Saturday, September 11, 2010

Part One: Project 1 - Stage 3

Wednesday 1st September - Using marks to create surface textures

Cleared my work area and grabbed my computer for research into van Gogh, Klee and Picasso, artists who use mark making within their work.

I remember seeing a drawing by van Gogh a few years ago in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, having never seen his drawings before I was amazed by the pen marks and rhythms he created within the picture. I was inspired at the time to buy some reed pens to use in my own work - will have to dig them out to use in this section!

I used google images, the downside was having to access not only the picture, but also the article in order to check if the work was really by the artist, or whether the artist was just mentioned in the article accompanying the picture. A good source though with thousands of images in one place.

Paul Klee's quote 'taking a line for a walk' really did sum up his drawings, it was as if the pen hit the paper and wasn't lifted until an image was produced. A good sentence to accompany this module.

Whilst looking into Klee's drawings I came across this beautiful image by Gertrude Goldschmidt

Again google images, from a site

I love the simplicity, the clean lines and the unexpected patterns created when one line crosses another.

I liked Paul Klee's paintings also, I looked at Fish Magic - almost a wax resist technique, like a batik.
The painting Parnassum could almost have been created by sticking squares of paper down and paint applied over the top of them.

From the taking a line for a walk approach, I went on to look at more of van Goghs work, both his drawing and his painting.

Starry night: I liked the pen drawing more than the painting - movement and rhythm were created by using directional lines; brush strokes in the case of the painting. Perspective was very simply created by altering the thickness of the lines he drew - thicker and darker lines in the foreground, lighter thinner lines in the background.

From all the movement in van Gogh's work to the simplicity of Picasso.

The Horse by Pablo Picasso
No movement, no busy lines, no colour - but a very beautiful image of a horse, sometimes simple and uncomplicated can produce powerful results.

Mark making, it seems, has been going on for a long time. Marks can evoke emotions, provide movement and create rhythm in a picture.
I created textures and marks over the past few exercises, but looking at these great works of art, has inspired me to continue to work in this way.

Conclusion, I feel that the time spent researching the artists work has been well spent.
Looking at how they have used mark-making in their work helps to make sense of all the mark making exercises I have worked through, and will hopefully prepare me for the next few exercises in this stage.

Part One: Project 1 - Stage 2: Exercise 4

Wednesday 1st September cont - making marks........... other ways to make marks,

Having worked my way through the 'words', I have all the things I need in front of me for this exercise on creating marks using even more techniques.

This exercise seems a little easier than the last one, all the instructions are there to follow - just a little imagination and some time to play with all the materials is all that will be required.

Although with this much help from my may be more difficult!
My cat drinking the painting water
I worked my way through the list of 10 activities, making notes on what was produced and how it was produced - again a good visual diary.
Work in progress
Rubbings: Put a textured surface under the paper and rub over it with a coloured crayon.

Rubbings 1: wax crayon rubbed over the coarse side of a grater.
Rubbings 1
Rubbings 2: Wax crayon rubbed over the fine side of a grater
Rubbings 2
Rubbings 3: Wax crayon rubbed over a sieve.
Rubbing 3
I like the rubbings. I used newsprint paper so that the texture would show up well.


Wax resist: Make marks with wax crayons and wash over them with watercolour or ink.

Wax resist 1: Using black crayon over white paper. Yellow ink wash applied over the top.
The black crayon 'resisted' the ink.
Wax resist 1
Wax resist 2: Yellow ink applied to paper, candle wax scribbled on top, finally orange ink washed over the top. This may have been more dramatic if I had used a red ink to wash over the top. Although I like the effect this one made.
Wax resist 2
 Wax resist 3: White paper, white crayon - green ink washed over the top. This one shows up the technique well.
Wax resist 3
There is lots of scope for using this technique - especially if using clear candle wax over different coloured layers of paint.

Bleach: Use undiluted bleach on coloured tissue paper - try ink and felt tips as well.

