Assignment 1: Self-Analysis

First ideas in response to the brief

I thought that this would be an interesting assignment, as it would encourage me out of my comfort zone.

First impression of the project

I chose the ‘Nature’s Larder’ theme because I love nature and food. I decided to go down the route of survival for wildlife. Tennyson’s quote “nature red in tooth and claw” offered dramatic associations.

Techniques explored through selection, drawing, mark-making

I woke up in the morning and went to bed at night thinking about the assignment. I tried to avoid the obvious, and to choose a mixture of surfaces and shapes to draw.

I tried different configurations and backgrounds. The black background and upright knife gave the scene a menacing feel.

I decided to try some media that I own, but vary rarely use: paints, inks, charcoal, chalk. I purchased some masking fluid to try and used ideas generated by research: thread on paper, digital, audio, tiny snapshots, etc. Contour drawing was suggested by other students: after using pen, I decided to try it with the sewing machine.

The scarf, white feather and broken bottle were enjoyable to draw, with interesting textures, and light reflections for the latter. The twig, the tiny beads and buttons, the dark feathers and knife were more challenging.

Strong points of my work

I tried my hardest to experiment with different sizes of paper, media and techniques, and I feel that I met the assignment brief in that respect. I was pleased with some of the results and they will change my way of approaching work in the future.

Weaker aspects of my work

Drawing accurately is something I need to practise, and I am trying to draw daily to improve it.

Although I tried to ‘loosen up’, some of my drawings still feel like ‘safe’ options. I will try to be more experimental, by using my ‘Sketchbook Checklist‘, which has prompts for media, techniques and subjects to try.

I only made one very large (A1) size of drawing (the collage), so I will need to buy some larger paper to work on.

New skills

I have never tried freehand drawing with paint, ink, a sewing machine, etc and have never done so much drawing in such a short time. It will form the habit of regular drawing and experimentation. I have had the mind set in the past of making things that were ‘saleable’, ‘ neat’ and ‘finished’: this assignment has encouraged me instead to observe, experiment and learn.

Potential work in future based on this project

I liked the theme “red in tooth and claw”, and will revisit that. I will use the mind-map technique for generating ideas for future projects. The research helped me to understand what was expected/possible for this assignment, so I now see the benefit of that. I will continue to try different media and techniques, and will consider how I might use them in my work. For example, using masking fluid made me want to explore batik again.

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