Visual Arts (Painting) - annotated exemplars level 2 AS91316

Develop ideas in a related series of drawings appropriate to established painting practice (2.3)

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This annotated exemplar is intended for teacher use only. The student work shown does not always represent a complete sample of what is required. Selected extracts are used, focused on the grade boundaries, in order to assist assessors to make judgements at the national standard.

Low Excellence

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 1 (PDF, 14MB)

For Excellence, the student needs extend ideas in a related series of drawings appropriate to established painting practice.

This involves critically analysing, evaluating, and further developing a concept, subject matter, problem or situation, in drawings appropriate to established practice.

The student extends conceptual ideas in the use of animal skulls (3) (4) rather than the traditional human skull (2) more often associated with vanitas painting. This means that the thematic focus shifts from the traditional vanitas concern with the temporary nature of man’s existence to an environmental conservation message.

Pictorial extension also incurs in the later works (5) (6) with dramatic shadows, severe cropping and confident use of large areas of negative space. This departs from the crowded pictorial approach of the artist models and creates a very personal atmospheric intensity.

The initial compositional studies (1) reveal a sound understanding of the traditional conventions of vanitas painting. The secure nature of this foundation has enabled the student to build their own ideas in the final outcomes (5) (6).

For a more secure Excellence, the student could further refine other aspects of picture making. These may include the mixing and layering of paint to create richer surfaces, and/or the integration of particular texts to enrich meaning.

The student could also consider introducing more contemporary visual elements to enhance the message. For example, an empty shotgun shell could symbolise hunting, or the more subtle use of a cell phone could relate to a changing world.

High Merit

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 2 (PDF, 16MB)

For Merit, the student needs to clarify ideas in a related series of drawings appropriate to established painting practice.

This involves analysing, reflecting on, and further developing a concept, subject matter, problem or situation, in drawings appropriate to established practice.

The student presents a sound clarification of ideas about colour and paint application, the relationship of objects in terms of spatial tension and symbolic meaning (2) (3) (4). The student focuses on the precarious balance of objects such as the glasses teetering on the edge of the book (4). This creates a physical tension rather than the traditional existential anxiety of traditional vanitas painting.

The student presents a sound understanding of the role of light and contrast to create a dramatic atmosphere (2) (3). They also explore a variety of effects to describe the pages of the book, surface quality of the table, and transparency of the glass (4).

The final painting (4) demonstrates a sophisticated layering of colour with the red foundation layer emerging at the edges of objects.

To reach Excellence, the student could build upon some of the more intriguing aspect of the initial work. For example, the skull listening to earphones, or the note rolled in the glass (1) would extend ideas in a contemporary direction.

Extension could also occur in terms of the use of colour. The student could explore saturated or polychromatic colour options rather than defaulting to traditional muted tones.

Low Merit

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 3 (PDF, 15MB)

For Merit, the student needs to clarify ideas in a related series of drawings appropriate to established painting practice.

This involves analysing, reflecting on, and further developing a concept, subject matter, problem or situation, in drawings appropriate to established practice.

The student demonstrates an understanding of vanitas ideas in the initial drawings. The annotations indicate the pictorial (1) and symbolic (2) aspects of the vanitas genre are considered.

The developmental sequence in paint (4) (5) explores the juxtaposition of objects to create meaning and the use of light and tone to create space. The drawing and spatial problems revealed in these works (5) are largely resolved in the final outcome (6).

The strength of the final outcome (6) is in the selection of visual imagery to communicate a message about time running out. While the hourglass and skull are entirely conventional, the bubbles are slightly less typical.

For a more secure Merit, the student could move beyond stock imagery to create meaning. The ski googles included earlier (3) provide opportunity for a more contemporary autobiographic approach to the theme.

Further refinement of drawing and painting techniques in the final outcome (6) would also place the student more securely at Merit. For example, the student could show the edge of the table through the hour glass and create more subtle tonal shifts in the skull. The student could also show greater consideration of the relationships between objects rather than simply placing the skull and hour glass side by side. 

High Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 4 (PDF, 6.1MB)

For Achieved, the student needs to develop ideas in a related series of drawings appropriate to established painting practice.

This involves responding to and building on a concept, subject matter, problem, or situation, in drawings appropriate to established practice.

The student develops a variety of compositional and pictorial options in the initial drawing investigation (2) (3). The pictorial decisions are supported by annotations (1) which identify the reasons for and the effects of the relationships between objects. The notations indicate that both pictorial (e.g. ‘lighting from top left’) and conceptual (e.g. ‘symbolising death’) ideas have been considered.

The painting studies (4) (5) (6) (7) demonstrate the development of colour, textural and compositional ideas.

To reach Merit, the student could build upon the ideas presented in the initial drawings to clarify a personal response to the vanitas proposition. These initial ideas include the subtle placement of objects such as the corner of the book extending over the edge of the table (2) or the less typical bone and shell selection (3).

The medal motif (5) could be further developed to provide a unique element that may contribute to a personal clarification about past victories. This would help to move the student beyond the generic skull solution presented in the later outcomes (6) (7).

The student could also retain and refine the accurate drawing and layering of media presented in the initial painting studies (4). This could contribute to the clarification of technical ideas needed for Merit.

Low Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 5 (PDF, 6.7MB)

For Achieved, the student needs to develop ideas in a related series of drawings appropriate to established painting practice.

This involves responding to and building on a concept, subject matter, problem, or situation, in drawings appropriate to established practice.

The student demonstrates sufficient compositional and colour development between the first (1) and last painting (4) to fulfil the requirements of the criterion for Achieved. The student explores symbolic ideas of the vanitas genre with the candle, hour glass (2), and skull (3) representing mortality. 

The final image (4) uses a limited palette, tight framing of objects, and shallow picture space appropriate to the genre. These features unify the composition and create a sense of dramatic atmosphere.

For a more secure Achieved, the student could present a more sustained exploration of pictorial options to further develop their ideas. For example, the cast shadow and dark background used to create convincing space (3) could be applied to the final painting (4). Explanatory Note 2 indicates that development means later work should ‘build on’ the preceding outcomes.

A more secure Achieved would also show greater awareness of the communicative potential of juxtaposed objects. This may involve including unusual or personal objects to develop unique ideas rather than relying entirely on generic stock images.

High Not Achieved

Commentary
Student work extract

Student 6 (PDF, 657KB)

For Achieved, the student needs to develop ideas in a related series of drawings appropriate to established painting practice.

This involves responding to and building on a concept, subject matter, problem, or situation, in drawings appropriate to established practice.

All four works present awareness of technical conventions in terms of using tone to generate space (1) (2) and texture to create visual interest (3) (4).

The painted works (2) (3) (4) reveal a high degree of technical skill and confidence with the use of wet media.

The student begins to develop ideas around colour (3) (4) with the layering of media and different colours giving the skull a personality.

To reach Achieved, the student could further develop pictorial and/or compositional alternatives. The technical virtuosity that the student demonstrates does not in itself show the development of ideas required for Achieved. Developments could include changing the size and/or placement of the skull, or the introduction of shadows and background elements.

The student may also consider including a second visual element to create meaning through juxtaposition. For example, a flower or feather would contrast with the skull in terms of form but reinforce the theme of fragile temporality.

A more sustained practical investigation would also enhance the student’s opportunity to show the developmental journey required for Achieved.

 
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