Saturday, 26 March 2011

Exploring Coloured Media

Before experimenting with mark-marking with coloured media I looked with an Internet search typing in "mark making." I came across an artist on the site
 Gorkey was an abstract expressionist from USA. Believed to be born 1904, he hung himself in 1948 after suffering severe psychological trauma. 

I also found this itresting page in

Mark Making and Scribbling:

Mark making is a general term artists use to talk about all sorts of lines and the quality of line in a drawing. Mark making is important in doodle analysis, as it can tell a great deal about a person's state of mind. This can be put together with the content of the doodle.

Lineweight Pressure:

Light lines indicate sensitivity, or a tentative nature - the artist worries about making errors. Medium weight lines suggest a balanced, confident personality. Heavy marks can indicate resolve, strength, and energy. Agression produces overly heavy lines, and the paper may be impressed or torn. Varied lines can indicate instability. Lineweight may also be used, especially in a pencil doodle, to create shading effects, which may have meaning in the context of the image, but not in themselves.

Repeated Lines and Patterns:

Repetition is a common feature of doodles that suggests a methodical, patient approach to tasks. Repetition also increases the significance of a particular motif.

Energetic Marks:

Random, energetic scribbles can indicate a disordered mind, or may be simple space-filling as a product of boredom. Small vigorous scribbles made into a varigated pattern combine energy and impatience with a desire for structure.

Extensive Space-Filling:

Large, complex doodles that have grown almost organically across the page suggest a persistent nature, a love of design and a desire to express ideas. These doodles can sometimes indicate frustrated artistic ability, especially if ornate forms are embedded within them.

Zig Zags:

Some sources suggest that zig-zag lines indicate an experience of harsh reality and a need for comfort. Angular lines are also a feature of many styles of 'tag' graffiti and Manga cartooning, so may be preseny in the doodles of young people who are interested in these art forms.


Water-waves can be highly symbolic depending on the context, representing the water of life, a river, the ocean. The ocean is said to indicate an idle dreamer, though may of course be drawn by lovers of water sports. A curvy sine-wave pattern suggests musicality and natural rhythm. Wavy lines are sometimes drawn to represent long hair, meaning a desire for beauty and femininity (in ones self or a significant other).

My experiments with coloured media started with water colour paints, building up layers of a solitary colour to make deeper tones and in turn a picture.

Oil pastels are a fantastic media for this section as it is as varied as your own imagination. Starting with a scribble of lines I then looked for different ways of filling each section. The pink block in the centre was a white pastel with water colour paint over the top. There is a mixture of hatching and shading and my favorite in this section, Sagraffito where a dark colour was layered on top of the lighter colours, then a pattern scratched off to top surface. 

Doodles with felt tip pens. Very sharp lines and dots.

I used wet watercolour paper, inks and a dip pen for this.
I live the way the ink spreads on the wet page and was surprised how the ink seemed to separate its colour on the paper. The red shows yellows and oranges and the green broke down to yellows and blue. 

The bottom image I used a red ink wash on dry paper. To the left the wash was dabbed on with foil, and the right side I used damp kitchen roll. 

Shading with coloured pencils. These are exercises in a book I have purchased, "The Complete Guide to Coloured Pencil Techniques, by Beverley Johnston". 

For the last page I used inktense watercolour pencils in various shades across the page. I then used 3 different sized brushes with water to make the patterns in the soft pencil. the left of the image I added some darker colour afterwards to resemble a stem. On the right, after using a fan brush with water to make the swirl of pattern, I added a darker shade of wet pencil in the centre of the pattern and a little to make highlights. 

Check and Log

I found the oil pastels to be the most expresive with so many different ways of using the media. Although it is not the best for detailed work. 

I found pencils worked best for the more intricate work along with felt tip pens which gave a rich deep line.  

The Inktense coloured pencils are the media I most enjoyed. They can be used as a normal pencil giving a good shading quality and a vibrant colour when adding water to the tip of the pencil and a rich paint look to the work when brushed with water. I loved the many ways to work with these pencils and how different the effects could be by changing the type of paint brush used to work it. 

Monday, 21 March 2011

Feedback on Assignment 1

My tutor has sent back my work and forwarded the feedback for my assignment, for which I'm very please on the whole. 
Project 1:Natural objects.
"One of the best sheets is the series of little studies of fruits in the coloured pencils and pastels. It seems from looking at this sheet that you are much better with coloured pencils than you are with the pastels. You also need more confidence when you draw with pastels."
I was happy with this sheet and loved the effect I managed with the grapes in pencil. Pastels are the media in which I prefer to use. I felt a little disheartened when I first read my tutors observations of my work but on reflection his comments are fair. So back to my book I purchased a while back, "Pastel Workbook" to complete the 10 lessons Jackie Simmonds teaches. 
Project 2:Man Made Objects.
"This is another set of drawings, which show promise; you are working well with charcoal and exploring tone successfully."
"The overall impression I have of these drawings is that you are finding it difficult to translate your smaller study drawings on to a larger format."
I must agree with the above, although I'm not sure why I work better with charcoal than pastels as both mediums work in similar ways. Reflecting upon this, I think it may be that I'm more confident working in monochrome and on smaller paper, A4 as a preference. 
He goes on to recommend further artists work to look at, learn from and add to my learning log:
Odilon Redon, Chardin, Georges De La Tour, Wayne Theibaud, Giorgio Morandi, Jan De Heem and Richard Diebenkorn.
These artists are all very different and I'm looking forward to researching into their work in more detail. For now I want to get back to the exercises in the course book, as I have been a little slow since sending my first assignment.