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.

Trees

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: https://ruyafoundation.org/en/2017/12/pedro-azara/5-sumer-i-el-paradigma-modern-nature-morte-dans-l-atelier-1927_1510318285/ (Accessed on 26 November 2019)

Fig. 2.  Cezanne, P (1877/1881) ‘Wash Basin and Scent Bottle [Rector]’[Graphite] At: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/paul-cezanne-wash-basin-and-scent-bottle-recto (Accessed on 26 November 2019)

Fig. 3. Morandi, G (1957) Landscape [Painting] At: http://www.italianways.com/giorgio-morandi-the-landscape-painter-with-a-telescope/ (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: https://theawesomedaily.com/18-pencil-drawings-of-nature/ (Accessed on 27 November 2019)

Fig. 6.  Durrant, Jessica (2013) Watercolour [Watercolour paints] At: https://plus.google.com/photos/116570597784626887840/albums/5927011673564805793/5927011675196366658?pid=5927011675196366658&oid=116570597784626887840 (Accessed on 19 March 2019)

Fig. 7. Jovers, L (Unknown) ‘Drawing on Newspaper’[Drawing on Newspaper] At: https://ello.co/sallifinn/post/pdj1wsnupfk6vnl7ah_7fg (Accessed on 26 November 2019)

Fig. 8. Unknown (Unknown) ‘It Looks Like Someone had a Vision of a Human Tree’[Unknown] At: https://theawesomedaily.com/18-pencil-drawings-of-nature/ (Accessed on 28 November 2019)

Fig. 9. Nicolle, F (Unknown) ‘Unknown’[Mixed media] At: https://www.behance.net/gallery/214361/Boardz (Accessed on 26 November 2019)

Fig. 10. Hankin, J (2017) ‘Foreshortened’ [Photoshop] At: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/oKDXL (Accessed on 21 August 2019)

Fig. 11. Hatt, F (2010) ‘Dynamo’ [crayons] At:https://fredhatt.com/blog/2010/09/26/end-on-extreme-foreshortening/ (Accessed on 21 August 2019)

Fig. 12. Moore, H (1974) Sheep Resting [lithograph on paper] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/moore-sheep-resting-p02567 (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 13. Moore, H (1974) Sheep Walking [lithograph on paper] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/moore-sheep-resting-p02567 (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: https://www.klatmagazine.com/en/art-en/egon-schiele/62928 (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 15. Giacometti, A (1961) Nude [Standing] [Lithograph] At: https://www.joseflebovicgallery.com/pages/books/CL168-56/alberto-giacometti-swiss/nude-standing (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 16. Dumas, M (2015-2016) Venus in Bliss [Ink wash and metallic acrylic on paper] At: https://uk.phaidon.com/agenda/art/articles/2018/may/01/how-marlene-dumas-sees-venus-and-adonis/ (Accessed on 2 December 2019)

Fig. 17. Kramus (2010) ‘Tree Dancer’[Pencil] At: https://www.deviantart.com/kramus/art/Tree-Dancer-5×7-1-191379972 (Accessed on 27 November 2019)

Fig. 18. Sun-Hyuk Kim (Unknown) ‘Intricate Metal Root Sculpture’[Sculpture] At: https://www.thisiscolossal.com/2019/02/intricate-metal-root-sculptures-by-sun-hyuk-kim-take-human-form/ (Accessed on 26 November 2019)

Research Point 4.6.1: Depiction of the Face throughout History

The face is a part of the body which has been the focal point to a lot of artwork throughout history. The first thing you look for when seeing a human figure is their face; taking into account their eyes, nose, mouth, hair colour and style, as well as the general face shape amongst other things. It is how we identify one person from the next and how beauty is generally measured before taking into consideration the rest of the physique of the person.

The measurement of facial beauty has altered throughout history and is different to each viewer. For instance, my own version of ideal in a male partner is dark, glossy hair and dark sparkly eyes. However, another may find this unappealing, preferring for instance blonde with blue eyes as their ideal.

The general ideal beauty of the face has also varied immensely throughout time; the Ancient Egyptians portrayed the face from the side as this was deemed the perfect angle, the hair was black, they wore heavy black eyeliner and their skin was a golden hue.

