This exercise I fully admit to having really enjoyed – the idea was trying using a variety of other ways of making marks and this gave great freedom.
The only one out of the suggested list I am unable to do right now is using Fixative transfer because of not yet having the necessary fixative spray but I will be adding that at a later date as I am intrigued by its method.
The first method I tried was using bleach, ink and then felt tip (my favoured Sharpie) on tissue paper – the latter clear definite marks that can be very controlled in application (and varied depending on thickness of brush with the ink). The bleach I liked because I liked to use the brush until it was almost dry without reloading as it varied the tones and also the results were not immediately obvious plus like the ink you could vary the thickness and therefore the effects of the marks by varying the brushes or applicator used (I am getting some more dark tissue paper so will be adding to my samples of this).
Crayon scratch – something I had never done before and admit to not being entirely sure whether I like it. I realised minimum of 5 or 6 layers of crayon and found the light orange, green or pink worked best as base layer but slightly disappointed that more layers were not apparent as I scratched – I expected more of a multi-layer effect but still useful technique to know and its uses may become apparent at a later date.
The left hand side of the paper I just tried different marks on wet paper using ink – I do like it when the ink blurs a little but think I hit a bit of a rut here as my marks seem very ‘samey’ to before. The right hand side is using a method I am still not happy with – crayon with paint over – I tried one and 2 layers of water colour paint and for me it is simply not clear enough to show the marks clearly.
Firstly here I tried using very thick gouache in 3 different colours and whilst they were wet very quickly scraped marks into them using my favourite quilting tool (a ‘Purple Thang’) which has a sharp and blunt end and this gave me great control over the marks and variation in the width and I do love the different tones too. The right hand page is where I got out of the earlier rut – for these stamped marks I used the edge of a stamp (as in Exercise 3), a bottle top, the edge of a lego piece (am getting some more out of the loft now!) and also the lid of one of the gouache tubes which produced great circular marks. Again the stamping is something I will add to as I find more objects to try with.
This page was another try with wax and paint but this time using a candle – it worked better than the crayon but the candle I had was quite large so was not able to do smaller designs. Thinking now as I write I may trying using melted wax on another sheet of paper and see how this works and what marks it produces – being very careful of safety of course.
Crayon rubbings – one very cold day and a lot of fun on a walk! Really effective marks and great variety – I loved the top of the fence post and also the drain cover (top right) but also the differing marks produced by tree barks and fences was just lovely. I did extra and have used them in the collage sample and also in my general sketch book as mixed with fabrics and other papers they produced great textures. I admit I will be picking up a small extra sketchbook and some cheap crayons to take out with me along with my other main sketchbook in future – a short walk you know so well can be incredibly interesting when looked at with fresh eyes,
Stencils – again something I had a lot of fun with. I kept it simple with a circular shape, a moon type shape, square and leaf and also just green and black paint. I do not have spray bottle as yet so used cling film, kitchen cloth and a toothbrush to sponge, brush and splatter marks into the stencils – just 3 every day things produced a really good variety of marks and some I think are very expressive or very textural.
These were 2 larger samples of the thick gouache and scraping away marks – this time I used a decorating tool with a wide edge and again my Purple Thang. The decorating tool over a larger area produced very expressive wavy and sharper marks and I am aware could be used to produce very thick marks or very fine … it is no longer in the decorating draw but has been snaffled into my art draw. I was really surprised at the marks but also realised with larger painted pieces you have to work very quickly and wipe your scraper to get the best result (more than one got binned as dried too fast). The Purple Thang over a larger area I liked but this one does show that I didn’t work quite quick enough or went over the marks too much as the paint dried a little. As can be seen I also added a little green into the black which looking now it has fully dried produces lovely highlighted areas of the marks.
This sample simply involved scribbling over the page using a soft pencil (I used 5B) and then using a rubber to rub marks out – I used a rubber with a sharp edge and also used the long edge of it so I could get a variety of marks. The only real problems were I think the pencil needs to be darker to show the marks and that circular marks with the rubber I had were not very clear but on that point a different rubber would work well. The marks are effective and I love the different tones too of them – depending how much you rub out also gives variation on the marks too.
Lastly collage – something I have never really enjoyed before but because of the previous exercises and looking at this from mark making and textiles point of view I now think I understand its purpose and did enjoy it. I used some of my crayon rubbings cut into small pieces along with scraps of fabric, old thread from my quilting thread jar, sweet wrappers and sequins and tried to keep very defined lines and produce as expressive marks as I could whilst also thinking of textiles. Interesting sample for marks to do and I have done a further collage in my sketchbooks too to see how this collage would relate to one of my interests.
Even though at this point I have completed the exercise I have, like the previous exercise left a couple of blank pages in my sketchbook to add further samples throughout this assignment.