Exercise – Mark Making 2

Samples of students drawings from mark making session using homemade brushes/tools and a variety of medium.

Experimenting with drawing tools, exploring what they can do helps to build a visual vocabulary.  Not only that, it builds confidence so we start to take control of the process, yes unexpected things do and will happen but experience and knowledge enables us to deal with these when they happen and make decisions on how to proceed.

The more you get to know your tools/medium and the variety of marks that they make, the better, more interesting and exciting your drawing will become. As well as learning to enjoy and have fun with drawing.

For this exercise look out anything you think could be used to create a range of marks.  Try making your own tools or brushes out of found materials.  This could involve using natural objects or manmade, be creative in what you bring together.  To your left you can see examples of handmade brushes and tools.

Now use these tools to draw with. Try them with a variety of media.For example Indian Ink, charcoal powder/crushed charcoal, graphite powder, paints. Don’t forget to explore adding water. Wetting the brush or the paper first or adding water once the marks have been created.

Experiment with the way you hold the handmade brush, does this make a difference to the marks produced.

Look at the quality of the different marks you’ve made, the strength, variety of tone, thickness, and textures you’ve created.

It might look a mess in places but search out the unexpected, the bits you find pleasing.  You can always edit a drawing and somethines this can be quite brutal. Take a picture, put a frame around or cut out the elements you’ve selected. This is what I did with the students work shown in the slideshow above.  Don’t they look interesting and inspiring?

I will be showing you later how to put these extracted pieces together in book form.