I received tutor feedback for my last assignment and the exercise work.
Large-scale line painting
I did battle with this exercise and she agreed that the Button painting was definitely not a line drawing, however she felt that the experimentation I did with new combinations of materials was a ‘worthwhile detour’. She felt the Tombow marker pen drawing had lively energy but again it was not a line drawing in the strictest sense. The raw sienna watercolour tonal study provided an illusion of form but due to errors in the drawing it was thrown off. She felt I’d picked a difficult subject, as the geometry of bottles presents a real challenge and encouraged me now to be downhearted. I think she felt the wonky brush pen drawing was the most successful and she said it reminded her of Quentin Blake’s illustrations, which have a wonderful energy. I am not familiar with his work. (Hang on, did he illustrate The BFG?).
Painting on a 3D surface.
She felt the enamel paints on stone created a nice rich surface and the addition of blue was indicative of sea, the felt the contrast defined the shells without an outline and that this was a fun piece, which suited my interest in the materials (enamels).
Painting on a painted surface
She felt in the ‘Still Life of Fruit’ that I should not have included the plastic box in the composition as the shape was incongruous with the other objects. I agree with her on that, I had done earlier rough sketchwork where I had omitted the box and I should have stuck with my gut on that. She was pleased I’d persevered with gouache and felt I’d captured the apple well, as well as the use of purple in the shadows of the bananas. She didn’t feel that I needed to have used lines to demarcate the banana shapes, that ‘the black lines are unhelpful and they sit on the surface, not as though they are part of the fruit. I should have used a softer tone. She gave me some pointers on creating believable colours in the shadows, which was very helpful.
She felt this was the most successful of the three attempts in this exercise – even though I had said I wasn’t happy with the way the paint reacted on the paper. She asked me to be more specific when it comes to what I think doesn’t work and I will make sure to be a bit more detailed in forthcoming notes. She felt the choice of subject, paired with the restricted palette sets a calm, intimate tone and my observation of the two central bottles worked well, as well as the reflective texture of the chrome lids. She felt the bottles on either side were not as well observed and gave me some points to consider around this, as she could see I was going for a bit more realism with this piece.
She felt the choice of enamels worked well in describing the texture of the dishes but I could have used more contrast/darker shadows to help describe the forms a bit better. I agree with her.
She liked the choice of subject, which she said was great fun, ambitious and glamorous but that I had strayed from the path a bit as a pair of shoes is quite a small collection! However, she felt it was great to see that I’d not gone for the easy option and went for something that I found exciting and personal to me. She could see that I’d enjoyed making the preliminary studies and that I’d been inventive using bubble wrap and other materials. She felt that heels of the shoes were nicely observed, particularly the one at the front, and the little highlight at the bottom of the shoe works well – ‘a nice little moment’. She gave me some advice on how to achieve that sparkle, which is so evident in her own paintings and I’m very grateful for this feedback as it is something I can build upon. For example, she said that the secret to making something look highly reflective is the contrast – deep shadows and bright highlights. But also the subtle different tones of reds and pinks, which gives a richness (speaking about her painting that I’d included in my notes). Reflective surfaces, whether they’re jewels or sequins or perfume bottles, reflect all the colours and tones around them. She felt that my shoes painting would work on a large scale and could be really exuberant and joyful. She gave me the names of some other artists to look into and I will do a separate post on that soon.