Project 2: Mark-making materials

The aim of this project was to use two differently coloured layers and make drawings by scratching through the top into the bottom layer.

I struggled to get inspired by this project. I tried a number of experiments, but not many of them were successful:

2 layers 1

Trying to get a layer of wax pastel on top of anything proved to be harder than I imagined it would be. Even when I managed it, it wasn’t doing anything for me as a drawing medium

2 layers 2

Acrylic over watercolour ended up removing the watercolour, but acrylic over acrylic worked better, as long as the top layer of acrylic was still wet when scratching into it.

2 layers 3

Drawing a brightly coloured landscape, covering in black acrylic and wiping or scratching through it worked quite well. The only issue was that I had applied the black in a very thin layer so it dried very quickly and didn’t give me long to work into it.

The above experiments had been done for the sake of the course and without inspiring me. However, I finally had an idea which sparked my imagination. I had recently been given some large steel sheets which used to be the covering of a fire door. These were painted white, but had damage on them where rust marks were coming through. I decided to draw onto these by scratching through into the paint to reveal the steel below. The subject I chose to draw was taken from Ernst Haekel’s ‘Art Forms from the ocean’ (Breidbach and Haeckel, 2005):

Steel drawing 1 Steel drawing 2

I liked the drawing back to the steel, but it improved as the steel rusted (helped along by spraying it with a rusting mixture) as it blended nicely into an aged look. I decided to try to get a rust print from this, so I soaked a piece of paper in rusting mixture, laid the steel steel on top of it and wrapped them both up in a plastic sheet to seal in the moisture and left it for a week. The results were better than I expected.

Steel drawing 4

I will be experimenting with this further as I enjoyed this method and it is a good fit with my sculpture work.

Reflection

Scratching through layers initially didn’t seem to be a drawing technique for me, until I discovered scratching through paint into steel. Also the possibilities of gunpowder drawing and other combustible material to give an interesting semi-random pattern was discovered. Both of these offer me an exciting opportunity to draw in a non-traditional way which seems to be a closer ‘fit’ to my current sculpture work. I will explore both of these options further as I progress through the course

References:

Breidbach, O. and Haeckel, E. (2005). Art forms from the ocean. Munich: Prestel.

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