Assignment 2: Experimentation


close up from plastic bag study

I wanted to explore the capabilities of ink a little more as it’s a medium I’d like to become more familiar with. So far for part two I have used it in a controlled way for hatching and using line. I wanted to take it back to some experimental mark making then to see if there was any way I can incorporate what appears to be haphazard marks in to some sort of order and use it in my drawing.

ink02 ink01

Ink04 ink03here are the results of initial experiments an a4 sketch book. I used dripping, rubbing and making marks with a painted onion which is really printing but mark making all the same. Next I tried wetting the page then dripping. This produced pleasing marks where the ink spats bleed at the edges. I tried putting salt crystals on the wet ink as I’v seen loverly textures made this way by water colour artists. Didn’t quite work as I had hoped but has added to the texture nevertheless. I will have a quick look for a You Tube tutorial on using salt with ink/water colour.

These textural pages should make interesting back drops to incorporate into future sketches.

ink05 ink06These two drawings are in a A3 sketch book. Here I wanted to see how ink and charcoal and water behaved together. In the green drawing I left some areas of the page dry as I wet with brush. This has left pleasing white areas giving an almost dry brush effect. I then crumbled charcoal over wet areas. It didn’t seem to be doing much, I had hoped the charcoal might dissolve, so I rubbed it in with hands. I then drew over with with calligraphy ink and added salt. The thick oily calligraphy ink did not act with the salt like the water based drawing in dose. So again I rubbed the salt around which produced a slightly scratchy ruff surface texture.

The second image is a charcoal drawing the ink out on top. I find this pleasing. The charcoal mixes with the ink making the colours appear earthier not so pop. I also tried wetting the charcoal on the left side and moving it around with figures. This changed to fotage like texture to a smudgy one. Didn’t try dripping water down the page over the charcoal. Should try that and also with graphite stick.

This drawings are loosely based on the memory of a vase of fake lilies I have that I am considering as one of  the elements in the final drawing. I added the square to keep the window concept involved in the development.

The last thing I did in this session was to make a studypb-prog of some lemons and pears in plastic bags. I liked the idea of drawing in the fruit and then rapping the bags around them using different media for different elements. I used oil pastels for the fruits. I chose this media for its strong colour and relative permeant once on the paper. Used a light grey A3 ingress for this drawing. To the bags I used soft pastel.  I chose these because of there no so permeant nature. It was easy to remove or spread thinly leaving a transparency where I wanted.

I used conte pencils for the writing on the bags and finished off with graphite stick for the surround.

This was a very quick study. I think the essence of the bags are apparent, their nature of being transparent and flimsy is there in the front bags if not the back green one which looks more tea towel like to me.


  • Moving on from here..
  • I would like to use the ink marks to try to build the forms I am looking at using in th final piece to make something more representational and less abstract than these first experiments.
  • I want to try the plastic bags and fruit in some other media. Taking more time over them. I think next I will try colour pencil or graphite pencil with cross hatching for the bags.
  • I want to include some stippling although time conquering I really like the way stippling can slowly but surly build strong tone. Also I like the way you can colour mix with this technique by laying down different colour dots together that from a distance can look like their secondary. E.g Yellow + Blue dots could look like a green mass from a far.
  • Try incorporating marker pens and adding elements of contour/line drawing in to the mix.

Click here for good tutorial about using salt in water colour painting. Sure the same applies to ink.


About Emma Perring

I am an artist working in mainly soft pastel at present.

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