Project 1 Stage 2 Making marks in an expressive way


Exercise 1.

For this exercise I cut a simple 8 cm x 8 cm square out of a piece of thick card to use as a stencil, I then worked within the stencil using various graphite pencils to create a range of marks. I picked 6 words from the list provided and tried to recreate the feeling of each word on paper.  Some of them, like fast and smooth, ended up with both attempts looking similar; however, I was very pleased with the results of bumpy and sharp, I feel that these have a clear difference between them.

Artists MarksI then continued on in pencil to look at how famous artists have used marks within their pieces. I looked at pieces by van Gogh, Klee, Picasso and my personal favorite Klimt. I discovered that van Gogh liked to use broken lines, and lines of mixed colours, in some of his pieces this seems to give a feeling of movement, for example in ‘Starry Night’ it feels like the sky is swirling around. Klee seems use much more blocky designs, the shapes he uses to create fish scales really stand out.  Picasso’s marks seem like little pieces of art, or separate drawings, in their own right, and Klimt’s marks seem to give the feel of textiles and printed fabrics, I could imagine walking into a fabric shop and buying something with one of his patterns on.

Exercise 2 – is a tonal study I have shown seperartly.

Exercise 3.


For this exercise I decided to go a bit mad and tried making marks with all the different mediums I had to hand, this included:

  • Watercolor paint in tubes
  • Watercolour pencils
  • Acrylic paint
  • Gouache paint
  • Gel pens
  • Oil pastels
  • Charcoal
  • Wax Crayons

I felt most comfortable with the watercolour paints as I have used these a lot before, I created different marks by working on both wet and dry paper with both neat and watered down paint, I also used granulation, texture and iridescent fluids as well as salt. Using very watery paint on wet paper gave a lovely soft effect where colours blended together easily, but using neat paint on dry paper produced a rougher, scratchy effect where colours would stay separate. The salt, texture fluid, and granulation fluid caused a grainy, spotty effect once the paint had dried and the iridescent fluid left beautiful sparkly patches. Even just adding more water to paint already on the paper created different marks and tones within the sketch.

Watercolour pencils, charcoal and oil pastels all seemed to give quite similar results. The charcoal and pastels could easily be smudged with a finger, whereas the watercolour pencils could be smudged with water but left a more delicate design.

Wax crayons created some interesting effects, and could create very different marks depending on how sharp or blunt the crayon was, or even the strength of the colour – with some being much more visible than others.

Gel pens created very thin and fine marks, it would be very time consuming to cover a large area with these, the colours are vibrant but are very difficult to work in lighter or darker tones as they can be mixed or altered.

Acrylic paint and gouache can be used very much like watercolours to give similar marks, however the acrylics can also easily be built up into a physically textural design and create very interesting marks when mixed directly on the paper with white paint.

I feel I’ve managed to produce a helpful record of the kind of marks I can make with various mediums for future reference, to extend this I’ve also tried working on different papers, as shown below, please excuse the train shape I have two little boys to occupy at the same time!Different Papers


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