Category Archives: Assigment 3

Assignment 3 – Tutor Feedback

My tutor overall comments are that I need to produce more work so that I have a larger body to select from for assessment. He also encourages be to be adventurous in terms of both media and my use of them, taking more risks, experimentation with mark-making and using a variety of media individually and in combination. These are very interesting observations as they are similar to my printmaking tutors advice! I obviously need to work on this area.

On the assignment, he commented that the tones of the far background might be better lighter thereby enhancing the sense of receding space. Definitely something I agree with, but struggled with when doing the drawing as that was where the darker tones were in the deep shadows. I should have done some more preparatory sketches to get these tones right before committing to the final piece. He also commented that he would be interested to me doing a similar study in colour.

I submitted assignment 4 at the same time as assignment 3, so taking this advice forward will have to be done in stage 5.

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Assignment 3 – Reflection

So, how do I think I have done?

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

Materials: I mulled over the use of a variety of materials whilst planning this assignment. Because I wanted to make sure the proportions were correct and the perspective was right, working in pencil first, followed by ink, meant that I could then rub out all the pencil guide marks I had made. Researching other images then led me to sticking with ink and using washes to complete the image. Using glued watercolour paper worked well and has meant that the paper has stayed flat and not stretched when the washes were applied (which happened with my assignment 1 piece).

Techniques: I was hoping to find a pen which would give me more unpredictable results to loosen up my style, but as it was, I ended up doing a detailed pen drawing. I did use different thicknesses of lines, but all continuous, with a number of different marks for the leaves and plants in the garden. My brush technique leaves a bit to be desired – my image is very detailed and exact, which isn’t mirrored by the application of the washes.

Observational skills: Because this was a detailed work, it was all about observation. I think I have measured and observed well and got the perspective right.

Visual awareness: This is similar to the previous category, but I guess would cover awareness of the different tones in the image. In some areas I think I have got this right, but others (the paving slabs and the receding wall in particular), I haven’t.

Design and compositional skills: I think the composition I chose worked well. The portrait format fits the image well, the door to the right frames the composition nicely and the table and mat provide foreground interest which leads into the image. The placement of the flowers on the windowsill also works well, although I haven’t made these large enough in my drawing.

Quality of Outcome

Content: The image falls down in areas due to the washes applied – I have got a smudge on the right hand door from ink on my hand, and I have used too dark a wash on the paving slabs and on the wall at the top of the image (although this does now frame the image quite well). I think most of the rest of the image works well, although the washes could have been more exactly applied where straight lines were needed.

Application of knowledge: I guess the main areas of knowledge from the course applied here were measuring, perspective and tone. I am very pleased with the first two of these, but need to continue working on my depiction of tone.

Presentation of work in a coherent manner: This blog is the main record of my work, with my accompanying sketchbook.

Discernment: Hopefully this shows in the final drawing.

Conceptualisation of thoughts: The thinking in this image was around the composition and what elements to keep and what to discard. I think the composition is strong and works very well. I also think most of my thoughts on what to draw and what to ignore worked well – the removal of the cat flaps and radiator both “tidied up” the image. I should have thought a bit more about the plant pots in the garden though as these look a bit flat and also removing items from the left hand window should have resulted in paving slabs then showing.

Communication of ideas: I think the choices made in composition and the materials used make this image (mostly) work well, and I think the image only really falls down on my technique.

Demonstration of Creativity

Imagination: I guess that seeing the composition of an image, placement of elements, working out what to include/exclude, simplifying elements, etc. is the evidence of imagination.

Experimentation: This was mainly in trying out different textures with pen marks and washes to see what worked.

Invention: I’m not sure how to answer this, unless to say ditto to the above?

Development of a personal voice: I guess I am developing this and it is leaning towards detailed studies, whether I like it or not!


Reflection: Overall I think this drawing went well. It could certainly be improved, but mainly through starting again and working better with the washes. As that would be the main thing I would do to change it, I guess I have made the right choices in composition, techniques and materials for what I was planning to achieve.

Research: Most of my research has been done whilst working through this stage of the course, although I did some research for this assignment when it came to deciding how to proceed after laying down the initial pen lines.

Critical thinking (learning log): This post and the others through this stage of the course covers this.

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Assignment 3 – View from a window or an open door

I chose a scene from my mother-in-law’s house whilst I was house/cat sitting there:


Preliminary sketches:


My preliminary sketches were pretty rough and ready as the options for varying the image were quite limited. The outcome of them was to go for a portrait format, close to the open door, with the door open as wide as it could go.

After mulling it over for a while, I decided to try doing this with pen and ink, so started out working in pencil to get the perspective right (the grid is matching the viewfinder I made myself out of a piece of plastic with lines drawn on it):


Despite thinking I’d measured everything correctly, once I put the doormat in, I realised that my doorway was too tall and thin.

Rather than continue with this, I started again, measuring more carefully and it looked better:


I adding ink outlines to the sketch, doing a quick reference sketch to work out which lines needed to be bolder:


I forgot to photograph the image at this point, but I’ve gone all detailed again – maybe that is just my style and I have to accept it? I would like to explore more simplified abstract images, but always seem to end up going into great detail.

I stalled a little at this point. I was happy with the image so far, but how to continue with it? I needed to add tone and also needed to decide if colour should be introduced.

I had a bit of a look at pen and wash images on the web and looked at the following images:

Rural Landscape (pen and ink wash on paper) – Brill or Bril, Paul

Landscape with a lake (pen and ink and wash on paper) – Harden, John

Wooded Landscape with the Temptation of Christ (pen and grey ink, brush and w/c on paper) – Vinckboons, David

Cattle Resting (pen & ink on paper) – Hills, Robert

Landscape (pen & ink on paper) – Bruegel, Pieter the Elder

The Flock and the Star (pen and brush in ink over pencil and ink) – Palmer, Samuel

I noticed how the ink colour faded as it went into the background, so I used diluted ink to add the leaf textures into the background (beyond the wall) in my image.

I couldn’t find any images with small areas of colour, which would be what I was thinking about for the flowers, so I decided to stick with grey-black for this drawing.

I had a little tinker around with ink washes:


Along with testing the intensity of the wash before applying it, I started out with slightly diluted ink and kept diluting more and more as I went through the image. Unfortunately I ran out of ink so had to do this again which resulted in some of the tones which should have been the same, coming out differently.

My final image:


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