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 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.

Tutor Artist Recommendations from Part 3

David Hockney: iPad Drawings of Trees

Relating to Honing in and Colour

Looking at these pieces, I can see what my tutor means regarding the difference in colours used and how they are built up in layers, one colour on top of the other. I did try to achieve this in my third assignment piece, as I layered the colouring for the bushes in the foreground, but I do not think I did enough of this in the background colours. Looking at Fig. 6., I can see how a block of green colouring has been used for the bush in in the background and then several different hues built up on top to create the depth of the bush, similar to the colourings of the pathway. I tried to use this method in my final piece for Part 3 but clearly I have a long way to go in understanding the hues I should be using. I wonder whether my tutor’s comments regarding my use of colours is due to them being more natural and not contemporary enough? Perhaps I should be using more vivid and intense colourings within my pieces?

Hockney’s pieces appear somewhat cartoon-like to me, but yet these are considered successful? I am determined to get my head around understanding my tutor’s comments and what makes the cartoon-like pieces Hockney has produced better than the cartoon-like pieces I have created. I wonder is it somewhat part of his artistic licence to be able to get away with such things? A right I have to earn along my journey, perhaps? It fascinates me how some pieces are considered masterpieces when such things as their perspectives or scalings are off, so I would really like to look into understanding this more throughout my journey. I also want to learn to fully understand and get beyond the issues I have with colour.

With regard to the honing in aspect of Hockney’s work, I can only really see that he has honed in in Fig. 4. whereas the rest appear to be on a much vaster scale, taking in the whole surrounding area. In Fig. 3., I can see that Hockney has created a piece of the vast landscape, however, he has cleverly divided the page into six equal parts (perhaps as looking through a window?) which could then have allowed him to focus on each section individually and the detail within it. I think this would be very helpful for me in my work actually as, instead of looking at the ‘bigger picture’, I could then concentrate on each individual section (once the overall general shapes were in place to ensure continuity throughout).

Charlotte Verity

Sensitive and Subtle use of Media and Limited Palette

I have previously looked at Charlotte Verity’s work, the results of which can be found by clicking here.

I decided to look again at Verity’s work and try to understand further why my tutor recommends this artist’s work to better my own. Looking at these pieces as a broad overview, I can see that each has one or two colours at most for its background and to lay the subject in its space. I really like the fact Verity uses lines in several of her pieces as the main subject within the piece. The lines are delicate and fragile in appearance, yet seem to own the foreground and draw the viewer in. I think I definitely have to consider these pieces when creating my own and try to simply wash away the detail of the background. I can see from these that I need to really lighten up with my touch also. I think the reason I am so heavy-handed is due to the fact that doing so eases my tremor and allows me more control over the straightness of the line. When I ease up off of the pressure, the line becomes somewhat wiggly and, I feel, appears weak and less finished. Perhaps I should try and use this to my advantage? I worry for Part 4 that I will make everyone I draw appear wrinkly as opposed to having nice smooth outlines! I think I will also take from this that perhaps I can use some colour, but purely in blocks and used sparingly.

Henry Moore: Sheep Drawings

Relating to Linear and Expressive Tree Drawings

Again, I have looked at Henry Moore’s work before, the findings of which can be found by clicking here.

Looking again at these pieces, I can see how Moore has used the black markings to create the negative space of the backdrop in certain parts of the pieces to create the illusion of the foreground and positive space of the sheep’s heads or bodies. Where the pieces have shadows and are at their darkest, the line has been applied thicker and broader strokes. Where the areas are at their lightest, the lines are very light and almost non-existent in certain places. The lines used are sometimes straight, cross-hatched and wiggly. I think this is something I need to consider in my own work and to acknowledge that I do not need to apply line in every single part of the piece to create depth, as well as showing direction and movement.

With regard to Fig. 17., I can see that Moore has used two very muted colours to place the sheep in the field, with only a touch of shading to indicate the distances. I really like the muted colours used in this piece and think I will try creating a few pieces in a similar way. Whilst I do not want to use too many colours, I do really like the block colourings several of these artists tend to use and think it high time I had a go myself.

