Part 5: Tutor Feedback and Own Comments

Overall Comments

Thank you for your final submission Rachael. You have worked hard with your reviews and choosing a subject which you are passionate about. This has culminated in a large ambitious piece. However, there are some technical issues which could be addressed. Your artists statement describes your methodology rather than in-depth analysis of your themes. It’s in the last two paragraphs where your statement gives insight into the issues and themes of your work e.g. photosynthesis and humans interaction with nature. Overall, the assignment piece is meaningful and personal but quite tight in relation to the more fluid and freer drawing of figures which you have demonstrated before.

I am really pleased my tutor can see the effort applied within this Part of the course.

Having never done an artist’s statement before, I can now appreciate my tutor’s comments regarding the creation of an in-depth analysis of my chosen theme as opposed to my methods to achieve this. I can now appreciate that, instead of breaking down my plan of action, I should have delved deeper into what it was I was actually studying – focussing more on the interactions, qualities and characteristics of my chosen subject.

I totally agree that my final piece is very tight as opposed to fluid and that this, whilst being ambitious, could potentially have been a bit of a safe play on my behalf, however, I still feel I was right to go in this direction to secure such a strong result. I think I still have a way to go to fully control and make the most of my expressive nature.

Feedback on Assignment

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

Assignment: You have paid attention and spent much time in drawing the hands and hair. These have been observed very well and the perspective is convincing, and form is apparent to give spatial grounding. The actual back, buttocks and torso could
be more observed in terms of fleshiness, muscle areas and bones. It sits as one block, so we lose some form. The positioning of the body is complex, and the foreshortening of the buttocks compared to the head seems on the same plane. So, do think about the perspective and the angle. The background distracts the viewer as it is busty and complex.

The tree is quite generic with the mark making and again, more attention could be given to the essence of it being a tree. The collaging of the background works well and this supports the colour scheme of the whole image. You have sued a variety of media with ambition but at the same time being selective and this works for the theme of the work.

Reading this feedback, I feel as though I am watching myself creating the piece and can appreciate how much dedication I gave to the head, hands and hair as opposed to the other areas of the body. I think if I were to go back and recreate this piece, I would give just as much time to the remaining parts of the piece as I had the hair, hands and head. I think the reason I did not do so in the first place was because I knew the hands, head and hair were all more complex in nature and areas I would have to give more attention to in order to be successful, however, in doing so, I feel I became complacent with the other parts of the final piece due to feeling they were easier to recreate, thus leaving them with much less detail.

I am majorly impressed that my selections have worked as well as I had hoped (if not completely) and I will definitely employ this more in the future.


Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

5.3: Initial Conceptual Ideas and Studies

You have reviewed your work in your sketchbook and this shows some development towards the final art. In terms of practice and investigations into the human form, there could be more. Especially with the fundamentals of human figure, it’s anatomy
and the proportions. Also, with different investigations in to the media used.

I completely agree, I definitely could have done more in respect of experimenting with and investigating the human form and media used. Perhaps I was too ambitious in trying to incorporate two Parts of the course and so was unable to dedicate adequate time to one specific point.


Context, Reflective Thinking, Critical Thinking, Analysis

5.2- Your artist research is all relevant and it’s been good for you to reiterate the themes and techniques from the ones which have inspired you. You have been in tune with looking at different techniques which inspire you. However, this could be more in-depth with you looking at the wider issues and themes of the subject of the human form.

I really enjoyed this research as it was completely specific to what I wanted it to be focussed on (though now I think I could have done more in the way of researching my chosen subjects and the media and techniques used). Again, perhaps using two subjects was a little too adventurous for this stage of my journey.

Learning Logs or Blogs / Critical Essays

Context, Reflective Thinking, Critical Thinking, Analysis

You have done a considerable amount of work in terms of reviewing, being self-reflective and being in tune with your areas of improvement and how to pursue to the final part. Your work in 5.1 shows good understanding of self-actualisation – well

Your own commentary of the final assignment piece is in detail in terms of breaking down all the different elements of the process; from surfaces, to detailed drawing, to media exploration and final reflections of the overall piece.

I am pleased the effort applied to this area has shone through to my tutor. Clearly, this is the standard I have to try to attain every time throughout my journey.


  • Considerable amount of work has been done with your reflections throughout the unit. This has been supported by artists research into your chosen subject.
  • Good use of varied media has been used without overwhelming the piece and this shows good selective choices.
  • The successful areas are the hands and particularly the hair and this has been observed well.

Again, there is not much I can add here besides ensuring that I strive to achieve this level throughout the whole of my journey, if not more so.

Areas for Development

  • There could be more grounding with the depth of the work. For example, more distinction between the foreground, mid and background- at the moment the main subject is a little lost within it.
  • Technical aspects need attention with the assignment piece, such as foreshortening. The successful areas are the hands and particularly the hair and this has been observed well.
  • Make sure you are looking at the ‘guidelines for submission’ especially in terms of discernment and the amount of work to send for assessment.

I agree regarding the grounding within the depth of the work, but wonder now whether this is something which will develop the further into my journey I travel, although it is something I will try to work on at every opportunity regardless.

I really enjoy working with foreshortening, so this is something I think will be imperative for me to perfect if I am to use this going further. Technical aspects do seem to be quite a struggle for me, so I think the more I can create quick sketches of a variety of subjects, the more this skill will improve.

With regard to the guidelines for submission, this is something I am rather excited to begin and look forward to submitting my work to be formally assessed. Wish me luck!

