection as a whole. The drawings all hold something of me: perhaps the beginning of a personal voice.

No.1 ‘Market Hall, Chipping Campden’

Conte crayon on cartridge paper.

The Market Hall, Chipping Campden
Market Hall, Chipping Campden

I chose this piece because although it is of a static building the drawing has a sense of life to it. The mark making, textures and choice of palette covey atmosphere and a real sense of place: you can feel the stonework. The viewer is also drawn through the arches to the far side of the street. Having said that this final body of work holds something of what I am about in them, this is in fact the least personal of my drawings. In a way it is a shame to lead with it, but I have opted to display them in course order, so first it must be.


No. 2 ‘Roof Tops I’

Graphite and coloured charcoal with water on lining wallpaper.

Roof Tops I
Roof Tops I

No.3  ‘Roof Tops II’

Graphite and coloured charcoal with water on lining wallpaper.

Study in graphite, coloured charcoal and water
Roof Tops II

No. 4 ‘Roof Tops III’

Graphite with water on lining wallpaper.

Roof Tops III
Roof Tops III

Drawing no’s 2, 3 and 4 should be viewed as a series and my comments here extend to all three drawings.

I have chosen these three as I think they are some of the best work I have ever done. They have all the qualities I was looking for. Atmosphere is provided by the palette, the composition and the quick nature of the marks. The water adds tension (the random drips) and texture to the pieces. My biggest problem with this whole series of architectural drawings was selecting which one to leave out. In the end I decided to send Roof Tops IV as a supporting work only. I like the drama and lighting of the buildings of this piece but the tree is less dramatic and there is an awkward space in the top left corner. Although it is darker, Roof Tops III is a more rounded work as a whole and offers the viewer the journey down the hill and around the bend in the road. The exaggerated length of the chimney pots adds to the sense of drama to the scene. I am also sending two studies and my final assignment piece as supporting work. None of them have the atmosphere that my submitted pieces do but they do show the progression (in the case of the studies) that led me to produce the Roof Tops series.

Supporting work for No’s 2, 3, and 4

No. 5 ‘Crouching Nude-continuous line’

Marker pen on cartridge paper

20. Continuous line with marker pen on a stick
Crouching Nude – continuous line with pen on stick

There is beauty in the simple, continuous line of this drawing. The drawing is unfussy, with minimal attention to detail. In fact detail is not needed: the pose has gravitas and the body balanced. The drawing is about the poise of the body rather than the muscular details. The thinness of the supporting arm provides tension as does the depiction of the splayed fingers contacting the ground. I am sending 2 drawings to support this drawing as it came about from a long series of quick studies experimenting with different materials. Both are simple studies made in the same quick way. The ink one and feather quill study is of the same pose, and whilst I really like it (it too is balanced and has gravitas – and I would go as far to say I prefer the angle of the head) the balance between positive and negative space is not as good as the continuous line pose. This isn’t a problem with the ink wash study, and I love the simplicity of the pose with the gradations of tone an ink wash can give.  However this drawing lacks the gravitas of the other two. As a viewer you do not get a sense of the weight of the body coming down though the page.

Supporting work for No. 5

No. 6 ‘Out of the Bath’

Marker pen on cartridge paper

Bath 3. Pen on short stick
Out of the Bath. Pen on short stick

At first this may seem an odd choice for a ‘best’ drawing. However I have included in my selection because it offers something that many other drawings don’t and that is the engagement of the drawing as part of the viewer’s self. The drawing has to be viewed this way up (the way it was drawn) for the viewer to get the sense that they could be looking at their own feet. This drawing was part of a series I did of my legs as I got out of the bath. I am sending one other (Bath 2) as supporting work. Out of the Bath is a better drawing in the series (and was in fact the final drawing of three stages of getting out of the bath) The slant of the floorboards adds to the sense of perspective and grounds the feet. The right foot is not parallel to these floorboard lines which gives the viewer a slight vertiginous feeling, suggesting the height of the body towering over the feet.  It is an intimate drawing with a sense of immediacy about it.  Bath 2 doesn’t have the floorboard lines and as such the legs ‘float’ in space a little. There is little detail in these drawings, but detail is not needed to convey the feeling of looking down at ones legs and feet as you exit the bath – which of course is exactly how they were drawn.