Anselm Kiefer

Simplifying Vast Spaces

Having looked at Kiefer’s work, I find it slightly confusing as to how the pieces are deemed simplified, besides Fig. 19, Fig. 20 and Fig. 23. The pieces with the trees I can see is simplified in the sense that the trees are merely lines, beginning rather thickly and with greater detail in the foreground and becoming less defined and thinner when moving backwards into the piece. In most of these pieces, I can again see only two or three colours, except in Fig. 23. In this piece, there are a few more colours, but the piece has been simplified somewhat by the blocking of the colours of the clouds and the foreground. I really like the depth created in the clouds caused by the layering. I think this is something I will have to try within my pieces. I do think I have a long way to go with my use of inks, but can’t get the seed out of my mind that such things as inks and watercolours are more for painting than drawing. Perhaps these things will develop more in units more so focussed on painting?

List of Illustrations

Fig. 1. Hockney, D (1997) The Road Across the Wolds [iPad drawing] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 2. Hockney, D (2006) Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006 [iPad drawing] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 3. Hockney, D (2006) A Closer Winter Tunnel, February – March, 2006 [iPad drawing] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 4. Hockney, D (2008) The Big Hawthorne [iPad drawing] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 5. Hockney, D (2011) The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate [iPad drawing] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 6. Hockney, D (2011) The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate [iPad drawing] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 7. Verity, C (2014) Spent Stems [oil on canvas] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 8. Verity, C (2015) Winter Ending [oil on canvas] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 9. Verity, C (2016 to 2017) My Nest [oil on canvas] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 10. Verity, C (2017) A May Day, Sienna [oil on canvas] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 11. Verity, C January Colour (2018) [oil on canvas] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 12. Verity, C Seed Time (2018) [oil on canvas] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

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

Fig. 14. Moore, H (1974) Sheep Resting [lithograph on paper] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 15. Moore, H (1974) Sheep and Lamb [lithograph on paper] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 16. Moore, H (1974) Sheep Before Shearing [lithograph on paper] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 17. Moore, H (1974) Sheep in Field [lithograph on paper] At: (Accessed on 22 August 2019)

Fig. 18. Kiefer, A (1971) Mann im Wald [acrylic on cotton canvas] At: (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Fig. 19. Kiefer, A (1998) Lasst tausend Blumen blühen [emulsion, oil, acrylic, shellac, dried roses on canvas] At: (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Fig. 20. Kiefer, A (2006) Für Paul Celan : Aschenblume [Oil, acyrlic, emulsion, shellac, and books on canvas] At: (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Fig. 21. Kiefer, A (2010) Fitzcarraldo [oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, ash, thorn bushes, resin ferns, synthetic teeth, lead and rust on canvas in glass and steel frames] At: (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Fig. 22. Kiefer, A (2010) Winterwald [oil, emulsion, acrylic, shellac, ash, torn bushes, synthetic teeth and snakeskin on canvas in glass and steel frames] At: (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Fig. 23. Kiefer, A (2014) aller Tage Abend, aller Abende Tag (The Evening of All Days, the Day of All Evenings) [Watercolor on paper] At: (Accessed on 23 August 2019)

Part 3: Tutor Feedback and Own Comments

Overall Comments

Thank you for your submission. You are working well with technical aspects of working with vast spaces when it comes to depth and perspective. Honing in and monochrome allows you to do this, as does working with expressive media like charcoal and inks. When it comes to colour, your work becomes flat and too generic with your colour choices. Sometimes your work is too over-complicated because you have included too much. Try not to include everything you have learnt in one piece, otherwise it becomes overwhelming. Rather, be more sensitive and subtle with freer lines and expressive applications. It’s time to eliminate techniques, media and applications that do not work and work with strengthening the ones that do.

I am pleased to see that my tutor now thinks the technical aspects of my work are improving, as it shows my hard work and perseverance is actually paying off! The more I am continuing with the course, the more I am finding out about myself and my ‘style’ of working and what does and does not work for me. I am finding myself zooming in to certain areas more so and am strangely surprised to find that charcoal, the media I was not too keen on in the beginning and which I felt I could not use as well as other media, is actually fast becoming my weapon of choice! I was rather pleased to find out that I could now eliminate those things and areas which I am not strongest in and focus on those I am. I was rather concerned with doing this as I was worried I would be criticised for not trying to improve in those areas and pushing myself more, choosing to play it safe with my strengths. I have decided to really streamline my methods, media and techniques to really work towards the best final piece I can create for my final assignment.