Bleach 1: Bleach applied to blue tissue paper. This left traces of a yellow colour where the bleach was used.
Bleach 1
Bleach 2: Calligraphy ink on blue tissue paper - bleach sprayed over the top.
Grey and yellow areas were left where the bleach was sprayed.
Bleach 2
Bleach 3: Bleach applied to calligraphy ink. This left a sepia colour behind.
Bleach 3
Bleach 4: Bleach applied to black felt tip pen.
This was the best result - areas of white were left when alot of bleach was used. Areas of purple where less bleach was used.
Bleach 4
The bleach removed colour from ink, paint and paper. New colours appeared where the old one was removed. A nice technique.

Block printing: Experiment with combs, bottle tops, etc. Brush paints or inks on their surfaces and print on the paper.

Block printing 1: Brown acrylic paint applied to the edge of a bottle top. The printing produced a nice repeat pattern of circles - as the paint dried out the print got fainter.
Block printing 1
Block printing 2: Brown acrylic paint applied to the side of a bottle top. Again, the print got fainter as the paint dried out. But the print resembled tree trunks - unexpected result.
Block printing 2
Block printing 3: Brown acrylic paint applied to the lid of the paint tube. This produced an interesting pattern.
Block printing 3
I liked the unexpected results from this technique - it seems to be a more spontaneous way to recreate a texture.

Fixative transfer: Fixative was sprayed onto a newspaper image, it was then placed face down on a white paper, then rubbed on the back with a pencil. I had limited success with this technique - although it could make an interesting background.
Fixative transfer

Stencils: Cut out simple shapes in card and experiment with different marks - stippling, spraying, sponging.

Stencil 1: Watercolour paint sponged over the stencil. The colours build-up and change where they overlap.
Stencil 1
Stencil 2: Red gouache paint splattered over the stencil. The colour became darker where the stencil overlapped.
Stencil 2
 This was a good technique. Could be used to make repeat images and interesting patterns.                                                        -------------------------------------

Crayon scratch: Build up different colour layers with crayons. Scratch through the layers with a sharp tool to reveal underlying colours.

Crayon scratch 1: Multi colours of crayon layered on top of each other. This was then scratched into. This didn't really work.
Crayon scratch 1
Crayon scratch 2: Black crayon coloured over purple crayon and scratched into. Again, this had a limited success.
Crayon scratch 2
This might have worked better with better quality crayons. It did create interesting textures though.

Combing: Paint on a layer of gouache quickly and try scratching marks or shapes into it while it is still wet.
A thick layer of blue paint was scratched into with the back of a paint brush. This created an interesting texture.

Rubbing away: Using a soft pencil, scribble freely over the page. Lift out marks and shapes with a rubber.
I used a 9B pencil and after covering the area of paper - I used a stencil and an eraser.
Rubbing away

Collage: Making marks by using scraps of torn or cut papers glued on to a surface.

Collage 1: Using torn strips of lining paper. A nice base to draw on.
Collage 1
Collage 2: Using torn strips of envelope. Nice surface, words appear at random.
Collage 2
I enjoyed the creativity and freedom of this exercise, and also enjoyed the results in most cases.

My least favourite activities were the fixative transfer and scratching through the layers of crayon. I felt I didn't really achieve the full potential of these methods. Maybe the crayons weren't of high enough quality? Maybe I didn't rub the newsprint at the right time? I will try and use these methods within a future exercise and give them a second chance.

I enjoyed the others much more, and consequently enjoyed their results.
I liked the wax resist technique, next time I may use wax rubbings as the resist to discover new textures.
I had also forgotten how much I enjoy printing - for this exercise I only produced results from a bottle top with acrylic paint - already I could see textures for producing interesting tree bark using this method.

I'm now looking at the creative mess infront of me - I moved into the kitchen to complete this exercise. The table is full, the floor is full and the cats are being 'helpful'. Time to clear away for Stage 3.
'Help' - when you least need it!
Conclusion for today, it's alot easier to create all the mess in one session, less clearing up to do and you don't have to keep getting out ALL the equipment. I think it lead to a much more creative and enjoyable session.

The finished pages:
Stencil, fixative transfer and crayon scratch.
Collage and wax resist
Block printing, combing and rubbing away
Bleach and rubbings

Friday, September 10, 2010

Part One: Project 1 - Stage 2: Exercise 3 cont... words

Wednesday 1st September - making marks continued.... and now to use words!

