Assignment 5 no.1

Bramdean isn’t that close so I can’t just pop over without prepping up the children that we’ll be out for a couple of hours at a place that probably isn’t that interesting for them (Easter holidays and all). So I’m concentrating on my friendly local cathedral as a major starting point. Pen sketches in situ followed up by lengthier studies created off the initial sketches and photos. The closer to the cathedral, the more I rely on the sketchbook over the photos as the perspective gets optically stretched out of proportion, however, it helps back at home working in the warm and dry to see the colours and detail in the building. (I have Raynauds so I can’t push sitting still outside for too long at this time of year).

I like the cathedral in full rising from its pool of trees in the ink wash top right, the bottom left closer view has the detail, but as I was out and about, I used a fountain pen instead of dip, the difference is that I’m not about to use permanent when dry ink in my secondhand off ebay Cross pen as its a fluid dream to draw and write with, so I couldn’t add the shade that the brilliant sunshine afforded the building in reality without washing away the picture I had drawn. I also wanted to redo it so the spire faded back to add depth into the picture, this is from reviewing Hoppers work, some of his earlier work very impressionist in style used this technique, so I drew in a watered down ink for the spire and could add the wash in comfort at home.

Bottom right is my response to Monet, I’m planning in the pastels just for this, Its near a1, and I like the way the cathedral is cropped in, it looms better, has more impact as a large building, the spire shrinks into the distance in a way the tallest spire in Britain shouldn’t be able to do. The image lacks the fine detail I can achieve in a fine pen, but the inclusion of the sky and the warmth of the stone makes up for it.

Assignment 5

Investigating Salisbury Cathedral as a building, with a view to creating images that represent it in a current style.

The building is squarely at the centre of my world. Ignoring its theological purpose, the council won’t allow anything to be built taller than it so it dominates the landscape. The buildings that surround it are -for the most part- listed buildings that really are the same as they where in sketches from centuries ago. It also represents a part of the tourist trail that feeds the coffers that keep the parks looking good and the view from the coffee shops clean.

To me, it represents Home. Driving into the city in any direction, the sight of the cathedral fills me with a sense of calm you only get when you know you are about to throw off your shoes, find your favourite mug and shrug off all the duties being outside the house entails. I walk into town with or without my family and bump into a miriad of people I know, there is a reason we call it Smallsbury. Thats why I’ve picked it to draw.

I’ve been looking at the work of Andrew Wyeth (extensively over the last part of the course) and Dennis hopper in reference to open spaces and the importance of the items within them. This building sits in its landscapes in a way Wyeth and Hopper would approve of.

I’m also looking to the work of Degas and Monet to look at colour and light and the cathedral will work well for both these artists, given Monet’s Rouen cathedral series working with colour will be a nudge in a different direction.

I have recently seen a fair bit of the work of John Piper and his work is going to influence this assignment, the use of line and shade in his compositions brings a style that is far removed from the Constable and Turner pictures and most of the versions of this grand building I have seen since.

I want to build a strong sketchbook of reference images that I can then build into larger multimedia drawings that hopefully show the quiet of the places I have drawn. I had good success slowing down the sketchbook images for precise dip pen and ink sketches in the coursework for part 4, I want to keep working in this way, it led to much better final pictures.

There are strong shapes that define the stonework and hold up the spire which was never in the original design, using these to give the age and weight of the building will be a challenge I am looking forward to.

Assignment 4 Tutor report

Overall Comments

You have taken a good leap forward in this exercise despite the fact that you feel as if it was the most challenging assignment- well- done.

You have completed all that was required of you. Many of your drawings have reached a deeper level of observation. Experimentation is clearly visible – and evidence that you have purposely ignored your comfort zone and voyaged into unknown territory is becoming clear.

I would suggest that you redo one of the exercises – just because I am positive that you can improve on the final drawing that you have submitted.

Assessment potential – After assignment 4

Select one of the statements below:

*delete as appropriate

I understand your aim is to go for the Painting/Textiles/Creative Arts*) 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, and providing you commit yourself to the course, I suggest that you are likely to be successful in the assessment.

I do believe that you will be successful if you decide to submit your work for formal assessment.

Good selection of work is of great importance- so do consult the student advice from the OCA on this subject.

Feedback on assignment

You technical skills have progressed well in this assignment. You have explored different mark making.

Exercise 7

This has a vitality and a freedom to it.

