Part 3: Assignment 3 – Tutor feedback

Understanding Painting Media

Part 3 – Monotype portraits with paint

Summary of Tutor feedback

Learning points from tutor feedback:

  • Tutor agrees with my conclusion about what I have learnt from Part 3, summed up by: “learning to be willing to accept less than perfection (in my eyes), to distil my practice to more meaningful mark making and to embrace happy accidents when they occur.”
  • My selection of a series of three images for the assignment, while valid, doesn’t particularly work as a threesome, also some of the stronger works in the exercises compete strongly with the selected three for assignment – so maybe more thought needed in the selection process against course notes criteria.
  • Think carefully before making selections from this part of the course when it comes to submitting a portfolio of work for final assessment (maybe use A1 sheets with mounted multi-images counting as a single piece of work?). Also think about how to present much of the stronger pieces from this part of the course exercises as a unified single piece, such as loose leaf bound or as a book, or box. [Tutor has highlighted a shortlist of seven of the more successful exercise drawings for my consideration in pulling this together].
  • Look at the portrait work of Frank Auerbach for thick impasto paint treatment and that of Glenn Brown who simulates impasto with flat paint.
  • Exercise 3.1 20 x A4 ink studies – work well in grid format. Think about presenting these in a box format (like Marlene Dumas). Seek to develop these – e.g. larger more absorbent thicker watercolour paper, free and painterly approach and different scales and supports.
  • Exercise 3.2 Monotypes – good continuation from exercise 3.1, using a selection of ink studies as starting point. Experiments here are the highlight of the submission – fulfilling the exercise objectives, develop a painterly language, searching for broad areas like tone, contrast, composition and colour relationships – rather than detail.
  • Pieces that are enigmatic and expressive – check out Emil Nolde’s watercolours of people; also look at work of Georg Baselitz – contemporary German Neo-expressionism.
  • My monoprint work on canvas ground didn’t work that well – texture interferes and the pre-primed canvas is less absorbent.
  • When working directly with oil on paper should size the paper or apply gesso acrylic primer, or use print making papers suitable for oil-based inks.
  • Have a look at work of Chris Ofili as context for painting (nothing to do with monotype).
  • All of work in Exercise 3.2 is leading to a freer and more experimental application of paint in future studies.
  • Bear in mind that I can substitute assignment work with project work if preferred.
  • Exercise 3.3 five portrait monotypes – the series here works well (another contestant for submission for assessment or think about making them into a concertina sketchbook so that they can be viewed in a line or as a book (this could be submitted as a sketchbook avoiding making it count for the maximum 12 pieces for assessment).
  • Exercise 3.4 additional working into selected monotypes – trial print 1 not really working as well as rest – pushed beyond redemption, but still a part of the learning process.
  • Research – think about the painting medium I want to work on for the written project. Good use of technical notes (can be used for future work). Look again at work of Kim Baker (glazing techniques); Helen Frankenthaler (how to make oil bleed); and Annie Kevans, Yuko Nasu and Marlene Dumas (use of oil in a thin veiled way).
  • Learning log – Good reflection and criteria for making work and selection of best work. For monoprinting consider not trying to perfect the printmaking process (as I proposed), but rather consider this part of the course as a means towards developing paintings, alongside processes like drawing or collage, or photoresearch.
  • One of the most positive outcomes for me in this part of the course – my experimentation with subtraction and adding paint.

Pointers for Part 4:

  • Look at work of Sian Bowen – exploring the circular format in Nova Zembla via the Claude Glass.
  • Look at Helen Chadwick – circular forms are common in science research (i.e. cultivations are often done in circular Petri dishes).
  • Tondo – often easier to work within a circle drawn on a square & consider the negative space this offers (in larger and smaller areas); use a bowl or plate of different sizes to draw out circular formats and try out different supports, e.g. thin wood, canvas, board, etc.
  • If cutting out circular shape(s) aim for neatness/accuracy.
  • Experiment with found circular objects, e.g. biscuit tin lids (working on metal), paper plates, etc.
  • In context research, look at photography and use of window mounts in oval and circular form.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
24 March 2017