‘Thank you for sending in a good selection of work through the post, with your A 2 piece for Assignment 3, and drawings for each of the 5 sections of Part 3-Expanse. You also sent a clear list of learning log/blog posts relevant for this section and a list of work. This organised approach helps in identifying and looking at the work.’
I am striving to be organised with my art pieces and I am really glad you were kind to acknowledge this. I am trying with my blogs to organise them in a way that they are easy to read.
‘You have pulled together different skills used in previous exercises to really make decisions about composition of your final piece and in doing so produced a strong structure for your final piece.’
Thank you for saying this, I have worked hard to look and work with composition in my work. Using photos, sketches and artist reference to help me. This approach is not only enjoyable, but necessary to my thinking and development of my work.
‘During your ‘sketchbook walks’ you made some very good drawings. The drawings in pencil around Jersey farm stand out, as do the six images you made for the 360 degree exercise. Many from your range of clouds studies are exciting. You did some beautiful sketches in colour of groups of trees.’
Doing these exercises were my favourite part of this course so far. I love being outside, looking and studying the weather and landscape shapes and colours. In fact all the cloud studies I actually, sat or stood to draw them in real time. For the inky cloud study on toned paper, I drew by dipping my reed pen in ink and doing speedy sketches, these were clouds high up and moving very fast too.
The sketches below are some of my favourite drawings, I enjoyed playing with light and dark areas. As you said ‘there are some grand shadows in these small drawings’
‘Each of your assignment pieces so far has included colour. This is absolutely fine. I would like to be sure you feel you could, if you wished, submit a final assignment piece of drawing in black and white, grey scale or monochrome, if you were to decide this best suited the particular piece you are working on.’
To answer this is simple, some of the exercise criteria requests and instructs us to explore tone in colour. Having said that, is not verbatim, and as I have always used colour in my ‘normal work’ and it’s leaked over into my course exercises. I love working with black lines and inks, so as I do a lot of this I thought I would be ‘experimental and creative’ by introducing colour images. Much of my sketches are in pencil, as it’s an immediate and easy medium to use. However it’s terrible to photograph a pencil drawing on white paper.
‘Moving from line based drawing, whether pencil, pen, or pen and ink, to the inclusion of colour washes, can be done in many ways.’
If I were to re-work assignment 3, ‘My Garden’ I would probably draw it in one colour and include more textures. But I didn’t want to ‘copy’ the style of Van Gogh, who I was influenced by. Hence to use of colour washes and I was trying to be individual.
But your suggestion of ‘would it be a useful exercise for you to take this step further and make a drawing, not a copy so much as a version, of one of Van Gogh’s drawings and one of his paintings (as he did sometimes himself?)’ is an interesting idea and I would be willing to try it out.
I think I struggle with this issue of colour verses monochrome. The assignments, plus the exercises pose many questions regarding the use of materials, and whether to ‘paint’ or draw in one or many colours. Then that’s the nature of an art course, to ask yourself questions, but not always come up with the right answers either. I know that I need to reflect on this more in my blogs.
You will find in Part 4 I have worked mostly in black, grey or monochrome. Including my assignment 4 pieces are all in one or two colours.
What have I learnt from Expanse-Part 3 for my personal improvement ?
I have improved my knowledge of composition, and how it’s important in landscape art to create balance and interest in pictures.
Choosing the correct materials for the final image. Also exploring materials that feel creatively right for me to use. Such as I often avoid pastels, and would default to inks and pens.
Researching artists is very important to inform my art and knowledge. I did look at Margaret Mee as you recommended, but didn’t make the Mantegna and Bellini exhibition at The National Gallery. However I did read and look at some of their work on line.
Making decisions in hard, but to accept that working in art is full of questions.
Areas for development
‘keep noticing and reflecting on the range of ways you are combining line drawing with colour, in order to discern between different processes and make choices which work best for each piece’
I will try to do this in my blogs and sketchbooks in future, but it does cause me conflicts. So some more research into how other artists use colour washes in their work.