A level Fine Art


AS Unit 1 – Coursework Portfolio


Artists can be very broadly divided into two groups:

  1.        Those who make workabout the ‘Real world’
  2.        Those who make work about something beyond, outside or different to the Real world.

It should be remembered however, that ALL ARTISTS make work that relates to other ART.

Your first project will be to make work in response to the theme The Real and the Imagined’. You can focus on one or the other or both.  Perhaps the most interesting area for investigation is where the two overlap. Your final work can be in any media – Painting, collage, print, sculpture, installation, film… However, you MUST look at the work of relevant artists to inform your work.

Your investigations should include:

Some direct observational drawing

A study of at least three relevant artists

Experimentation with a range of media and processes.

(Your tutors will introduce you to a range of artists, media and processes as the project progresses.)


Some Points to consider:


  • Painting as illusion – All representational painting is basically an illusion – coloured shapes on a flat surface. The question many painters face is whether to try to disguise this fact or draw attention to it. (Compare Richard Estes ‘Times Square at 3.53pm, Winter’ Camille Pissaro ‘The Boulevard Monmatre at Night’ and Frank Aeurbach ‘Tower Blocks Hampstead Road’. All of which depict city scenes.)
  • What devices are used to create a convincing illusion of realistic three dimensional space? Careful tonal modulation; linear perspective; atmospheric perspective;overlapping; attention to detail; (If you are unsure of the meaning of any of the phrases in italics you should research them.)
  • Linear perspective – What effect does rejecting linear perspective have on the way we respond the realism of an image. Can linear perspective be subverted to create a feeling of the uncanny, a dream, or even a closer approximation to how we actually perceive the world.(Look at Giorgio De Chirico,Marc Chagall and Georges Braque or David Hockney’s ‘joiners’)
  • Observational drawing – The importance of direct observational drawing for those responding to the ‘real world’ should be fairly obvious but it is equally difficult to create a convincing imaginary world without it. (See Peter Breuegel ‘The Fall of The Rebel Angels’)
  • Colour – The attempt to present colours as they are (local colour) vs. colour as it appears under certain conditions, vs. colour distorted in order to more effectively communicate an emotional response.
  • The relationship between photography and painting – What effect has photography had on painting and visa-versa? How is working from a photograph different to working from life?
  • You might wish to consider the relationship of images to the things they depict(Magritte explores this idea in ‘C’ecin’est pas une Pipe’)


Other suggestions:

The Real

Investigations might include any of the following:

Techniques for creating, subverting or challenging the illusion of depth on a two dimensional surface – linear perspective; careful tonal modulation; atmospheric perspective; multiple viewpoints;


Art with a social or political message

The Imagined

Investigations might include any of the following:

The visionary in art

Religious art

Symbolism in art

Art that deals with dreams or the unconscious

Art that embraces chance or accident

Art that addresses myth, legend or fiction


Genres/ Subjects:Landscape;The Figure; Portrait; Event; Still life; Every day; Urban Environment

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