Before I started the exercises in this section I looked back at my studies on Paul Klee, Picasso and also Van Gogh plus the sketch I have of myself by Robert Lenkiewicz. All 3 artists have very different ways of making marks – each have their own individual style.
Picasso’s marks are very simply and linear – he uses lines in different directions and with either pen or reed to denote shade and texture along with the use of dots in either medium whereas Picasso seems to be more free flowing and much less deliberate. Picasso seems to use a greater variety of marks and in am more random way. Often with Picasso his line drawings were then washed over with paint to create his works with the pen and ink very much a part of the piece.
Paul Klee for me is very minimalist – there is no line or mark that isn’t meant to be whereas when I look at Lenkiewicz he is much more like Picasso in his work.
All 4 artists are very different and each have their individual style that is instantly recognisable.
For EXERCISE 1 the idea was to use a secondary image to create an analogy of an image that had plenty of surface texture. I chose 2 images – the first a random image of a cliff found on Facebook and the second taken from a series of photographs by Daniel Sullivan when he was exploring the Kings Highway in Maui (article was in the Daily Mail online).
I tried to use a variety of marks and also media in these sketches and on different scales too and used a viewing frame to isolate the area I preferred.
The first image gave a huge variety of textures to work with and I used a combination of pencils, pen and crayon and tried to vary my marks as much as I could – for me useful but I prefer simplicity but also note that I am already finding my favourite marks.
On the second image I just concentrated on the rocky road and surrounding land – this is my favoured image but maybe because despite the simplicity of the image it was more difficult in some ways to portray the textures. Initially I just used 2 different brushes with different tones of paint but then felt it needed the sharpness of pencil to add texture to the rocks in places and to add definition to the sharp edges of the road as brush alone left this too soft. I also did 2 versions of this same image with slightly different scales – the larger was easier to portray what I wanted. I came back to this image at Stage 4.
At this point I was still struggling with understanding the feeling of the textures and marks but that came later….
EXERCISE 2 – this really went on from Exercise 1 but using primary sources and finding interesting textures so I stepped outside of my front door for my first set of marks and then found my tub of shells that I collected in Florida a few years ago.
For the first I did first a sketch of my doormat as the texture is very defined and yet also has rough small textures between the raised surfaces. I also did a series of crayon rubbings of the mat and also the brick on the walls, the path and the fence – with the brick I wanted to capture not just the sharpness of the bricks themselves but the smoothness of the grounting between.
For my second 2 pages of sketches (above and below) I found 3 shells in my collection and did a series of sketches and also collage work to try to capture the textures. On the first sketch I used crayons, pencils, pen and also corrugated card and foil – these for me really worked as combined with the sketches I felt I was able to show the shiny relatively smooth areas of one shell in comparison with the more rigid sections. I also tried to show the sharpness of some areas and the smooth but patterned textures on another shell. For the second sketch I decided to work on a larger scale with smaller sketches around it and I also tried collage – I used a base layer of crayon markings and then added bubble wrap to portray the bubbly lumpy surface with added seed beads and sequins. Texturally this really worked and was the one my fiance loved! The sketches around were to try and show the textures between the bumps and also the bumps themselves using different marks.
Overall this was an interesting couple of exercises as it was working from different sources – I found working from the primary source to make an analogy of texture was easier because I could physically feel the object and then it was easier to convey that to paper and with different media and also understood where this was going and what I was trying to do.