Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Feedback 1 - Sketchbook assignment

My tutor has provided feedback on my sketchbook module, and here is what she said:

Feedback on the sketchbook course

Overall Comments

Well done Lorna for completing this extra assignment.  There is evidence that you have in tackling the exercises set begun to develop your own style and skill.  The work is experimental and responds well to your research material.  You have written a description of your work and how it links to your research material in your learning log/blog this is good. 

Feedback on assignment

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

As I am sure I have said before how drawing is an essential part of visual creativity and doing a degree in textiles.  So it is great to see that you are investing time in improving your skills and developing your confidence.  As you say in your blog your drawings are often childlike but please try not to worry or feel ashamed of this.  We all have to start somewhere and we all start with childlike drawings.  I suggest you try to forget how you may be judged and plow on. 

Drawing and sketching is about connecting your hand and your eye to reproduce something that you see.  As we all see the world differently what we put on the paper is also different.  A lot of your drawings appear childlike because you are not drawing what you see but rather what you have learnt represents the object.  For example a tree; your trees look like what we all know to be the representation of a tree.  However not all your drawings are like this.  For example there is evidence in the sketch of the shackle that you have really looked at the object and transferred what you see to the page.  This is great and I suggest you spend a few minutes each day drawing an object in this way.  It could be the remains of a meal on the table or an arranged still life, it doesn’t really matter what it is.  The important element is training your eye and hand to work together better. Try and draw what you see, it is not often we see trees from top to bottom, don’t worry if your drawing doesn’t ‘look’ like a tree, you will be learning about what you see and improving those hand/eye skills.

There is something of the looseness I would expect in your drawing of the petrol station.  You have quickly, with energy captured the shapes and their arrangement creating an interesting composition.  I can see how you could develop these elements further by drawing them again and again to create a drawing suitable to be made into piece of textile work. 

You have used lots of different media in this assignment.  There is lots of paint that you have used in different ways including painting into a wet surface and also scratching into a dry surface.  There are also pages where you have stitched into the painted to surface to add colour and texture.  This is really nice and experimental and I suggest you continue to explore different ways of making your marks.  I suggest you also include charcoal, Indian inks, collage and water soluble pencils in your range of media. 

In this assignment there is evidence that you have drawn at different scales from the small to about A3.  This is a really important part of learning and improving your drawing skills.  Working at a range of scales encourages you to look in different ways and to use more or less of your body to achieve an outcome.  I suggest you try out drawing at a larger scale.  I use wallpaper liner that comes in a roll, you can cut a size that suits you and it is very cheap.   Stretch a piece across your kitchen table and use the whole of your arm to fill the page with marks.  I suggest you start by making simple doodles and marks then progress onto creating larger than life still lives.  Use charcoal, jumbo felt pens and soft pencils like an 8b. 

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Your learning log remains well organised and I am pleased to see that you have kept this section separate from the A Creative Approach work this will help at assessment.  Your learning log describes well your work and the approach you have taken.  This is good but I suggest you should also be analysing your outcomes.  By this I mean discussing whether you achieved what you set out to do asking yourself if you chose the right materials, the right colours, etc.  Also consider if your placement and scale works well to create the composition.  There are no right or wrong answers here; in asking yourself these questions you will learn more about your work and abilities.  It is also part of the academic thinking that is essential to gain a good degree. 

Suggested reading/viewing

To improve your drawing I suggest Drawing Projects: an exploration of the language of drawing by Mick Maslen and Jack Southern.  This is an excellent book as it covers the history of drawing, how artists use drawing in their practice and guides the reader through a series of projects to develop your skills.

I suggest you also look at Keeping a Sketchbook Useful and Marking Making 1, 2 and 3 in the OCA recourses for textiles.

 Pointers for continuing to develop your drawing

  • Draw regularly from life
  • Use a larger range of media
  • Explore large scale drawing and mark making
  • Look at the OCA resourses on drawing and consider working from the recommended publication
  • Analyse your own work and record your findings in your learning log.
  • Reflect on this feedback form in your learning log
Well done, Lorna I look forward to seeing your developing drawing style.

My reflections
The reason I have included this feedback and the feedback from assignment 4 in full on the blog is that this is the penultimate feedback on the course, and I need to focus for the final assignment, so although I may have learned quite a bit from previous feedback, this is the culmination of pointers for the future.
So, what do I feel about this feedback - and what have I learned?

Firstly, the feedback is pretty positive and supportive on what to do next. I am encouraged that the reading she has suggested I already have, and it reminds me to read and digest it during drawing exercises.
  • Clearly I do need to do more drawing, so I will think about what to do about this. I think I will continue to draw things I like, bottle shapes, vases and so on, simple shapes to help we work out modelling, shading, curves.
  • I am also encouraged that the media I have used is OK, and that she suggests widening this a bit more. Surprisingly she says I should use water soluble pencil, I already use these and a bit of inktense; but I do agree that I have not used charcoal, and inks yet; maybe I will try these, I am a bit nervous of the charcoal side of things.
  • Similarly ,I will have a go at working with scale, I have some A1 size papers leftover from making some of these concertina books, so the scale could explode if needed!
  • She wants me to do a bit more self-analysis of the drawings - what went well, what didn't work. I guess the reason I do not do this is that most of the time I don't find my drawings particularly good, but I will try to look a bit more carefully at my drawings and consider these in writing.
What surprised me - that she barely mentioned my box of samples and knitted squares on papers. In spending so much space on her review on my drawing, there was no mention of the artists' references, or the dyed papers, the small 'woven' 3D braided samples or any other element in the box (which I had been quite pleased with), not sure why these were omitted, as she did mention the stitched samples in a couple of my painted papers.

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