Feedback from Part four

Part four has focused on developing your own style and producing work that directly responds to a brief. Overall, your response has been very good. You have demonstrated various stylistic approaches guided by the exercise briefs. Your stronger individual exercises in this part are the ‘Animals’ book cover, the ‘Choosing Content’ portrait, the ‘Fish’ logo and the ‘Character Development’ exercise.

Project: Tools and materials This project asked you to reflect on the use of a particular medium used by illustrators, and to test it out within your own work. Your research is very good here, as is your critical assessment of watercolour and acrylic processes. Your own experiments are all lively drawings with good use of colour. In the watercolour picture the stronger elements that are not repeated in both pictures are the shadows on the arms in your ‘polished’ version and the great blue in the bottle of the ‘loose’ version. The ‘polished’ acrylic image is, as you note, the stronger of the two, although the ‘loose’ version has a good, mad painterly energy.

One of the things I thought doing this exercise was how I liked parts of both methods and thought could be a way to merge these elements. Looking at the images in front of me and I can see the bright blue of the bottle would have worked well in the “polished” version.

Project: Audiences One of the distinctions between fine art image making and illustration is working with an audience in mind. You were asked to produce illustrations to be used as part of a series of poster to publicise a museum to children aged five to nine, teenagers, and a general adult audience. Your ‘Museum Posters’ are very well-researched, with lots of great brainstorming and a confident use of text and design. There are a couple of observations. The middle image is less clear as to what it’s representing; it would be a great retro-Glastonbury Festival poster, but its context relating to the museum isn’t so clear. Perhaps all the posters needed a bit of extra text (like ‘Sheffield Celebrating .. Snowy the Bear!’ or ‘Sheffield Celebrating .. Women of Steel!’ as well as the ‘Museum Posters text. Your hand-drawn font is great, but the ‘Sheffield Celebrating’ doesn’t stand out as much as it could do. Finally, the Women of Steel’ poster would be better if the women had faces, or failing that maybe if the outline of the woman was silver to make them look like steel. Overall, though, the design of all three is very good and really eye-catching.

I was worried about relaying to much on the text and ignoring the illustration so I avoided adding to much, I think and agree adding something like Celebrating snowy the beat etc would give the posters more purpose (used the text mainly as “sample text”) so is a lot of room for improvement. I had originally thought of having the ladies in steel, this idea was dropped to have the colours of all three overlap! that being said there is room to add the steel element in the font of all three which could be carried over to the ladies. I would like to experiment with this, further.
The yellow is my least favorite of the three…

Your ‘Animals’ book cover is, like the ‘Museum Posters’ exercise, very confident with lots of good sketching and use of colour. It does feel like there should be a Planet Earth in the centre of the image, as if the animals are swimming through water towards it or swimming in space towards it. But the style is very good, with a hint of ‘Aquila’ as you say but still in your own style (I think the animal that looks like a green bowl with five wings is an upside-down turtle? A bit hard to read). Overall, though, a dynamic and original design.

I see what you mean regrading the turtle, fresh eyes!
I agree with the planet earth and since have an idea how to go about this. This is another I’m going to work on more.

Your ‘Fish’ menu logo is also very good, although the simple lemon circles lose their ‘lemon- ness’ and the image would read better with the lemon sections filled in as in your Option 1 in the row. Otherwise, a great, simple but clear design that would work well at all scales (menu card up to the side of a van). 

I did wonder about the lemons and feel I still need to work on my too much or too little, I will be adding that back into the design.
I’m proud of this because it is simple and I’ve not overworked it and thought about not what I wanted to do, but what the client needed.

Your tattoo research and observations are good; the whole issue of adopting historical/ religious/mystical imagery is deeply problematic, with the Beckhams getting their spellings or phrases wrong the lightest example. It’s good you’re checking sources and implications. Your tattoo has a strong composition but seems a little visually complex to clearly express the idea of ‘Mum’ or motherhood. It seems to work better as a card as the frame emphasises the composition more than as an ‘open’ design on a body, but it certainly does have the look of a contemporary tattoo.

That was a wonder of mine it wasn’t “mother” enough, I do have a dislike to adding names / words to a tattoo, I like hidden messages and meaning, something I may need to be careful of and take on board the bigger picture.

Project: Visual distortion This exercise followed a process of stylisation by drawing and then collaging an image of a cat or dog. You seemed a little lost with this exercise, as it does go through a number of stages. However, your cat drawings and reduction to wavy lines and shapes are good, and your four small acrylic paintings are lovely. 

You are spot on, I was lost and I felt that!
I think yes with the stages I had to find my own way and make it “my thing” if that makes sense!

Project: Character development You were asked to develop a series characters, producing drawings from different angles, and expressing different emotions and expressions. You chose Mary Lennox and Lucy Pevensie, and develop them very well and distinctively. Your sketchbook work is developing well, and the digital model sheets show consistent body size and language and simple but clear use of line, texture and colour. 

Thank you, as you know character design is an area of interest for me so this feedback is wonderful to hear.

Assignment four gave you the opportunity to show off your developing style and use of tools and materials by responding to a magazine illustration brief in which you focused on a selected theme. Your research, brainstorming and final image are all good, but there is an issue with the basic idea of ‘lost marbles’. It’s not really a common enough saying related to lost childhood, but more an expression about losing one’s mind. Therefore the implication of the image is unclear. It’s a great drawing in terms of composition, style and unusual perspective, but less immediately clear as to what it’s expressing. However, this is overall a strong submission and shows your own personal visual style well.

Yes, I can see this. In my mind it is a play on memories – mind – marbles. Is losing our childhood memories the start of losing parts of our mind ! however like the tattoo exercise the deeper meaning could be lost in translation to the viewer/reader/client. Maybe a subheading or something more would give this clarity that it needs. I will give a bit of thought into things and look at making some chances.

Sketchbooks Your sketchbook work continues to be very good, especially the ‘’Animals’ book cover and ‘Fish’ logo development pages. 
Learning Log Your learning log writing is very clear. You continue to focus more clearly on how you develop ideas, material experimentation and especially your critical reflection. 
Suggested viewing/reading Your artist research is very good, and citing different illustrators for different exercises demonstrates that you’re thinking about the appropriateness of certain visual styles to specific contexts. 

Thank you

Pointers for the next assignment The final assignment invites you to bring together all that you have learnt throughout the course into a range of illustration briefs. Keep continuing to respond to the briefs – your work in this part has shown a very good range of stylistic approaches. It old be great to see more painting like the four small pictures produced in the ‘Visual Distortion’ exercise.

You will indeed be seeing more images painted like visual distortion, due to the first exercise in this part I found myself keen to explore gouache / water colour and acrylic and that means practicing more.

Thank you for the feedback, I will polish up my work more as well over part 3/4.

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