Reflecting on Drawing 1, Part 1 – Mark-making and tone

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness and compositional skills.

I chose this course because I felt my drawing skills were holding me back from developing as an artist and I know I have weaknesses in these areas having had no formal training previously. This means that I’ve got a lot to gain and having just finished Part 1, I already believe my skills have developed. At this point I feel highly motivated and happy that I’ve chosen the right course for me.

I am finding great value in the planning process – preliminary sketches to explore composition, texture, colour etc – and I know this is improving my work and giving me a much better chance of achieving an outcome I am satisfied with. My major problem is that I am very slow at drawing (and use the rubber too much). Of course I know the answer is to practice more and draw at every opportunity.

Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

I believe I’ve presented my work in a coherent way and hopefully communicated well in my blog. In terms of discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts and communication of ideas… from my viewpoint, it feels too early to judge as Part 1 seemed to be about exercises to develop technical skills (very valuable in my case) rather than free expression. I know this will change as the course progresses.

Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of personal voice.

I am aware that it is very easy to experiment and explore and then fall back into old, safe habits when it comes to producing work for assignments. I’ve tried not to do this but, even so I seem to have used my favourite Brusho inks a lot. I’m making a resolution now to be experimental and accept that not all experiments are going to work. I’m starting to understand that my sketchbook is not for pretty finished pictures but a place for trying things out and exploring ideas, what works and what doesn’t, without being precious about the outcome.

Both my assignments for Part 1 look a bit safe to me… but I have had a fantastically enjoyable time experimenting during the exercises and  put my heart into them. I’ve particularly enjoyed using different mediums and mixing them up. When I’ve used the Brusho inks I’ve used them differently by drawing under and over the ink in all kinds of mediums including pencil, charcoal, conte crayons and oil pastels. I’ve made some great discoveries and extended my ability to illustrate texture, in particular.

It feels early days to be assessing creativity, imagination and personal voice. In the past I don’t think I’ve had the technical skills to be able to fully give voice to my creativity and imagination… but already I  feel that is beginning to change.

Context – reflection, research, critical thinking, learning log.

It took me two months longer to complete Part 1 than I had originally planned because my Father became ill and  died, and then my Aunt, who was like a mother to me, died the day after Dad’s funeral.

When I signed up for this course I did so in the midst of a very heavy workload, combined with providing care and support to an elderly Dad. I took the plunge when I did because I felt I was losing myself and that I needed to find ways to pursue my dreams and ambitions. My Dad was 89 and my Aunt was ill with cancer so I knew that at some point I would have to drop everything to be at their sides and also to do the work of an executor. What I didn’t know was when and everything happened much sooner than I had anticipated.

On a positive note, after a period of two months or more in which I did very little artwork I  I’m back in the flow, enjoying it and extremely glad that I started the course as it  has been a lifeline for getting back to ‘normality’ after a difficult time.

Addressing particular criteria…

I’ve tried to reflect honestly and openly on my work and acknowledge progress as well as areas where I’ve struggled.

The research projects have opened my eyes to artists I wasn’t familiar with and been compelling, if quite challenging to write up… I’ve tried to bring some personal interpretation to these, rather than focus purely on biographical information.

I‘m aware I need to get out to more galleries and exhibitions, and also take part in some OCA study days. This will definitely be easier for me in future and I am open to suggestions.

Maintaining an online learning blog feels hard work at times… but it is a brilliant thing to have and to look back on for inspiration. It also satisfying to have a comprehensive record of progress both for my tutors and assessors, and me personally.

I look forward to my tutor’s feedback!


2 thoughts on “Reflecting on Drawing 1, Part 1 – Mark-making and tone

  1. I’m so sorry about your loss, and glad doing the course is helping you through this time. Your post inspired me! I’ll be starting the same course at the end of this month, and will follow you along the way. It’s great you are enjoying it so much.

  2. Hello Jane, thanks for your nice words. Good luck with the course, I’m getting a lot from it. I’ll follow your blog and we can support each other. If I can help you with anything, just let me know. Sara

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