research point- Vincent’s ink drawing



Field of grass with a round clipped shrub, Arles:early May 1888.

I like the variety and different angles of marks to show a bush, tree, grass, wild flowers, a long branch and a spiky shrub. I can see the distant shrubs made with smaller darker marks. From the colour of the sky, you can tell its a dull day without any sunshine. There are no leaves on the long branch in the forefront, so it must be winter.
The rounded shapes at the bottom front seem to be pebbles. The eye is led from there to some flowers in the tall grass, to the rounded bush, then what seems like a pathway on the left of the tree in the middle. Then you notice the spiky conifer bush on the left and the branch above it, to the sky and the distant trees. The height of the grass is taller in the front to show perspective.
The marks on the round bush are dark and light in some areas. The darker marks indicate shadow areas and the lighter areas must have some light falling on them. It seems that Vincent might have made the lighter marks when he was running out of ink in his pen.
The branch at the top is beautifully drawn with detail to each twig. The shape of the branch starting off thicker, getting thinner to the end to almost just a line. The shape of the twigs curved and branching off in all directions.
The tree in the middle still has foliage, as indicated by the marks on the trunk and branches.
The bush on the left must be a conifer judging from the needle like leaves. The marks of this bush are darker, thicker and longer compared to the clipped bush. This makes it seem harder and spiky. the clipped bush feels softer.

Line and other marks- more implements

20121229-174403.jpgthis is another exercise I enjoyed filling in many boxes with different drawing implements. The ink gives a brilliant bright solid effect, but its time consuming as you have to keep dipping the pen in ink. I tried using ink with a brush and liked the intensity. stippled ink over oil crayon – the ink settled and dried on the crayon marks. The crayon did not block it. I made marks with charcoal, then covered with oil crayons. The effect was lovely with dark tones. The pastel covered the charcoal completely, sealing it so it did not need fixing.

I made marks with white oil crayon, then applied different shades of water colour over it. The water colour

20121229-175730.jpg was blocked by the crayon. I love the image.
I applied three shades of pastels, light green, pink and dark green, with a wet brush I could lift a colour and apply it to another. The pink come out distinctly on the light green. The dark green on the pink.


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I could blend the oil crayons with a lighter colour, for example yellow on red or a peach on dark blue. But I could not blend two dark colours. I could superimpose a dark colour on light ones. Black lines showed up clearly on a background of yellow crayon and yellow ink.
I covered blue ink marks with a yellow crayon. The ink marks showed through as blue but a little hazier. I need a lot more experience with ink marks. Plan to get more implements for ink as soon as the shops open.

How did holding your pen or pencil in a different way affect your drawing?
Holding the pen at an angle and with lighter pressure, the marks did not come out bold and solid. I could use these lighter lines to fill in spaces to indicate a different texture or the sea for example.
Holding the pencil half way and at an angle, i was able to draw or shade faster. When holding the pencil nearer to the point and putting pressure with the forefinger, I could get darker markings. For accurate, tiny marks, it was best to hold the pencil nearer to the point and use the sharp point. I found I preferred to use the softer pencils and avoided using the H. When I read in "The Artist's Handbook' by Ralph Mayer, there is clay mixed in the graphite, i was amazed. There is more clay in the H and the graphite gets purer as the grade increases from 2 to 9 B. This makes sense now and I can understand why the H to B pencils are harder to use and the effect is pale.

Which drawing tools suited the different mark making techniques you used?
Charcoal was very good for quick mark making and filling up large spaces quickly, indicating tone and form. It was difficult to stipple with charcoal for for very fine hatching. The pen and pencil were both good for drawing, hatching and stippling.
The oil crayons are good for bright coloured drawings. The black wash water soluble pencil would be good for quick sketches and indicating tone. The coloured intense water soluble pencils are good at indicating colour and for details coloured drawings.
The soft pastels are good for quick coloured drawings, you can fill up spaces very quickly.
The ink marks are good for drawing and hatching. The felt pens were good for drawing, hatching and stippling in colour.
The biro pen is good for drawing and hatching.

Did you find that any marks or tools you used matched particular emotions or feelings? Did one convey calm and another frenzy for example?
Shading in with pencils, or charcoal dust seems calming, compared to hatching – which can feel a bit of a frenzy. Dipping the nib in ink and making marks can be scratchy, so sometimes it felt a bit irritating. Drawing with charcoal or soft pastels felt soothing and made me want to go on drawing. I did several pages of trees in soft pastel after the doodling exercise and I felt excited and got a buzz going through my body. I had done the trees is different mediums, but the one in soft pastels really stood out I had used two contrast colours together- that prompted me to just carry on and do more. The photos of the trees are at the bottom.