Part 5: The Personal Project – Assignment Criteria and Reflection

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills (35%)

  • Materials: I think I have developed an awareness of which materials work best for me now and how best to apply them. I have also discovered ways of using each item to its strengths, for example I use charcoal for quick work with barely any detail and biro for slightly slower work with more detail. Whilst I think it was important to play to my strengths for my final piece, I admit I would have liked to have used those I do not feel as strong in and try to develop them further. I think I need to think outside of the box more with such things and not work in such a ‘traditional’ way, but to attempt to be more contemporary with my methods and creativity.
  • Techniques: Again, I feel I have discovered what works best for me and have played to my strengths for this final part of the course, however, I would have liked to have had more time to experiment and strengthen those I am not as strong in. Perhaps this will be an opportunity in another area of my learning journey and on the side of my formal studies.
  • Observational Skills: I feel my observational skills have improved drastically over the duration of the course and my ability to reflect critically on my own work and to distance myself from it emotionally has also improved. I do agree with my tutor’s previous comments about my lines being too jagged when working quickly and the need to be more flexible with this, however, having monitored myself as I carried out such exercises, I think this is due to the size restrictions of the paper and the length of the lines I am able to create quickly. I think perhaps I need to slow down slightly and concentrate on these lines in quicker work specifically. I think I have been more conscious of this in this part of the course and the quick sketches created.
  • Visual Awareness: I feel I have been much more able to hone-in better in this part of the course and have been quite successful in filling my page with interesting visual information. Again, I think it would be nice to be able to instill some colour within my work, however, I did not feel this final assignment the correct place to experiment further with this and will hopefully revisit it further down the line. I tried to recreate the same piece several times this time around and found that by doing so, I was able to get a hold of the general shape better, such as one would when driving the same route on a daily basis.
  • Design: I think my final designs have been creative and very inclusive of the key strengths noted by myself and my tutor. Again, I feel I stayed within my strengths solely to be able to achieve the strongest possible outcome for my assignment.
  • Compositional Skills: I think my use of grids to assist me in getting the overall initial basic shape onto the paper to then allow me to work expressively and freely but to a set ‘outline’ has really worked for me. I do find that my natural ability to recreate a likeness in shape is progressing with each preliminary sketch, however, when I want to have a more accurate depiction for my actual final piece, for now, I find the grids really do assist me. I think I have worked well with the composition of my pieces this time and have come up with the most interesting options for my final piece sufficiently. I do, however, still feel that I need more practice in this area.

Quality of Outcome (20%)

  • Content: I think my content for my final piece is very interesting and has some rather interesting angles, foreshortening and semi-abstraction. I think it is rather well connected to my artist’s statement, but I do think that perhaps the connection could still be clearer in some way. With more time, I think I could have included more experiments to try to strengthen this.
  • Application of Knowledge:  I think I have applied the lessons learned throughout this course well, having reflected on this via the mind maps. I am concerned as to whether or not my tutor will consider that I have applied too much of the lessons learned thus far, but feel confident that I have stripped it back to those most essential and have eliminated the excess as well as possible.
  • Presentation of Work in a Coherent Manner: My learning log is rather well documented and can be found and followed chronologically via the menu. I think I could have perhaps included more explanation within my sketchbook as to how I have reached a certain decision, but feel it could still be well interpreted alongside the learning log interpretation.
  • Discernment: I think my use of the mind maps to be able to investigate, narrow and then conclude upon the best course of action for my final piece for this part of the course so as to only include the essential and strongest elements learned so far. However, I think I could potentially have carried out more ‘working out’ and created a deeper analysis of my work’s progression to the end result.
  • Conceptualisation of Thoughts: I think my use of mind maps this time has really helped me gather my thoughts in a more concise way and one in which I can understand them more clearly. However, as I am working, I do find that there are often times when I will change my mind rather quickly and not note the reasons for these changes down on my learning log or in my sketchbook. I think I may need to instill some form of ‘diary’ to keep with me at all times and to document everything as I go, so when I come to typing my learning log section, I will be able to include all areas and aspects of ideas and what was actually done and why.
  • Communication of Ideas: Again, I feel this ties very closely with the Conceptualisation of Thoughts area of the course and that instilling a ‘diary’ of sorts will help alleviate any areas of miscommunication or misunderstanding.

Demonstration of Creativity (25%)

  • Imagination: I feel this assignment has been my most creative by far and has come about as a combination of both my tutor’s feedback and my own self-reflection, as well as from the information garnered from my use of the mind maps. I do think I am finding that I seem to prefer to be rather traditional in my methods and perhaps I do need to be more open to contemporary creativity and imagination which push the boundaries and are that little bit more riskier in approach.
  • Experimentation:  Whilst I have not been too experimental in this part of the course due to time restraints, I did experiment with previous strengths as to how I could incorporate such strengths within this final piece to assist in creating the strongest possible result.
  • Invention: I think my method of using mind maps to discern what my final piece for this part should be was rather successful and has helped me reach the strongest results. Again, I created another questionnaire to assist me with my decisions on the final choices and to note any amendments made and the reasons for these. I do not think I should always limit myself to my strengths, but I felt this the best course of action for my final piece for this part of the course.
  • Research: Whilst there was no requirement to carry out research in this part of the course, I felt I needed to do so to be able to assist me with the best ways to move forward.
  • Critical Thinking (Learning Logs): I think my learning log has remained well documented and constructed. I do think, however, that I should ensure to include any quick changes and different choices in future courses by instilling the diary, as noted above.

Part 5.4: Final Piece

I began my final piece by choosing two subjects which I could not decide between and started with two pieces of A1 paper (knowing larger scales work best for my method of working). It was my hope that as I moved through the creative process with both pieces, it would become more apparent to me as to which piece should become my final piece and which was more successful than the other before finally settling on the one final option.


I decided from my experimentation that the strongest result was from that of a surface of newspaper and also the ink as I found these the most appealing, however, I later changed my mind and decided from looking at earlier experiments that I actually preferred found papers due to their cleaner black and white appearance as opposed to the grey of the newspaper. I also then decided that using tea staining would create even more texture than the ink due to the way in which ink appeared to dry smoothly, whereas tea staining would dry where it lay, creating a marbled effect on the found papers.

Once this surface was ready to work on, I decided to draw a grid on both pieces to assist me with laying my chosen subjects down roughly but accurately. I then removed the grids and outlined the subjects in charcoal to assist in being able to see it easier whilst working into the pieces.

It was at this stage that I realised that the second of my pieces was not really working. I found that the human subject only reached halfway up the page with the tree subject covering the remaining half of the page. I felt that if I were to continue, the tree would become more excess space than interesting detail, as well as creating a bit of a battle with the human subject to claim the foreground of the piece, when I would actually prefer the human subject to be the main focal point and the tree important but secondary in the background.