Feedback on Assignment

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

Project 1: Trees

The individual trees when done as an outline has been successful and you have looked at the character of the entwining of the trees. Using semi-abstraction has worked for you because it allows you to concentrate on textures rather than including everything you see in front of you. The finished piece of the single tree is successful with the detail. The studies of several trees in terms of composition are not too bad but, when working with this medium, overlap rather than being too heavy-handed.

I really enjoyed working with the trees and being able to allow myself to create expressive movements to create the trunks and limbs. I found the method rather similar to when I had drawn the figure in the past and was rather shocked at the similarities. I think semi-abstraction is definitely the way forward for me. I then barely see the actual object for what it really is and focus on the information within it instead. The piece of the single tree in pen was actually my favourite exercise throughout the course so far and I think it has shown through; the more I enjoy something, the more successful it seems to turn out. With regard to the several trees, I was a little disappointed with the comment as I had tried to do the best I could in overlapping, so this told me that I still need to work on this. I also really need to work on being lighter-handed. I will try to really work on this during Part 4 as I think I have garnered a much better understanding of this comment now.

Project 2: Landscape

The cloud formations have been applied in a heavy-handed way so think about subtle tonal qualities. The sketchbook walk is bold, expressive and free with the way you have used lines. Working quickly suits you so you are not overwhelming yourself with detail. The 360 pieces are also expressive, but make sure there is a distinction in tone of the main wall compared to the background.

Clouds really are not my strong point! I think this is, again, something I need to work on in the future, but something I will put to rest for the time-being. I really did enjoy the sketchbook walk and 360 studies exercises as I really just went to town working quickly and totally freely. I do see the lack of definition though, so I will bear this in mind for future exercises.

Project 3: Composition

Zooming in has worked for you in this piece because you are concentrating on perspective, which has worked. The two pieces of the wall without the green shows a diverse range of mark making and textures, which are convincing. The generic green in the final piece looks too cartoon-like.

In fore, mid and background, you are understanding the depth that vast spaces can create. This has been done with perspective and tonal gradients. However, when you use colour, the tones are too generic and become too forced.

I was actually very torn as to whether or not to include the green but decided to do so in the end. Looking back, I do think the piece just of the wall itself would have been much bolder an outcome. I think this is something I can consider recreating for my final piece for the Unit – perhaps in pen since I find that the best to control and to include finer detail and tonal patches.

Project 4: Perspective

This project is not the strongest in terms of outcomes, but what is important is that you understand perspective. The single line perspective is convincing and shows technical approaches. The angular perspective pieces shows convincing lines and depth. The aerial perspective needs more work as the viewpoints are distorted. Overall, this approach is not as exciting as your honed in, expressive work.

I think these comments really reiterate what I have said previously about the things I enjoy the most and which I find come more naturally to me are much stronger than those which do not. I’m glad my tutor sees an understanding here, but I do fully agree that it is not my strongest, nor is it half as interesting as the more expressive pieces I work on. I found this exercise really educational as to measuring things out correctly and taking time and effort at this stage of the creation of any pieces before moving on to the more expressive parts, so this is something I will definitely be bearing in mind as I progress through the remainder of the course.

Project 5: Townscapes

This subject is not your strongest as the lines and perspective is cumbersome. You are suited to more natural and organic forms so you can be freer with your mark making. There is an issue when working with colour, as it is tentative and is not reflective of the textures and surfaces we might see on architecture.

Again, I completely agree with this comment as I did not really enjoy this project. I persevered with it regardless, but I do think my lack of thorough interest has shown through. I note the comment relating to colour again and do believe this is something I will have to work on in the future – perhaps creating a separate sketchbook on a side project throughout the whole of the course to deepen my understanding of the use of colour as, whilst I think it wise to close this door for now, I do not wish for it to remain so indefinitely.


Less is more! You have included many textures and applications in this piece and it becomes confusing. You have planned well but you need to be more selective. You have done this with the composition but not the techniques you have used. There are some expressive elements but they would be suited on a larger surface. The choice of colours (if you want to continue using colours) needs more understanding of tonal variations. As an assignment, it is not as successful as the individual tree studies.

Less is more! This has now been drilled very deeply into my mind and shall be at the forefront for every final piece! As I explained privately to my tutor, I was of the mindset that I should try to show as much as possible of the lessons learned through the previous exercises within my final assignment pieces so as to show I am learning these things etc. Clearly, this is not the case, so I have decided to only pick out the key points – those which I have felt strongest in the exercises – to develop in my final piece for the assignment. I was worried eradicating techniques etc would appear more as a weakness than a strength in choosing those things I am stronger with. Now I know this not to be the case, I am actually rather excited to see where this new knowledge leads me!


Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills and Demonstration of Creativity

Your sketchbook shows good planning and dissecting of techniques and methods. You have analysed your primary sources well technically. There could be more evidence of improving the way you use media especially with colour. Do more practice with media to support your outcomes.

I am glad my use of the sketchbook has improved; At first, I found using it felt rather unnatural, but I have since tried to get past that and use my sketchbook more and more. I agree that I need to show more evidence of the use of media and my attempts to improve on this, so this is something I will bear in mind for Part 4 and in the future.


Context, Reflective Thinking, Critical Thinking and Analysis

You continue to use comparative techniques to understand your subject and this is in-depth. Have more personal opinions to build up your contextual aspect of the unit. Also look at the artists I have suggested so you are more specific to your practice. Be independent and look at individual artists, which relate to your work.

I feel as though the feedback this time has been really eye-opening! I do like the idea of having a more personal touch to the research and choosing works I like and feel suit my working style best. I really enjoy reading and learning about artists, but I agree that it is time to begin focussing on artists whose work can actually inspire my own; as much as I enjoy the work of some of the Old Masters, I do not think I enjoy or feel as inspired by their work as much as some of the more contemporary and expressive artists.

Learning Logs or Blogs / Critical Essays

Context, Reflective Thinking, Critical Thinking and Analysis

You continue to describe your intentions as well and you have often been reflective. For this stage, scrutinise your work more, especially with picking out and unpacking technical and aesthetic elements, which have not worked. If you say something is successful – why and what part is successful?

I have noticed myself that I have not really been relying on the questionnaires I created as much as I could have, mostly due to time constraints, but think now is the time to go back to using them to be able to carry out the scrutiny which is needed.

Suggested Reading / Viewing Context

David Hockney iPad drawing of trees: Relating to honing in and colour.

Charlotte Verity: Her sensitive and subtle use of media and limited palette.

Henry Moore sheep drawings: relating to your linear and expressive tree drawings.

Anselm Kiefer: Simplifying vast spaces.

I have had a look at these artists and the results can be seen by clicking here.

Pointers for the Next Assignment


• Line drawings and detail of trees and textures work well.

• You work well with monochrome and expressive media like ink and charcoal. This allows you to be freer with depicting the subject rather than being literal with colour.

• Organic and natural subject work better for you.

I agree with these comments and will strive to improve them further as I progress through the course.

Areas for Development

• Sometimes you include too much and the work becomes over-complicated.

• When working with colour, you need to understand your ranges of hues in one colour- sometimes the colours are too generic.

• Townscapes and architectural perspective needs work.

Again, I agree. I feel I have ‘heard’ my tutor much more clearly this time around and have a much greater understanding than before.

Whilst I do not think this my most successful Part, I do, however, feel that the piece of the single tree is one of my strongest so far so I am going to take what I have garnered from these comments and what I have learned so far and try to recreate the success of the piece again for my two final pieces in this Unit.

Part Two – Tutor Feedback and Own Comments

Overall Comments

It’s good to see you not being so concerned with the outcomes but rather starting off by being explorative and expressive with different media. Your work has energy. However, there are still technical issues, which need attention. These are mainly form and depth. It would be great to see you being expressive but not to overload the work so there are technical elements occurring. For example, working with perspective and form to start with then applying your mark making within it. You have improved and your observational skills are coming through. Also, as we go through the submission, your decision making of working with a limited palette, subdued
colours and semi abstraction has appeal to your work (assignment).

I completely agree regarding the technical issues. I plan on working more on my perspective, form and depth issues.

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 am really pleased my tutor sees potential in me to succeed at assessment! I don’t see this comment as an excuse to slacken any going forward, so I will focus more on the areas in which I need to improve more so than the areas in which I am doing well already.

Feedback on Assignment

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

You have started off well with delving into different media and seeing what they can do in your preliminary work. The marker pens are particularly bold and expressive. Other media, such as pencil crayons are not so strong but hopefully this exercise has helped you decide on which media can be used for different subjects.