How did the introduction of colour (soft pastels, conte crayons) affect your mark making?
The colours made the mark making more exciting, adding variety and interest. I found it was hard to show tonal values in colour.
Which of these experiments have you found most interesting and rewarding?
I enjoyed all of them. The doodling exercise got me relaxed and now I can face a blank sheet of paper without any fear. The mark making technique was a good introduction to various materials. As I was not drawing anything specific, it was a relaxing way to get to know the materials.
The line and other marks helped to get to know the materials further. I feel more confident which one to use for stippling, hatching, etc. I found this exercise very rewarding as I have lost the fear of drawing lines on paper and actually enjoy sketching rather than worry about getting it right.








Line and other marks

I filled up an A2 page with lots of small squares. I started of with various pencils. The H was good for drawing and hatching. I had to put a lot of pressure to use it. The shading came out very light. As the number increased from 2B to 9B, the marks became darker, I had to use less pressure and the shading became more solid. I could stipple with 9B, but it was not possible with an H pencil. Pencil is very good for quick drawing. It is not as messy as charcoal, however the lines can fade, unlike pen drawings. I tried different holds. The pressure with the forefinger made it easy for shading. For drawing it was faster to hold it further away from the point and loosely. I could use the putty rubber to lift off marks. It’s very easy to cross hatch with pencil. It’s very versatile and can be used to draw anything. I could use it to show different textures, fabrics,wood grain, grass, hair, etc.
The pens give you a solid, smooth, dark continuous line. It can’t be erased. From a point 0.1 to 0.5, I could get different thickness of marks. It’s extremely easy to stipple and cross hatch with pens. You can make tiny accurate detailed drawings. The tones can be shown with hatching or stippling. You can only get one intensity with a pen and can use the same pressure, unlike pencils. However, i could get lighter lines by holding the pen at an angle and moving it loosely. Could use this to fill up shapes, could indicate a wall or the sea for example. The pen is also very versatile for drawing. Similar to the pencils I could show different textures and subjects, from landscapes to tiny seeds.
I enjoyed this exercise immensely and it has given me a lot of confidence to draw. I did not have confidence using pens before, but after this exercise, I will use them more often.

Using charcoal

20121229-165303.jpgI have not used charcoal much before, as I thought it would be messy and it needs to be ‘fixed’. After this exercise, however, I have changed my perception. It’s great as you can fill up spaces swiftly. Get good tonal values without much effort.
You can get straight lines, cross hatch or with a smaller piece on its side, get thick lines or shade in shapes. Charcoal dust can be used to smudge in tone. You can lift the charcoal with putty rubber to create highlights. I really enjoyed using charcoal and will use it as often as I can. It would be very useful for quick sketches, landscapes, drawing buildings, portraits, figures, a pre-study.

Mark-making techniques

Mark-making techniques

I used a variety of graphite pencils, drawing pens, ballpoint, felt tips, charcoal and made marks on an A2 paper. it was very easy to stipple with the drawing pens and felt tips. The pens were good for lines, cross hatching, quick drawing. can’t shade with them and you can not erase pen marks. the lines are dark, sharp and solid and you can draw accurately. the ball point was good for cross hatching and drawing. i couldn’t stipple with it. the charcoal is good for quick drawing, covering large spaces quickly defining tone, dark and light with quick shading. can indicate various shapes, clouds, trees, buildings etc. can’t hatch or stipple with charcoal. you can lift off charcoal with the putty rubber for highlights. the pencil is good for shading, quick sketching, cross-hatching, with different pressure you can get dark or light lines/shading. its good for detailed drawing and you can erase unwanted marks. the coloured felt tips were good for drawing , hatching and stippling. i could not blend colours. the colour pencils are good for drawing, shading and indicating colour. i found that if was difficult to show form with colour. it was easier to do so in black and white. The pencils colours are not messy and you can not erase.


Doodling14 DEC 12

Read through some of the study skills notes. Got some materials for doodling exercise. Feel a bit apprehensive about filling in a large sheet of blank paper.


unpacked material and arranged them randomly. Surprisingly feel excited and eager to use them. placed an A2 sketchbook in the middle and started off with the pencils. picked up a 9B first and felt myself relax. made a large swirl, at least the paper was not totally blank now. carried till i got to H. did more swirls, doodles, solid shading, dots. tried the putty rubber, used the charcoal pencil next. i didn’t have to think what to do, my hand just made marks, lines and dashes. used the charcoal sticks next. the shapes and patterns just came. was amazed how quickly i could fill up a space with the charcoal. Used oil pastels then the soft pastels. Because i wasn’t worried about drawing anything specific, i was having fun just making marks and picking any colour. Used pink and green. Like the way the green picked up bits of pink and i got a different colour. used conte crayons next. like the accuracy i got. next used the soft colouring pencils, markers, ink, pen, non permanent markers and the watercolour pencils. i liked the results i got with the watercolour pencils. Having used the various materials, i could visualise how i would use them for various subjects. i thoroughly enjoyed the exercise.