Coursework. AS level. Fine Art. 2013.
For an AS level course that will finish in 2013, students at William de Ferrers School have to do a Coursework unit.
To help prepare the students for the following year's A2 level ‘Personal Investigation’ they also do a mini-Personal Study as part of the Coursework. This is not something required by the examination board, but found to be helpful at William de Ferrers.
At the start of the Autumn term students participate in exercises to improve their drawing skills. The development of these skills is encouraged throughout the term within the mechanism of their Coursework.
The theme for the students' Coursework portfolio is:
The purposes of drawing and how it informs artists' work
To begin their study, students have to research, explore and analyse artists' drawings, looking at their purposes in contemporary, historical and cultural contexts.
Students have to choose one of the following starting points:
Perspective is a useful way of interpreting space in a drawing from a fixed viewpoint. For many artists however, the conventions and rigid rules of a single fixed viewpoint can restrict their inventive freedom and they seek further expressive possibilities through interactions between perception and intuition.
"For me, the art of painting is an adventure. When I paint a landscape or a seascape, I'm not sure it’'s a landscape or a seascape. It's a thought form rather than a realistic form." Vieira da Silva.
- Ville espagnole Maria Hélena Vieira Da Silva 1996.
"In the style of a chameleon, Iemza, whose work melts away into the town, tries to form part of it, injecting his own visual fantasies, his own imagination. Buildings are distorted, perspectives stretched out and the town becomes living matter, at once aesthetic and disturbing."
Other artists and possible lines of enquiry:
- The Renaissance
- Picasso and Braque's multiple viewpoints in Cubism
- Convergence using 1, 2 and 3-point perspective
- Clarity and focus as a means of creating space and distance
- Le Carceri d'Invenzione (The Imaginary Prisons) 1761 by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
- Still Life: The Table Georges Braque 1928.
- Nichols Canyon 1980 by David Hockney.
- The Unthinkable Roberto Matta 1957
Narrative drawing / social commentary / illustration
Ralph Steadman " ... the birth of GONZO in my work – a dispassionate statement of fact intended to elicit uncomfortable laughter – its ruthless portrayal a gentle assassination of the subject in a spat of ink ... I am a kind person but outwardly, I project a volatile disposition, a lonely soul at peace with the forces of huridomidomatomic slavery – What? ... Don't write, Ralph.
But that was yesterday. Hopeful. Today cartoon imagery has been flogged to death. Electronic wizardry has devoured it, digested it and spat out the bits left stuck in its teeth. What is unacceptable in the world is served up as light entertainment in every living room in the land. Well good! What I used to do with a passion, foolishly and vainly imagining I would change the world for the better, I no longer tolerate in myself or anyone else. But draw, always draw – and WRITE!"
Francisco Goya's private albums have "... no practice drawings or half finished ideas. They are described as the equivalent of "literary journals". Perhaps they can be more accurately described not as direct depictions of what Goya saw, but as incarnations of what he thought about what he saw.
In his most famous work, the series of etchings
Los Caprichos (1799), which began as Suenos (dreams), Goya tried to create what he described as a "universal language" that "would encourage men and women to reflect on the world and their roles and actions within it." He wanted to provoke deeper thought on the fundamental problems of the revolutionary epoch in which he lived. The album drawings are Goya's personal reflections."
Other artists and possible lines of enquiry:
- Anselm Kiefer (cultural myths)
- William Blake
- Quentin Blake
- Leon Golub (abuses of power)
- George Grosz (social and political commentary in Germany between the wars)
- Honore Daumier (satirical drawings)
- Myths and allegories
- Social roles and stereotyping
Words and images
(e.g. I'm desperate Gillian Wearing 1992-3)
- Animal Farm: A Fairy Story illustrated by Quentin Blake 1984.
- Los Paragueros 2004 by Laurie Lipton.
Tale Bearers – Blasts of Wind.
(Caprichos, no. 48: Soplones.)
Francisco José de Goya 1796-1797.
Surrealism is a style in which fantastical visual imagery from the subconscious mind is used with no intention of making the work logically comprehensible. This method of drawing includes dynamic and intuitive reactions in response to feelings and emotions. It was deeply influenced by the psychoanalytic work of Freud and Jung.
André Masson joined the emergent Surrealist group in the mid-1920s after one of his paintings had attracted the attention of the movement's leader, André Breton. Masson soon became the foremost practitioner of automatic writing, which, when applied to drawing, was a form of spontaneous composition intended to express impulses and images arising directly from the unconscious.
Automatism was a vehicle for the Surrealist painters. André Masson, Arshile Gorky, and Max Ernst, in particular, experimented with fantastic images that were spontaneously recorded in a kind of visual free association, without the artist's conscious censorship.
Other avenues of enquiry are:
[Jackson Pollock: Love and Death on Long Island, BBC Four documentary]
- Max Ernst's use of frottage
- Sigmar Polke's telephone drawing
- Pablo Picasso
- Salvador Dali
- Automatic drawing André Masson 1924.
- Battle of the Fishes André Masson 1927.
- The Hanging Garden, The Invention of Drawing Elliot Hundley 2005.
- 'Exquisite Corpse'.
- A printer's exquisite corpse 1992.
Exquisite corpse 2000 by
Jake and Dinos Chapman.
Recording information / objective drawing
"Landy's gaze seems to have traversed the surface of the skin noting every wrinkle, line and freckle while his pencil charted the journey producing an image reminiscent of a topographical map ...
I realise that he is not interested in accessing my inner being. Concentrating on the visible, he ignores the murky depths of the psyche." (Sarah Kent. Art World. August 2008).
Michael Landy's drawings demonstrate an attention to detail and an analysis that comes close to scientific enquiry.
- Creeping Buttercup Michael Landy 2002.
- Welcome to my world exhibition 2005.
- Gillian Michael Landy 2008.
- Michael Landy by Michael Landy 2008.
Other possible artists to explore:
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Albrecht Dürer
- Anatomy and botany studies
Sculptors draw, integrating line, form, shape and space in a process of inventive meandering, where ideas grow from other ideas.
"All ideas grow out of other ideas." Anish Kapoor.
"I've been fifty thousand times to the Louvre. I have copied everything in drawing, trying to understand." Alberto Giacometti.
Giacometti's drawings and sculptures reveal the intense energy with which he worked. Many of Giacometti's drawings show a repetition of lines, erased and reworked, buckling and fraying the paper beneath.
"Much of what I make is geometric, and has a kind of almost mathematical logic to the form." Anish Kapoor.
Other artists and lines of enquiry:
- Louise Bourgeois
- Untitled 2008 by Bill Woodrow.
- Connection III 2000 by Anthony Gormley.
- Thinking in 3-dimensions
[Excerpted from a paper written by Wendy Walker at William de Ferrers School.]