Fig. 1. Anonymous Fragment de la décoration d’une tombe : femme à une cérémonie. Règne de Thoutmosis IV ou Aménophis III. (Unknown)

Much later, in a different part of the world, the ideal for the female was seen to be that of pale skin with long blonde curls and a fullness to the face, all of which were seen to symbolise the virtue and daintiness of a woman. In the piece, below, the woman’s face is very dainty and angelic-like, with a rosy glow to her cheeks and lips.

Fig. 2. Borovikovsky, V Portrait of M I Lopukhina (1797)

The face has not only been used to represent the beauty of a person, but also the more sinister aspects. Munch, for example, created a whole piece appearing to show several people on a bridge, with the eye immediately being pulled to the brightness of the red sky, but when the eye finally moves downward to the figure in the foreground (whose colouring is very muted in comparison to the sky), they are met with quite a frightful sight. The face appears on a head in the shape of a skull. There are no eyebrows or hair to the face and the lips look as though suffering cyanosis. No eyelids can be distinguished over the bulbous eyes which appear to be looking at something just to the side of the viewer, leading one to wonder what they may see if they turn around! I have always found this piece to be the stuff of nightmares, but I am also strangely drawn into the fear of the piece. I really like the movement of the colours and how the foreground is much more muted than the background, creating that suspenseful moment before you see the actual horror within the piece.

Fig. 3. Munch, E The Scream (1893)

Below is another piece which I find rather disturbing due to the solid black voids where the eyes should be and the stark contrasts of black on one side and white on the other. I also really admire the artist’s capability to exclude outlines on the white side and create almost a straight line on the black side, as well as the different pressures used in the mark-making, yet you are still able to determine that this is a face and also the sense of depth in the piece. The addition of red towards the bottom of the piece is also intriguing and helps to draw the viewer in, leading to an imagining of blood, causing the viewer to wonder whether the subject has been attacked, is hurt or has hurt someone else.

Fig. 4. Juliussen, O Face (2016)

With the comments from my tutor in her feedback that I should look for works which I can relate to, I decided to look for more expressive pieces of the face and came across an artist called Naji Chalhoub, whose work is shown in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6. I was instantly drawn to these pieces and can really see a similarity between them and my 360 degree sketches.

In the two pieces, I can see quite a difference in the amount of pressure applied in each. Fig 5. has been created with a very heavy-hand (and is actually my preferred of the two!) and really emphasises the features of the piece much clearer than those in Fig. 6. Again, there are several colours included in the composition. I think they definitely add a little extra depth to the piece and make it more interesting. I am somewhat less drawn to Fig. 6 and think it is because it is much lighter and without the bold tones. The lines in this piece are much gentler and softer but somehow appears a little more sinisiter. I cannot quite put my finger on why this is? Perhaps it is because its faintness leads the viewer to imagine it in a more ethereal way, like the face is coming through from a different dimension? Perhaps the darkness of Fig. 5 helps the viewer see a more solid existence to the face and makes it that little bit more believable? Regardless, I will try and replicate these pieces in my own sketchbook and see if I can achieve the lighter touch!

Fig. 7. Audrey Anne (2018)

The final piece is somewhat more cartoon-like than the previous pieces, however, there is a lot of blank space, difference in pressure applied and a range of tonal values throughout the piece. The eyebrows and lashes are much darker than the shadowing to the neck, for example. There are also several different methods of application; for example, the colour to the cheeks has been applied using the flat side of the pencil and the general outline using the point, as well as areas of hatching, such as the shadowing to the neck and the hair above the ear. Overall, the piece is extremely delicate and has not been overworked. Definitely something to bear in mind!

There have been so many interpretations of the face over the centuries uses of media, line, tone, colours and methods. I have taken from this that I should be adventurous in my choice of surface, media and application as, as my tutor has previously said, the finished piece does not always need to look like a ‘pretty picture’. I would like to complete a piece in a ‘pretty’ way to be able to measure my skills correctly, however, I will also look at creating pieces of this kind without having to fully recreate what I see physically, but include emotions felt towards the subject to create something different and interesting.

