Feedback on Assessment One


This blog post will cover the sticking points and follow up research that came out of my tutor’s FEED-back from Assignment 1. 

John Minton Vs. Angela Dalinger (Historical Context)

My frozen Lake Minnewanka, compared to the drawings of Edvard Munch.


Edvard Munch Bjornson in Norweigan cultural life caricature 1891

I found this little nugget of insight interesting – I didn’t realise quite how rough his drawing work was, or how dark (in context.) Should have guessed really, being famous for ‘The Scream’ and having that infamous Norwegian sensibility.

My tutor also suggested that I re-frame my pastiche of Angela Dalinger’s work into a series of vignettes, so that the characters (and their actions) could be seen more clearly. Although the original composition was intentional, to mimic Dalinger’s own work, this was a really good suggestion. This was a very good idea, particularly because the picture quality of my work was very poor – due to using a crappy, ancient scanner that takes 10 minutes to scan one page in the following options: blurry, slightly more blurry, or one big grey blur.

I took these follow up shots on my phone to zoom in on the previously hidden details of the characters.


The Key Is Communication (Project)

  • Clearly understand the way illustration works alongside text
  • Produced an intriguing image of Hugh Hefner, with a very good likeness.
  • Flagged up the issue of trying to achieve a ‘finished drawing’
  • Suggested looking at the work of Rachel Goodyear – who uses pencil and clean white space.
  • Also suggested looking at the work of Beatrice Alemagna (whom I am previously acquainted with, and a big fan of…) who’s use of pencil drawing is brought together with other media and the line if often increased in scale.

Rachel Goodyear Visual Research

This is very simple and effective way of making a drawing look “finished” and dynamic/clean. I would like to experiment with this bold use of white space in future projects, but am aware that they rely on a very strong/detailed drawing to draw you in.

Beatrice Alemagna Visual Research

There is something very childlike about Alemagna’s work. Something spontaneous and playful, that perhaps stems from her lack of Arts Education, or perhaps just her unbridled imagination and passion for the subject. I find it very engaging and already own a couple of her books.

“The best ideas come to me when I am in bed.”                                                                                                  “I like mixed media because it looks unstable, mobile and seizable.”                                          “Drawings made by different techniques are intriguing, mysterious. They make me feel different sensations. I like that.”

To submit or not to submit (for assessment)

This is something I have been thinking more and more about. I will have to discuss this further with my tutor, but I may well submit for assessment – to give myself a level of accountability that I struggle to give myself otherwise.

Feedback on Assignment 1 – ‘Say Hello’

‘There is a real fluency with your drawing which is excellent, in terms of generating a range of ideas and also bringing character and action to all the elements.’


My tutor then raises the point, how could I convert the line drawings (from my postcard ideas) into finished postcards? He suggested scanning them in and colouring them to see what happens when I start to contextualise them as finished pieces. I will go back to this at a later stage to experiment with this idea.

‘The cinema foyer illustration is great.’

‘The overall flat but slightly wonky feel of the gouache chimes very well with your interest in Outsider Art.’

‘It might be interesting to see what happens if you start illustrating with these materials as part of your development process… in a similarly immediate way as your drawings.’

In response to making a point that I “agonised” over the first assignment in general, my Tutor reminded me, ‘You don’t need to give yourself a hard time over this.’ Which was reassuring to hear. Almost as reassuring as his complimentary words about my work.

Something I should definitely remember to take forward into the next part of this project* is the following piece of advice:

‘Give yourself permission to start from scratch, work in new ways and allow yourself to make mistakes.’

Make that general life advice*


I have not kept a sketchbook up until now, because most of my work is writing and that is kept in a folder, in amongst a few sporadic drawings, but this is definitely something to consider and start organising.

‘Sketchbooks could be a pivotal aspect of your practice, given your fluency with drawing and the immediacy with which you are exploring your ideas.

See it as a space to support your project work but also as a space to play and experiment away from your projects… What can you develop in your sketchbooks which you can then bring to your projects.’


My tutor was keen to know what I thought my weaknesses were (in terms of drawing), as I had previously mentioned in one of my blog posts.

I think my weaknesses are:

Suggested Viewing/ Reading

  • At some stage it might be worth exploring how your illustrations can become 3-Dimensional
  • Folk Art/ Outside Art (from Tumblr) is a clear influence on your work –
  • Look at Alfred Wallis
  • Look at Makato Okawa –
  • More in depth look at process —> Rose Wylie (83 year old artist) in how they translate and condense ideas into visual forms, the stages they go through to get to such a roughly finished outcome.
  • Similarly, you could ask the same question of Quentin Blake

My own further research based on these suggestions:

Yann Kebbi –

3D: Elsa  Dray-Farges


PART TWO: Turning words into pictures

For this exercise I chose the word KITCHEN. Here are my visual outcomes for this word:


‘Using drawing as a form of visual shorthand.’

During this exercise I noticed how I am developing a sense of visual editing and distillation of information, through practicing drawing more often than previously.

I think I could have filled more of the space, but I started with the table in the middle as I was writing KITCHEN, and then started pretty much from the left hand corner round in a clockwise movement to fill the page with things from my own kitchen, mostly from memory and some from life, as I moved to the kitchen half way through to finish the exercise. I like that this is not completely linear, in that things overlap and if you looked at it from a life-like comparison it seems unrealistic because things appear to be floating and out of context which, visually, makes it more compelling.



PART TWO: Spider Diagrams

For this exercise I made spider diagrams for the following words. The black ink is my writing, the pink pencil is my friend’s writing; after having seen my work, she then expanded upon it with her own ideas. For the purpose of this exercise we will call her Friend A. Friend A and I discussed the topics whilst they added their own interpretations to my previous work until the page was filled.


Somethings that surprised me…

I am surprised that I found CHILDHOOD the easiest to complete as I felt this was the most personal and one subject that I often have trouble recalling any details from, yet, once I got the ball rolling I found it incredibly easy to come up with lots of detailed examples and images from my own childhood, mostly examples that I found personally amusing.

Which word was most difficult to work with and why I think that was…

I was surprised how difficult I found to complete FESTIVAL and ANGER, probably because I struggled to find such personal links to either of these topics. I’m not an avid festival go-er or a particularly angry person, so these felt more like abstract concepts to me.

Evidently Film seems to be my go-to place for imagery and recognisable tropes for insights into worlds and scenarios I am not necessarily familiar with. This can also be seen throughout my OCA blog so far (through my use of additional images to support my writing)… so maybe this is something for me to be more aware of.

The following spider diagrams are put together by another friend of mine. Let’s call them, Friend B.


The two diagrams above are purposefully separate to my own Spider Diagrams, because I wanted to see what Friend B would come up with when given the same instructions me, but without having my work as a reference point, unlike Friend A.

Friend B’s differed to mine was similarly (seemingly) personal like mine, but far less detailed. When I am told to ‘find all the information I can’ on a subject, I tend to go a little overboard and do just that. I find ALL of it. Friend B was far more conservative; once they had covered a subject with a few words, they moved onto something else.

The strategy that suited me best to generate the most words was…

Finding something personal to use as a jumping off point, then linking from there until no more links could be drawn and moving onto a similar topic. Finding things that amused me, and spiraling out from there. For those subjects that I struggled with, my first point of reference is usually Film or TV, then Books, then a Google image search, although the latter was not that useful and tended to focus mostly on landscapes or colours.

All in all, this was far more interesting and revealing than I initially thought it would be.