Student work uncovered: Emily Fowke and Christine Gutsell

This is a post from the archive. Information contained within it may now be out of date.


Here is Jim Unsworth, assessor and tutor, talking about moving from drawing to painting by looking a a couple of OCA students’ work.


  1. Jereme 13 June 2013 at 7:19 pm

    This is really useful how Jim describes the work, taking drawings on to paintings and the detail required to express an idea in paint.

  2. charl 13 June 2013 at 11:31 pm

    These student work uncovered vids are Very useful.

    I am almost embarrassed to ask this as it’s probably obvious to others, but what does ‘fluid’ mean in this context? I only know the word in terms of fluid as opposed to solid, i cant imagine how that translates into art terminology.
    I really want to know because the kind of work pictured is what i think i’m going to draw/paint before i start, but somehow my hand/arm does something else… something very neat & ‘tight’. So clearly i am not being ‘fluid’. but what does it meeeeeean!?

    1. delevaux2013 15 June 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Charl

      I thought I would have a try to answer your question in my blog entry posted today as it related rather well to the preparatory work I had been doing and the resulting reflection I need to do in my blog.
      Please forgive my techno failures and one very grandiose sentence which does not quite make sense and which I have no idea how to correct now it’s posted.

      Enjoyed contributing to conversations and Jim’s video.


      1. charl 17 June 2013 at 9:40 pm

        hi Judith thanks for responding. good to see yr blog, will have a little ‘explore’ of it later. I guess fluidity of medium might be a significant aspect… but then if a charcoal marks on on textured paper can be fluid, then it seems to me to describe somthing a little less tangible. What i’d like is a tutor to hold up 10 examples of fluidity & 10 examples of the opposite LOL.

        I had Jim Unsworth as my first tutor, coming to drawing as an absolute beginner. (Never studied art past junior school) and I couldnt understand half of what he said lol, it was like he was speaking a nother language, & asking for clarification didnt help, because the answer was in the same language.

        But by the end of the second course (this is back when Drawing was in 2 modules) when i’d come to understand some of the terminology, & I went back to read his comments again I got *loads out of them & they all made sense. Jim is brilliant I hope i get him as a tutor again. But he does use (appropriately of course) a lot of art terminology, words which mean something different in art to what they do in everyday speech… which evidently i still struggle with.

    2. oliviairvine 16 June 2013 at 10:01 pm

      To make a mark fluid is a physical thing, as well as a mental thing. You have to hold your brush or pencil loosely. Don’t hold it like pen, but more like a single rose! When you make the mark, move from the shoulder, as well as the elbow and wrist. This is easier if you are standing up at an easel, table or wall. The direction of the mark also effects fluidity, as does the length of the mark. It is easier to get fluidity in longer marks, but shorter ones with gaps where the pencil/ brush is lifted than put down again can also be fluid. There is also a kind of confidence in making fluid marks. A few warm up marks help you get relaxed, but focused. The neatness and tidiness you are referring to may be because you are not relating areas to each other. Very often, a student will draw a whole torso, then a whole arm, then the legs etc. This leads to bittiness and a lack of rhythm. It is better to go from shape to adjacent shape, so that you may be drawing part of the torso, then move over to the arm and up to the head, back down etc. It depends on the nature of the pose. I hope this helps you understand fluidity!

      1. charl 16 June 2013 at 10:55 pm

        ahhh….. thanks very much for that Olivia.
        I’m disabled/ill so can only ever work in a semi reclining position with the paper/canvas very close to me… – just a few inches away. So my mark making is mainly from the wrist, sometimes the elbow, but never the shoulder because i am too physically weak to hold my arm out, my upper arm/elbow always has to rest on my body or a support.

        I used to work as you describe – doing one area at a time, but i’ve gotten over that now after it was pointed out to me by my last tutor.

        After reading yr comments I think the issues are mainly – confidence, the mobility issue (which now i know about I will chill out about because theres nothing i can do to change my disability), but the thing i can change & work on immediately is i think i *do hold my instrument (whatever it is -pencil/brush etc) too tightly, i will experiment with holding it really loosely tomorrow 🙂

        thanks for that.

        So from what you’ve said… am i to interpret that a ‘fluid’ line… FLOWS – in & out & around etc from one mark to another, almost with a life of it’s own? Confident, loose, relaxed & sure?… rather than being either tentative & hesitant or dictatorial?


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