Visual Art Paper 3A (Drawing) May/June 2015

Candidates' Weaknesses

The following were some of the weaknesses observed in the works of the candidates:

  1. Poor composition

Harmony (unity) as a principle was completely ignored by candidates in their composition. Rather than rendering the objects as a unified composition, most candidates isolated the objects by drawing them separately from each other. Although, there were many objects involved, the proper approach to representation is by connecting all as one single composition.

  1. Shading deficiency

Most candidates could not use the element of value (usually shown in graded tones) to represent the forms of objects and to indicate the source of light. Such candidates also showed inability to grade the tones to depict contrast between individual objects and between the objects and the background.

  1. Inappropriate use of paper

Some candidates could not use the available space appropriately. The proper thing was for candidates to produce a composition that was proportional and centralized. However, candidates’ drawings were either too small or too large for the available space and in most cases, they were not centrally positioned.

  1. Non-indication of baseline and background

Most drawings were done without baseline and background, thereby making them to float and not situated properly in a setting. It is always appropriate to indicate or depict the relationship between the subject matter and the environment and this can only be achieved by indicating the base upon which the objects are placed, as well as the background.

The deficiencies identified above could be addressed through the following:

  1. Understanding the elements and principles of art

Candidates should make effort to understand the elements and principles of art as well as the ways of applying them in drawing. Knowledge of the element of value for example, would enable them to use graded tones to render the actual forms of objects and help them to show contrast between objects. Knowledge of the principle of harmony would also help them to achieve unity in their composition.
(2)        Exposure to quality art works
Students should be exposed to quality art works through visits to art exhibitions and museums. They could also subject themselves to tutelage in established art studios or under competent professionals.
(3)        Constant practice
Students should learn to draw at all times. Therefore, it is necessary that they get themselves sketchbooks to enable them engage in constant practice of drawing.
(4)        Contextualization of composition
Candidates should learn to contextualize and stabilize their drawing. An indication of baseline would indicate the platform upon which objects are arranged and the background would place the composition in a suitable environment. This would be necessary in preventing a drawing from hanging loosely in space.