Formative Feedback & Response

Formative Feedback & Response

Overall I am pleased with the feedback I have received for part 1, I have been so eager to continue and improve on what I have already learnt I had forgotten to write up my response.

Below is my formative feedback. My response will be in amber. 

Overall Comments

Feedback based on blog

Very constructive way of teaching yourself drawing skills, while at the same time thinking of expression and developing a more personal way of drawing. Good start Naomi.


Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Trainers, baby muslin, Jane Austen…. This promised an interesting mix and says quite a bit about your personality. So despite the restrictions of this course, creativity is demonstrated here in your choice of objects and their relationships to each other. I thought the sliced off section (accidental) of your wedding photo could have found its way into the drawing as quite enigmatic! – I had debated doing this but was very conscious of time. Next time I will try and go more with my gut feeling. 

Your deliberate slicing  (“pizza cutting”) approach works well.


Compositionally and overall I sense that there is too much empty space in relation to the exciting busyness of the bottom section. If you look at your drawing upside down you can perhaps detect this yourself? – Totally agree, again I had debated whether or not I was going to level out the density of tone, but I wanted to keep the tanned toned paper colour, looking back I know it’s too much and would add more depth into my negative space. 

(When you document your work zoom right on to the paper and do not photograph the background setting.  Best to photograph work straight on to avoid perspectival distortion, or place it on the ground and photograph elevated from a chair). I had never even thought of this! but of course I will focus on just my work for the photos. 

There are many things I find attractive about above assignment study –I like it better upside down. The veiling in the empty area contrasts with the floral pattern and the busy dark textures of shoe and watch.

I used the crop tool to see how the balance works out – your drawing has many merits but the black and white contrast is so strong in one area, it is hard for the lighter lines to be seen and heard.

Often it is better to let light drawing be by itself – see below interim stage of gravy boat and mug drawing – a beautiful light contour drawing. And when you work with strong contrasts, these need to be balanced by more confident and louder line work to keep the overall contrast in check. – I did find myself being ‘safe’ and not confident enough to take my shading and depth that little further. I will try to be more confident in my line making and hopefully be able to improve my future work. 

Cropped upside down version – I find this works surprisingly well. Mirror imaging creates a stronger balance but this does not fully off set the dissonance between two different stylistic approaches – one sensitive and light, the other based on strong graphic pattern and contrast.

Projects and Sketchbooks

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Temporary drawings
here you produced some interesting photo documentation – and I felt at times that the accidental or found elements created drawings more exciting than the actions you carried out – the bright green colour of the moss in the cracks between the pavement, the top of wellingtons in a nice pinkish colour set off as round form against emerald green moss and neutral grey of the pavement – quite painterly. 


1 Feeling and Expression:

Good comments here on emotions, for example how anger becomes communicated through destructive gesture and how you link this with the damage anger can cause in interpersonal relationships. Calm feelings can be easier assimilated if you listen to calming music or even try some meditation or Yoga exercises, promoting deep breathing. Joy – and the others, the colour aspect does not show very well on the blog- perhaps time to think about stronger colours – wax crayons, felt tip pens and even wet application (brush paint)? Anxiety – I like this page with the clusters of mazes as you communicate a knot in someone’s stomach very well. – I did really struggle with the Calm and Joy pages and I think this was because I wasn’t quite immersed into those emotions. I’ve learnt that emotion has a huge impact upon what you are drawing and continue to remember this as I go throughout this course. 

Good to hear you say that this experimental drawing exercise has made you develop a testing and experimental relationship with a wider range of drawing media. This translates even better into exercise 2 where you explore textures through a variety of media and follow this up with frottage. Check out Max Ernst and Anna Amadio.


2 Groups of objects: this more analytical drawing exercise intends to make you think about organisation of space, and how objects occlude each other (perspective aspects).  I would be careful with the rendering of type faces, as the overall objective in this exercise is about groups, overlaps, and overall placing of objects = composition – so go for the bigger picture here, but let go of detail which is deflecting attention  (pattern, texture and print/ typeface are additional hurdles you can handle once you have mastered composition and perspective). – I did struggle to let go of the details, but I now do think more carefully of composition and layout. 