Going forward, I think I will keep referring to the findings made in this Part of the course to see how and why each different media, surface and tool may work best for each exercise, as well as building on my findings with further experimentation when needed.

Part 2: Project 2: Exercise 1: Detail and Tone

You have worked with mark-making with the flowers and these have energy. Sometimes, you just have to do it. The marble heart (cheesy as a choice!) shows an improvement of perspective. However, in terms of tone, use charcoal and the rubbing out technique so the patches of tone is more apparent.

Looking back at this piece, I fully agree that charcoal and rubbing out would have been a better choice to show the different areas of tone of the tealight holder. I was very pleased with the perspective in this piece also and I am glad this has shown through in my feedback! I am definitely going to work on emphasis between patches of tone.

Part 2: Project 3: Exercise 2: Still Life in Tone Using Colour

I’m glad you have used the grid technique as the final work shows accurate measurements. Keep using this method for complex still-lifes and soon you will train your eye and not need it. Form is also improving so use your arm for circular motions. In terms of colour, this still needs work, especially with colour mixing and all the variations of that one colour.

Again, I am pleased with the feedback for this piece regarding accurate measurements and how it is ok to use grids within my work to assist me. I was worried this method would be seen as cheating or a lazy way out, but it is good to know it will only assist me in improving my skills, however, I will not allow myself to become too comfortable with the grids and begin to rely on them too much.

With regard to the circular motions, I think I will carry out a little experiment of my own in creating circles on an A1 page standing right back from the page and using only my arm to create the circles. I am somewhat worried about the circles’ formations due to my tremor taking hold more when my arm isn’t supported, but I will look past this and focus purely on the overall basic shape of the circles.

I am also going to create a colour-wheel somewhere in the future of my course, where needed, to assist me with picking out the best colours and mixtures of colours. I think this would show a building upon my earlier experiments within my sketchbook.

Part 2: Project 3: Exercise 3: Experiment with Mixed Media

This is an enticing still-life and you have not over complicated it. When it comes to your drawing, there are subdued colours and tones that work but you are being quite shy. Make the darker areas denser and the lighter areas more subdued so there is more contrast between the patches of tone. This way the form will appears. Otherwise, the piece is flat. Try and work with blocks of tone without blending in too much.

I will definitely try and improve on my shyness with the use of subdued colours and tones and maximizing the contrast between the different areas and the thing which keeps appearing, patches of tone! I will try to improve my blending (or increase the lack thereof!) going forward too.

Part 2: Project 3: Exercise 4: Monochrome

This piece needs work. You do work well with a limited palette and this is the same. Think about all the shades, hues and tones one colour has and incorporate them into the work. I think working from a photograph has stifled you.

Again, thinking on this piece, moving forward I will try and experiment with one colour and all of its possibilities before I begin any relevant exercises. I did try to build this image up with several layers, having changed the ratio of water to ink from mostly water to pure ink, but clearly this didn’t come through. This is something I really need to work on and ask myself why that was.

Part 2: Project 4: Quick Sketches Around the House

Quick sketches around your house seems like it’s been challenging for you. At the moment, your work with still-lifes is much better. The rooms are unbalanced in perspective and geometry. However, as the whole room is overwhelming, you have made the right decision to focus in on a corner (fireplace) and magnify. This gives more attention to objects. Hone in more so there is not so much empty space around the main subjects.

It is true, I did struggle with this part, mostly because my home is rather bland of detail to the walls etc! It is true that I chose to hone in on certain areas, but I agree I need to work on my geometry and perspective which, hopefully, will come through during my work in the next Part of the course.

Project 4: Exercise 3: Material Differences

This has been a very useful exercise for you to veer away from traditional picturesque drawings. Your use of PVA, wax and masking fluid has given the work a different dimension and this reaffirms that subtle textures add an intrigue to your work. Keep this method as you go through to the next parts. It allows you to be inventive without over doing the work.

I really enjoyed this exercise purely due to being able to experiment in a wider sense. I really do want to try and improve on this and be more experimental with non-traditional media. I will continue this in experiments in relevant exercises.

Assignment 2

I am glad you have gone back to the viewpoints and angles of the fireplace, as this is the most interesting subject. The charcoal piece has been useful to see the tonal qualities and you have remembered ‘the patches of tone.’