Initial Detail of the Human Subject in Biro

Face, Hair and Hands

Detail of face, hair and hands

I decided to begin filling in the detail of the human subject by using black biro, as I knew there were a few very fine details which needed to be considered very delicately (the face, hair and hands) and my earlier experiments have led me to understand that biro is my strongest tool in this area.

When working on these areas, I decided not to draw the actual shapes I could see, but the shadows, patches of tone and the contrasts within them all as I wanted them to be as deep and as strong as possible to create depth and the sense that the human was quite three-dimensional. With regard to the hair, I decided that the biro was the strongest tool for the base shape and flow of the strands as I could manipulate the direction and shape of my lines to create a realistic representation, but also to help assist the viewer in distinguishing the hair from the deep shadows and the rolls which make up the bun at the back.

Arms, Torso, Buttocks and Leg

Once I had completed the finer detailed areas, I moved on to the remaining areas of the human subject’s body and created subtle marks and cross-hatching to show the movement of the skin over the underlying bones and muscles to create depth and shape within the flat surface and to subliminally inform the viewer the direction the lines are moving in and the roundness this adds.

Detail of arms, torso, buttocks and legs

Initial Detail of the Tree Subject in Biro

I then began using the same method with the biro for the tree as I had the human form, to stay light and delicate, but to simply give the tree its rounded form by subliminally showing the direction the lines are moving in.

Detail of Tree Subject

From here, I added a layer of charcoal to the tree and sealed it with pastel fixative.

I was quite surprised by the changes which developed in the marks created with the pen from the application of the fixative as it seemed to make the lines bleed somewhat and bring out the different under-layers of colour used to build the ink to its black hue. I actually rather enjoyed the surprise result and decided to try and work with it.

I later returned to my piece, having worked in stages throughout the development, deciding that the single layer of charcoal on the tree was effective, but needed more work to show a differentiation between the ground, the roots and the trunk of the tree, but also to stop the human subject from appearing to float in the air.

Additional Media Usage

I then moved on to adding several additions to the piece.

Firstly, I used a putty rubber to redact some of the charcoal to increase the definition around the edges of the collaged paper with the intention of this to subtly stand out as though real bark would itself. This did not really appear to work so well as the layer of charcoal was actually rather thin in the first place, so not much was lifted. There was also the matter that I had used the pastel fixative a little too prematurely, in hindsight, so I decided to rethink my methods and come back to the piece at another time with fresh eyes.

When I returned to the piece, I used the black biro to work back through the piece to create differentiated lines to break up the single directional lines previously created and to deepen some areas I had already created, but felt I had overlooked slightly.

Next, I added some black marker marks to the piece and finally a layer of black acrylic paint pens as I liked how the layers of black lines seemed to deepen and created that layered effect my tutor had tried to get me to develop earlier in the course. I also worked on creating a definition in my grounds by bringing a sense of grass to the area beneath the model and at the base of the tree’s roots.

I used the acrylic marker to also make apparent the different edges of the paper I had used to create a collage, within the tree to emphasise the bark. I felt doing this would be a much more natural way of creating the bark as opposed to trying to create my own example of the same. I felt it rather fitting to emphasise the use of paper in a piece expressing a love and appreciation of trees and the extent to which we humans rely upon the same.


Once I had finished my piece, I took a while away from it to be able to see it with fresh eyes before returning to be able to reflect without continuing and potentially overworking the piece.

I think I could potentially added a little more shadow to the human subject’s flank on her right-hand side to assist in grounding her further and showing the form of the root on that side also. I think I could have worked further with the bark markings to create shadow to one side and add more texture as the result shown above appears a little cartoon-like.

Finally, I think there could perhaps be some excess space within the piece which could be removed and the piece cropped to have more of an impact (as shown below), however, I do think the space in the result above does add to the grandness of the tree.

Reflection Cropping Idea

Part 5: Artist’s Statement and Questions

Artist’s Statement: Combining the Human Form with that of Trees, using Mixed Media, Line and Tone

For this Part of the course, I began by working back and reflecting on my earlier exercises, projects, assignments, parts, research, tutor recommendations and feedback, as well as my own self-reflection, to be able to pinpoint key areas of strengths and to help me with developing an idea for my final piece.

From this reflection, I feel I have a very strong passion and greatest strength for, and in, the figure, but also with other more natural and organic forms, most notably trees.  Whilst I feel other exercises such as still life and architecture have been good for me to experiment with and develop my understanding of deeper aspects of the ‘rules’ within art, they do not hold much in the way of interest and intrigue for me, but also they do not appear to be as strong as the aforementioned topics, so I feel it now necessary to discard the ‘themes’, whilst still retaining the lessons learned (i.e. perspective and other technical skills) and producing a final, much stronger and more focussed piece.

After considering the reflective process and determining that my strengths lie in the human form and the organic form of trees, I began to question whether I could potentially combine the two and how strong I could potentially make the end result.  Perhaps I could create a piece of a person next to a tree in some form of pose?  Or maybe create a person in the form of a tree, or vice versa? 

I decided to carry out some research into artists who have worked in a similar sort of way to what I was considering doing. I came across several artists, whose work and my findings can be found by clicking here.

From this research and reflection, I decided that I would like my final piece to incorporate a human and a tree.  I decided I would create several sketches of different several compositions and then, from there, I would move on to reflecting on the medium experiments recently finished to find which options would work best for the strongest sketches.  I will then create a few drafts of the chosen sketch with the chosen media before moving on to creating my final piece.

The result I want to achieve is a combination of human and tree forms to really invite the viewer to appreciate the complexity of our closeness as humans to our organic foliage counterparts.  Neither humans nor plants could live without the other, thanks to the wonders of the universe and the science of photosynthesis; the trees provide us with shelter and food, but also – and most importantly – the clean air we breathe.  In turn, we are able to return the favour, so to speak, by assisting the trees in their growth by assisting with feeding and pruning etc. 

It saddens me that we abuse our silent counterparts so drastically, but then, without this, there would be no paper for me, as an artist, to convey my message.  It is a very complex circle of life, however, I think we need the trees and other plants much more than they need us and this ‘leaning on’ by humans is something I would hope to convey to my viewers.

