I decided to focus in on a small part of each object so that I could concentrate on the texture.
Clockwise from top left:
- This is the edge of a loofah sponge, drawn in ink. I used a thin ink pen and tried to bring out the thin, rough elements of the texture and the spikiness of the fibres.
- This shows the soft cord attached to the loofah sponge, used for hanging it up in the shower. This is drawn in a soft pencil to match the softness of the cord. Whilst soft, the cord was solid and I used shading to indicate this element.
- An edge of a ceramic vase with ridges is the next drawing, in soft pencil with a paper blender. I found a smooth surface the most difficult to depict as the pencil picked up the texture of the paper; the blender was used to blend the tones and rub the pencil into the paper to create a smoother appearance.
- This is black bamboo in Conte crayon. The surface of this is somewhat waxy with small area of rough and different pressures on the crayon helped to bring out this texture.
I then drew the loofah sponge again this time in white ink on black paper just to see the effect. It gives a more lacy appearance to the loofah and I think I prefer the original drawing.
Whilst I was happy with the drawings and they did convey the texture of the objects I kept thinking something was missing. Texture is made up of both the appearance of the object and what we feel to the touch. I therefore repeated the exercise, with the drawings this time trying to convey what the texture feels like. I closed my eyes and run my finger across the surface and then tried to convey the sensation.
Clockwise from top left:
- Loofah sponge, wide-nib pen with ink splatter. As my finger moved across the surface, it would come up against a fibre, stop and then jump forwards again. I have tried to convey this in the line, with added ink splatters to show the feeling of the pin-pricks on my finger when fibres are sticking out.
- Cord, wide and narrow ink pen. The cord felt soft and solid at the same time and I could feeling the individual threads in the ply of the cord. The soft wave forms indicate the soft folds in the cord with the repeating narrow lines showing I could feel the individual threads.
- Ceramic vase, ink smears. Again, the most difficult to represent, with the curve of the smear representing the curve of the vase.
- Bamboo, wax crayon. Wax crayon was used to convey the waxy feel of the surface. It is difficult to see in the photograph but the wax crayon is thicker near the edge of the ridge and then slips away.
I think these drawings are quite successful in conveying the texture and I would never have thought of drawing in this way before the exercise.
I moved onto the experiments with frottage. I used an 8B pencil on A3 70gsm paper to take rubbings of things around the house.
The list includes lino, paving slabs, cheese grater, leaves, file, camera lens cap, Kilner jar, bubble wrap, bird feeder mesh, wood, embossed mirror and picture frames, tiles, paint roller tray, wicker basket, etc.
Before I began this exercise I would never have thought there were so many different textures around the house. I am really happy with the result and especially like the two text rubbings from the Kilner jar and lens cap. It has started me thinking about how I could used frottage in images.