List of Illustrations

Fig. 1. Anonymous (unknown) Fragment de la décoration d’une tombe : femme à une cérémonie. Règne de Thoutmosis IV ou Aménophis III [unknown] At: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Egypte_louvre_223_femme.jpg (accessed on 5 August 2019)

Fig. 2. Borovikovsky, V (1797) Portrait of M I Lopukhina [oil on canvas] At: https://www.wikiart.org/en/vladimir-borovikovsky/portrait-of-m-i-lopukhina-1797 (accessed on 5 August 2019)

Fig. 3. Munch, E (1893) The Scream [oil, tempera and pastel on cardboard] At: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edvard_Munch,_1893,_The_Scream,_oil,_tempera_and_pastel_on_cardboard,_91_x_73_cm,_National_Gallery_of_Norway.jpg (accessed on 5 August 2019)

Fig. 4. Juliussen, O (2016) Face [ink on paper] At: https://www.beautonart.com/art-posters/art-prints-glicee/expressive-monochrome/ola-juliussen/face-1 (Accessed on 9 August 2019)

Fig. 5. Chalhoub, N (unknown) [drawing] At: http://inagblog.com/2016/09/naji-chalhoub/ (Accessed on 21 August 2019)

Fig. 6. Chalhoub, N (unknown) [drawing] At: http://inagblog.com/2016/09/naji-chalhoub/ (Accessed on 21 August 2019)

Fig. 7. Audrey Anne (2018) [pencil] At: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl5FThQDkGB/?saved-by=lpremratnam (Accessed on 21 August 2019)

Bibliography

The Guardian (2014) ‘The Top 10 Unforgettable Faces in Art’ [online] At: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/may/08/top-10-unforgettable-faces-in-art (Accessed on 9 August 2019)

Research Point: Project 5: John Virtue

John Virtue is an English artist who focuses solely on creating black and white landscapes in a semi-abstract way. Whilst his work has great influence by such other English artists as Turner and Constable, he also allows for an influence from the American abstract expressionism and an enjoyment in oriental brush-painting. In his earlier years, Virtue’s pieces were largely recreations of the Oswaldtwistle, which was close to where he was raised, and were created in paint and later in pen and ink, white acrylic paint and shellac on canvas.

Later, Virtue gave up his career as a postman and relocated to Devon, creating pieces of the landscapes of the Exe estuary from his studio in Exeter.

Virtue was then offered the amazing opportunity to become the sixth Associate Artist at The National Gallery in 2003, where he created numerous paintings of London to compliment the works of the Old Masters held within the gallery and to become a piece of its history.

When looking at Virtue’s work, I cannot help but be drawn in by the strong tonal contrasts and the different intensities of the black / grey. Some parts of his pieces are very much abstract, whilst others are rather defined, for example, in Fig. 4., the clouds and detailing to the right appears rather blurred, whereas to the left, the piece appears rather defined. It is clear that Virtue defines those areas of the painting he wishes to be the focal points, whilst the rest is simply there to draw your eye around the piece from one focal point to the other.

The softness to the edges in the majority of the pieces gives a warmth to the atmosphere, whereas the stark black and white seems to give the piece a sense of cold and foreboding. It is also not immediately apparent what the pieces are or what they represent, which I think draws the viewer’s intrigue and a desire to know more. That moment of clarity when you look closer and see a landmark you are familiar with hidden amongst the mass of black and white is phenomenal to me!

I love the use of black and white and I can definitely see some of my own style of working within these pieces, so I think I will try to bear this in mind when creating my own work.