Supporting work for No. 6

No. 7 ‘Wendy’

Graphite on cartridge paper

Wendy 3. Graphite with left hand
Wendy 3. Graphite with left hand

I have chosen this drawing as it is beautiful in its simplicity. The marks convey the central meaning of the pose without fussy detail. The quirkiness of the line (caused by being drawn by my non-dominant hand) adds intimacy to the drawing and the sitters personality seems to leap of the page because of it. The lines of the curtain behind the chair add tension to that intimacy, possibly because their straightness contrasts the curvy lines elsewhere. Without the curtain, the sense of place would be lost too. I was influenced by a drawing I have recently seen by Frank Auerbach when was completing this section of the course and this drawing came out of sketchbook work around Auerbach’s ideas.

No. 8 ‘Reclining Nude’

Ink on cartridge paper

Reclining model. Ink wash lifted out with water
Reclining Nude. Ink wash lifted out with water

Drawing No. 8 (along with No. 9) came out of a series of experimental studies using line and tone to depict the human form. As well as my sketchbook material I have sent 3 drawings as supporting work for this piece. The first is a large charcoal drawing of a seated model. This drawing relied very much on the addition and removal of charcoal and it gave me the idea to try the same with ink for the No. 8. Whilst I think the charcoal is a successful drawing it lacks the drama of the submitted piece. This drawing has much atmosphere, provided by the blurred outlines of the model. Detail is minimal,  compared to the charcoal allowing the heaviness of the pose to come across. The medium lends itself to this feeling of heaviness: the dripping nature of the ink seems to make the body melt into the floor. The foreshortened pose provides much tension and drama to the drawing. This combined sense of atmosphere, tension and drama are missing from many of the other drawings in this series of the same pose including the final assignment drawing for  part of the course: the reclining figure in coloured charcoal. This drawing is successful in terms of proportion, pose and technique but it lacks the life of the ink wash study (No. 8) which is much more dynamic. The ink wash and resist study of the same pose is also dynamic but it lacks that feeling of heaviness to the body that I feel makes No. 8 so successful as a drawing.

Supporting work for No. 8

No. 9 ‘Owen’

Conte crayon on paper

Owen. Conte crayon
Owen. Conte crayon

I have chosen this drawing because of the sense of command that the portrait brings. There is a real presence to the drawing. The elevated position of the model means the viewer engages with him with a slight sense of awe. The portrait itself isn’t constrained by the boundaries of the coloured rectangle which brings the whole drawing to life. It is as if the model is about to step forward out of the page. My approach to this portrait was experimental and was done as a direct result from research into line and tone (see research book part 4).

Note: Drawings No.10, No.11 and No.12 were all produced as studies and investigations for my personal project into understanding the depiction of human movement in drawing. I am sending my final piece for this as supporting work only as all three investigations produced better work than the final piece.

No.10 ‘Light Series’

Drawing with light captured on photographic paper (digitally enhanced)

Light Series
Light Series

This series of photographs is the result of ‘drawing’ with light and capturing the images with long-exposure photography. I have digitally enhanced each image to increase the contrast between the light drawing and the background. Individually these are very simple, temporary drawings. However captured and presented as a series they give a wonderful sense of human movement. The simple figures are graceful yet they convey the energy of a dance. the word ‘Joy’ springs to mind whenever I see them. The viewer may consider each pose as part of a sequence of movement as the brain fills in the spaces between each pose. They have a vibrancy that the final piece ‘The Jump’ (see below) doesn’t have. The retention of the light on the right hand side gives each figure a real physical presence resulting in a ephemeral temporary drawing captured in a real place.

No 11. ‘Untitled’

Natural stone and clear gesso on cartridge paper

1. Study in drawing stones on clear gesso
Study in drawing stones on clear gesso

This study conveys human movement with no real detail at all, just a few lines. The human form is only just discernible, but there is enough information, the crock of an elbow of an arm thrown back, the roundness of the hip and thigh, to make the pose and the movement believable. The body is thrown into a curve which provides tension. The use of colour adds to the sense of movement. It blurs the edges of the form. I have been criticised (quite rightly) for adding detail for details sake. This is certainly not the case here and I think it is a very successful drawing as a result.

