Making marks in an expressive way
The first exercise is to make a variety of marks using only different grades of pencil, contained within an 8x8cm window and to represent different words.
First we have fast and slow marks. Interestingly I automatically pressed harder with the fast marks and softer with the slow ones, hence some of the slow marks are barely visible in this photo.
Now marks used to represent the words hard – straight lines, dots, geometric circles, and soft – swirly lines, spirals, shsing created by rubbing with a finger.
Bumpy marks (Loch Ness monster?), sharp arrows and marks to represent the word happy which for me means large happy squiggles which are a bit flower like and a starburst or firework.
Sad marks – a short, smudged line, sad dark downward marks and incomplete circles. Sensuous lines on the other hand are very soft and flowing with tendrils of feeling extending across the paper.
Creating 3 different levels of shading using the same pencil grade for each one. Left to right is HB, 8B and 4B pencils.
Now the same 3 types of shading but I did these within the same window and with a variety of cross hatching, dots,, splodges, curved lines and squiggles.
These initial exercises were interesting in that some grades of pencil lent themselves to certain words; for example the harder F and 2B pencils were very suited to making marks to represent hard, sharp words whereas the soft B’s were well suited to dark emotions but also anything that needed smudging as they could be used with a very light pressure and then finger smudged to soften to a gentle glow.