List of Illustrations

Fig.1. Virtue, J (Unknown) John Virtue at work in his studio [Photograph] At: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/learning/associate-artist-scheme/john-virtue (Accessed on: 24 June 2019)

Fig.2. Virtue, J (Unknown) Monochrome Painting At: https://www.widewalls.ch/artist-search/?arist_name=virtue&nationality=&style=&gender=&age=10%2C100 (Accessed on: 24 June 2019)

Fig.3. Virtue, J (2004) Landscape No.739 [acrylic & shellac on canvas] At: Bridgeman Education (Accessed on 24 June 2019)

Fig.4. Virtue, J (2005) [Unknown] At: https://www.kanopy.com/product/john-virtue-london (Accessed on: 24 June 2019)

Bibliography

Artnet (Unknown) ‘John Virtue’ [Online] At: http://www.artnet.com/artists/john-virtue/ (Accessed on: 24 June 2019)

The National Gallery (Unknown) ‘John Virtue: Associate Artist 2003-5’ [Online] At: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/learning/associate-artist-scheme/john-virtue (Accessed on: 24 June 2019)

Yale University Press (2005) ‘John Virtue: London Paintings’ [Online] At: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9781857093858/john-virtue-london-paintings (Accessed on: 24 June 2019)

Research Point: Part 3: Project 2.1: Artists from Different Eras Using Landscape as Their Main Subject

History of Landscape in Art

Before the 17th century, landscapes were used simply to fill the backgrounds of paintings depicting historical settings, religious or mythological (notably Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman) stories, such as is seen in Fig.1.  It was only in the 17th century that this was realised as a category all of its own and was given the fourth spot out of the five stages of genre hierarchy.  Claude Lorrain’s work (Fig. 2.) was very classical, as discussed below.

In the 18th century, landscape as a genre increased in popularity and was used to create the then-preferred classical style of pieces, carrying on the use for historical, religious and mythological purposes.

The 19th century saw an increase once again in this genre, but a change in preference as artists were now choosing to create pieces in a more naturalistic way, seeing nature as a direct manifestation of God and trying to put that across in their pieces due to man’s distancing from nature due to the development of cities and towns and the reduction of rural living.  Later, artists stretched the boundaries of the genre and began depicting the beauty that industrialism (as seen in Fig.3) and urbanism held. 

Modern art was revolutionary in this century thanks to the French impressionists and the traditional hierarchy was broken down, paving the way for artists to have more freedom to as they pleased.

The 20th century saw works from such artists as Richard Long who ‘broke the mould’ and began creating art directly in landscapes.

Comparison of Artists

I decided to compare five different artists and my results are as below:

Traditional Artists

Fig. 1. Dürer, A (1494) View of Trento Fig. 2. Lorrain, C (1682) Ascanius Shooting the Stag of Sylvia
Albrecht Durer was a German painter, printmaker and theorist born in 1471.  He was one of the first European landscape artists and favoured watercolours.  He was a very important part of the northern renaissance.  Dürer died in 1528. Claude Lorrain (real name Claude Gellee) was a French painter, printmaker and theorist during the Baroque era who was most active in Italy as opposed to his native land.  He was born around the turn of 1600AD and died in 1682.
The View of Trento is a painting depicting a river bending and flowing around a village, which is set in a valley with mountains in the background.  The overall atmosphere within this piece is of a serene, peaceful place. This work depicts several archers who appear to be hunting a deer.  The two are separated by a river.  There are ancient intact pillars in the piece, setting it in a specific time in history.  There are several trees bending inwards almost as though trying to touch the clouds to the right and framing the piece.
This piece was created in the 15th century which saw the early Renaissance take shape. The 17th century saw the rise of the Baroque ere and also the Dutch Golden Age.  Italian artists ventured into new places in respect of paintings. 
This piece shows architecture in the form of a city or village on the edge of a rural piece of land, trees, mountains, a mode of transport (boat), clouds, water in the form of a river and indistinguishable figures in different parts of the piece.  This piece is set from a distance as a tourist would look at the scene through binoculars. Again, we see architecture within a rural setting, a sky with clouds, water in what appears to be in the form of a lake.  However, there are no modes of transport to this piece. There are several figures who can be distinguished, as well as including an animal in the form of a deer.  Again, this piece is set as though looking through binoculars and watching the scene unfold before you.
The movement in this piece comes from the water seemingly flowing off the page.  The mountains appear to lead the viewer’s eye downwards towards the centre of the piece, whereas the buildings lead the eye around the bend of the river.  The boat appears to be moving, as do some of the figures on the paths. The movement in this piece can be found in the deer turning to look at the hunters, the hunters and their hounds and the wind blowing the trees inwards towards the clouds which are moving off the page.  The water in this piece appears to be still, so as not to distract the viewer from the main points of focus, but to help emphasis the space between them.
The main points of interest in this piece are the purples used for the trees and the brightness of the natural elements of the piece, whilst the figures and anything man-made are all dull and subdued, inviting the viewer to appreciate the landscape more than the man-made objects. Here the sky is made of several beautifully mixed colours, as is the water.  The deer is also rather highlighted, probably because it is the main focus of the piece, as noted in the title.
I think I can take from this piece the change in shape and size of the buildings to improve my skills in the use of perspective.  I also like the movement of the water, so I think I will try and recreate these parts of the piece quickly in my sketchbook and take this information forward in my course. I really like the clouds and the colours in the sky in this piece, so I think I will try and recreate this in my sketchbook also since I will be working on clouds further on in this Part of the course.

Contemporary Artists

Fig. 3. Lowry, L S (1955) Industrial Landscape Fig. 4. Shaw, G (2013) The Wrong Place Fig. 5. Woodfine, S (2005) Newfoundland
Lawrence Stephen Lowry was born in 1887 in Salford – my home city!  Lowry painted industrial districts within Salford, Pendlebury and surrounding areas.  He is famous for not only his industrial landscapes, but also for the figures he depicted within his pieces due to their ‘matchstick’ appearance.  Lowry died in 1976. George Shaw was born in 1966 in Britain and is famous for his use of contemporary suburbs, graffiti, litter and architecture. Sarah Woodfine is a British artist, born in 1968.  She is known for her post-war and contemporary work, creating imaginary worlds in drawings, sculpture, landscape, architecture and optical illusions.
This piece is a landscape view of an imagined industrial city.  Factories and their smoking chimneys, a train on its line puffing out smoke, houses and people going about their daily business are all visible within the piece. This piece is the view of a woods with trees on either side, drawing the viewers’ eyes down the path in the middle of the piece and off into the distance. This is a piece depicting a tepee during the night, with a boat pulled up to the shore.  The pieces of this artwork appear to be within a perspex box and placed one in front of the other to create depth within the piece.
The 20th century saw artists begin experimenting with reality in a new way to that of the artists pre-17th century; whilst before it was merely for historical, religious or mythological in terms of Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman stories, now artists were beginning to depict images from their own imaginations and their own interpretations of the landscape before them. The 21st century has seen the removal of all limitations on artists, with them being able to express themselves in any way, shape or form they choose.  Due to the constant invention of things, ideas already out in the world and the easy access to this, artists are now easily able to build on the techniques of the traditional artists, those of contemporary artists and even create their own techniques and methods of creating masterpieces within this genre.
This piece also shows architecture in the form of an industrial city.  Whilst there are figures in this piece, they are indiscernible and are almost ant-like in their appearance, making one think of how ants go about their work with no bigger knowledge of the wider world, their sole purpose in life to work.  There is no greenery within this piece.  The colours in this piece are very subdued, portraying the drabness of an industry, however, it does still hold some beauty regardless of the lack of a rural presence.  The piece is seen from a bird’s eye view, almost as though one was a bird or a higher being. This piece uses a very limited palette with rather ominous trees.  The colours are deep and bold.  There is no method of transport within this piece, with no buildings or sky to be seen.  The viewpoint of this piece is to make you feel you are walking down the path in front of you.  The scene looks as though no other human has been through here. In this piece it feels as though we are studying the inhabitant of its sole piece of architecture, the tepee, through a cage or enclosure, just as one would observe a pet mouse.  Whilst no greenery can be seen fully, there are hints of partial flowers shown purely by a few simple shapes in white, contrasting against the black hill surrounding them.  The time of day is very confusing; the black and the shadows of the ground makes you imagine the piece is set at night-time, as does the tepee and lack of figures, as though the inhabitants are asleep inside, whereas the white of the sky implies the piece represents the day time, with the circle implying it is a moon, but could also be a sun.
The forefront houses are rather bright in colour, even though the piece as a whole is rather subdued.  As the landscape recedes, the brightness of the colour does also, however, the chimneys and bridges remain somewhat brighter than the rest. In this piece, the background seems to be brighter and the forefront darker.  I can only presume this is because beyond the trees we can see, the forest is dispersing and more light is able to seep through.  The fallen leaves on the ground are also rather bright and the green of the leaves is rather bold and striking in places adding a sense of warmth and almost the feel of moisture, as though it is a rainforest. The sky and ground are in strong contrast with each other due to their block colours, whereas the tepee and boat seem to have depth with their tonal values and white outlines. 
Again, the use of perspective in this piece is fantastic, so I will definitely be recreating the houses in the centre of the piece receding into the middle of the piece. In this piece, I see what my tutor has said about creating layers to create depth within the piece, so I think I will try and recreate this using layers of ink within my sketchbook. Whilst I appreciate the contrast in this piece and its depth, for some reason I just cannot connect with it.  It just does not really draw me in as much as George Shaw’s piece, for example.  Whilst I really enjoy black and white pieces, I just cannot connect here.  I think I will recreate this piece by making layers with pieces of card in my sketchbook.

List of Illustrations

Fig. 1. Dürer, A (1494) View of Trento [Watercolour and Gouache] At: http://www.durerart.com/Watercolors/View-Trento.html (Accessed on 21 May 2019)

Fig. 2. Lorrain, C (1682) Ascanius Shooting the Stag of Sylvia [oil on canvas] At: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ascanius_Shooting_the_Stag_of_Sylvia_1682_Claude_Lorrain.jpg (Accessed on 21 May 2019)

Fig. 3. Lowry, L S (1955) Industrial Landscape [Oil paint on canvas] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/lowry-industrial-landscape-t00111 (Accessed on 21 May 2019)

Fig. 4. Shaw, G (2013) The Wrong Place I [watercolour on paper] At: https://maruanimercier.com/artists/george-shaw (Accessed on 21 May 2019)

Fig. 5. Woodfine, S (2005) Newfoundland [pencil on paper in perspex box] At: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/n/newfoundland-by-sarah-woodfine/ (Accessed on 21 May 2019)

Bibliography

Albrect-Durer. (Unknown) ‘Albrecht Durer’ [online] At: https://www.albrecht-durer.org/ (Accessed on 21 May 2019)

ArtNet. (Unknown) ‘George Shaw’ [online] At: http://www.artnet.com/artists/george-shaw-2/ (Accessed on 21 May 2019)

ClaudeLorrain. (Unknown) ‘Claude Lorrain’ [online] At: http://www.claudelorrain.org/ (Accessed on 21 May 2019)

MutualArt. (Unknown) ‘Sarah Woodfine Biography’ [online] At: https://www.mutualart.com/Artist/Sarah-Woodfine/CFFD0DFD0E8B3E81/Biography (Accessed on 22 May 2019)

Tate. (Unknown) ‘L. S. Lowry’ [online] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/l-s-lowry-1533 (Accessed on 21 May 2019)

University Arts London. (Unknown) ‘Sarah Woodfine’ [online] At: https://www.arts.ac.uk/colleges/wimbledon-college-of-arts/people/sarah-woodfine (Accessed on 22 May 2019)

Victoria and Albert Museum. (Unknown) ”Newfoundland’ by Sarah Woodfine, 2005′ [online] At: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/n/newfoundland-by-sarah-woodfine/ (Accessed on 22 May 2019)

Part One: Tutor Feedback and Own Comments

Overall Comments

Thank you for your submission Rachael. You have a variety of work going on which is good because this is a diagnostic first part and you need to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Don’t assume you have a style otherwise you will be too narrow minded with alternative ways to work. Your learning log is in depth and I can see that you are studying hard and understanding the fundamentals of what drawing can be and how it can be depicted. You work better with looser applications, charcoal and expressive media and the 3 vases has been the most successful to show this. There are technical aspects to work with, especially with perspective, measurements of objects next to each other and tonal qualities to give depth to your still-lifes.

