Sunday, 5 May 2013

Assignment 2 - Tutor Report

Overall Comments
This assignment demonstrates that you are developing a clear understanding of colour theory and are able to apply this to subsequent project and sketchbook work.  There is also evidence of an increased understanding of the design process and this is shown in the extent to which you have successfully drawn upon your own starting points and imagery in order to develop your creative ideas further. You are aware of the importance of presenting your work in a coherent and logical way and your thinking about the development your work is clearly articulated in your learning log/blog. Your ability to reflect on this is also becoming more apparent. Try to develop your critical thinking further by making more explicit reference to exhibitions you have visited or artists’ work which has inspired you in your own practice.

Assessment potential (after Assignments 2 and 4) 
I understand your aim is to go for the BA Textiles Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to succeed at assessment.  In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.    
Feedback on assignment
Project 3 Colour
  • To help you to understand and actively explore basic colour theory
  • To develop an understanding of the relationship between colour and mood
  • To apply your knowledge of colour theory to the development of sketchbook  work
I was pleased to see you experiment with a variety of media in this first project. This allowed you to see the differences between these and to assess their value for the intended purpose. You expressed some dissatisfaction at the lack of density of colour in the colour wheels. I think that maybe using gouache would yield a more satisfactory outcome for you.

Further experimentation with colour relationships and colour matching strengthened your colour mixing abilities. I agree with your comment regarding the purples. With the printed image sample, you could try adding a little more white to the mix. It’s also always worth remembering that it’s very difficult to match colours exactly across media i.e. from printing inks and fabric dye to paint. Your still life analysis made very good use of complementary colours e.g. in the purple shadows under the citrus fruit. This has the effect of heightening the colour intensity of each complementary; a point worth remembering when selecting fabric and thread.

Your increasing confidence in combining mark making and colour was very much in evidence when creating mood and feeling within your drawings. I particularly liked the contrast between fire and ice. Howe do you think you could apply this knowledge to working with fabric and stitch?

In your coloured stitch samples, I think you realize the value of using basic stitches to vary the density of colour and to explore the properties of optical colour blending. I found the seed and detached chain stitch particularly interesting. The character and appearance was totally transformed when you reversed the colours. Which did you prefer and why? It’s also always worth remembering with this exercise that the black background leaches the colour from the primaries and the red in particular appears less vibrant.

Your French knot samples were two great examples of how you can make the gradual transition from one solid block of colour to another. Although you felt that the technique of mixing the thread colour in the needle wasn't successful, I thought that this lent an increasing subtlety to the gradual colour changes. It would be interesting to work another sample where you didn't do this, to compare.

The final sample, where you translated your ideas into stitch was a strong piece, supported by a very good choice of visual imagery. I liked the way that this became very much a mixed media piece. This strengthened the lovely textural effects you achieved with the barnacle/knot stitching. Is this a sample that might go further do you think?

Understanding the textile world
Christening Gown
This was a lovely personal choice and good for you to return to something you had created many years ago. This gave you valuable insights into the technical constructional and materials detail. However, to what extent do you feel that its design for example, reflects the era in which it was made? You could maybe have broadened your research somewhat by considering the wider social, cultural and historical implications of garments that reflect rites of passage. There is also the interesting question of heirlooms and what they mean to families and individuals. For example, what is its significance to your daughter?

Project 4 Developing design ideas
  • To help you to develop your compositional skills
  • To help you to understand the interrelationship of the elements of design
  • To use a design process in order to develop your visual ideas

I felt that from your reflective comments in your learning log, you did not fully understand why you were asked to carry out the first exercises. What you are looking at here are basic principles of composition so that when you talk about a more dynamic line, it is this which is creating visual interest and vibrancy within a defined space. You might like to return to these exercises and use them to analyse a painting or one of your own compositions which you produced for the next stage. Here you worked well with combining the visual elements to produce some great starting points from which to develop your ideas further. You might like to give some further thought as to which media best suited your purpose. For example, the two collages gave you a very strong graphic image to work with whilst the pastels were much softer and more diffuse. Which medium was most suitable for achieving the effect you were looking for? How might this influence future choices of textile materials and techniques through which to interpret your designs?

I liked the idea of the pottery shards very much indeed and I thought that the bleach and tissue was a really good way of interpreting your designs. Could you take this further by adopting a more random approach to combining the different patterns such as tearing and layering the different pattern samples, with the same randomness as the pottery pieces?
Interlude experimenting with printing and painting
Experimentation here included some valuable work with repeat patterns, based on earlier design work. You showed good understanding of what makes for an effective repeat as in the burnt paper sample. This reminded me of Islamic tiles. Further research maybe? In the same way, with the seed head, which was a very stylized interpretation, you might like to refer to some of Charles Rennie Macintosh’s designs or the contemporary designer, Angie Lewin.

Project 5 Painting and printing.
  • To help you to develop design ideas through the use of paint and print.
There was evidence of a good range of experimentation here with different combinations of inks, dyes, fabric paints and crayons. As you discovered, by varying the fabric surface and absorbency, you can create some very different effects even when using the same printing process e.g. the ‘stamped design sample sat on the surface of the linen, highlighting the textural quality of the print whilst the brush stroke sample quickly absorbed through fabric.

I felt that this project’s strength came from the consistent way in which you tried out and then refined your design ideas. This came through very strongly in your final print of the seed head where you brought together earlier designs very well indeed. In your reflection, try to analyse why you think this was so. Is it maybe the combination of the more solid textured geometric background shape with the simple line drawing? To what extent did your choice of a half drop repeat enhance the final design by giving it a strong diagonal line? How would a different colourway alter the feel and appearance of this design?

Learning Logs/Critical essays
Your learning blog continues to give some good insights into the development of your ideas and your own progress. Try to extend this to analyse outcomes further in terms of identifying possible ways forward. I feel that you are still uncertain about the extent to which you can use your drawings as a starting point for your design ideas but you are in fact doing this! Maybe you are imagining this to be a more complex process than it is.

I like the way that your sketchbook is feeding directly into your project work. Where this is the case, can you maybe cross reference by pages numbers? There is also a good balance between observational drawing, experimentation and design possibilities. In the case, of photos, beware of including them indiscriminately in your sketchbook. It can tend to start to look like a scrapbook if you are not careful. Ask yourself why you have included an image. What aspect of it do you want to work from to develop further? You may choose to annotate the photos explain this; otherwise, it can look at though you are just filling up pages which I am sure you are not.

Suggested reading/viewing
See in report

Pointers for the next assignment
The next assignment is concerned with primarily concerned with exploring techniques and processes many of which I suspect will be familiar to you. You might like to think about using some non-traditional textile materials for your samples. Try to push yourself beyond what you already feel confident with and experiment freely. I think you will enjoy this assignment!

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