Project 1.1 Fracture and Dramatic Marks Part 2

Exercise: Dramatic Marks


Base layer of black laid down in compressed charcoal, rubbed in.  Marks made with putty rubber lifting out colour and additional marks on top with willow charcoal.  Continued process of lifting out and adding charcoal.

I like the variety in the depth of the tones of black and the strength and softness of the different lines.  It reminds me of a dramatic snow-filled storm on a winter night.

Ex 1.1 Dramatic Effect Charcoal

Ex 1.1 Dramatic Effect Charcoal

Pencil and Graphite Stick

4B Graphite Stick to lay down the base layer, then 6B pencil and graphite stick used to add marks, putty rubber and ordinary rubber used to lift out marks.

At the start of this exercise I wasn’t happy with the effect as it seemed much less dramatic than the charcoal piece.  However, with continued working and using the ordinary rubber as well, I think the dramatic effect improved.

The putty rubber didn’t seem to lift out as much as I expected.  I expected it to be more like an ordinary rubber, to be able to completely remove any colour or line, but it didn’t seem as defined as this.

Ex 1.1 Dramatic Effect Graphite Stick and Pencil

Ex 1.1 Dramatic Effect Graphite Stick and Pencil


Project 1.1 Fractured and Dramatic Marks Part 1

Exercise: Fracture Marks

Part a:

Sheet 1:

quick angled strokes of various pressures – reminds me of claw marks of wild animals

Ex 1.1 a. Sheet 1

Ex 1.1 a. Sheet 1

Sheet 5:

Short dots and stabbing marks made with various edges – reminds me of stamped cards

Ex1.1 a. Sheet 5

Ex1.1 a. Sheet 5

Sheet 10:

soft sweeps on flat side and short staccato dots with long edge – reminds me of an abstract paining (but not sure which artist)

Ex1.1 a. Sheet 10

Ex1.1 a. Sheet 10

Part b:

I like the effect of the willow charcoal – it seems a softer colour (shade/tone?) than the compressed charcoal .

The putty rubber can soften dark colours, blur edges, lighten patches of dark and spread the area of colour outside in a smudged effect.

Ex 1.1 b. Willow Charcoal & Putty Rubber

Ex 1.1 b. Willow Charcoal & Putty Rubber

Part c:

Used waterproof as well as non waterproof ink by mistake, as I wasn’t sure if they were or not.

With non-waterproof fountain pen with a brush with water on top, can almost completely remove the marks of the fountain pen.

Ink with a brush and then using a brush with water on top spreads the colour more thinly, making it a paler version where you spread it on plain paper.

Ink on a wet piece makes a lovely ink-blotch mark with feathered edges.

Ex 1.1 c. Ink with brush and penqEx 1.1 c. Ink with brush and pen

Ex 1.1 c. Ink with brush and pen

Warm Up Exercises Reflection

I enjoyed looking at different ways of mark-making, with media I’ve never used before and on a scale I’m not used to.  I felt it not only freed me physically out of the small-scale sketchbook confines, but also mentally to get me thinking different about mark-making and scale.

I particularly enjoyed working in a repetitive way, creating through adding layer upon layer, which had been something I enjoyed while I was on the early stages of the Pre-Textiles course.

These exercises has also created an interest in how you can come up with interesting marks unintentionally.  As yet I don’t know how you would or could use this in drawing or art, or if it is just a happy accident.  Would any artist admit to a happy accident?

The Tom Marioni ‘Action Drawing’ and zen-like drawing was new to me, but it reminded me, through the repetition of lines of some of Henry Moore’s sketches, particularly the ‘The Shelter Drawings’.

Project 0.3 Using your fingers, wrists, elbow and shoulder

Exercise: Fingers and Wrist

There seems to be so little control drawing like this.  It is the most child-like result created so far.

Ex0.3 Fingers and Wrist

Ex0.3 Fingers and Wrist

Exercise: At Arm’s Length

Having watch Tom Marioni’s video ‘Action Drawings’ before beginning this exercise I could see the connection with the ‘zen-like concentration on mark making.’ I liked the effect which was created, reminding me of the woods and tree trunks I want to draw.  Also at each end of the stroke where it ran out different effects were created; ribbon-like at the bottom and seaweed-like at the top.


