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GCSE Art & Design question

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    Hello everyone, I'm currently in Year 11 doing my last coursework for Art. I really need to get an A since I got a really bad mark on my previous sketchbook. Basically, I've researched everything that I want to do with my theme and I'm following the mark scheme but can you give me more advice on how to achieve A/A*? I'm on Edexcel.
    Is it about extending your theme to little details, analyzing them and using a lot of materials?
    Also, I know that Art is not about if you're perfect at drawing and I'm not good at painting and using oil pastels etc, so do you think that by any chance my marks could go down if my observational drawings etc are painted not so well? Does it make a difference between a sketchbook with good development but not so well painting skills and the same sketchbook but with good painting skills? I hope that makes sense!
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    It's been a while since you posted and nobody's replied yet...maybe you should check out MarkedbyTeachers.com, TSR's sister site. It has the largest library of essays in the UK.

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    (Original post by thu_)
    Hello everyone, I'm currently in Year 11 doing my last coursework for Art. I really need to get an A since I got a really bad mark on my previous sketchbook. Basically, I've researched everything that I want to do with my theme and I'm following the mark scheme but can you give me more advice on how to achieve A/A*? I'm on Edexcel.
    Is it about extending your theme to little details, analyzing them and using a lot of materials?
    Also, I know that Art is not about if you're perfect at drawing and I'm not good at painting and using oil pastels etc, so do you think that by any chance my marks could go down if my observational drawings etc are painted not so well? Does it make a difference between a sketchbook with good development but not so well painting skills and the same sketchbook but with good painting skills? I hope that makes sense!
    My friend is incredible at Art and only barely managed to scrape an A, but another who is rather mediocre got an A*, one of the only two in the year. Yet guess who had the more developed sketchbook? :rolleyes: I hate to say this, but it's not a matter of talent at the subject, just how well you can analyse and show how your ideas have come along. Only 25% of the AO is down to actual talent; the remainder is ideas. I've always been told that unless you're absolutely god-awful at drawing/painting, you won't be marked down for the quality of your work, as long as you can show and tell how you came to get to the final piece. Though arranging your ideas in a nice, pretty way won't harm your chances, either

    I found the BBC Bitesize website to be very helpful when it came to the Assessment Objectives:http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/art/aos/
    Other than that, though, there's very little in the way of help on the internet. Feel free to ask me about anything, as it's 3 in the morning and my mind isn't exactly functioning at its best ability at the moment. I'd be happy to help with anything
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    Thank you! So I need to show range of ideas and why I used them, and explain why I've done such and such observational drawings? Oh and another little question if you can answer. How do you talk about artist research and your work overall in an art-style way with criticism, confidence and all the key words to that?
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    (Original post by thu_)
    Thank you! So I need to show range of ideas and why I used them, and explain why I've done such and such observational drawings? Oh and another little question if you can answer. How do you talk about artist research and your work overall in an art-style way with criticism, confidence and all the key words to that?
    Pretty much

    With artist research, what my teacher instructed us to reference a number of artists (I had five, but I think any number's fine). Then, we had to copy one of their (or a small section of) paintings/artwork, and annotate around the image (apparently examiners don't like reading huge amounts of text). I don't think copying all of the image is necessary, but whatever floats your boat. Obviously, there must be a reason why you chose a particular artist to reference, so incorporate that into your notes. For example, my own work was on the theme of 'Similarities and Differences: Natural World', and my painting was to be 1920's-esque, like a sort of art-nouveau/art-deco mash up.

    Thus, I chose Mucha:

    'The background details of a circle and the border are very reminiscent of the art nouveau style, and echo back to the grandeur and style of the 1920s'.

    'The circle represents a cycle, a continuation of life, that is very much evident in all of Mucha's work. Furthermore, there are many elements of nature that one associates with circles, such as the sun and the moon'.

    'Mucha uses neutral, earthy tones that seem very muted - another reference to nature?'

    And so on and so forth. In my defence, I was sixteen, it was two in the morning and I had to give my sketchbook in for marking later that day

    At the end of my sketchbook, I drew a final sketch of what my painting was to look like, and made small notes as to why I'd chosen to make it that way:

    'Influenced by Mucha and Vettriano - the circles and elaborate designs bring to mind the elegance and grandeur of the 1920s, both being typical of art nouveau. Vettriano is referenced in the elegant dance poses, soft colours and texture of the paint.'

