Selection for submission


This piece demonstrates use of colour within a limited palette. I didn’t use much colour experimentation in this unit so this is the only submission piece in which I focused simply on colour. I have submitted some drawings in support of my minimal experimentation into colour, with other still life experimentation using a wide range of media. I was weary of using colour as I wanted, on a personal level, to improve my understanding of drawing materials and techniques.


Drawings of ‘The Pond’ and ‘The Tree’ evidence my experimental approach to combining observational drawing with exploring mark making and line. My use of expression in these drawings portray the way I see this scene along with the developed technique that I seemed to have adopted in assignment 5. Drawing in this way made a huge impact in finally starting to enjoy observational drawing, as I started to understand the ways in which a drawing from observation didn’t have to be perfectly realistic. My understanding of depth and perspective improved, especially evident in ‘The Pond’. Sense of movement and rhythm were also very important to me in these drawings.


This drawing is an abstract representation of a figure, using coke cans and acrylic paint to create it. The aim was to focus on conveying energy within the figure. I was also struggling to get proportions correct in my figure drawing and this process helped me loosen up. A single line felt daunting to me, as there was too much scope for it to go wrong. Having circular marks on the page transforms the drawing into something more rhythmic and unrestricted.


This piece was the most enjoyable, planned and self-fulfilling piece that I completed but it also encompassed everything I had learnt. It demonstrates a deeper understanding of how to create depth in my work, effective use of marks and lines, use of various media and an interesting introduction of tone. It also includes evidence of observational drawing that is a repeated image. I have been able to include a subtle use of colour in this piece which breaks up all of the black marks, but this is also evident in Mehretu’s work.


I was really impressed with the successful outcome of my proportions in these drawings. I wanted to use a simple material to draw my first statue experimenting with various pencil thicknesses. My use of tone in my Gandhi statue highlighted his facial features and glasses. I struggled to draw the hands and they are slightly small in proportion to the rest of his body. The second statue drawing was of David Lloyd George was completed in ink and oil pastel. This time I wanted to keep a focus on tone but explore tone with different media. I started with ink which I laid the basis down for the dark and light tones I then went onto experiment with oil pastel in a way that I hadn’t before. I started to smudge the oil pastel to blend tones and create gradual shadows and highlights. I found that this created a softer feel to the piece and worked well in keeping a form to the statue.


I have selected this piece to evidence my use of perspective and technical observational drawing skills. I was able to complete some preliminary studies which progressed my understanding in drawing angles to portray the correct perspective. (Please see supporting work) Although I wanted to convey this technical understanding I also wanted to add in a little creativity. Developing the themes that I was working on at the time I layered my drawings to create more interest and rhythm.

My two final pieces for assignment 4 have also been selected for submission. These pieces demonstrate my developing understanding of; foreshortening, perspective, tone and my own personal themes (of which I have carried through the unit) of layering, transparency, mixed media and line. I wanted to challenge myself for this assignment and the chosen pose for each drawing reflected this.




Evidence of acting on feedback pointers:

Editing of final piece:

For my final piece I have adapted and planned the final outcome that I have now achieved. When I submitted this assignment I was aware and concerned about putting ‘too much’ into the drawings and not allowing any ‘breathing space’ within the composition. I did not want to overwhelm the paper or the viewer with too much information although when I received my feedback I completely agreed with my tutor that I did not consider up-scaling some of my marks on the larger support. Also the raw, earthy marks and tones that are present in a lot of my developmental stages are missing in the final outcome. The piece was missing the raw physicality movement, the act of drawing I was so keen to portray, so along with up-scaling of marks I also needed to include these earthy tones. Although this movement of physical presence was missing it wasn’t just the idea of putting it into the piece, it needed to be experimented with and planned to sustain the depth and momentum of the piece. As a result of this I explored with media and marks to search for the most suitable composition to maintain the strong emotional links between the marks and movement and also subject matter. I was conscious of not making the marks too heavy, too broad, too dominant that it took the focus away from the finer details of the piece.

I feel the new marks have added a further dimension to this piece along with deeper emotional connections due to the depth that it has added.

Scroll-like knot drawing:

Breaking this drawing down and looking at the lines and parts of the drawing, as my tutor recommended I do, was a great way in understanding and analysing my mark making process to build form. I have been able to select the tools and skills I used to create this drawing to then produce my final piece. I didn’t even consider using the mark making qualities from this drawing into my assignment piece but it turns out that these types of marks were exactly what my final outcome needed to create movement and evidence deeper emotion. The smudging of marks adds a softer aspect to the piece taking away any harsh marks.

Untitled 4

Artist – Xavier Grau

I have now consistently updated my whole blog, all my work from this course, with the correct Harvard referencing!

Response to assignment 5 feedback

I was pleasantly surprised with my tutor feedback from assignment 5. This assignment was a real opportunity to show how my ideas and skills have developed through the course and I was really grateful that my tutor was able to see this progress and my development of my personal voice. It was noted that my tutor can see evidence of my reflection process becoming more analytical which is becoming more useful in my decision making process, this is also affecting how my vocabulary us developing. I have drawn on past experimentation and knowledge to explore an ’emerging visual language’.

