When Viewing Examples of Student Work:

Often a single example of work may not demonstrate all the required objectives for a particular assignment. Instead students should collectively consider: the required objectives for each assignment, the multiple examples presented on this blog and during in class presentations. As well ideas discovered through a student's independent research in combination with various examples and ideas presented by instructor will ultimately be the best approach for synthesizing ideas and reaching the requirements (and unique outcome) for any particular course project.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Eclectic/Pluralist Assignment (formerly The Flatbed Picture Plane Assignment)


Complete a large-scale drawing (3 x 4 feet) with 3 to 4 small studies/preliminary works that emphasize concepts and the language of drawing. (The Language of Drawing meaning the physical act of drawing with traditional drawing materials as a language in itself).  Studies can be analogue or digital.

This assignment in many ways is about trying to combine (and or collage) as many types of styles, images and sensibilities as possible but in a unified manner that is complex and unique.

These styles, images and sensibilities should come from a variety of cultural, historical and contemporary contexts.

The formal objectives of the Eclectic/Pluralist Assignment require a consideration of the objectives from the Pure Abstract Assignment but will also require the additional objectives of synthesizing the broadest ranges possible of imagery, styles and sensibilities.

*Image sources in the Eclectic/Pluralist Assignment should include a combinations of all points listed below:

1) representational (realistic) drawing from observation

2) abstraction and mark making (modernist assignment)

3) pop art styles and advertising

4) graphic design and or illustration drawing styles

5) drafted diagrams and or drawn images of objects, or machines, or architecture blue prints (Vector line based work)

6) drawing that interprets media imagery from television, movies, magazines and the internet (interpretation of lens based mediums such as photography, video, and film)

7) drawing styles and images from art history, or folk art or arts and crafts

8) drawing that respectfully present  imagery and styles of drawing from non western cultures such as Asian, African, South American or Aboriginal/1st nation cultures.

Suggested Drawing Materials:
It is suggested people use the coloured oil bars for this assignment but many other options are also available in conjunction with the oil bars. Drawing materials such as oil or chalk pastels that cover large areas of your drawing quickly and offer good colour and have strong physical presence on the drawing surface allowing for an investigation of mark making will also work as well. Over all you can use all other types of coloured drawing materials for detail work such as coloured pencils, coloured inks and coloured markers, but keep in mind these should not be your primary drawing tools since they do not cover a large area quickly nor do they offer any sort of physicality in terms of the mediums presence or mark making. As well you may use acrylic or watercolour as a base or intermittently as long as the work emphasizes drawing materials. It is recommended that you use a fairly thick paper as your drawing surface. Some people have used canvas in the past but keep in mind the texture of the canvas causes the drawing materials to erode and ware out considerably quicker than if paper was used for a drawing surface. This 3 x 4 feet work can be one large sheet of paper or it may be smaller sheets of paper joined together. Consider how the seems of smaller paper will be integrated into the drawing and or hidden in the drawing.

Studies or Smaller Preliminary Works:
The purpose of the studies is to assist you in the investigation of this assignment. All the objectives do not have to be met in each study but rather should be used to take risks and experiment with to find all the required objectives. The studies are not about making something small and then duplicating that small study at a large scale. Instead the studies and the larger work should feed off each other. During the process there should be a back and forth of working between the studies and the large work (especially at the beginning stages of the drawing) As well studies may include manipulations of digital photos of the large work taken while in progress. In general it is strongly recommended that you photograph the work in progress and periodically make some inexpensive prints at home to work on in order to consider all potential directions to develop the work. Overall experiment and investigate various options thoroughly with the studies and the large work.

Steps of Process to Consider for Developing Drawing(s):
Avoid having every formal and conceptual component of your drawing pre-planned or “figured out” before you begin. This will eventually suffocate any desire to work, because it is almost impossible to pre-plan every step in the process and get positive results.

If you are stuck with no ideas it is best to immediately start drawing with vague ideas and some random organic and geometric shapes such as in some of the examples posted below.

Prepare yourself mentally for a process of: risk, unexpected direction, layering, editing, which includes sacrificing parts in the work, reworking, researching, making small preliminary works, applying criticism, generally experimenting with conviction in your drawing, and you will have a very successful work or series of works.

Optional Reading (Assistance in developing assignment):
Essay: The Flatbed Picture Plane by Leo Steinberg

(Some points may require more than one example while others points may be required in a less significant way)

Evaluation (Formalism) Criteria:

40% for the following:
Variation of interesting organic and geometric solid shapes and shapes depicted with line (different sizes)

Variation of drawing materials (Focus on pastels, with some paint as the bottom layer, but also think of other art and drawing materials as well)

Overall good visual variety and complexity but also work is still unified
(Good ranges of styles and sensibilities but still has a unified work)

Does work have requirements of 1 to 8 points listed above?*

40% for the following:
Maximized layering process in major parts of drawing

Physical presence of materials on surface (Layer drawing materials thickly in some areas of drawing)

Variation of mark making and physical textures (organic and straight, short and long, etc)

Variation of Line and Shapes (this is connected to variation of stencils/templates and mark making)

20% for the following:
Experimentation and innovation

Overall uniqueness

Examples of Assignment:

Each work below not consistently present all of the criteria for the Pluralist Assignment in individual examples, but collectively the examples bowl address assignment requirements.







This work does not meet all the required objectives for the assignment but is using cartoon and illustrations in an interesting way. The imagery is utilizing a unique combination of various scales of similar imagery, variations of opaqueness and transparency, and use of asymmetrical pattern with large linear elements.

46 x 36 inches

50 x 36 inches

 47 x 36 inches

Painting 1 Winter 2003

Painting 1 Winter 2003

Basic Design Summer 2006
The above work does not present all of the criteria for the Pluralist Assignment but does demonstrate an interesting combination of abstraction and a pop or cartoon style

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