Project 1, Exercise 1: Expressive Lines and Mark

This exercise was spread over a number of days with a different emotion drawn on each day.  As I have a tendency to work quite detailed and small, I wanted to keep the marks as bold and gestural as I could, as well as trying different media.  I also decided right at the start to work only in black so I didn’t have to think about colour and emotions; I could concentrate on the mark only.

My first emotion was Anger.

Clockwise from top left:

  • I am trying to portray my anger when I lash out at random; making sharp, barbed comments; and, not thinking about the consequences.  I made ink splatters using chopsticks to throw the ink, then making  make angry streak marks with the ends and sides of the chopsticks.  .
  • I then used compressed charcoal to show how my anger is often a result of pent-up frustration.  That feeling of not being about to release, then suddenly my emotions get the better of me and I vent my anger.  Heavy pressure was applied to the charcoal and suddenly release.
  • When I am angry a person or thing becomes the focus of my anger and all my emotions are directed at that one issue.  I used willow charcoal, both end and side.
  • Finally in this series, a pen drawing shows when my anger starts with something small and then spirals out of control.

The next emotion was Joy.

Clockwise from top left:

  • One of my greatest joys is to get up very early and go out with my partner, often to the coast, and being able to walk together by the sea when no one else is around.  I used a pair of chopsticks still attached at the top (from a local noodle restaurant) and printed the marks with oil paint and printing medium.  I looked at the image and did not want to add anything else as for me it perfectly conveyed that feeling of joy.
  • The next two images express joy building and welling up inside me.    The first is a print of the spatula used to mix the paint and medium; the second is the print roller.  In the second image the vertical bar just off centre and the triangles at the top are accidents caused by protective paper underneath the printing paper.  I liked the result even though it was unintentional.
  • The final image is the joy I feel when listening to music – the rhythm and movement of the notes, the dance-like qualities of the sounds.  It is made using prints of the chopsticks – sides, ends, etc.  There are also prints of the finger-ends of the latex gloves I was wearing.

The third emotion was Calm.  This was the most difficult for me to portray as I just kept coming back to gentle waves!

Clockwise from top left:

  • The first image is of gentle waves using a wax water-soluble crayon, end and sides.
  • In this image I wanted to show that lightness of touch you feel when you are very calm.  The first strokes were too heavy and it is the vertical strokes that work best.  I used diluted ink applied with a large brush.
  • This shows the chaos gradually fading into a calmer place.  Oil pastels, both end and side.
  • The final marks in pen convey things gradually becoming calmer.  The most success drawing on this page is the circles which are heavy and dark on the outside, gradually fading to the calm of the white page in the centre.

The final emotion was Anxiety.

Clockwise from top left:

  • When I get anxious I become hesitant and then pull back.  The drawing should be viewed from right to left – marks suggesting I am hesitant, cannot quite make my mind-up and then I pull back from the choice.  Oil pastels were used for these marks.
  • The next two sheets show how my anxiety starts from something quite insignificant and my thought processes spiral out of control.  Both are drawn with compressed charcoal.
  • The final sheet is similar in showing how a small thing can be built into something much bigger by thinking about it again and again.  I used Conte sticks for these marks.

I found this exercise very useful.  Some of the marks worked better that others and I feel overall Anger and Calm were the more successful..  I think I over-thought some of the responses and this probably made them less successful.  The exercise also enabled me to try out different media and helped keep my marks big and bold.  Some of my marks were printed or put on with a brush so called into question what is drawing?  I decided not to worry about that issue at this stage and to just experiment as I am sure I will find my own answer as the course progresses.

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Author: gbond1104

Studying Drawing 1 as my first course on a BA (Hons) in Painting

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