It is evident that my personal and emotional experiences at becoming part of my art and visualising these psychological states to respond to a particular space.

Feedback on assignment:

My commitment to this particular assignment is evident through my collation of visual and audio references. I have been able to explore mark-making at an extensive level throughout observational drawings, layering, collage and compositional decision making. My tutor mentions subtle and dynamic examples in my sketchbook.

You have explored your mark-making, composition and layering across your preliminary drawings and collages.  There are both subtle and dynamic examples in your A3 sketchbook The scroll-like tree root and the layering of translucent tracings.  

When it came to editing my assignment piece the below comments were what I had to keep in mind and bring in ideas from past preliminary work.

In your sketchbook ideas there are qualities of differing intense qualities of surface, range of mark-making.  This includes a more visceral, grubby, dirty, earthy quality.  These qualities can get lost when you scale up, which is a shame.  I recommend you think about and test-out how you might re-introduce these marks and qualities when scaling-up.  Have you thought about the size and width of some of your drawing tools; perhaps use some broader brushes or areas of smudging.  the transparent tissue works well in your sketchbook as a veil of colour over your drawn marks.  (Pointers)

I enjoy up scaling my work when it comes to completing my final assignment pieces especially for this assignment as I really wanted to include the ideas of a physical presence in the piece, which would add to my emotional connection to the piece and the place I was referring to. However as my tutor noted I perhaps mis-judged up scaling some of the marks in my drawing, and this was something that I considered when editing the final outcome in response to this feedback.

You have an ambition in terms of testing-out the scale of work, across which you explore ideas.  This evidences your enthusiasm for materials, pushing your visual ideas and wanting to connect with the viewer in conveying ideas.

I have challenged my emotions and personal experiences in this assignment and explored a wide range of media; digital, collage, ink, paint, charcoal, pen and also experimenting with composition, scale and format. You attempted a deeply personal, vulnerable and challenging content in this assignment.  It is good to see you committed to exploring and experimenting across media; digital, collage, a range of drawing media, scale and format.  This assignment shows a developing independence and committed maturity of approach to your studies.

Sketchbooks – Demonstration of technical and visual skills, demonstration of creativity

My tutor found my seaweed/rope drawing quite interesting. There is an interesting and lively connection between the pages of research (Jindra Jehu) followed by some dynamic ink, charcoal and chalk drawing (double-page).  This scroll-like root form pulses with a beautiful vitality.  It is an interesting drawing in itself.  I wonder how you could have explored this form and sense of vitality in several drawings and incorporated this structure and quality into the larger assignment piece?  (Pointers)

Look at the way I have used line and marks to create form and dimension and upscale the marks for the assignment piece from preliminary studies.

Research – context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

I chose particular artists to spark ideas and inspiration to begin the assignment and throughout the assignment. The research I undertook was linked to my own personal interests and ideas to support y developmental drawings and processes.

I am finally beginning to understand artists work at greater depth.  Regarding your research on Carol Heft; you make some insightful and crucial reflections on her juxtapoisition of ‘a strong understanding of observational drawing’ in combination with the more speculative, ‘loose and full of marks’.  There is something here for you to consider and take forward.  

My tutor continues to encourage me to commit to regular observational drawings alongside developing my ‘lively rich visual vocabulary’. This is something I find really hard to do as I struggle to find time to sit and complete an observational drawing, however this is something I am going to need to challenge myself to complete going forward to improve my drawing skills (which is something I feel has developed since the beginning of this course but it needs to continue to develop). Perhaps I could commit to a drawing class a couple of hours a week.

My ‘quality of research is deepening’ and involves primary and secondary research. In this assignment i have been able to reflect appropriately and apply this to my sketchbook work and write about in my blog.

Learning logs or blogs/critical essays – context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

I have really considered my use of vocabulary when reflecting on my work and analysing others so I was pleased that my tutor identified this.

My tutor also picked up on the fact that I have been considering the audiences views and reactions to my pieces. Good to see how you are now considering; the relationship between your visual language, what you want to convey and how this might be read / interpreted by an audience.

Suggested reading/viewing – context

  • Xavier Grau
  • Space and Place, The Perspective of Experience. Yi-Fu Tuan (2011)

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
  • Would like to see you explore the form and qualities in the scroll-like root (A5 sketchbook).  
  • As you progress it would benefit you to commit to regular observational drawing; alongside your developing lively, range of visual language.
  • Think about the scale of the drawing tool: brush, stick, stump of charcoal etc, especially when you scale-up your drawings.  You will also need to scale-up some of your marks by using much broader brushes, thicker, broader drawing pens or markers.  These will then bring a contrast to the slight and scratchy marks and introduce a sense of depth.
  • Consistently refer to and use the academic referencing for all your research

(red = tutors comments)