Questions from Course Textbook

After finalising my Artist Statement, I decided to create a questionnaire holding the questions in the course textbook so that, as I am working through the different experiments, I am able to write down my chosen option and the reason why this was chosen, so I could quickly reflect and pinpoint when beginning my final piece, as well as any amendments and the reasons for these. I felt this would assist me when self-assessing at the end of this Part. The document used when creating my final piece can be seen below:

Part 5.3: Initial Conceptual Ideas and Studies

Surface and Media Experimentation

I decided to begin by creating some very brief and nondescript mixed media experiments, using the same ideology as used in a previous exercise, to refer back to once I had found my chosen subject. I created three pages using inks, masking fluid, pen, chalk, charcoal, masking tape and a range of found papers and then applied of these in a very child-like way, just to see how each interacts with the other.

From looking at these results, I think the chalk and charcoal as surfaces is very delicate and the colours work nicely together in a subtle way in the background. However, other than the charcoal, there does not seem to be many media which will work on top of these surfaces. The tea works really nicely as a base and I think would assist in keeping the image as a limited palette, especially if mixed with some of the found papers.

Initial Sketches of Chosen Subjects

Next, I decided to create some preparatory sketches to try to come up with different ideas for the composition, structure, layout, design, different angles, foreshortening, perspectives and technical aspects of my final piece.

Sketches of Human Subjects

I began by sketching several figures from a couple of books I have and also from the internet (the details of which can be found in the bibliography, below). I decided to use several different media to try and deduce which would be the most successful for the final piece.

Sketches of Tree Subjects

Next, I created some sketches of several trees from my local park, again using the different media to try and assist with deciding upon a chosen media for my final piece.

Combinations of Preferred Subjects in Biro

From here, I tried combining some of the figures with some of the trees to try and come up with the best choice for my final piece. I chose to work in biro for these sketches as I find it the most delicate, but quick and controlled for my method of working. I also realised from my initial sketches that my pieces in biro were my favourite with respect to the precision and fluidity created in them.

Different Media Experiments of Preferred Subjects

From the quick sketches I created, I decided that my strongest option would be to zoom in to the tree as close as possible to remove any excess space, but also to choose the two figures I found the most interesting to provide the best result and the most intriguing story and connection to my chosen question for this assignment.

With regard to the choice of media and surface, I tried to consider all of the artists I had come across both independently and from my tutor when creating the sketches and to try to include a mixture of several within my experiments, such as Moore’s expressive but controlled use of lines, Schiele’s delicate and subtle mix of colours, Redon’s use of contrast in his pieces of trees.

I found I really enjoyed the collage aspect and think it provides extra depth to the piece. I also like the monochrome and limited palettes I had created in the pieces and think I will have some fairly difficult decisions to make with regard to the final piece as to which options to choose.

I did find, however, that I struggled to choose between the two favourite poses as they were both appealing. Again, I feel this will be a difficult decision to contend with.

Part 5.2: Research: Artists with Similar Styles and Approaches (Already Researched and Newly Researched)

From the preparatory work I carried out, I decided to pick out one or two favourite pieces from artists with similar styles to refresh my memory of them before delving into my own ideas, to see how they could influence or inspire me in my final piece.

Still Life, Basic Shapes and Fundamentals

I really like both styles used by these artists in creating these pieces. Both have been well calculated and proportioned before being filled in with detail, tone and depth. I can really see from looking back now what my tutor has tried to get across to me regarding not treating objects the same, using different pressures in different parts and the lack of necessity for there to appear to be a solid outline to objects, rather a contrast in the tones of each section.


Again, from revisiting these pieces and looking at the newly found Fig. 5., I can see what my tutor has tried to instill in me regarding layering my work, being more fluid with my lines and differentiating my planes. All of which are now more apparent to me than before and I feel able to appreciate the pieces in a much more educated way. Going forward, I would also like to attempt to recreate Morandi’s piece or a similar layered piece on an iPad to try to grasp this concept better.

Positive and Negative Space, and Mixed Media

Looking at the earlier research finding at Fig. 6., together with the more recent findings at Fig.7., Fig. 8. and Fig. 9., I can really see how I could make something like this work for my final chosen piece, whatever that will be. I particularly like the use of newsprint and a handwritten letter as the support, but also how in Fig. 9. the artist has used this to show the highlights and contours of the features in the subject’s face. I am particularly drawn to the eye in Fig. 9. with its subtle highlighting, but drastic impact. I also like how Fig. 7. shows only a ‘black and white’ contrast, with no definition or shading applied. The piece does look flat, but it is still very effective and the added white to the eyes really helps them stand out to draw the viewer in. These are all aspects I will bear in mind when creating my final piece.

The Human Form and Foreshortening

I am really glad to have found these pieces as they really do both call to me in some way. I love the fluidity of Fig. 10., but also the delicate expressive marks made in Fig. 11. Both of these qualities have been commented upon by my tutor as being a key focus to improve on, so I will bear these pieces in mind when I come to create my final piece for this Part.

Expressive Mark Making

Again, I really feel a connection to the way in which Moore works. Looking at both of these pieces, it is clear to see just how differently he can apply pressure and intensity to the pieces; Fig. 12. is quite heavy-handed and free in its movements, whereas Fig. 13. is much more delicate and controlled. This control over my more expressive nature and the need for a more accurate definition is something I need to focus on more when completing my final piece. I will aim to be free, heavy-handed or delicate and controlled as and when the piece calls for it, but I think this will be something I will have to give much thought to before undertaking the end piece to ensure I stay focussed and the piece does not become overworked.

The Human Form

Having only recently been introduced to these artists, I feel a little less connected to them than the older works researched. However, I can see how relevant each piece and each artist’s style is to me and my continued research and development. Again, the fluidity present in all of the pieces, as well as the subtle use of colours in Fig. 14. and Fig. 16. are definitely something to bear in mind and potentially replicate in my own final piece.

Trees and the Human Form Combined

Whilst Fig. 18. has been created in metal, I initially thought it was a line drawing. Regardless of the media used, both pieces use line, both dense and delicate, to create the structure, fluidity and depth of the pieces. Again, these are both concepts I want to include in my final piece.

