When I scanned through the themes initially, I was drawn to Nature’s Larder, but I noticed that this was related to the fact that I love nature and live in a rural place, so the theme itself was all around me. I wanted to challenge myself and thought it would be more exciting and invigorating to look for other possibilities, hence choosing Iced Landscape as a theme.
I was excited to start the assignment, and was surprised how selecting the objects, photographing them and then observing and drawing their qualities engaged me. I thought and reflected on my work a lot, even when days passed without me being able to get on with anything practical due to my other commitments. I did notice that I did not log or write down a lot of the reflective and critical thinking that I was doing, both when actually working on my drawings and when I was thinking about the project. This is something I need to work on! I think it was partly not having a working system for doing this. I was resistant to writing notes in a sketchbook, and then rewriting these in a blog.
I explored my mark-making techniques, especially when using pencil. I got the idea to put two pencils together from a book on drawing. I found this really helped me to break out of simple line/outline drawing and it created movement in the objects I drew. It also helped to create depth and dimension to my drawings. I think my strengths were in using this particular technique, as well as the ink drawings I made.
My weaknesses where definitely my use of charcoal and pastel, and my lack of written reflection. I also feel that I could have analysed the artists I looked at in more depth. Although I am pleased that by looking at them, they did inform some of my later drawings. By looking at Katie Sollohub and Michael Griffiths’ work with charcoal, I pushed myself to work with it some more, and mixed techniques to create what I thought was a more successful piece that achieved more of the qualities I was trying to achieve. This is a new skill for me; where I have looked to go out of my comfort zone and push a medium further, and create drawings using a mixture of pen, ink and charcoal. I have also learnt how to set up a blog, although need to now fine-tune and develop this further so that it is easy to navigate, and more importantly works for me as a tool with which to reflect on my work.
I don’t seem to have the patience to create a sustained drawing, and I would like to hone a way of working that would suit me. I did begin to do this by beginning several drawings at once and having 2 or 3 on rotation. I approached this brief in a very investigative way. This meant that I spent only enough time on each drawing to ‘find’ something, after which I tended to abandon it. The more I drew, the more ideas this process generated, so I tended to work fast to try and keep up! As a consequence, many of my drawings may not appear ‘finished’.
I have also evaluated my work in terms of the assessment criteria below:
Demonstration of technical and visual skills: The more photographs I took, the more confidence I gained in arranging the objects, and considered viewpoints, close ups, texture and composition I pushed the use of. I do feel that I have some skills from my previous artistic knowledge. I genuinely enjoy drawing and taking photographs and like to create an aesthetic. The quality of my drawings varied. I did find working with charcoal my weak point. I didn’t manage to achieve a depth that I had hoped to achieve. However one of my final drawings, a larger tracing of many of my previous drawings, did begin to create a sense of image and texture. I seemed to concentrate on contrasts and negative and positive spaces, which is possibly why my ink drawings were some of the more successful ones. Two more sustained pieces, one in pencil and the other a combination of media did achieve some of the qualities I had intended to convey: the juxtaposition of hard edges with a softness and fragility that had come out of my original brainstorm of the theme. My grasp of techniques was a little inconsistent, I didn’t always push the boundaries of each medium.
Quality of outcome: I did consider how my work presented itself, both on the blog in terms of arranging my photos and in my drawings. I would have liked to select and refine the work to send in, but I was conscious that the brief required all work to be shown. Since I had worked on a variety of papers, I chose to bring some of my drawings together on pieces of card to create a more coherent way of viewing the work. I think this is important as it allows the work and the drawings to communicate a little my direction and development.
Demonstration of creativity: I did begin to explore further the uses of different papers. I started to develop a personal voice by playing with and tracing my previous drawings again and again, overlapping and combining the drawings bringing them together into one composition. I felt most creative when I combined elements together: joining two pencils together, or tracing different drawings to make new drawings, or mixing media together.
Context: Although I did a lot of thinking, I didn’t evidence this. I don’t know how much of this is directly shown through my drawings. I need to work on my research and reflection and find a way to present and record my ideas. However I am conscious that at least one of my more successful drawings was as a result of having looked at the artists.