Feedback on my Positive/Negative assignment

I received a grade of 80% on my positive/negative assignment, which I’m happy with. Not that I’m doing this course for the grades! But I was disappointed by one of her comments.

Linda had said, “Clever choice of “shoe” offered you a lot of linear detail to draw with contour line. Good balance of positive and negative shapes on the page.” That part was okay. But then she’d added, “Give some thought to the texture of the marks your erasure leaves behind, which is as much a part of the drawing as the black or the contours.”

Oh no! I was disappointed, because I’d deliberately made the erasure marks to look sort of grainy – I thought it would create a rustic background to the cowboy boot and leather bag.

So of course I went to see her to follow up on this. She explained that my erasure marks were too flat – that they looked like wallpaper. Hmm, yes, I can see that. And of course the negative space part of the assignment was to create a negative space, not a textured space, so there was that, too. So much for me thinking I was being fancy with my textured background.

If I had wanted to do a more effective background, she said, and if it was within the context of the assignment, then I would have had to incorporate some elements of perspective (like, bigger and more detailed patterning in the foreground, and smaller, less detailed patterning in the background, etc.). But really, once she said the “wallpaper” thing, it has become all I can think about when I look at the picture. Now I wish I had spent more time getting a smooth and complete erasure.

I wonder if I can fix it (i.e., erase more) without wrecking the rest of the picture?? I do like how the boot turned out.

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