Drawing one Part one Project Mark making

Mark making technniques

1)Holding the drawing implement:


2) Practising with various drawing media

charcoal and conte crayon applied in differing strengths:


compressed charcoal and pastel:


charcoal pencil, black conte and aquarelle:


Fountain pen, biro and water soluble pastel:


wax crayon, oil pastel and felt tip:





A dream:


Mark making techniques  Looking at techniques and materials

IMG_9459Marks made with biro, pencils,charcoals, ink on pen or on felt tip,finger or wood,wax crayon, oil pastel, rubber, felt tip and wax candle.


Stippling and Hatching


Using Charcoal


The fireguard in three forms of charcoal:


Line and Other Marks


Line and other marks using other media such as ink and stick, needle and syringe,oil pastel a rubber band as a drawing implement and finger dipped in ink:


Which drawing tools work best for different kinds of mark making?

Holding pens and pencils

Holding the pen near its top produces lighter and less controlled lines.

large gestural marks are variable in thickness, usually curved and sweeping although I did manage some that curled back on themselves.

Pressing on the pen or pencil lightly produces fine light and wobbly lines, pressing hard produces dark, thicker and on the whole straighter lines.


This was a little forced,in my mind in order to doodle it is necessary to think about something else. It was interesting however how the doodles themselves were dictated by the medium in which I was drawing, biro and felt tip producing harsh lines and charcoal, fountain pen and pencil softer lines. I love fountain pen and pencil for their old fashioned qualities, so I am swayed by my present opinions.

Line and Other marks

Mark making techniques

Cross hatching is neat and covers large areas but it necessary to be careful that the direction does not change with the shape of the object unless it is following its curves, as this confuses the eye—but it is probably better to hatch at 90o than all in one direction. I did not find it easy to follow the curvature of a curved object.

Stippling is time consuming but probably good for areas of water where the shade is interspersed with patches of light.

I like the soft block shading of charcoal or pencil which covers large areas quickly and has no defined direction of its own.

Using charcoal

Charcoal I don’t like on the whole–it is dirty and smudgy and when you have finished (if it is not smudged all over the page and clothes ) it rubs off onto the next page-I am using hairspray to fix it. THe thin charcoal breaks easily and the thicker compressed charcoal is too thick for smaller pictures (see drawings of fireguard). It is however, good for covering larger areas of paper and can be quite soft and atmospheric, although not good for drawing small detail or very fine lines, its tone can be easily varied with changing pressure. Charcoal pencil is less smudgy and gives greater control.

Line and other marks

Calligraphy pen –I like this, it gives clear clean marks even when split.

Syringe and needle–Splodges making thick and thin marks depending on how fast the syringe plunger is pushed -I enjoyed spreading a spilt area of ink with needle or a twig.

Twigs- I like the marks made both by the firm end of a twig and the fronds of a pine twig, and also the marks made by dipping a rubber band into ink which gave thick regular curved lines and small blocks.

Finger dipped in ink also good in varying size of mark. Also easily made smudges and blurs by pulling the ink with the finger.

The marks made by using wax crayons under pen and ink or pencil crayon are also interesting.

I am not keen on oil pastel or wax crayon because there is insufficient feeling of flow in the medium, although the colours are good.


Drawing One Part One Research point and check and log Van Gogh

Research Point

Look at the mark making of Van Gogh and the expressive way it is used. Make notes on the type of marks employed.

“Cottages with a Woman Working in the Foreground”, May, 1890. Musée d’Orsay, stored at the Musée du Louvre, Paris.  sourced on line (November 2013) from: http://www.vangoghgallery.com/catalog/Drawing/853/Cottages-with-a-Woman-Working-in-the-Foreground.html

There are Van Gogh’s typical swirls of short sharp (?pen) marks depicting the trees behind the buildings. The roofs of the buildings are drawn in dark outline and the shape of the roof is highlighted by dark lines that follow the angle of the roof. Two of the roofs are coloured in with block shading in dark pen or pencil and one roof has overlying lines which follow the line of its irregular shape. The buildings themselves have fine vertical lines on their walls. The field directly in front of the buildings also has these vertical lines-(in either pen or pencil). There are some strong converging lines from the figure in the foreground which lead to one of the buildings representing the furrows in the field and an area to the left of this is lightly drawn with curving lines running across what appears to be a hilly field. In the lower part of the drawing there are dark oval marks overlying light horizontal lines -these represent the heads of the cereals as they nestle in the sharp horizontal “scribbles” and short vertical lines of clumps of grass. In amongst these grasses and grain of the foregound, on the horizontal golden section is a figure bending away from the viewer. This persons torso is drawn with the same round marks as the field cereal, the torso is differentiated from the similar background by its  dark outline. The arms and lower half of the figure are darkened with close diagonal hatching. The figure is not easy to differentiate from the grasses and cereals of the field and less clear an image than the houses in the background. The figure’s head and torso follows the line of the furrows of the field as they lead the eye into the house and tree on the left midground. In the left foreground is a collection of “swirls” overlying diagonal hatching- a probable sheath of cereal of a size similar to that of the figure. The areas least touched by drawn lines are the sky and the field in mid left of the image which contrasts with the fussy lines of the images on the right. The foreground is a melange of many marks. Van Gogh has drawn lines in a multitude of directions causing a confusion and an immense interest to the eye. In the background there are small vertical lines, the middle ground is divided into a perspective of lines converging on the houses and to the left an area of wavy horizontal lines. The foreground consists of two areas of small circles and a mixture of multi-directional sharp lines. The sheath of cereal in the left lower corner has stalks of converging lines which are at 90o to those which run through the field t focus on the house , so bringing the eye forward.

Check and log

To hold the drawing implement in a loose manner at the top  gives a sense of freedom. Short sharp controlled lines are made best with ink and pen or biro soft or hard lines can be made by pencil:  soft leaded “B” pencils giving a softer and thicker line than the hard leaded “H” pencils. Thick and imperfect soft or hard lines are best made with charcoal. Wax crayons and oil pastels give thick lines usually soft in nature even when heavily applied. Wooden crayons are soft, thin (unless applied using the side of the tip) and delicate. Quill pen and pieces of wood give irregular (in shape and width) often blotchy lines, not easy to control. Fingers and ink give thick soft lines which can be spread and blurred. Rubbers and ink gives thick lines in which other media underlying (charcoal or pencil) can be seen.

Lines and Emotion: In the large page of doodling in my sketch book, I unconsciously commented on the emotions associated with many of the implements of writing: “delicate charcoal” in soft swirls of block shading. ” I hate felt tip” in harsh sharp marks, “the beautiful fountain pen ” soft, controlled and flowing lines, “Ban biro” in thick dark and hatched blocks, ” poor pastel” as it has difficulty in making any mark, “precious pencil” -because it can be used in many situations and is clean and fresh, as are wooden colouring pencils, “wimpy wax-because it like pastel, makes a non-specific, if colourful mark and is not very versatile. Short sharp lines are angry and concise, flowing soft lines are warm and cosy. Perhaps Van Gogh’s “clash” with me but appeal to many is due to, what I feel is his angry and “schizophrenic”(constantly changing direction ) use of line. Colour has itself , a mood, and with line and materials can be used to increase that mood e.g a zig zag line in red , to me is very angry and nastily fiery.