Reflection: Mark-making techniques

Main findings:

  • Varying the spacing between marks varies the tone (this may be stating the obvious…)
  • Pencils can produce finer, sharper marks than crayons, although this distinction becomes less marked with 6B -9B pencils.
  • Soft hatching with graphite crayons allows the paper structure to come through –> 3D effect.
  • Stippling creates softer gradations of tone due to its being a slower, painstaking technique.
  • Different colours stippled together produce new shades / colours and can “marry” areas of different shades / colours.
  • Bidirectional marks produce more ‘energy’ on the paper because they catch the light in different ways.  One colour can appear as two different shades.
  • Two colours applied using hatching in separate directions can also produce interesting effects, depending on whether they are overlaid, the intensity of application, or if they are applied on different parts of the paper.  Where marks of different colours applied in different directions meet can resemble landscape even with colours that don’t, suggesting that information from marks is perceived as more important than is colour, by the human brain.

Sketchbook pages for this exercise are shown as thumbnails below.  Click on the image to enlarge.

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