Ex0.3 At Arm's Length

Ex0.3 At Arm’s Length

Ex0.3 At Arm's Length Close up of bottom

Ex0.3 At Arm’s Length Close up of bottom

Ex0.3 At Arm's Length Close up of top

Ex0.3 At Arm’s Length Close up of top

Exercise: Using Your Shoulder

This felt more zen-like as the breaks to swap hands or directions flowed better.  The circles themselves aren’t that regular though, which I would have expected.

I would like to try this on a much larger scale, perhaps including slight movement left and right, up and down and layering circle on circle, like a vast Venn diagram.

Ex0.3 Using your shoulder

Ex0.3 Using your shoulder

Ex0.3 Using your shoulder close up

Ex0.3 Using your shoulder close up

Ex0.3 Using your shoulder close up different effects

Ex0.3 Using your shoulder close up different effects


Project 0.2 Drawing in short and long bursts

Exercise: Short Bursts

The marks look like claw marks on the paper.

When I changed sides I didn’t move, so the left side of the centre is done using the left hand and the right the right hand.  There is little difference in execution between each hand.

As the charcoal wore down the marks achieved changed and it is almost as if each mark was made with a different part of the charcoal.

Ex 0.2 Short Bursts with charcoal left hand and right hand

Ex 0.2 Short Bursts with charcoal left hand and right hand

Ex 0.2 Short Bursts Close Up

Ex 0.2 Short Bursts Close Up

Exercise: Long Bursts

The two sides of the paper were such a mirror of the other that I decided to try to keep to that.  I repeated each left hand action with the same on the opposite side with my opposite hand.

With the top half it was easy to draw smooth grass type curves, but this was harder to create on the bottom half at the height I was at in relation to the paper.  This bottom half became a much harsher and harder mix of straight lines, again mirrored on each side.  Even the softer wide edge of the charcoal didn’t seem to soften it much.

willow charcoal mark making

Final A1 sheet of long and short bursts exercise with willow charcoal

Project 0.1 Drawing Small and Drawing Big

Exercise: Drawing Small

Sheet 1 – Pencil Left ‘Good’ Hand

Like when I write, left-handed, lots of my hand is resting on the paper.  My fingers really ached after a while and then my wrist.

It seemed natural to start the loop at the top, but often I would find I was starting at the bottom without any intention of doing so.

Ex 0.1 Sheet 1 Pencil Left 'Good' Hand

Ex 0.1 Sheet 1 Pencil Left ‘Good’ Hand

Sheet 2 – Pencil Right ‘Wrong’ Hand

I was surprised when I swopped to my wrong hand how my hand didn’t rest on the paper and it was more natural to begin the ovals at the bottom; both the opposite of using my left ‘good’ side.

Ex 0.1 Sheet 2 Pencil Right 'Wrong' Hand

Ex 0.1 Sheet 2 Pencil Right ‘Wrong’ Hand


Sheet 3 – Biro Left Handed

It was much quicker with my ‘good’ left hand, and it seemed quicker and easier in biro than pencil; perhaps because it flowed more smoothly?

This second sheet with my good hand the ovals are much more uniform, perhaps through the practice of the previous page?

Ex 0.1 Sheet 3 Biro Left 'Good' Hand

Ex 0.1 Sheet 3 Biro Left ‘Good’ Hand


Sheet 4 – Biro Wrong Hand

The second ‘wrong’ hand sheet shows no improvement in shape of uniformity.

I wasn’t tempted in any of the exercises with either hand to join the ovals into joined up writing.

Ex 0.1 Sheet 4 Biro Right 'Wrong' Hand

Ex 0.1 Sheet 4 Biro Right ‘Wrong’ Hand


Exercise: Drawing Big

As the way of drawing is alien to both hands the difference between the two lots of ellipses is much less.  Although it felt more natural to hold something in my left ‘good’ hand, there was little difference in the results.

My arms and back were the part of my body to feel the strain, through the repetition; my arms because of the bigger movements and working large-scale, my back because I was leaning over the flat board.

I would have said previously that I don’t like pencil and other media that smudge and get messy, but I enjoyed the compressed charcoal and working in a large-scale.

Ex 0.1 Drawing Big

Ex 0.1 Drawing Big

Change of plan and change of course!

I’ve decided to change onto the Pre-Degree Drawing course.

It’s not that I don’t love textiles anymore, but more that I want to spend more time concentrating on drawing and printmaking.  I’ve really enjoyed the drawing aspects of the course so far and am really keen to keep improving in this area.  I’m also really enjoying the sketching I’m doing in my spare time and want to develop my drawing skills.

I look forward to lots of new challenges and frustrations no doubt, but practice practice practice!