List of Illustrations

Fig. 1. Giacometti, A (1927) ‘Still Life in the Studio’[Graphite] At: (Accessed on 26 November 2019)

Fig. 2.  Cezanne, P (1877/1881) ‘Wash Basin and Scent Bottle [Rector]’[Graphite] At: (Accessed on 26 November 2019)

Fig. 3. Morandi, G (1957) Landscape [Painting] At: (Accessed on 21 June 2019)

Fig. 4. Redon, O (c.1875) Two Trees [Charcoal on paper] At: Bridgeman Education (Accessed on 19 February 2019)

Fig. 5. Unknown (Unknown) ‘A Tree that Does Not Want to Stop Growing’[Unknown] At: (Accessed on 27 November 2019)

Fig. 6.  Durrant, Jessica (2013) Watercolour [Watercolour paints] At: (Accessed on 19 March 2019)

Fig. 7. Jovers, L (Unknown) ‘Drawing on Newspaper’[Drawing on Newspaper] At: (Accessed on 26 November 2019)

Fig. 8. Unknown (Unknown) ‘It Looks Like Someone had a Vision of a Human Tree’[Unknown] At: (Accessed on 28 November 2019)

Fig. 9. Nicolle, F (Unknown) ‘Unknown’[Mixed media] At: (Accessed on 26 November 2019)

Fig. 10. Hankin, J (2017) ‘Foreshortened’ [Photoshop] At: (Accessed on 21 August 2019)

Fig. 11. Hatt, F (2010) ‘Dynamo’ [crayons] At: (Accessed on 21 August 2019)

Fig. 12. Moore, H (1974) Sheep Resting [lithograph on paper] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 13. Moore, H (1974) Sheep Walking [lithograph on paper] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 14. Schiele, E (1914) Liegende Frau mit blondem Haar (Reclining Woman with Blonde Hair) [Transparent and opaque watercolour over graphite on paper] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 15. Giacometti, A (1961) Nude [Standing] [Lithograph] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 16. Dumas, M (2015-2016) Venus in Bliss [Ink wash and metallic acrylic on paper] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 17. Kramus (2010) ‘Tree Dancer’[Pencil] At:×7-1-191379972 (Accessed on 27 November 2019)

Fig. 18. Sun-Hyuk Kim (Unknown) ‘Intricate Metal Root Sculpture’[Sculpture] At: (Accessed on 26 November 2019)

Part 5.1: Preparatory Work


I decided to begin this part of the course by making some mind maps of several different things:

  • Key areas for improvement from tutor’s feedback;
  • Best results throughout the course so far from tutor’s feedback;
  • Skills which are strongest.

I then created further mind-maps of the individual parts, projects, exercises and research points covered so far. I then went through my tutor’s feedback for each part and highlighted the exercises and/or projects she thought were my strongest. I also highlighted those I felt were the most interesting.

Overall Evaluation and Written Assessment of Parts One to Four

From looking back at my previous Parts, my own reflection and the feedback from my tutor, I realised the following:

  • I shouldn’t assume to have a style or be too narrow-minded or closed off to different methods of working.
  • Trying to make pieces too finalised or ‘pretty’ is not always needed and can lead to overworking the piece.
  • I need to remember to break subjects down into basic shapes first and foremost to ensure accurate measurements before moving on to the more expressive work.
  • My planes need work, so I need to bear this in mind for my final piece.
  • I need to remember to treat objects differently so pieces don’t become too cumbersome.
  • I need to be more selective as to what I include in the final pieces of my work and discard any excess information, as well as cropping down to more interesting parts of preparatory sketches and excluding excess empty space.
  • I definitely need to concentrate on my levels of pressure when applying media so as to not be too heavy-handed and to be able to create layers and depth within the work.
  • I really need to consider technical aspects when creating work, including the form, perspective and foreshortening.
  • Whilst colour doesn’t quite work for me and I am aware I suit more monochromatic work, I need to attempt to use very subtle hints of colour within my pieces, but in a limited palette and in a muted fashion.
  • Patches of tone work really well for me and this is something I should try to incorporate into my work as the strong tonal contrasts are very exciting.
  • Whilst I should aim to create atmospheric pieces, I should not try to overload the pieces with too much information or trying to include everything I have learned in one piece as it becomes too cumbersome and cluttered.

All of these things are important to me when moving forward with this final Part.

Photographs of Key Points

From here, I printed some photographs of mine and my tutor’s preferred things so far to be able to see them more clearly and to hopefully inspire more creativity.

I grouped the photographs into more specific categories within my sketchbook, including trees, the human form, positive and negative space, mixed media and still life. Doing this really helped me to properly see the reasons as to why these were the most successful.

I then continued to look at my favourite works again from some of the artists I had previously researched, as well as the newer pieces I had found specifically for this Part of the course. The findings of which can be found here.

Quick Recap of Strongest Exercises

I then decided to quickly sketch each of my strongest exercises, purely to refresh my memory with the ‘feel’ of the creation of them. I decided just to work in charcoal as this was just a quick refreshing exercise for myself.

Tutor Artist Recommendations from Part 4

Egon Schiele (1890 to 1918)

Loose and Fluid Marks Incorporating Colour

Own interpretation of Schiele’s work

Looking at the works created by this artist, I really liked the delicate nature of the lines used to create the figures. The subtle incorporation of the colours is also really interesting. I like the very delicate nature, but wonder whether I would be able to replicate these. I will, however, attempt to create the figures using one a few lines and marks as opposed to my ‘choppy’ nature shown so far.

Alberto Giocometti (1901 to 1966)

Relating to Line Work

Giacometti Drawing (2016)
Own interpretations of Giacometti’s work

This is an artist seems to have popped up quite regularly within my journey! I am very drawn to Giacometti’s work and feel it very, very closely connected to my own style. Watching the video, I can see how he moves very delicately over the page and scales out the proportions faintly before adding in the heavier detail, rendering the fainter proportions almost invisible in the background. I definitely need to attempt to use this delicate hand more in my own work – perhaps even trying a similar pen to that used by Giacometti in the video?

Having attempted to recreate his work in both pen and charcoal, it is very apparent to me that his delicate hand cannot be achieved with charcoal, however both are effective in applying a base layer to assist with creating the proportions, however, the charcoal is not so good at creating layers as the pen.

