Assignment 2 self evaluation

  • Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills.

This is hard to judge in terms of skills. I’ve had conversations about realism versus expression and the vague feeling that preferring the latter is some sort of cop out. At one level I know this is not true – I believe I can draw and I have pre-OCA drawings I return to occasionally to remind myself – but I felt the need to do a couple more just for the record. Not photo-realistic, still more interpretive, but definitely of something recognisable.


Setting aside that self doubt, I have really enjoyed expanding my range from A5 insular little items to A1 (A2 is easier on the arm!), and I have become a fan of pre-preparing pages with gesso to provide texture. Latterly, I’ve used the gesso to make the kind texture I am wanting to indicate, as in this oil crayon/charcoal/ink drawing of an interior that came out of one of the exercises.


  • Quality of outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

Quality of outcome I think I can consider in terms of satisfaction. I doubt I will ever be satisfied, work will never be done, and however pleased I am with it now, in a short time I will wonder what I ever saw in it. I think I can say safely though, that my aim of finding a strong educational challenge in this course is being met. This is not training, not cloning; my experience to date is that this is about the consideration below – voice. The full process, in terms of large and small sketches, of this assignment is detailed here. This is the final piece.


  • Demonstration of creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.

If this module has been about anything it is this. The encouragement to do more than just draw, just reproduce, just make fine marks. I have never been so much up to my elbows in colourful mess, so focused on tight pencil work, so keen to see what cold coffee or roots re-touching spray would do on various kinds of support, and so covered in charcoal smudges I’ve needed to buy a protective garment. I hope this shows in sketch book work such as these:

  • Context reflection – research critical thinking (as evidenced in learning log).

As yet, research remains a bit of an issue for me. I am still drifting a little, looking and wondering what it is I am looking at or why. I am addressing this by beginning the UVC course which I can see already is feeding my need for a theoretical structure, a way of constructing my looking and reflecting objectively on it. Still, I have found some resonances in Henry Moore’s sheep drawings (all those round marks), Klimt’s gilded images drawing on his background in mosaic, and even van Gogh after several people independently remarked on the similarity between his work and my interior with doorways.

That said, I was pointed at symbolism, the reductive techniques of Anita Taylor, and William Kentridge. I most definitely drew on this to make the near-silhouette of the frog and also, initially, of the thumb pot. But I think the somewhat fantastical representation of the fire screen owes a lot to a kind of magical realism that I understand from literature, a genre that bends reality in consistent but unreal ways to tell its story and which I find also exists as a genre in art. Because of the nature of the screen in reality, it took almost no time to become something else as I was drawing it – turrets and doorways, tiny windows with lights behind them, and ultimately a citadel with a huge black amphibian standing guard. It probably owes something to Game of Thrones too in terms of scale, ambiguities, and magic.




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