Unfortunately my tutor Simon Manfield was unable to report on assignment four as he has been called away to Australia for family reasons. My thoughts are with him. Jim Unsworth stepped in at short notice and I appreciate that, very much.
I wasn’t surprised to get mixed feedback from this assignment and my project work throughout Part 4 as I could see for myself that while I’d done some good work with nice gestural lines, I also produced some flat and lifeless work. As Jim says: “Some pieces sing out as being much better than others.”
Here are the main points of advice from Jim for me to absorb and take on board:
Related to assignment
Tonal assignment piece “A successful drawing given the parameters that you have set yourself are somewhat traditional. You have used the enquiring studies well and produce a successful ‘finished’ piece. This is a difficult viewpoint and you have handled it well. the more shaded approach is effective here but some of the more open approaches in the smaller drawings look to be more expressive.
Line drawing assignment – In comparison the assignment piece of the seated figure is weak. There is very little life in this drawing as you have ‘designed’ all the life from the act of drawing itself. The studies are much better although not as strong as the reclining figure. I would advise having another go at the larger drawing in line but use charcoal and avoid filling in the way that you have done it here. Let the line be line and use different speeds and weight to describe the figure.
Some of the quick studies of moving figures in pen and inks are splendid. Learn from these when you work in line. They are so expressive and have life and character as well as being accurate. These drawings illustrate well what I have been saying; you have done it here. Transfer the feel to larger work in line when you do more.
Send original drawings rather than print outs. ( I printed out my exploratory pieces and mounted them on A2)
Leave rectified mistakes in your drawing, this will make your drawings richer and give them history. It is important that if you see something that bothers you in a drawing that you change it visually as an immediate reaction when you are working.
Refer to all your work as drawings as ‘sketches’ sometimes demeans their actual quality even though they may have been executed quickly.
Bear in mind when you are applying qualitative discernment to your work that quickly executed drawings can be good and bad. Drawings made more slowly likewise. Time spent is not a factor; input is however. It is the intent and nature of the outcome in reference to what your subject is and the quality of the drawing itself that matters.
Look at the drawn figure work by Manet, Cezanne, Seurat and particularly Degas and Van Gogh. Rembrandt will also help you both with your tonal work and line work and a combination of both. Look at some of Rodin’s figure work in line. Try to assimilate what you look at into your practise.
Link to full feedback report (pdf): assignment-four-tutor-report