I wrote a list of the words that I was going to use and the best technique to portray them last night.

A fresh day and I think a fresh eye for completing this section.

Having laid out all the materials I need - there is barely space to experiment - good job there is floor space too!

Fast: Smooth cartridge paper, red felt pen.
The pen was moved quickly over the paper, speeding the movements up as the pen moved down the page.

Slow: Waercolour paper, soft pastel.
The repeat application of soft pastel, followed by blending with fingers, produced a slow, gentle graduation of colours, from yellow to red.

Happy: Smooth cartridge paper, pink soft pastel.
The pastel was applied to wet paper, this allowed the pastel to move freely across the page in happy squiggles.

Sad: Smooth cartridge paper, fine stick of charcoal.
The charcoal was applied heavily at the top of the square and smudged down.

Sensuous: Watercolour paper, thick stick of charcoal.
Soft, curving lines were drawn on the paper, these were smoothed with a finger afterwards.

Hard: Smooth cartridge paper, black felt tip pen.
The page was covered in layers of black pen. This produced a flat black area.

Soft: Smooth cartridge paper, paynes grey watercolour paint.
After wetting the paper. Dilute paynes grey watercolour was dabbed onto the surface. This produced a soft, mottled background.

Delicate: Smooth cartridge paper, watercolour paint.
The paint was applied with a natural sponge. The colours mixed with each other on the paper producing a soft, delicate effect.

Sharp: Smooth cartridge paper, black calligraphy ink.
A sharpened stick was dipped into the ink and it was flicked across the surface of the paper. This produced sharp, spiky lines.

Smooth: Smoth cartridge paper, pencil crayons.
A smooth finish was produced by using even strokes of the pencil, cross-hatching and blending with fingers.

Bumpy: Cartridge paper, undiluted watercolour paint.
A blunt stick was used to apply the paint to the paper. This produced a bumpy, blobby page.
Some of the techniques that had produced beautiful results the night before lost their 'immediacy' when trying to re-create them - my sponging became blotchy rather than delicate. I had to re-try some of the techniques out on different papers - sometimes a lower quality paper worked better, at least it did when I was using wet paper and pastels.

But.... with time, trial and error I completed the task - and yes some of my ideas had changed along the way. The 'sharp' exercise I had intended to use a medium stick of charcoal on cartridge paper, this changed on the day to smooth cartridge paper, black calligraphy ink applied with a stick. A fresh eye meant a fresh idea.

Conversely some ideas I stayed with. The 'fast' exercise I intended and used felt tips and smooth paper, it was the best use of materials for the word.

I feel good that I have completed this exercise and not left part of it to finish later - would I have ever come back to it?

I think I spent a long time on this section, so it feels like it has been hard work.

Conclusion - hard work over, can now look forward to completing the next part!

The finished pages of this exercise:
Sensuous, soft, smooth, happy and sad
Bumpy, sharp, slow, hard, fast and delicate.

Part One: Project 1 - Stage 2: Exercise 3 cont...

Tuesday 31st August - making marks continued....using a variety of materials.

I spent yesterday collecting as wide a range of papers as I could find........

Newsprint, white paper bag, lining paper, envelopes, papyrus, coloured & white tissue paper, brown paper bag, newspaper, handmade paper, acetate, tracing paper, watercolour paper, sugar paper and foils.

I am endeavouring to try out a range of media and tools on these papers, seeing what marks will be created on the different surfaces.

Also hoping that I will be able to get to the stage of making marks in relation to the words. I'll see how much I can get done in this session.

Acrylic paint / foil: Acrylic paint applied to the surface of foil, drawn into with the end of a paintbrush.
Foil , acrylic paint
This was a nice effect - lots of texture with the foil showing through.

Watercolour pencil / newsprint: Watercolour pencils coloured onto the dry paper and water added. Then drawn onto the wet surface again.
newsprint, watercolour pencils
This worked best once the paper was wet. That was when the lines drawn were darker, smoother and blended well.

Pencil crayon / tissue paper: Pencil crayon drawn onto the surface of the tissue paper.
Tissue paper, pencil crayon
The pencil crayon worked well, it was a nice smooth surface to work with, but, as the paper was delicate, the movements of the pencil had to be delicate.

