- Own Comments
- Tutor Comments
This was an extremely challenging assignment to undertake without access to a life class and with no previous experience of life drawing. You have quite quickly developed a sense of where you might take this in the future. More use of appropriate contextual study might have helped. This is a fair start and I hope you will continue to develop your life drawing as I feel you would quickly develop.
Assignment 4 Assessment potential
I understand your aim is to study for a 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 pass at assessment. 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 required to select a statement here but in this case none of them apply exactly. This was a challenging assignment and there are issues in your assignment work that we do need to address, but I feel that this assignment is not representative of your portfolio as a whole and so looking across your whole output, I think that we can build a convincing portfolio that demonstrates your learning. I also feel that considering you had never drawn a person before or attempted a head drawing that the outcomes are good relative to your experience.
I have struggled a lot with this assignment. I used youtube videos and photographs which were not ideal. Relying on other people such as family members for my art felt incredibly stifling and demanding, when they had busy schedules of their own, which is why I would want to focus more on self portraiture. Alongside travel difficulties, part of me is also completely intimidated by life drawing classes, as I know I am not up to a decent standard, but I know to get to that point I will need more real life guidance with real life models.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
The brown figure is successful. It uses tones to create form and the proportions are reasonably accurate. This could go into your portfolio for assessment.
The large figure on lined paper is reasonably accurate in terms of proportions. Shoulders are really quite complicated bits of engineering, as are hips, and you have to give enough room for the whole shoulder. Have another look. Above the breasts is the collar bone. The shoulders are quite high, may even protrude up as two bumps, and the shoulder blades behind need room too. Your shoulders here are a bit skimpy and squished.
I found this on the internet. It is helpful to illustrate how large shoulders are compared to the breast area
You could also have been more specific with the use of tone. Your shading is quite generic and you could have looked harder to get the shapes of tone is more accurately. That would have brought out the form of the figure more.
The movement drawing can also go into your portfolio. It is inventive and the way you have reworked the drawing has given it a really nice patina. The bottom is massive, but it works overall as an image so that is okay. Tone is working harder here too. Well done.
Your first ever self portrait has a slight Elizabeth Peyton feel to it as you have exaggerated the eyes and use her cool palette. I would need to see a photograph to be sure, but the lips do feel a bit disconnected from the face and the black line through the middle is too even and reaches too far across. This is a good first effort and I think making three of these in a row would quickly see an improvement. Hair needs to be seen as an object like a helmet as well as strands so you can look for signs of an overall effect of cast light as well.
Sargeant has picked out the shapes of cast light here rather than describing the hair in strands.
The other two drawings come from a starting point of drawing a boundary or outline figure. I suggest you have another go at these. You have a lovely model gymnast and some nice photos. Try to build out from a basic skeleton and focus on weight, balance and tension. The painted version of your gymnast in profile is nice in your sketchbook. Look at figures as part visual proposition and part meccano set. Focus on what strikes you as visually important but get there by mapping the engineering of the body accurately.
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
There are some head drawings here that rely too much on generic features (eyes, nose and mouth) when you need to ditch that and focus instead on the head as a skull covered in skin. Remember that the eyes are nestling in deep holes, and cheeks are held out by bones which link to your mouth and jaw.
Look how the eyes here are mainly visible because the brow bone, cheeks and eyelids describe the area around them.
Here, Ariana Grande has tried to minimise that effect by using make up so that we are less aware of her head, and focus instead on her features. However, a sensitive look at even this bleached out face with over described eyes reveals a tenderness to the edges of the mouth and of course she is still human and so still has eye sockets and a jaw, however subtly apparent.
When you are drawing people, think of the drawings as head drawings in the first instance. Think about the space inside the head, and build out to create the form of the whole head. Be very aware of the temples, the jaw line, the way the nose relates to the brow bone. Also be aware of the asymmetry of the human face. ‘Beautiful’ people and children often have very symmetrical faces, but most of us are quite imbalanced.
Boris Johnson has hundreds of tiny deviations from symmetry that make his face unique. His ears, eyes, lips and nose are all different on one side to the other.
Look at these lovely drawings by Rembrandt. See how much care he has taken to draw a whole head here, the shading really helps to make the head round. Look how seriously he takes the space around the head too – he is mapping in things regardless of their importance conceptually (i.e. whether they are eyes or a piece of wall) his focus is on the visual relevance and on building up a sense of space.
I am sensing a pattern in that I am struggling to depict a realistic likeness and bring individuality into my portraits. One thing I really need to be more conscious of is the big picture. I can look too closely into minor details, whether that is in written reflections or whilst drawing faces. I need to be aware of the overall effect my artwork produces.
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
Your research is too broad for your own needs. I think more focus on the practical realities facing you as a student would have helped you more directly. Use your drawings to decide what research to do. For example, you have a few key requirements. You need to learn how to observe the figure, how to make the drawing seem alive, how to use tone and line etc etc. Then you have a poke about the Tate website or the jerwood drawing catalogue or the national portrait gallery and look for artists that are doing what you need to learn. Having said that you do this well in you research point on foreshortening. your research point on using anatomy is interesting but possibly not related to your drawing as much which is a shame as that really is key for you.
I am going to go through every piece of research and condense it, researching a clear focused point. I have been more aware of the websites from which I get my information from, but now need to take it a step forward and condense it, relating it to my own drawings.
There are several videos about life drawing on the Tate website. The Christopher LeBrun one is particularly helpful, the Michael Sandle one is good too although not a great advert for his teaching. There is a moment in the Christopher le Brun one where he is drawing and I think it is really important to notice just how much his eyes dart between the drawing and model.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
You could still do more to apply your research to your practice. I think it would be good if our next tutorial was via video as I think this is easier to explain and discuss together.
Consider attending a life drawing class locally.
Pointers for the next assignment
● Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.
● Use tone more precisely to describe form
● Look really hard and observe carefully.
Well done, I look forward to your next assignment.
- Tighten proportion accuracy on most drawings
- Large figure on lined paper – redraw and edit shoulders – learn more about the underlying structure of body
- More specific in my use of tone
- Have another go at drawings of my model dancer – build out from a basic skeleton
- Draw at least 3 self portraits – use repetition to improve accuracy
- More contextual study – Go through every piece of research – figure out what I want to learn from each specific artist, and use it to influence my own drawings.
- Watch and comment on life drawing videos from Tate