Your self- portraits show good understanding of the face. In one you look as if you have a round face – in others you appear to have quite a long face- however it is the positioning of your head I think that makes this noticeable. Perhaps it is the media that you choose which changes your interpretation. You have worked hard on these sketches. You have investigated the structure of the face and searched for                                                        different positions – often quite hard angles. You have broken down the detail of the face and created different shapes.

Exercise 13-

The portrait research sketch has interesting possibilities – you have taken a step away from imitation and taken your investigations into a different way of perceiving the face. I would have liked to have seen the same collage experiments continue throughout the whole drawing so you built up the form using the strips of paper to completion.

Your many sketches and more intense drawings of the male form evidence a persistence which is to be admired. You can capture a pose and you can grasp such elements as balance and proportion.

Exercise 11- A lovely line drawing of the child on a chair.-but maybe a variety to the  type of line might have introduced a more interesting and creative element?—- Do try and be discriminating between strengths of line opposed to areas of the design that is noticeably weaker and therefore requires a softer line.

Exercise 3

There are some very sensitive areas in this image. In this drawing you have succeeded also to give form and a feeling of solidity to the form. There is a tranquil feeling to the pose- and you have taken your observation to a more intense level to achieve this.

Exercise 13

You have produced a very strong portrait. There is real form- real drama to this face. You have included different – very inventive media which works well. There is an understanding of light – reflected light and you have captured the expression well. The addition of different media result in a creative result- a more inventive and adventurous way of seeing.

Exercise 1

  I do feel that you are capable of producing a better result to this exercise. You do need to observe more pictorial issues which will strengthen this exercise. You need to be braver to produce a more creative drawing.

For instance – I do think that using complementary colors and perhaps not using black would have created a richer feel to the composition.  Perhaps enlarging the image would have produced a stronger result too. It would have forced you to consider the relationship of the objects  to the edges of the paper.

You need to study the effect of shadow on your arrangement. You are capable of producing stronger work. Do consider this option of redoing this exercise.

  The three dimensional feel to the fabric is missing- the tones are too few. The shoes do not seem to be part of the image. There would be clear indication of the shapes of the chair underneath the fabric- you would be able to describe the planes – the solid back of the wooden frame would be more apparent. The light would change. There is not enough investigation into the shapes – weight – tones of the folds and how they fall onto the chair and how they follow the shape of the chair.

I do hope that you can see this

The small pencil sketches of folds could also be taken further- perhaps using a 4B pencil might force you to commit yourself to the darker tones? Try and observe the folds as abstract shapes that break the surface of the paper so forcing the viewer to see them differently. Isolating parts of the fabric and enclosing them within a rectangle encourages you to distance yourself from just describing the fabric. You can capitalize on this isolated square to look at the fabric in a different way.

Your technical skills have improved with this exercise but do persist further in applying your craftsmanship to more experimental interpretations- more creative ways of seeing. Keep up what you have already started.


You have completed much research into the human form using the still life model. You also have included individual studies of shoes – and explored different parts of the body to a more intense degree.

I wonder if you are still exploring your own personal voice by sketching subject matter not prescribed by the OCA?

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Your writings are again- thorough and honest. Sometimes I am aware of a lack of confidence and a wariness towards some of the work. This will go as your skills improve. You reflect well and analyze your reactions to the work.

You obviously gain much from the   study of other artists which is all to the good.

Your blog is clear – well written and easily accessible.

Suggested reading/viewing –

Do now study the OCA guidelines for the formal submission.  Remember it is not the amount of work that is important – it is the selection that matters.

Have a look at the work of Giacometti- particularly his drawings. Also the drawings of Jose Clemente Orozo- Max Beckman- Degas.

These artist produced strong images by reduction of tones- they produced dramatic drawings by – often just isolating strong light and combined them with strong shadows.  Try and be less tentative about your creativity. Be bolder and more adventurous. Subtlety and delicacy has its place of course- but you must keep experimenting and pushing the boundaries.

Pointers for the next assignment

Do redo the still life with the fabric.

If you intend to take the landscape option then have a look at the work of Edward Hopper- Cezanne and Monet.

Make sure that when you complete the preliminary studies for your final drawing – enclose them within a rectangle that is in the same proportion as the final drawing. In that way your understanding of the reason for the experimentation with composition- balance – harmony is clear and well understood.

The exercise numbers match up to the numbers I ascribed to post the pictures, not actual exercise numbers