Wax crayon / lining paper: scribbling
lining paper, wax crayon
Wax crayon worked best on this rough surface. The colours showed up well, better than a completely smooth surface.

Wax crayon / papyrus: colouring the paper
papyrus paper, wax crayon
This didn't really work as a colouring medium on this type of paper. Hardly any colour showed up.

Pencil crayon / papyrus: drawing on the surface.
papyrus paper, pancil crayon
The texture of the paper helped to hold the colour from the pencil - producing nice thick dark lines.

Pencil crayon / thick brown paper: colouring
Thick brown paper, pencil crayon
Light colours showed up well on this rough surface.

Ink / white paper bag: Ink applied with a stick
White paper bag, ink
The paper was smooth and nice to use. It was easy to create interesting lines with the stick dipped in ink But the colour became dull as it dried,

Ink / lining paper: splatter
Lining paper, ink
Ink worked well on this surface, splattering creates a nice texture with unpredictable marks - could be used with a mask or a stencil to control the area the paint will reach.

Ink / newspaper: Ink painted onto the surface of the paper.
Newspaper, ink
I really like this effect. The colour is translucent - you can still see the typeface underneath. I think this would make a really nice ground to draw on.

Ink / papyrus: Ink painted in lines on the papyrus paper.
Papyrus paper, ink
The ink showed up well on the surface of the papyrus. The texture of the paper showed through and the ink dried with a shiny finish.

Watercolour pencil / cartridge paper: pencils were used dry on the surface and then brushed with water.
Cartridge paper 120gsm, watercolour pencils
The colours showed up well. As the water was added the colours blended. If red was next to yellow - orange appeared. These will be good for outdoor sketching as they are light and easy to transport.

Watercolour pencil / thick brown paper: Pencils drawn onto brown paper
Thick brown paper, watercolour pencils
Although the roughness of the paper meant the colour showed up well, the surface worked best when wet. The colours were darker and smoother.

Ink / thin white paper: Ink applied with a stick.
Thin white paper, ink
The stick was dipped in ink and flicked across the surface. This created nice thin, jagged lines.

Acrylic paint / tissue paper: Undiluted acrylic paint brushed onto tissue.
Tissue paper, acrylic paint
This is not the best surface to paint onto - but it would work well if glued down first.

Acrylic paint / acetate: Acrylic paint splattered onto the surface of acetate.
Acetate, acrylic paint
The paint was splattered onto the clear sheet. It created fantastic textural marks.

Acrylic paint / acetate: Paint stippled and scratched on acetate.
Acetate, acrylic paint
Thick acrylic paint stippled onto acetate. While wet the paint was scratched into - creating some interesting textural marks.

Acrylic paint / newsprint: Dilute acrylic paint applied to newsprint.
Newsprint, acrylic paint
Definately not the best surface for acrylic paint. The paper needs to be much heavier.

Handmade paper / acrylic paint: Washes of dilute acrylic paint applied to surface
Handmade paper, acrylic paint
When the paper was wet it was hard to manage. Once dry it looks interesting, the texture of the paper shows through.

Acrylic paint / lining paper: Dilute acrylic painted onto lining paper - complementary colour drawn onto the wet surface.
Lining paper, acrylic paint
The end of a paintbrush was dipped into dilute purple acrylic paint and drawn onto the wet surface. The paint bled into the yellow background. This created really nice feathery lines where the paint mixed.

Acrylic paint / white paper bag: Dilute acrylic brushed onto surface of the paper.
White paper bag, acylic paint
The paint dried very quickly, darker colours were made when the brushstrokes overlapped.

Acrylic paint / white paper bag: Undilute acrylic paint brushed onto surface of the paper.
White paper bag, acrylic paint
The undilute paint was dabbed onto the surface of the paper - this created a brighter colour of paint when dry

Wax crayon / white paper bag: Using wax resist.
White paper bag, acrylic paint
Nice textural lines appear when using the wax resist.