    'The theme 'Similarities and Differences' is echoed in my painting with the sub-theme of attraction. With pheasants, it is the male that attracts the female, whereas with humans it is the opposite case. This difference is shown in my painting, with the male pheasant feathers in the circle on the woman's side, and the female on the man's. Also, the male pheasant in the corner is on the woman's side, and vice versa with the female pheasant and the man.'

    'The background colour is a soft yellow, to show 'similarities' - both male and female pheasants have the colour yellow in their appearance (their beak). The colour brown is also in both genders. The floor will be shiny, like the dance floor in my previous photos of the 1920s.'

    Again, last minute, not my best

    I don't think it matters how 'professional' you sound. My friend - whose final grade was an A* - has dyslexia, and with no disrespect to her, isn't all that amazing at English. However, she managed to get that grade despite her annotations not being all that 'professional'. I think that as long as you manage to get your point across, the number of key words doesn't matter all that much (though, again, it wouldn't hurt).

    I don't know how much that helps you; I've been known to completely misinterpret questions in the past Again, if there's any more questions, I'll be happy to help.
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    I got 196/200 for my art GCSE. I experimented using a variety of materials, and if you 'extend' your ideas, so do lots of idea designs and then experiment with them etc, and it doesn't have to be outstanding quality, as long as you show that you have the skills to use the medium in a good way then it is usually ok.
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    Thank you both and thanks Ra Ra Ra for the detailed answers!
    I have another little question, in Year 10 we completed one sketchbook and now in Year 11 we are completing 2 so overall we have 3. I really really want and need to get an A overall for Art but I don't know how or I don't know if I'm doing it the right way.
    Basically, my teacher is not very good at explaining about grades so I don't really know what grade I'm on but I got an E on my second sketchbook (I know, that's horrible, I messed up my development) but the mark was only from her so basically the sketchbooks get marked at the end altogether right?
    So I have time to improve my old ones and then get a good grade? Also, do you know how they mark it, do they just get a grade from each book and then pick the best one or..? I know that my second sketchbook is 60% and third one is 40% so I guess I should work on those two?
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    (Original post by thu_)
    Thank you both and thanks Ra Ra Ra for the detailed answers!
    I have another little question, in Year 10 we completed one sketchbook and now in Year 11 we are completing 2 so overall we have 3. I really really want and need to get an A overall for Art but I don't know how or I don't know if I'm doing it the right way.
    Basically, my teacher is not very good at explaining about grades so I don't really know what grade I'm on but I got an E on my second sketchbook (I know, that's horrible, I messed up my development) but the mark was only from her so basically the sketchbooks get marked at the end altogether right?
    So I have time to improve my old ones and then get a good grade? Also, do you know how they mark it, do they just get a grade from each book and then pick the best one or..? I know that my second sketchbook is 60% and third one is 40% so I guess I should work on those two?
    From Year 10 onwards (at least this was the case with me), everything we did went towards our final grade. At the end of Year 11 we were given the opportunity to come back at lunchtime/after school and finish all our paintings and improve our sketchbooks (ie adding material, annotation, sketches, photos). As it stands, the grade your teacher gave you doesn't count for anything if you improve your sketchbook.

    I believe the way it works is that your teacher will give you a grade at the end of everything, and when the examiner arrives he or she will look at everything (including all sketchbooks and paintings) and agree or disagree with the teacher. Actually, I'm not entirely sure whether the teacher's marks count for anything with the coursework (I believe they do, but the examiner has the power to change it, and the teacher has the power to complain if they think the examiner is too harsh - as was the case with most of my year's work).

    What I'm trying to say is that although she gave you an E, there's still plenty of time between now and the final deadline to go over your sketchbook and improve it. I was lucky in that my teacher always gave us feedback, so you should go to her (if you're shy like me this will probably be rather embarrassing, but this is your grade) and ask for advice on how to improve.

    And yes, as coursework is 60%, I would spend more time on those than the exam sketchbook. As the exam sketchbook is done over a limited amount of time anyway, I don't think the examiner will be looking for whether each sketch is backed with pretty paper! But annotate and add more as you work, and you should be fine
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    Thank you! I feel more confident now. I'm just moving onto observational drawings, let's see how it goes. Thanks again you really helped!!

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