Marlene Dumas (1953 to Present)

Fluidity and Personality Coming Through in Figures

I absolutely love this artist’s work and am grateful to my tutor for introducing me to it. I love the delicate nature and the subtle tones and colours used. This is definitely something I want to attempt to replicate and to try and achieve that ‘barely there’ detail in one area and as I feel that will be a massive – if invisible! – achievement for me. Again, I can really see how fluid the lines (or lack thereof!) look and what my tutor is trying to get across to me, so I will really consider this in my final Part of the course.

Own interpretation of Dumas’s work

List of Illustrations

Fig. 1. Schiele, E (1890) Egon Schiele Drawing on Paper [Drawing on paper] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 2. Schiele, E (1914) Liegende Frau mit blondem Haar (Reclining Woman with Blonde Hair) [Transparent and opaque watercolour over graphite on paper] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 3. Schiele, E (1917) Egin Schiele Australian Graphite Watercolour [Graphite and Watercolour] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 4. Schiele, E (1917) Stehender Akt mit Tuch (Standing Nude with a Patterned Robe) [Gouache and black crayon on buff paper] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 5. Giacometti, A (c.1955) Tête d’homme (Diego) [Pencil on Paper] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 6. Giacometti, A (1961) Head of a Man 157 Derriere Le Miroir [Lithograph] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 7. Giacometti, A (1961) Nude [Standing] [Lithograph] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 8.Giacometti, A (1962) Studies of Diego [Red ballpoint pen and pen and ink on paper] At:  (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 9. Dumas, M (1999) After Fingers [Unknown] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 10. Dumas, M (1999) Dorothy D-Lite [Lithograph in colours with bronze powder on Arches paper, the full sheet] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 11. Dumas, M (2015-2016) Adonis Frowns [Ink wash and metallic acrylic on paper] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 12. Dumas, M (2015-2016) Venus in Bliss [Ink wash and metallic acrylic on paper] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)


Giacometti Drawing (2016) [User generated content online] Creat. Benhamou-Huet, J. 10 November 2016 At: (Accessed on 3 December 2019)

Wikipedia. (2019) ‘Alberto Giacometti’ [Online] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Wikipedia. (2019) ‘Egon Schiele’ [Online] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Wikipedia. (2019) ‘Marlene Dumas’ [Online] At: (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Part 4: Tutor Feedback and Own Comments

Overall Comments

Thank you for your submission Rachael. You have taken advice on board and this collection of works has been tackled with sensitivity and some ambition with the technical aspects. It can be a tricky subject but you have done exercises several times so it is clear that you are improving as you go along. However, is it your favourite subject? There are elements, which could involve more creativity, especially with colour and form. The figures are working to involve your mark making with lines through drawing but the elements of a personal response; narrative could be pushed more. You work well with line drawings but it’s time now to develop this through colour and with more media.

I’m really happy that my tutor feels I have done well in this part as, yes, this really is my favourite part by a mile! I agree regarding the creativity aspect, though I tried to use this part purely to focus on getting the core technicalities correct and to strip back without over-complicating the pieces, rather to find what works for me and include extras in Part 5. I also agree with the narrative comment and will try to provide more of a background to my pieces going forward.

Assessment Potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Painting Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment. However, in order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.

I do wish to do the Painting pathway and hopefully this will come to pass as I do intend on using everything I have learned so far to attempt to achieve this outcome.

Feedback on Assignment

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

Project 1: Fabric and Form

You have made a good start by going straight into charcoal because you are using tone to give form to the fabric. Your lines could be more fluid, as they are a little angular at the moment.

I feel it is only when someone points these things out to me that I become aware of them! I can now see the rigidity in the lines and the lack of smoothness within them, so this is something I will work on practising to improve.

Project 2: Proportion

When you work quickly, your figures is more convincing. So quick and fluid lines depict the figure in a more lyrical way. Be careful not to just concentrate on outlines, as the figures look too solid and animated.

I do really enjoy working quickly, so I am really pleased that this seems to work in my favour. I think this is a great technique to use to quickly take note of the figures and to use as a reference point as I think I omit unnecessary information when I work quickly, whereas when I work slower and put ‘effort’ in, I tend to over-analyse what I see and thus include too much information as opposed to focussing on the important information solely. The comment regarding looking solid and animated leaves me with something to consider moving forward as this is obviously information which is actually something to be included.

Project 3: Form

You are getting to grips with anatomy and the proportions well and this basic shape exercise has been useful for you. You have tackled difficult positions and they are convincing. However, when it comes to energy be freer with your marks so there is more movement. Use your whole arm to be more gestural.

I agree that the basic shapes exercise was useful and is something I will carry forward as I find it a great starting point for my pieces. I agree with the energy comments too and think I need to ‘let go’ a bit more sometimes and just do what feels natural as opposed to controlled.

Project 4: Structure

You have been observant on the structure of the human body.  When you are doing single parts, you can convey them well in terms of structure through tone and form. When it comes to doing the whole figure, you lose the structure so take your time to put the different parts together.

I did not think I would really enjoy this section as I thought my skill in detail too weak, however, I actually rather enjoyed this part, especially the hands and legs etc, but agree that I need to see figures as a whole as bite-size chunks to maintain this standard.

Project 5: The Moving Figure

You have been quite inventive with the inverted figures and good to see you push yourself with alternative ideas. The moving figures have more fluidity now but when doing gestural strokes don’t forget the structure of the actual anatomy and proportions so make sure there is a balance between creativity and the technical aspects. You have observed the relationship between several figures well.

I did enjoy this section and also the inverted piece. I agree regarding the structure and think perhaps I should try and ensure the technical aspects are as strong as possible before I go any further.

Project 6: Head

Your drawings of portraits are not too bad. There seems to be a likeness but think more about flesh tones and filling in the space so there is more depth to the face. Work with tones and patches of them to get more conviction.

I agree. There are some areas which need the flesh and depth depicting more. I find this response rather kind as I think a lot of this section was actually rather poor, myself! I definitely did not enjoy the imagination portrait and do not think this will be something I will repeat really; I think I am stronger in what I can see and spend time dissecting.


Seated Model

This figure could have more depth through the form. However, you have used various marks to make some convincing folds and creases with the main torso. The face is not as accurate as can be.