Acrylic paint / papyrus: Undilute acrylic brushed onto surface of the papyrus.
Papyrus paper, acrylic paint
Using the paint undiluted created lots of texture. Nicer result when the paint was diluted.

Soft pastel / lining paper: scribbling with pastel.
Lining paper, soft pastel
The 'bite' of the paper helps the pastel adhere to the surface. Good paper to draw on with almost any medium.

Soft pastel / envelope: Pastel drawn onto the inside of an envelope.
Envelope, soft pastel
I liked the print from the inside of the envelope showing through into the drawing. Good surface to draw on.

Soft pastel / envelope: Pastel drawn on the outside of the envelope.
Envelope, soft pastel
Scribbled and blended the pastel onto the envelope. I like the white line that appears - where the envelope had been glued down.

Soft pastel / envelope:  Pastel drawn onto surface of envelope.
Envelope, soft pastel
After blending the pastel onto the surface, I was able to draw on top of it. The envelope was a very versatile ground to draw on.

Acrylic paint / tracing paper: painting dilute acrylic on tracing paper.
Tracing paper, acrylic paint
This didn't really work well - paper crinkled when wet paint was applied.

Felt pen / newsprint: Scribbled.
Newsprint, felt pen
The felt pens worked well on the smooth surface of the paper.

Felt pen / tracing paper: Drawn onto the surface.
Tracing paper, felt pen
This was a good, smooth surface for the pen. The colour became duller and more transparent as it dried.

Charcoal / brown paper bag: scrumpled bag drawn on with chunky charcoal.
Brown paper bag, charcoal
Interesting marks form on the folds of the paper. Holds the colour well.

Soft pastel / brown paper bag: Scrumpled bag drawn on with soft pastel.
Brown paper bag, soft pastel
Again like the charcoal - interesting marks form on the folds of the paper and the colour shows up well.

Soft pastel / handmade paper: Soft pastel drawn onto the handmade paper.
Handmade paper, soft pastel
Pastel looks really nice on the handmade paper. The texture of the paper shows up well.
Unfortunately requires alot of fixative, or it may smudge and be rubbed off the surface.

Soft pastel / newspaper: Soft pastel drawn onto newspaper.
Newspaper, soft pastel
Nice to work on, the print of the newspaper shows through.
Not many layers of pastel could be used due to the smooth finish on the paper.

Soft pastel / papyrus: drawn onto surface of the papyrus.
Papyrus, soft pastel
Worked best drawn on the surface, texture of the paper shows through. I didn't really like the effect produced when smudged into the surface.

Oil pastel / corrugated cardboard: Pastel was drawn onto surface of the cardboard.
Corrugated card, oil pastel
This had lots of texture, colour showed up well. The corrugations on the cardboard produced some dark shadows. 

I managed to use all the papers with all the media I had in front of me. I created an enormous mess but feel I am closer to 'knowing' my materials than I was before I started the exercise.

I hadn't used some of the papers before - like papyrus - so I was very interested in these results. Felt tips worked beautifully on this surface, as did watered down acrylic paint and pencil crayon. The texture of the paper helped achieve a great depth of colour in the pencil crayon - lots of 'bite'. Also when used with inks - the surface texture showed through.

Sometimes a technique didn't appear to 'work' - handmade paper with very wet acrylic paint for example, produced a wet soggy unmanageable piece of paper. When it had dried however - the colours of the paint were clear and bright, the grain of the paper showed through - this was a nice effect.

All of the effects tried out produced a good result - it is my reference table for future projects now, and can always be added to.

Having finished this stage I am now looking at all my work spread out across the floor, wondering which word is best described by which technique, which media, which paper. I am going to jot down some ideas and compare the ideas with my finished exercise.

I would love to skip straight to exercise 4 at this stage - but somehow I know it will be harder to come back to this part later.

Conclusion - should have set my timer tonight - feel exhausted and know that tomorrow I still have to tackle the words. If I had had all the materials in the last session I would have saved alot of time - and enjoyed this part more. Although I have produced an awful lot of samples by spending the extra time.... so maybe the extra time was well spent?

Some of the finished pages from this exercise:
Finished page showing a range of marks

Finished page showing a range of marks

finished page showing a range of marks

Finished page showing a range of marks