Reflection on tutors formative feedback – Assignment 1

After reading through my formative feedback for assignment 1, alongside other pointers that my tutor picked up on, I found that there were 3 main points that my tutor raised and emphasised that I need to focus on:

  1. How to formulate my compositions using negative and positive space.
  2. Make preparatory sketches throughout the exercises and before going straight into the final drawing
  3. Focus on different ranges of mark making and texture.

My tutor noted that I had achieved a good level of reflective work on my drawings once completed, however she also identified the importance of conducting some reflective thoughts and ideas before I start the drawing – asking myself what my aim is to explore in the drawing, which will also help towards creating my own personal voice. During my preparatory stages I need to experiment with different mark making.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills, quality of outcome, demonstration of creativity

I need to focus on the placement of my objects on the page and composition to make the viewers eye travel across the drawing. My tutor also pointed out that I tend to ‘treat the negative space as ‘background’ rather than an important aspect of the drawing’ – I will need to focus on making the negative space more of a feature of the drawing rather than trying to fill in the space. With improvements to my composition and placement of objects I will be able to create more interesting drawings and the negative space will become an important part of the piece.

Another point that my tutor flagged was to improve my observational and drawing skills. I know that both these skills need improvement and I find drawing challenging. She recommended that I try to draw everyday. This sparked quite an interesting thought that could be a side project that will help assist my skills during this unit. I hope to see my drawing skills improve along the way.

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Within the first sentence of this part of the feedback was ‘a fair range of research’ – which in my eyes, needs to be an excellent range of research. This slightly disheartened me because I normally have very good levels of research – I enjoy this part of the development process –  I was frustrated at myself for not pushing myself further on this part. However I do agree with my tutor on this statement and feel that I did what was asked and nothing more (which is very unlike me). However this was my first assignment and I now feel confident of what needs to be done for the next assignment in terms of ‘going beyond’ of what needs to be completed.

Another of a key aspect which I normally thrive at was applying my research to my own personal development. I love the development process of my art work and enjoy it more than creating a final piece. I love the journey that I take so again I felt a fool for not applying this to my own work. I need to explore similar ways of working and marking making to ‘communicate texture and energy’. I feel that this is something I have applied more during my Assignment 2 (as I have already completed assignment 2, I knew what I needed to focus on more which is in agreement with my tutor in this feedback). 

All my research needs Harvard referencing – something that I am not confident at what so ever so I will need to go back through this assignment and assignment 2 to edit and re-reference my work. I need to use quotation marks!

My tutor mentioned I would benefit from looking at the course reading list – particularly ‘contemporary drawing and practice’ and ‘experimental approaches to drawing’. I have now bought these books and waiting for a delivery! I look forward to some extra reading and helpful process to guide me through.

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

In terms of my reflective thinking, my tutor noted that I am doing this well once I have completed a drawing, however it has been advised that I record my thoughts before, during and after the drawing or set of drawings has been completed. This will aid my reflective decision-making process as I work. Again this is something I noticed during my second assignment and I have adopted this way of working since. As I have mentioned throughout my blog posts I have found it very challenging to get to grips with the way of working on this course and that at times I have become very frustrated with the course. I have noted and reflected each time how I have felt throughout my drawing process. I now feel that I have come to a point where I am finally engaging with the course and feel my reflective thinking is becoming much stronger.

‘Your analytical approach offers a sound basis to further explore some specific aims in your drawings’ – I should give myself a couple of simple aims to explore before I begin drawing. These things should be perhaps one of the main pointers that have been raised about my drawing – Negative and positive space/texture, marking making. In addition to the tasks and assignment I should start setting aims for myself – i.e drawing everyday – which will help in developing my own personal voice. 

I need to explore other various mark making – I have achieved bold marks when drawing the objects and then I fill in the gaps (negative space) rather than consider the negative space as its own thing.

I need to consider completing more thumbnail sketches before I tackle the final drawing and focus on my research and how I will use it in my drawings.

  • Look at Georgio Morandi’s still-lives – How can I apply his approach to negative space in my work? 

An interesting point that was raised (and I had never thought of) is to look at my drawings through a mirror. I need to spend more time looking at my drawings – instead of rushing through them.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills, demonstration of creativity

Before even looking at the feedback from my tutor I knew that (on reflection) I needed to demonstrate more creativity during this assignment. My way of thinking is difficult to show through drawing and – as it has been noted a few times – I need to show and develop my own personal voice.

A key point here is to USE my sketchbook. It is a place for exploring and experimenting so use it to do this. I need to complete more preparatory sketches, exploring compositions and marks. ‘It would be useful to try out (photograph and draw) a greater range of compositional possibilities prior to drawing’ – don’t be afraid to sketch and photograph things that interest me, to aid my skill and knowledge for the course.

I need to think more during the preparatory stage! I just like to get into it – thinking isn’t for me!

Bring my reflective and analysis to the forefront – How might I apply my research to my own development – reflect on Mehretu’s work and think about what you appreciate and how this might inform your work. 

Next steps/suggested reading:

  • Regarding research on contemporary artists’ approach to drawing: Vitamin D New perspectives in drawing. Read the essay and look at William Kentridge/Julie Mehretu (and others)
  • Kaupelis, R, (1992) Experimental Drawing. Watson Guptil Publications
  • Look at how Georgio Morandi approaches negative/positive space in his drawings and paintings

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