I agree with the comments regarding ‘having a style’ and being ‘too narrow minded’ as I think I have thought myself too set in my ways so far, so I will definitely work on being open to trying new methods and exploring ways I would generally not use.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of

Creativity

Project 1it’s good to see you delving into the expressive mark making but they are a little tamed. With these initial exercises, it’s about getting to know the characteristics of each media so be cathartic and see what they do. In terms of the temporary drawing- this means drawing, which is not created but exists already in the world, such as cracks, marks left, traces, residue. The fact you have found this through cleaning is good. However, do not make them stylised and finished otherwise everything becomes a picture.

I think I will take from this the need to experiment with my media more before I use them for my actual piece.  I will use my sketchbook to carry out these experiments and apply more effort to this than I have so far.  As for the temporary drawings, I will try to ‘see’ this type of ‘drawing’ more and make reference to it to potentially use it further down the line.

Project 2 experimenting with texture- I’m glad you are looking around your house to observe and depict textures. It is not always about making a picture but rather emulating surfaces through different media. I hope you remember these marks to apply to more of the still-lifes and other subjects.

I do very much struggle with the idea of leaving something ‘unfinished’.  I think I need to work harder on stepping back from my work and being ok with it not looking too pretty or obvious.  I will definitely be carrying this knowledge further and will experiment further as I go along.

Project 2 ex 1 group of objectsyes, it is about reading in between the lines. You have to go through the exercises to learn the fundamentals of drawing. This exercise is about measuring accurately and this should help you break down objects in front of you and observe better. You start by being simple, which is good because you need to train your eye to see shapes and scale of objects next to each other. Then you can be more expressive with your lines and mark making. The milk bottle in particular shows good understanding of shape and ellipse. Try not to lose this accuracy.

I definitely have trouble with measuring things accurately, as well as the breaking down of objects.  I have bought a small sketchbook to keep with me always to do brief drawings to practise these skills.

Project 2 ex 2 observing shadow using block of toneyou are being too concerned with what the subject looks like rather than looking at the simplicity of the blocks of tone. Work with different pressures, highlights, reductive drawing and variations of tone to depict the correct depth of shadows. Your planes are quite similar so be careful to observe.

Again, I think this leads back to me thinking I have to create a pretty, finished picture.  I think some of this comes from perhaps feeling embarrassed that some may see the work and think my skills weak, but I know I have to work through this and ‘get over myself’, so to speak!

I was slightly unsure what was meant by my ‘planes’ being quite similar, so I will look into this and how I can improve this area.

Project 2 ex 3- creating shadow through line and marks- it’s good to see you exploring marks and line with different media but try not to create the same qualities each time. The group of plants could be magnified so you are concentrating on the textures and tones rather than making realistic representations. This first part is about exploring. Treat each leaf and part of the plant differently.

I agree I have created the same qualities each time.  Perhaps this is because it is my comfort zone?  I will work to break out of this and work in ways which may not come so naturally to me so that, in time, they will.  I will definitely create more pieces which are of close observations.  I think this may also help me to break out of my ‘pretty picture’ comfort zone, so I am rather eager to do this.

Project 2- ex 4 shadows and reflected light- the piece of the three vases done in charcoal has very explorative mark making; it is raw, expressive and holds substantial gestural qualities. This is best left alone otherwise it becomes too polished and what you see what you get. The pencil piece is not as in-depth, as it has been done with timid marks. The charcoal piece does need work in terms of balance and measurements of shadows but the main factor is you are being expressive with the marks and the shapes of reflection is coming through.

Again, it is leaving pieces as they are which I struggle most with – I feel as though my tutor would give me a negative mark for not finishing work or not being able to see what I am trying to portray, so I need to work on this and not overthink things so much, but trust my intuition more.  I am surprised to see the comment regarding my pencil lines being ‘timid’ and the piece not being as ‘in-depth’ as I felt I put more effort into this piece and recreating the shadows than I did the three vases, so I will consider this more as I move forward.