The assignment piece is the most successful you have done so far. You have been attentive to your strengths of interesting angles; looking at negative shapes, range of drawing tools and surfaces, looking closely and being selective. This has resulted in quite an ambiguous and semi-abstracted piece of work, which has some engagement. You have not been too heavy-handed. The angle does still need some more work but you are getting there. There could have been a danger of making the image too twee as they are candles but you have dismissed this – good! However, there is still a lot of empty unnecessary space around the main subject so think about cropping so there I more impact. I have cropped the piece so you can see what I mean:

I’m glad my decision to trust my gut instinct and recreate the image I liked the best in my earlier exercises was the right choice! I was worried that doubling-up on using the same subject would be frowned upon, so it has made me even more determined to trust my gut instinct going forward and not to be so afraid of taking risks with my work if I think it is the best option.

I fully agree with the concept of cropping my work and really zooming in. Again, I was worried doing so would result in negative feedback but, again, I will trust my instinct going forward and crop any work I do to suit or just zoom in further in the first place. I do really enjoy the lack of detail within my work but still a lot of texture.


Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills, and Demonstration of Creativity

Its good to see you being cathartic and loosening up in your sketchbook to get it ‘out of your system’. Your sketchbook is full of experiments and explorations of media and this has been fruitful for you to select media which matches up with your subject matters. This element is fine. However, also use it as a space to practice the fundamentals of drawing. Simple line drawings of measuring, perspective and form. This way, you can improve on the technical elements as well as the explorative way you use media.

I will continue to build on the experiments I’ve already done and carrying out new ones to suit future exercises. I will also carry out more quick sketches to try and improve on the basics I am a little behind on. I really want to improve my technical skills and I agree it is a great way to do that.


Context, Reflective Thinking, Critical Thinking and Analysis

You are researching areas, which you are new to you and this shows independence, for example the research on composition and positive and negative shape. It is clear from your comparisons of artists that you are delving into what artists have done, why and finding meanings. Let them influence you or say why you have researched them in terms of moving your work forward. Like you did with the response to negative/positive shapes.

I do really enjoy looking at other artists, both past and present, and seeing their different techniques and styles. I will try to look more as to what I can take from their styles.

Learning Logs or Blogs / Critical Essays

Context, Reflective Thinking, Critical Thinking and Analysis

You have been very self-reflective throughout, especially with attention to the assessment criteria and feedback – well done. You are clearly listening to yourself and others in how to improve. Your log continues to be in-depth and insightful.

I am really pleased this has come across as it is something I am really trying to stay on top of. I figure if I do so now, when it comes to the end assessment, I will already have a bit of insight and will be able to hopefully improve as I go along instead of hoping to do so all at once at the end!

Suggested Reading / Viewing


Avigdor Arikha: Omitting detail and giving attention to tone and objects.

Georgio Mordani: Making economical use of space and subdued colours.

Charlotte Verity: Her sensitive and subtle use of media and limited palette.

Juan Gris: You mentioned collage. This can work if you combine drawing and subtle mixed media.

I’m really looking forward to researching these artists! Whilst I have already researched Morandi, I am looking forward to looking again at his work and delving into the above-noted qualities further.

Pointers for the Next Assignment


Monochrome and limited palette works well for you, especially for you to focus on the expressive marks you create.

You have been explorative and experimental with a range of media. It’s time to mix the expressive qualities with the technical.

Assignment piece- semi-abstraction, magnification and textures are working for you. You are not so heavy handed in this work.

Subtle mix media and layers work for you- but keep them to a limited palette so they all work together in union.

I am very happy with this part of my feedback and fully agree that these are my strengths. Whilst I wish to keep these things up, I do want to push myself and try to get out of my comfort zones!

Areas for Development

Technical aspect still needs work (depth and form) but you are getting there. When looking at angles and viewpoint pay more attention to the foreshortening.

Some subjects are too difficult (whole rooms) and twee- like ornaments, simpler shapes like the assignment, allows you to explore more marks and textures.

Be selective in how much you include and how many techniques you do in a piece. Dismiss large empty spaces.

Try and be more sensitive with the pressures so we can see layers and this creates depth.

I completely agree with these comments and will take them all on board. Hopefully, by the end of my next submission, I will have improved somewhat, if not completely, in these areas! It’s strange; the last time I received my feedback, I was rather glum and defeated, whereas now I received it with a ‘can do’ attitude and am only excited to ‘fix’ it and beat myself at my own game!

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


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.


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.


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


  • 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.