Category Archives: Assignment 4

Assignment 4 – Tutor Feedback

My tutors’ feedback from this stage is encouraging, but again focusses on some key areas of development:

  • Pushing myself
  • Using media that force me away from a dependence on line only
  • More risk taking

I think the key message to take forward to assignment 5 is the need to experiment more with media and techniques, and take more risks.

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Assignment 4 – Reflection

Well I think I’m improving, let’s see if my tutor agrees!

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

Materials: I didn’t debate much on the use of materials for these assignments, my tonal work is strongest in charcoal and I only had pencil or drawing pens with me when completing the line drawing and I prefer the clean lines of pen and it allows experimentation with the line in pencil in situ, before committing it to pen.

Techniques: I think the drawing pens are more limited in achieving a variation of line than dip pen for instance. I have used disappearing lines and did vary the pen thickness at times, but I don’t think I have varied the lines as much as I could have done. Starting with a light charcoal background on the tone drawing I think has worked well and has allowed me to get a good tonal range across this drawing.

Observational skills: I think I have got the majority of the proportions, foreshortening and perspective correct in these drawings.

Visual awareness: I have included some lines dividing the tonal areas in the line drawing, but perhaps should have experimented with how to depict these a little more before committing to pen. In the tone image I think I have captured the different tones well across the image.

Design and compositional skills: I think the two compositions chosen both worked well. Both are in portrait format, which fits the elements of the image in well and I have worked to the edge of the frame. I could have perhaps gone slightly to the right in the line image to include the edge of the chair. I think it works fine being cut off in the way that it is, but if it was an image to frame, this would be cut even further which then may look a bit odd.

Quality of Outcome

Content: There are a few areas I am not as pleased with, namely the eyebrow and lack of line variation on the line drawing and the facial expression and ear on the tone drawing. I am pleased with the rest of them though.

Application of knowledge: I guess the main areas of knowledge from the course applied here were from the measuring the figure, foreshortening in the tonal drawing, perspective in the line drawing and depiction of line and tone. I think my main area to focus on still is my use of varying lines.

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

Discernment: I think the composition and choice of materials works well, so hopefully this shows in the final drawings.

Conceptualisation of thoughts: The thinking in this image was around the composition and (with the line drawing particularly) in how to simplify the detail. I think I chose strong compositions for both drawings and I think my decisions on what to draw and what to ignore also worked well, with the exception of the depiction of the eyebrow and the decision to include the pocket detail in the line drawing.

Communication of ideas: I think the choices made in composition and the materials used make this image (mostly) work well, it is only the facial expression on the tonal image which communicates a different message than I was intending.

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 compositions for the tonal image and different ways of depicting features with the line drawing.

Invention: I’m still not sure what to put under this heading?

Development of a personal voice: I am pleased that with charcoal I have been able to move away a bit from the detailed studies I thought I was getting drawn into – there is hope for me yet!


Reflection: Overall I think these drawings went well. They could be improved in areas, but I think I have made the right decisions in composition, materials and techniques for what I was planning to achieve.

Research: Most of my research has been done whilst working through this stage of the course.

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

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Assignment 4 – Tone

A2 drawing in charcoal.

As instructed, I posed my model in a reclining pose, lying on a sofa, with contrasting toned clothes and strong light one major light source from a lamp.

This drawing was also done whilst on holiday, but there were many more options to position the furniture and model (with the light source a little more fixed as it needed to be on a table). My initial sketches to try to work this out:


I experimented with armchairs or sofa and the position of these in relation to the background, ending up with the final composition of lying on a sofa looking up the model and cropped in closely.

A4Tone photographI used pencil for the sketches, but went for using charcoal in the actual drawing as I have had the most success depicting tone in this medium.

I started out by laying down a light background of charcoal as I find it much easier to work on this as it allows you to rub out lines easily and use a putty rubber to bring out the highlights.

A4Tone drawingI am very pleased with the way this image turned out, the main problem is that my wife looks like she is crying! I got a little detail into the face which looked right (if sad), and decided not to fiddle with it in case I messed it up. I also didn’t want to keep labouring the detail here as to get it right might require small detail in a drawing more about shape and tone. I think I have also got the ear a little too far back on the head as well. Overall I like the image though and think that the light from the lamp has worked really well in bringing out the shape and tone.

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Assignment 4 – Line and shape

A2 drawing in pen.

I posed my model (my wife) on a hard chair (with a cushion for comfort) at a desk reading a book with directional light from a lamp on the desk. Photograph of the image setup:

A4Line photographI did this drawing whilst on holiday and would normally have tried various arrangements to determine the best location for the drawing, however this was clearly the best location and setup to be had, so I went straight into the drawing.

I started out by drawing in the table, lamp, window (and view from it) and curtain before I sat my model down to reduce the amount of time I needed her to pose for. Then I added in the rest of the image with her sat at the table (with the view gone with the daylight). Even doing this, I needed two sessions with my model and the drawing took a lot longer than 2 hours (probably more like 6).

A4Line drawing pencilI explored a number of options of how to depict the drawing in line alone, but made most of these in pencil on the actual drawing before drawing over them in pen and erasing the original pencil lines, so have no record of them. The key area I explored in a number of ways was the hair and how to depict it.

A4linesketch1These rough sketches in my sketchbook showed that drawing in too many lines would make the hair look very dark, messy (I would have been neater and used continuous lines in a final drawing, but it would have still looked a mess I think), and too different from the other lines in the drawing. So I went for a much simpler depiction of the hair.

My final piece:

A4Line drawing penI am pleased with this and it does look like my wife. I did draw in a couple of extra pen lines which I removed by drawing over them with a white gel pen (mainly on the window lines), but the only area which I definitely should have tried first before committing to pen was the eyebrow which I think looks odd drawn as an outline.

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