Assignment- you have tried to use your skills of shadow; light and dark tone representation and composition into a piece, which shows progression. Overall, the whole piece is cumbersome with the amount of objects that are included because you have treated them all in the same way. Break down what is in front of you. Do this by building up your layers from the lightest to the darkest (close-up, foreground, mid, background and distance). This will allow you to differentiate the different tonal variations from light to dark. The perspective and viewpoint is awkward because the ellipse of the plant pot is different to the frontal view of the fabric. So really observe the measurements of your objects next to each other and break down the relationship between the lines. Overall, a very complex image that needs work technically.

I am a little surprised at the comment here regarding the group of objects being cumbersome as I thought I had chosen rather well, but I see it is because I have treated them all the same way – this is something I don’t quite understand either as I thought I was to work in the same media for the whole piece and I tried to change my methods to suit, but clearly I need to work harder on this; perhaps choosing mixed media to represent different objects, as well something such as collage perhaps?

I agree with the comment regarding my perspective and viewpoint, so I will take this into account and look into ways of increasing my skills in this area.

Sketchbooks

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

I assume that some of your images on the blog are from your sketchbook? If so, it’s good to see you trying exercises a few times because you will only improve. However, use your sketchbook as a space to play, investigate what media can do but for you and more importantly practice the fundamentals of the technicalities. Keep these practices simple, by doing outlines, observing the simple shapes and forms and working out perspectives from different angles.

Some of the images are from my sketchbook, yes, but as I stated in my blog, I do not think I have used this well enough during this part of the course.  As I said earlier, I have now invested in a hardback sketchbook of A5 size and shall carry it with me everywhere, drawing anything and everything which catches my eye – whether relevant to the current part of my course or not – and work on improving my measuring and perspectives.  I am also going to go back and have a play with the various mediums, but with no apparent piece in mind – this way I cannot be tempted to ‘prettify’ and finalise the experiments beyond being just that – an experiment.

Research

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

You clearly enjoy reading about artists and your analysis of Redon’s work and the comparative study is analysed well. Do look at the artists I have suggested to help your current work to improve. Also, go to exhibitions, watch documentaries, read behind other artists work independently. The more you look and read, the more you can allow yourself to move on and build up your contextual understanding. Keep referring to the assessment criteria to self-assess. This is good practice.

I really have enjoyed reading about the artists and am actually wondering now whether I would prefer to change my path to History of Art!  I find it hard to find time to go to museums, but will try to work this in to my schedule.  Most notably, I would really like to go to the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition and will take my sketchbook and scribble away!

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Your learning log is self-reflective and in-depth. You have given insight into your intentions; understanding of the fundamentals of drawing and seen where you need to improve. Make sure you listen to your own improvements and apply them to your work. Your commentary is substantial for this level and you have documented your progress well.

I’m really pleased with this feedback, though the word ‘substantial’ rather threw me as to whether it was a positive or a negative, but decided to settle on a positive and not spend too much time overthinking!

Suggested Reading / Viewing

Context

  • Giorgio Morandi drawings of still-lifes- keeping it simple and looking at measurements of objects.
  • Henry Moore- sheep drawings- look at the lighter cross-hatching technique to depict tone and form.
  • Giacometti- look at how he observes accurately but also depicting a more expressive style.
  • Paul Cezanne (still-lifes)- look at his work for depth and composition.

The artists recommended are so exciting and interesting and seem to suit me completely!  I will do some in-depth research into them all.

Strengths / Areas for Development

You work well with expressive media and with blocks of tone (3 vases). Don’t feel like you have to finish work and make them over polished. Keep this way of working but use reductive drawing to show lighter tones so you are not so heavy handed.

You have exciting and meaningful objects when it comes to your compositions. Break these down so you are concentrating on the fundamentals of drawing, especially tone, measurements and scale. You have different approaches to creating

shadow to depict tone so keep investigating this.  Angles, viewpoints and perspective need work so the work has more accuracy. Your learning log is in depth and you have been self-reflective. Research the artists I have suggested so you can see what I refer to with depth in your still-lifes.

From this, I have taken on board all of the comments, but most notably the ones relating to being less heavy-handed, concentrating on improving my skills in tone, measurement, scale, angles, viewpoints and perspective.