This piece definitely doesn’t look as accurate as it could be and I agree regarding the depth and form too. I wasn’t too bothered about it fully looking like the subject, more creating an accurate measurement overall.

Reclining Model

This is more advanced because you have shown form but be careful with depth. The figure is on the same plane as the main subject so the viewer becomes lost on where to focus.

I agree regarding the depth. I feel I definitely overworked this piece and should have included less detail in the background (the settee) since this was surplus to the actual main focus of the figure.


Good form is coming through with the cross-hatching and delicate lines. This piece has more personality and conviction with the proportions.

This has to be my favourite piece to have created so far. I think I am going to use this as a base to try to achieve the same level or to improve on next time.


Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills, and Demonstration of Creativity

Your sketchbooks contain good studies, which show practice and development. You have also supported your studies with secondary sources to help you understand the technical aspects.

I think I used my sketchbook work-space the most in this Part of the course. I think perhaps because this was my favourite area to work with, everything just felt much more natural to me and came much more easier to me. I definitely think I have learned a lot in this Part of the course.


Context, Reflective Thinking, Critical Thinking, and Analysis

You are being in-depth with research and being active in learning about this subject matter. Well done for your efforts. You write with good visual language and it is clear that this research links in with your practical work to allow you to move forward.

Since my tutor advised me to attempt to find artists whose style and approach is similar to my own, I have had much more fun with this area of the course. I find it much easier to connect my research to my practical work now and also very inspiring and thought-provoking as to where I could go next on my own path.

Learning Logs or Blogs / Critical Essays

Context, Reflective Thinking, Critical Thinking and Analysis

You have been very self-reflective, especially in your evaluations according to the assessment criteria. You have taken advice on board as well as learning independently with wider research so this helps you to move on. Your log is insightful and in-depth.

I find the self-reflection comes rather naturally to me and, over time, my understanding of the requirements of the course have become clearer and much quicker to dissect.

Suggested Reading / Viewing


  • Marlene Dumas- for fluidity and personality coming through with the figures.
  • Egon Schiele- loose and fluid marks incorporating colour.

Please click here for my findings on these artists.

Pointers for the Next Assignment


  • Working with expressive media like charcoal and conté allows your figures to be freer and more movement is contained.
  • You are not over working pieces anymore and rather being more selective with how much to include.
  • You have been inventive with different monochromatic media and this allows you to concentrate on observing the figures well.

I am thrilled with these comments as this is what my gut was telling me was correct, so my instinct is clearly also improving and I am obviously moving along the correct path.

Areas for Development

  • Figures of the whole figure are more convincing than portraits.
  • Working with magnification of body parts work but make sure you are still working with technical aspects, such as perspective and proportions.
  • There could be more narrative and story with your figures but overall, you have built up your observational skills and learnt to use different media appropriately.

I fully agree with these points and will ensure that I take them on board fully within my Part 5 pieces.

Part Four: The Figure and the Head – Assignment Criteria Reflection

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills (35%)

  • Materials: I feel I have been rather restricted in my use of materials in this part of the course, having used mostly charcoal, acrylic paint pens and biro throughout, however, I tried to follow my tutor’s recommendations to exclude those things which do not appear to suit my style and to focus on those things which I am strongest in. I feel I have used each medium well for my final pieces and that they have suited each piece best, however, I feel I do need to work on my use of conte sticks and ink and shall use the next Part of the course to explore this further, when I am not as restricted and have the opportunity to revisit experimental methods much better. With regard to supports, I have stayed with cartridge paper for this part of the course also to avoid creating a cumbersome and cluttered piece. I will, however, revisit this area again in the next Part in the same way as the mediums.
  • Techniques: I have tried to incorporate some of the methods discovered in the research topics I have covered within my own pieces, most notably that of Henry Moore, whose work I have found a great respect and appreciation for. However, I do wish to revisit my techniques in the next Part to attempt to vary things up slightly. I do feel I have a tendency to stick to expressive markings in the majority of the pieces and sketches created, although I was very pleased with my technical application in my self-portrait in charcoal and feel I restrained myself rather well in this piece.
  • Observational Skills: I feel I have improved rather drastically in this respect and have a natural ability to be able to see the human form and to be able to recreate it rather accurately within my work. I think when I include other information within the piece (such as my settee), I then spoil the piece and create clutter and inaccurate perspectives. This is definitely something I will need to improve in and perhaps realise I do not need to include every single aspect of the surrounding furniture as it then has a battle with the object I actually do want as my main focus. I definitely still need to work on my proportioning skills, but feel I have worked rather well with producing some level of this in this part. To improve on this, I think I will try to do at least one sketch everyday of all kinds of objects, not just the human form, to enable my artistic eye’s skill to improve.
  • Visual Awareness: I feel the best representation for visual awareness I have done for this Part of the course is most definitely within the self-portrait in charcoal piece. I think I have been rather aware of such things as skin blemishes and imperfections whilst creating the piece. Perhaps this is because it is my own face and I am very well acquainted with it? I think really looking at others when creating pieces of them will help with this too; if I try to really understand why someone’s facial skin falls the way it does over the bones, where their imperfections lie etc, I will definitely be able to create a piece with as much of a story as my own. I feel I still need to work on my understanding of colour and different surfaces, both of which I feel will be good to try to look into within the next part of the course, however, will look into my understanding of colour within the future parts of my degree journey.
  • Design: I think I am rather good at zooming in on certain areas of objects to decide what would be the most interesting, although I do not feel I have done much of this within this Part of the course due to the requirements of the exercises. I feel there has not been much opportunity (besides the foreshortening) to create the more interesting types of pieces. Foreshortening is definitely something which I think would be another good avenue to explore further as I really enjoyed recreating the pieces by Hatt and Hankin in the research for this area. I also think the quick sketch I did of my own head which was slightly from a side angle also worked rather well and would have made quite a good subject for my final piece.
  • Compositional Skills: Again, I think my use of a grid to assist me with my final pieces have really helped me in laying the base work down and assisting with the proportions, allowing me to then work rather freely within these drawn boundaries without losing the majority of my basic proportions. However, whilst my grid method is useful in this way, it still has room for improvement as some areas do still lose their shape. The outline cannot help with building the depth and tone within the final image, so this is something I need to work on. Also, I think by making the squares in the grid smaller, I will be able to focus in on even smaller areas of the piece as a whole. Perhaps I do not need to do this throughout the whole of my chosen image, but just those areas with finer detail, such as the face and hands.

