Essay: outlining your experience of this assignment

a short reflective account outlining your experience of this assignment. 

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Vanessa May – Violin)  


Normally I use observation to draw following traditional conventions of drawing, SEE – DRAW – REPEAT.  These sections firmly pulled me out of my comfort zones leading me through a process of tearing up my normal drawing practise to experience and explore drawing through the nature of our physicality and eliminating my usual drawing conventions via the following stages:

  • Drawing blind [To utilise our other senses particularly of touch]
  • Extension piece [Remove control in mark making for freer more spontaneous marks]
  • Drawing machine [Removal of artist to allow random and chance in mark making]
  • Response to music [Use the intangible as the subject rather than the physical]

Initially, I drew without sight, utilising my sense of touch and translating this onto paper!  This very clearly brought home how much you depend upon sight to produce a drawing.  A drawing is usually (for me) a series of deliberate marks to represent something seen.  To remove sight from what is such a visual process is to try to run without legs.  Yes, it can be done, just witness the heroics at the Invictus Games, but a whole new process and mindset must be derived.

Without the crutch of sight to lean upon the whole process of drawing needs to be re-evaluated by the artist.  If nothing else they appreciate the reliance of sight in their own drawing process.  It does open the artist up to stimuli other than sight to what we witness and experience.

An artist usually has control in their mark making, they are experienced and in firm control of their hand or arm.  However, removing the medium from their controlled grasp to a point over six feet away removes control and confidence to decisively deploy sensible marks.  You must utilise your whole arm and body to restore and reclaim some of the control normally exerted.  I was quite surprised by the legibility of the marks produced; discovering drawing can be a whole body experience not just of hand and eye.

Any remaining resemblance of control was firmly removed by the third exercise; the removal of the artist from the process of mark making.  Here the artist assembled the cast of the drawing – the choice of drawing support, mark making medium and method is the only control able to be exerted.  With forethought some elements can be controlled due to the nature of them.  Dribbling paint swinging on a string is controlled by physics laws of pendulums.  I also discovered that paint was influenced by the air pressure of a bottle with only one opening.  The artist may lack control of what is produced but the water droplet running down a window will run from top to bottom.

I brought several of these elements together to produce the assignment piece, drawing the intangible –emotions provoked listening to music.  Sitting blindfold with music playing freed my mind and opened it to fully experience the ranges of emotion and my responses to the sounds of sax, clarinet and piano or violin.  These were like voices calling and my reply could only be by the marks and colours I used.  If some sounds were voices calling others were the scene and environment in which they sat.  The drawing much like the music has a range of tones, quiet places and busy confused loud areas.

In some end the blindfold removal was quite a revelation – seeing the drawing produced; not just an abstract but now a solid visualisation of the music.  It was quite strange to have been so involved in the creation of something and have no concept of what it looks like until the end.

Reflection – Part 3

Below is noted my reflections on the outcomes and my progress through section 3 and the course to-date.

Distance learning by its very nature can be quite fragmented due to the sporadic bursts of activity interspersed with no activity.  Once again the pressures of work have delayed completing and submitting this section of the course, along with summer holiday, retirement and retirement holiday.  But I have now become more of a man of leisure so should hopefully be able to keep to initial deadlines or even complete more rapidly.

Anyway, noted below is a short assessment of how I perceive my progress through Drawing 3.

Reflection against Assessment criteria


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills

Materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills

I believe my skill set in the use of materials, uses and techniques continues to improve along with some experimentation of these elements of drawing.  Additionally, the extensive use of sketchbooks when travelling in the last few months has honed my eye for subject matter and decision making in what to include and eliminate from the subject.  This has also improved my observational, visual awareness plus design and compositional skills in drawing.  The use of an ink pen fr any of these has ensured that any attempts at either erasure or correction don’t work meaning you must get it right first time.

In this section of the course I was pushed quite firmly out of my comfort zone being pushed to work in ways I would never contemplate but were never the less very personally enlightening, informative and instructive


Quality of Outcome

Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, with discernment.  Conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

At first in this section of the curse I was out of my comfort zone as noted but after the initial shock i grew into the sections and began to enjoy both the challenge and what was required.  As a bonus I was pleasantly satisfied with some of the outcomes also.  Drawing machines was an especially enjoyable section, literally thinking outside the box on marks could be produced with minimal or no input from the artist.

Due to the abstract and unconventional methods this section was quite difficult to derive the conceptualisation of the idea.  With no idea what would be produced it was difficult to both derive and deliver the concept.  Again this was a section that I grew into and I now have lots of further possible ides on where these concepts may be pushed in other directions.  (tag people and track them to achieve random marks as their path is traced online (with their permission of course!!  No stalking allowed)

This difficulty with outcome cumulated in one of the assignment prep piece where drawing blind and mark making for about an hour on a spinning board I literally had no idea of what was being produced.


Demonstration of Creativity

Imagination, experimentation, invention, Development

This section essentially was all about imagination, invention, experimentation and creativity.  I am sure some of my family though I was a bit unhinged drawing blindfolded or dripping paint from a punctured container as it swing around.  When this course section is long in the memory the garage floor will still present the evidence.  I think it may be to my benefit that the lighting is quite poor in the garage and my wife hasn’t found all the splashes and wayward paint – YET.

Following on from the previous part of the course I was able to further experiment in materials.  Extracting water/ juice from objects and then utilising this fluid in the drawing itself allowed the imagination and inventiveness a free run.



Reflection, research (evidenced in learning logs).  Critical thinking

In this section I have researched several artists including:

  • Cy Twombly
  • Antoni Tàpies
  • Willem de Kooning
  • Franz Kline
  • Jai Redman
  • Jackson Pollock
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Rebecca Horn
  • Michael Vaughan

Plus a gallery visit including works by:

  • Rene de st Delis
  • Henri de st Delis
  • Eugene Bourdon
  • Gustav Courbet
  • Alexandre de Bourg
  • and others as noted in my gallery visit blog.

Viewing the work of other artists, whether you like their works or not opens up opportunities and trains of thought that will remain closed until you look.  Investigating other artists and their methods as well as their concepts opens up new trains of thought and avenues of potential experimentation.  This provides a valuable insight into the works, working methods and use of materials of artist which is no always obvious from a look at their works even for seeing a work live.