Brock, paper, scissors

Finding my creative identity through OCA

1.1 Fractured and dramatic marks

Fractured Marks

Exercise 1

Using the edge of charcoal and scoring quickly across the page in a repetitive manner, these were some of my favourite pieces:

The first piece was in fact my first attempt and what I like about it is the fact that without any real thought about what direction to work in or how to hold the charcoal, just using fast strokes, when I stepped back I saw an image that reminded me very much of my favourite book: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  I could go on to add tails and wooden frames with the edge of the charcoal to make it clearer, but as it stands it looks like the fight of the kites scene I imagine from reading the book.

The second and third pieces were very similar to each other, being quite fluid and making longer strokes.  These involved more of the body moving and felt quite dance like, pushing and pulling in a flowing rhythm.  The second piece started with the charcoal horizontal and pushing away so it ended vertical at the top of the page, the end result is flame-like marks.  I really like the definition of the tips of the ‘flames’.  The third image was in fact the opposite, pulling the charcoal towards myself which created softer marks at the top of the page and darker strokes at the bottom, it reminds me of a flower, similar to a tulip.

I found this exercise really interesting, the way that you don’t set out to draw a certain object, rather you look for something in the marks you’ve made.

Exercise 2

Covering the paper in charcoal marks and then lifting off with a putty rubber:

The first picture was created by erasing along lines that were already created.  This gives the illusion of extra dimension to the marks.  Picture two was created with thinner charcoal, therefore making darker, more defined strokes.  The contrast here when lifting off the charcoal was a lot greater and I found myself working the putty eraser into a thinner shape to lift off in more detailed lines.  With picture two I was drawing with the eraser rather than creating highlights.

Exercise 3

This exercise involved using inks, dip pens and felt pens, then using a brush with water to distort or change the original strokes.  This was my first time using a dip pen and ink and it was a lot different to how I imagined. I thought it would’ve been a lot smoother, definitely something I need to practise in the future.

I used ink, sharpies and felt tips, however, they weren’t water soluble, so the first time I tried to go over with the water there really wasn’t a lot of change. I ended up going back over some of it with different pens to get the water to make the lines bleed the colour to change.  I particularly like the pen marks that changed to a blue-ish tone and the way you can still see the original marks despite the running of the ink.  Another area which really interests me and a technique I hope to use again is splashing water drops onto the image to create circles within circles of different degrees of colour where the natural drying process has made the water dry darker around the edges.

Dramatic Marks

Using a lump of charcoal to completely cover the paper and then removing colour with a putty rubber to create some pale patches, then going over again with a charcoal stick to add new marks, this was the effect:

I love the dense colour of the raw charcoal on the page but I was a little disappointed with the lifting off of the colour as I thought it would create a much brighter and clearer mark.  I then dabbed at the page with the putty eraser rather than sweeping with it, trying to draw and that had a better effect, leaving more of the white showing through like sunbeams showing through trees in a forest.  Adding the thinner charcoal strokes gave a really dramatic feel.


Doing the same exercise with a pencil background was a lot quicker but there really wasn’t a lot of contrast when using the eraser.  The lifted off strokes were easier to create but not so dramatic in colour change.  I added black ink to increase the depth of colour.

%d bloggers like this: