REFLECTION: Comments on progress from tutor’s points in Part 2

Comments on progress from tutor’s points in Part 2


Think about the best way of achieving your object through the right choice of media.

The focus of this section of the course has been concentrated on exploring my own physicality in the drawing process and it has been interesting to think about the choice of media in this context. I have tended to work primarily with dry media mainly because my concentration was centred on the gestural quality of the application. When considering paint I have a natural leaning toward watercolour but I found in this section that this medium didn’t allow for the experimentation of the gestures, but instead ‘did its own thing’ as watercolours tends to do. I used acrylics in project 4 and I felt that I was able to express the required emotion through that medium because of the thickness of the paint. In assignment 3 I chose to use soft pastels and charcoal because they allowed me to give the whole drawing process over to the music and follow the rhythm and flowing movement. It also allowed me to use my hands and fingers in the same flowing movement, blurring and moving the medium over the paper surface.


I would like more consideration given to the context and balance of space in your drawings.

Because of the strong emphasis of using other senses including emotional response in this part of the course, I found it difficult ‘to click over’ to the more technical aspects of composition. In time these will become natural to me no doubt but at the moment composition requires a specific thought process from me. However I am finding that the design and composition of the image is always there and is developing. In project 2: experiments in mark-making, the still life drawing of the abandoned jacket on the chair has used the space satisfactorily, remembering that I was drawing with an elongated pencil and also a clutch of 5 or so pastels in my hand. The question that I have about the use of space is about leaving spaces empty. One of the first drawings I did in this exercise left the chair as a simple outline and the rest of the paper empty.


I really like this drawing in fact I like it better than the finished one and it emphasises the subject of the image which is all about abandonment, loneliness etc. However I am feeling that I can’t leave a drawing like this and must always put something or marks in the space. Could you please comment on this aspect of leaving empty space.

In the final assignment piece I feel I have used the space well. The flow of the music encouraged me to work over the whole page continually and I found that I didn’t get locked into one area.


Some of your drawings lack variations in touch and tone – explore this.

Of all the comments this is the one for which I am most grateful. I can see that my drawings can lack subtlety and that I seem to have a strong and decisive hand which makes strong marks. I don’t think I can change that but I want to be able to bring this variation into the drawing. I really worked on this in the same drawing I’ve been talking about in the last section – the drawing of the discarded jacket on the chair. I studied the colour drawing from the point of view of variation in touch and tone and could see that there was no variation is touch. So I worked further on it bringing out the areas that needed the soft tones and immediately I could see a difference – a much more interesting image.

I feel that the assignment piece has the variation and this has come through working with the medium at the same time as working with the hands. I loved this aspect of the piece and felt a real involvement when I was using my hands in that way.

I think I am making progress on this area and am very pleased to have been made aware of it.


I think the design element of your drawing needs to be expanded and you could consider more abstract approaches.

I haven’t felt to have had much opportunity to develop this but am very interested in it. I am interested in abstraction but am also very wary of abstraction for abstraction sake ( I wonder if my meaning is clear here). I have really enjoyed working to music and I feel that some of the studies were beginning to use abstraction to create emotional responses. But I’m more interested in the work I did for the final assignment. Both images were based on representing a still life but as I worked through the music, the drawing was coming from the senses of feeling, touch and memory. The drawings were becoming looser and it was the design of the shapes and the flowing movement of the lines which were dominant. I would like to have continued with this and felt that I would have ended up with a purely abstract work. I want to experiment more with abstraction.


About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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