Quality of Outcome (20%)

  • Content: I feel I have still continued to keep my content relevant and appropriate and avoiding excessive wording. I do feel, however, that I could definitely improve by including more variety of subjects and to use the sheets I created with questions to answer regarding each exercise, research point or assignment. I feel I have let this slide a little in this part of the course, but think this is purely down to having spent much more time drawing due to really enjoying the topic in question. Going forward, I feel I must really improve on my use of the questionnaires and depth of my responses.
  • Application of Knowledge:  I have used my research findings much more frequently in this part of the course, having listened to my tutor’s comments regarding choosing artists whose work is much more relevant to my own, most notably that of Moore and Chaubhan. I do think, however, that I did not really apply my knowledge as well in the tonal assignment piece and am rather disappointed with that. I think I definitely need to learn to restrain my arm and really try to remember that less is more!
  • Presentation of Work in a Coherent Manner: I think I have continued to keep my website accessible and easy to follow. I do think the wording is not always 100% linked to my sketchbook work and the reasoning for why I have created something within my sketchbook not always very clearly explained, my translation of my ideas not always being easy to decipher. I think, again, using my questionnaires will help to connect the dots much easier and help others understand my reasoning.
  • Discernment: I believe I have construed the exercises, research points and assignment well throughout, however, I still have times where I stumble over one or two things because the meaning is not immediately apparent to me, which can then lead to a lack of time spent on other things. I generally tend to use my own initiative in this respect, however, there have been occasions where I have had to ask other students as to their interpretation or to view their learning logs to see whether I am generally on the same lines. Whilst I do not copy other students’ work, I do like to get a general feel as to which direction I should be moving in with regard to the exercise in question. To improve on this, I think I need to take a little more time working out the requirements of each exercise before beginning and to keep referring to my textbook throughout, ensuring I do not divert any.
  • Conceptualisation of Thoughts: As stated above, whilst I think I have been rather coherent in getting my ideas and methods across, I also think I have lacked in this somewhat in my final assignment pieces, having carried out experiments but then stayed with what I know etc. I believe I could improve in this by spending less time on the exercises and more time on the assignment itself, but also using my questionnaires to prompt me to comment on things I may have forgotten about which will help the reader / viewer understand easier.
  • Communication of Ideas: Again, I feel this is rather similar to several other areas above in that I need to use my questionnaires more to prompt me to remember to include something which could appear as a gap in the process story, specifically within the crossover between the learning log and the sketchbook. I also think the use of mind-maps may also assist the viewer in understanding my initial burst of ideas and how I developed from them.

Demonstration of Creativity (25%)

  • Imagination: I think I was rather creative in this section by using my time at my karate class to create some of the movement pieces, as well as in my final assignment self-portrait piece. I tried to create a story for the viewer to be drawn to question, causing interest and intrigue. Again, I think mind-maps will assist me with thinking up new ideas and methods. I was rather disappointed with my portrait from imagination as I do not feel it was original at all really and seemed to just hold parts of my own face within it. Imagination is definitely something I would like to work on as I feel I am much more capable of producing very basic ‘black and white’ pictures and do not really tend to stray from exactly what is seen. Again, this is something I feel I really need to work on, specifically in such areas as with not always having to include an outline and allowing myself to stray from the realm of reality some more.
  • Experimentation:  I really enjoyed experimenting with the artists’ work which I had found which suited my style more than previously had been considered as I felt an intrigue to work in a similar way to try and appreciate what the artist may have felt when creating their pieces. Doing the research has definitely influenced me to want to work expressively and also to look more at the foreshortening aspects available from different poses and the interest and excitement they can bring. I do feel I could have been more experimental within my final assignment pieces, however, I intentionally decided not to do so to be able to dedicate more time and energy to this new method within my next assignment and to just focus on working with what I had studied within this part of my course to be able to assess them independently and to not include everything garnered from this part.
  • Invention: Besides the idea to include changes to my grid system to assist me with creating better finer details, I do not think there has been much opportunity to be inventive within this part of the course. I thought it rather interesting to consider my tutor’s comments regarding my removal of the use of colour and to focus on monochrome work, but am intrigued to know her views as to simply including one colour or a mixture of colours as a background or working with only a limited palette. This is also something I would like to consider in my next part of the course. Again, I believe the use of more mind-maps throughout will also assist me in discovering new ways to be inventive within my work.
  • Development of a Personal Voice: I feel my personal voice has definitely begun to develop within my work; I have reduced to only monochrome and limited palette work and feel the strongest connection by far to the human form and other organic structures, specifically when created in large, energetic ways, showing movement and fluidity. As stated above, whilst I feel somewhat restricted by the removal of colour completely, I do feel the inclusion of this as a base to my pieces will help re-integrate the usage and not allow my skills (or lack thereof!) in this area to grow stale.
  • Research: I feel my research has improved tenfold since searching for more relevant artists to my own work and that the influences of which are beginning to show though. I am struggling with a few of my tutor’s recommendations of artists as I still struggle to see how they relate to me. For example, whilst I appreciate Charlotte Verity’s work, it does not excite me or draw me in as I feel it too light and delicate compared to what does draw me in. being darker, bolder, more atmospheric pieces. I actually really enjoy those pieces which are very heavily done and which have a lot of texture as a result as I feel much more emotionally connected to these pieces. With this being said, I have tried to consider the delicacy of Verity’s touch and the plain backgrounds in my own work (such as the consideration of using a calmer colour as a background for my pieces).
  • Critical Thinking (Learning Logs): I feel my website is rather clear and concise, however, I do feel I need to be much more critical regarding my own work. Again, I think I need to use my questionnaires to prompt me to remember the types of things I should be passing comment on. I have found, however, that when I create a piece, if I take a photograph of it and leave it for a day or so, I am then able to see it with fresh eyes and pick out the areas which need improvement. Somehow, the piece being seen as a photograph really does assist me in considering which areas need to be changed and where I am going wrong!