Part 4: Assignment 4 – Tutor feedback

Understanding Painting Media

Part 4 – The tondo: domestic interior

Summary of Tutor feedback

Learning points from tutor feedback:

  • Interactive aspect of Assignment piece – being able to handle and open it like a book – is quite an original take on this assignment, but need to think more about the kind of cover material used.
  • Context research could have fed more directly into my own development and work produced.
  • Still more use of sketchbook needed: e.g. painterly quick work, drawing with a brush; experimenting with collage (torn rather than cut) in sketchbook work – exploring themes with painting in mind.
  • Continue with preference to work broadly with large brushes and thin layers of paint – build on painting skills.
  • Experiment with incorporating painting with brush into monoprint work (Part 3)
  • Compositional placement of objects and cropping techniques show a good understanding of aiming for balance – could take this further, e.g. segmenting/cropping/deconstructing work even further.
  • Controlled handling of paint in this assignment (tight, constrained) is perhaps a step backwards from my handling of paint in the Part 3 monotype work (broad brush, painterly).
  • Elements of my course work show intriguing juxtapositions between the serious and the trivial (themes) – mixing cultural references – and this could be expanded as progress with course.
  • Evidence of thinking about my colour palette in terms of appropriateness for subject matter.
  • Use of found/appropriated formats and supports interesting and in the main connects support with subject matter quite well – but, be careful not to overdo this, in my tutor’s words “be careful not to fall into a souvenir trap”. However, there is still scope to experiment with this approach, for example working on glass was quite successful.
  • Pencil drawings on paper plates can be seen more as preparation sketches for painting rather than as pencil sketches in their own right – they appear as “finicky’ and not adding much to my painting journey.
  • Beginning to get closer to finding a personal voice in my work.

Pointers for Part 5:

  • Look at the work of Robert Delaunay and Howard Hodgkin in relation to including/painting over the frame.
  • Continue to explore how examples from art history can inform and contribute to fresh ways of looking.
  • I have made statements about my own intentions and vision for developing my painting – painterly/gestural/broad brush approach to painting – and I need to hold onto these – keep reminding myself of my own objectives throughout the coursework and assignment.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
9 May 2017


Part 4: Assignment 4 – a circular or oval painting


Make a circular or oval painting of an area in your house, either from life or from a photograph. Refer to the work you produced in the exercises to choose a subject and composition that works well. Use heavyweight paper, card or board as a surface to paint onto.

Again, you’ll find it helpful to cut out a circular shape to frame your image so you know how you’ll paint it on the circle. Think about the following while you’re planning your painting.

• How would you like the painting to look?
• What it is about the image that appeals to you and how can you represent this visually?
• What types of brushes will you use to create your painting?
• What textures/density/hues will you use?
• Will you use gloss?
• Thin/thick paint?
• Will you paint a coloured or a white ground?


For this assignment I decided to return to a practice piece that resonated with me. I wanted to expand the original idea and image to create a larger interpretation of our front porch jumble!

Boots & basket in front porch (thinned oil paint on black gessoed card – 10cm diameter)

I made a quick sketch of the scene using pencil and InkTense block ink and water brush:

Assignment 4 – idea sketch


Assignment 4 – porch scene – thinned oil paint

Using a 30.5×40.6cm canvas board I prepared an acrylic wash as a background for my tondo. The light comes in through glass window on the left of the scene and for this larger picture of stuff I included walking sticks, the top shelf, with the boots sitting on newspaper, the basket, blankets, and the barometer. This was painted with oil paint thinned with Reeves Painting Medium using a size 1 and a size 4 round brush. The colours used were Cerulean Blue and Ultramarine; Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre; Brilliant Red and Medium Yellow; along with Titanium White, Lamp Black and Payne’s Grey.


Assignment 4 – porch scene, with painted overlay

I wasn’t very happy with the way my acrylic brush strokes had petered out at the top and bottom of the canvas board and I had thought of cutting them off. However, I wanted to experiment with something a bit more unusual to add another dimension to this image of a domestic interior. So, using a cut-to-size piece of white foam board, I overlaid the canvas board image and added painted extensions to the barometer, the boot laces and the blankets – hanging, dripping and overflowing the picture.


Assignment 4 – porch scene, with painted overlay – bound and opened

Like a book, telling a story, I used Gorilla Tape to attach the foam board to the canvas board. Let’s open the book and see what’s inside.

Assignment 4 – porch scene, with painted overlay – bound and closed

This is my closed book on my front porch adventure.

Stuart Brownlee – 512319
25 April 2017