Technical and Visual Skills (35%)
Materials: I think I have made good use of materials throughout this part of the course. I have experimented with a wide variety of surfaces and mediums throughout and tried to incorporate a variety as much as possible without over-complicating things. This is especially true for my final piece.
Techniques: I have tried to use differing techniques in this Part as opposed to treating objects the same, as my tutor noted upon in my first assignment. I have tried to take this on board and have tried to use different mediums and surfaces for different objects and really consider their qualities before committing to any one thing. I was especially pleased with the texture created by the ink in the potatoes and bowl image, though I think I still could have been slightly more experimental by using less traditional tools, such as twigs for drawing with or toothpaste and tomato ketchup for the colours and textures, for instance.
Observational Skills: I was especially pleased with my quick sketches around the house and think I definitely need to do more of this type of sketch before settling into my final piece. Doing this allows me to see things I may not have seen before, allows me to map things out more accurately and decide on my chosen viewpoint. I was rather disappointed, however, with the fact I forgot to rub out the grid in my pear and apple piece. I was so focussed and submerged on getting the colours to blend nicely, I did not take a step back and realise what was right in front of me! I also think that, whilst the grids are helpful, I should try and refrain from relying on them too much and instead work on improving my free-hand sketching.
Visual Awareness: Again, I am pleased I was able to see parts of my surroundings I would not normally see if not observing closely. I think I need to work on seeing the ‘artwork’ within my own surroundings as opposed to using photographs of ready made compositions where possible, however, I am pleased with my capabilities to be able to find the correct viewpoint generally.
Design: I think I have done well in my assignment piece and the beetroot pieces with the design of the pieces and the ideas portrayed within them. Again, I think I need to try and avoid photographs and try and find more real-life compositions where possible.
Compositional Skills: I am pleased with my preliminary work for my assignment piece, having considered several different compositions before settling on the most suitable one which contained many different angles, sharp and soft lines,many different textures and contrasting parts. Again, I think I should try and avoid using photographs where possible, however, sometimes it is the only option available. Whilst I do not regret using the photographs I have used, I will try not to use so many going forward. To improve in this area, I will try to push myself with regard to the creation of compositions and also try and find natural compositions, such as pots in a drainer next to the sink, for example.
Quality of Outcome
Content: Again, I am pleased with the information I have tried to get across in my pieces; creating texture within them to closely represent their original counterparts, as well as the natural connections between them all. However, I feel that some of the quick sketches around the house I have done are somewhat sparse and could be more interesting if I were to choose a slightly different angle or viewpoint. Going forward, I will try to find more compositions which tell a story. For example, going back to the pots in the drainer by the sink idea, I could have a plate with small amounts of food left on it to the other side of the sink, to infer the washing cycle.
Application of Knowledge: I spent a fair bit of time in this Part of the course creating preliminary experiments and research which I then tried to build upon and refer back to for my assignment piece. I think I still need to develop somewhat in this area, but believe this will come naturally as I progress through the remainder of the course.
Presentation of Work in a Coherent Manner: I think my website is well maintained and rather accessible and user-friendly. I have also tried to keep my sketchbook as clear as possible, as well as the individual pages for the different exercises, having labelled them all up as best I could. This being the first time I have had to send any documentation to my tutor, I have decided that, going forward, I will create a checklist of contents and the order in which to view them for my tutor, but also to help me ensure I have sent everything and everything is accounted for and in its correct place.
Discernment: Following the first assignment, I read my tutor’s comments carefully and have tried to work through each part as best as I could throughout this Part of the course. Whilst I tried to cover all areas suggested, purely due to time, I have a few little bits still to go, such as the watching of documentaries. I did, in fact, watch many shows during this part of the course, however, I have just not had the time to document and reference them correctly, so will try to do this more so going forward. When I received my feedback, I was initially a little disheartened and could only see the negative aspects so I slept on it and came back to it with fresh eyes and viewed it neutrally, as though it was discussing someone else’s work and found I agreed with all of it, although there were a few little bits I was unsure of, so I used the student groups to discuss these with other students and then had a better understanding. I think I need to work on distancing myself from my work some more and practice seeing comments neutrally and not personally! I think this will get easier the more I go through the course (even though the comments may be even more critical the further I go!) as this was the first feedback I had received since college, so I need to get myself back into the swing of things!
Conceptualisation of Thoughts: I created a fair few experiments in my sketchbook which I then used as information to help me reach the conclusion of my final pieces, however, I think I could have done better here if I had used mind-maps (as I didn’t use any in this Part which I only realised at the end!). I also struggled with the monochrome exercise as I just could not find a muse which I felt fit the bill, so to speak. I spent far too much time dwelling on this and should have just created a mind-map much earlier to help get my thoughts down onto paper into an understandable format.
Communication of Ideas: I think my learning log is generally rather well stocked and is pretty much an open book – I try to be as honest as possible with my achievements and failures as possible, even though this can be difficult with failures sometimes! Again, I think I need to include more mind-maps to convey my ideas, as well as showing all parts of my processes as, looking back over my work, I think I sometimes can do something as an experiment and then not change direction somewhat but not explain this clearly enough.
Imagination: I have enjoyed using different surfaces and media for my final assignment piece and think I have done so rather well. I think I could have a much wider variety of mediums and surfaces if I were to think more ‘out of the box’, so to speak, as I tend to stay rather traditional in my pieces. I may have used glue sticks, PVA glue and candle wax but, looking back, I think I could have been more imaginative and used such things as chocolate, handwash, lipstick etc. This is something I will try and work on going forward. Again, I think the use of mind-maps will also help get my imagination in full flow.
Experimentation: I am very happy with the amount of experimentation I have done for this Part of the course. I really let myself go and loosened up, allowing one medium to mix with another here and there where I would think they would never work together! Again, I think I could have pushed my comfort zone somewhat by using less conventional media and surfaces, which I will bear in mind going forward.
Invention: I am pleased with the different mediums and surfaces I have used to represent different objects and textures, however, the sheets I had created to speed the write-up in my last Part did not play much of a role in this Part. Going forward, I will try to keep them on hand more and complete them as I go. I think the fact I was faced with a lot of research points in this Part, as well as some ill-health really threw me off course so I ended up playing a bit of catch-up towards the end and found the sheets a little tiring and time-consuming.
Development of a Personal Voice: I think I have shown again that I enjoy bolder, darker, moodier pieces, however, taking note of my tutor’s comment of not putting myself into one category, I attempted to work lightly in my apple and pear piece, which I think paid off rather well. I was slightly disappointed in myself for overworking the piece slightly and trying to pull a much darker shade than was needed as I ended up tearing the page somewhat. I think I need to work on learning when to leave a piece be and to accept the limitations of each media chosen and to not try to force more from them at the risk of ruining the piece overall.
Research: I really enjoy researching artists, but also techniques. The sheets I made to assist me with this really do help, however, I think I need to invest more in the feedback of my own interpretations of artists’ works.
Critical Thinking (Learning Logs): As stated above, I think my learning logs are very well laid out and was pleased that my tutor seemed to think so too after the first Part. I think I need to work more in series; including details of any decisions and diversions taken, as explained above. This is something I will try to consider more going forward.