No. 12 ‘Bolero II

Derwent Graphfik line painter with water on graph paper

Bolero II
Bolero II

This is a risky choice for selection as one of my ‘best’ drawings. The piece has been created as a response to watching human movement. However, although it is an experimental piece it holds many of the qualities I am looking for. There is tension and drama in the lines. The two colours ‘dance’ together across the page, interacting with one another providing atmosphere to the piece. Of the several drawings of this type that I did, this one stands out because of that tension between the two dancers (colours). I am sending in ‘Bolero I’ as a piece of supporting work. Compositionally I actually prefer ‘Bolero I’. It sits nicely on the page and has this wonderfully clear middle section around which the drama of the dance flows. However, ‘Bolero I’ was also a response to watching two dancers and there is no indication of this in the drawing. ‘Bolero II’ on the other hand captures that interaction and hence is my chosen submitted drawing.  The reaction of the pigment with the water is very important in providing atmosphere. This fluid tension and atmosphere contrasts with the rigid background of the graph-paper grid patterns. This juxtaposition of control against freedom reflects the highly choreographed nature of the seemingly effortless ballet.

Supporting work for No.10, No. 11 and No.12

Final Selection for Assessement

11 thoughts on “Final Selection for Assessement

  1. Hello Anna,Thank you very much for sharing this final selection. I am full of admiration for your choices. I can imagine the difficulty since you have produced many lovely drawings. You have been brave and gone for the drawings that you find most satisfying and meaningful rather than trying to second guess the assessors, and this is clearly the thing to do. I love the simplicity as well as the variety in much of your work, and particularly like the rooftop series. Could I ask about the size of your work – are they all big? i.e. A2 or A3? I ask because I don’t have any big work, although am trying to rectify that for assignments 3 and 4. I’m wondering if we can send in A4 stuff?
    I know your art will get a good response from the assessors, and can see you will go from strength to strength on this course. It’s great isn’t it! all the best, Sue

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sue for your kind words, it has been an exhilarating journey but I totally underestimated the amount of work needed to get it all together to be sent off. I have spent the day amending my blog post to include the supporting work! Time will tell I suppose if I have made the right judgements or not! In answer to your size questions, a lot of my work is big (but that may be just me – it appears I don’t do small very well!!) but i have a whole variety of sizes here. I didn’t really start to go really big until assessment 3 with the Roof Tops – and then didn’t look back. The landscape format roof top is somewhere between A2 and A1, the 2 portrait format ones, nearer A2. However, the untitled drawing is A4 (no 11) and cut out of my sketchbook for this. There are a few A3’s in there, Market hall (No 1) ,No 5 crouching nude and the graph paper one. Rest are A2 in size. Much of my supporting work was A1 though and only just fitted in my portfolio! I have to say it was very satisfying putting them onto backing card (not the supporting work). I am glad I spent the time sorting out the presentation. Good luck with the rest of the course. I am looking forward to catching up with everyones blogs once I have posted this all off! Best wishes Anna


  2. Wow! I am blown away by your drawings, but in particular the life drawing – I like it all, right down to the toes coming out of the bath! The group of images seem to hang together really well although there are lots of different things going on – it’s exciting. Well done – these are really inspirational.


    1. Hi Kim, thank you so much for that. I am particularly pleased that you think the whole lot hang together well. Fingers crosssed the assessors like it too! Best of luck with the rest of your course. I hope you are enjoying it – Anna


  3. Mary says:

    Hi Anna, what a stunning selection ! Can’t remember which ones you left out but this draws together your progression and personality….I am sure you will do well, Congratulations, love Maryx

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow – beautiful Anna! Thank you for sharing this. I agree that although there are so many different and quite brave approaches it all works wonderfully together! There is your voice in them all. All the best for assessment!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you very much Clara. I am feeling less brave as time goes on but too late to change now 🙂 I think I have seen that you recently finished your foundation course (I hope that is right)? If so have you decided if you are going to continue? All the best. Anna

    Liked by 1 person

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