This first exercise is about mark making expressively which I understand what it means and in theory it sounds easier than it in fact is at this stage – hard, soft, sharp, bumpy is fine but sensuous, sad and happy was slightly more thought provoking! As suggested I used a variety of pencils ranging from HB to 6B and to 6H plus a comte pencil which is new to me and did variations on each word.
Fast and slow – some of my pencil marks are quite light and hard to photograph clearly. ‘Slow’ was slightly frustrating to do because it is easier to show a fast movement and at this point I accept I am developing my mark making.
Soft and hard – these were definitely easier words to convey and I do like in particular the harder marks and understand how differing marks produce differing effects.
Sharp, bumpy and smooth – these I really liked and feel the research about Van Gogh’s marks really helped as I was thinking about the way he had portrayed different textures or surfaces in his drawings.
Angry/sad (I combined both initially), sad, happy and sensuous – these were definitely the hardest for me as could not initially work out how to express sad just in pencil marks and the same with happy too (some pencil lines are too light to show up clearly in my photograph) so I tried to do marks which when I looked at them made me frown or smile. Sensuous I found slightly easier as for me sensuous more flowing lines and gentle or curvy.
As an extra exercise I tried holding my pencil in different ways such as loosely at the top or firmly and making slow deliberate marks and firmly and not taking the pencil off the page at all plus using my whole arm to control how I did the marks (some quilters use this method to practice free motion quilting). Finally I also did a couple of samples using a combination of short, sharp and hard and long and short lines and 2 final experiments using combination of B and H pencils and different marks. I am going to look at them individually over a couple of days and work out whether they convey perhaps an emotion or just the words in this exercise.
This first exercise has as stated at the beginning been more thought provoking than I expected and certainly a little harder but I do understand the purpose behind it and how it will be of huge benefit for my drawing skills.