Biscuit tin and taps bowl: this is indeed successful on many levels; you managed to overcome the dislike of charcoal and created a drawing on a large scale (A1?) – A2. This made the everyday objects appear monumental and dramatic. Your approach to reverse the process of looking and drawing starting with shadows and then working into mid-tone shows off your analytical and reflective thinking well. You could rethink the ground treatment – there might be alternatives, perhaps by working on a coloured buff paper or thinking of other textures or a more solid fill  (you can rub in charcoal with a finger and thereby create a very smooth mid tone – paper with a bit of texture or tooth are more suitable for this).  I agree, I could have spent more time on the ground. 


Exercise 3 – the bowl – here I think you have concentrated too much on line and not built enough on the success of exercise 2. Although good to see that you have tested a range of media. First of all think about placing a single object like a bowl – how can it occupy the space of the paper, what shapes will be left (negative spaces) outside its boundaries, what impact does the shadow of the bowl have on the unoccupied space? Then squinting your eyes to work out highlights and deepest shadow tonal areas. Close one eye. Use a single light source. Work on toned papers (grey, buff or black even) to make you reverse above exercise – so you find the highest point of light and apply that with white crayon or pastel, reverse to sparing out white paper, or using an eraser to carve out the highlight in charcoal for example.


Shadows and reflected light: gravy boat and ceramic mug.  Intuitively you placed these two objects very confidently on the paper and the relationship between negative and positive space is dynamic and exciting – partially due to the organic flow (quite arabesque) of the gravy boat (a good choice of object). I like the mug being cut off at the handle – this slicing off device can be used very well to create more dynamic compositions. Also consider going back into your two most successful drawings on the computer using the crop tool to zoom right into the objects. With the gravy boat this could be quite exciting!


This drawing was stronger when you did not include the shaded tabletop:


Shadows here could contribute to helping to deal with the negative space further, but not a uniformly shaded ground. Below crop exercise (on computer) makes one aware of the space between mug and gravy boat – the way its lip almost touches the rim of the mug, and so the objects begin to perform interpersonal relationships, are characters! – I do struggle with negative space and as a result I feel like I end up rushing this and not make it refined enough, meaning that it ends up looking fairly sketchy and can ruin the rest of the drawing. I am looking forward to working on this in part 2. 


Learning Logs / Research Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

Kaupellis is no doubt inspirational guidance. Line has always been associated with drawing, yet that might make one underestimate the importance of tone. Artists who use primarily tone are George Seurat, Odilon Redon and Dan Beudean. In exercise 3 you make reference to Kaupellis speaking about negative space and tone. This is important to consider.


With your sensitive researching of Odilon Redon’s drawing you observed the space in between two objects (the trees). Your closing remarks are apt:

“Redon used his imagination and feeling to complete his works, you can see that each line and shading he puts into place is done with emotion.”


You used quotation; it would be useful if you could add the source of your research in Harvard referencing style. There is guidance in the resource section of OCA student website on referencing.  You provided a list of sources at end of the research section – excellent! Now reformat this into Harvard. You should be able to download the PDF via the student website – see if this hyperlink takes you there directly once signed in? – I have looked at this and have rectified this for part 2.


I have found your log articulate. You communicate well analytical points and interpretive aspects.


Suggested reading/viewing


Max Ernst: frottage – a master of using textures found collaged to create surreal enigmatic drawing spaces.

Anna Amadio a contemporary approach to frottage with colour and going beyond surrealism or childlike innocence.

Dan Beudean (Vitamin D2 for example or Zorzini Gallery)

George Seurat’s drawings (not his paintings!)

Pointer for the next assignment

  • For assignment 2 I would like to see how you use your sketchbooks  – please enclose in the post with a selection of projects work and assignment developmental studies and final outcomes (aim for more than one final piece – it will be less pressurized if you work on two or three final studies and then let’s discuss which of theses seems most successful?) – Definitely need to do more sketchbook work – have started a second, more personal almost a doodle sketchbook to help loosen up and get my imagination flowing.