Part 5: Sketchbook 1 – On search for ambiguous and simplified markings

A friend of my wife went on vacation and her cat (a persian cat) was our guest for a week. I took the opportunity to study various markings (expressive, abstract, ambiguous, simplified) with the cat ‘Carla’ as my model. I consider this as a visual way of idea capture.

Sketches 1 – 12:

annotated in my paper learning log

Stefan513593_part5_sketchbook_1_3

Stefan513593_part5_sketchbook_1_3

Stefan513593_part5_sketchbook_4_8

Stefan513593_part5_sketchbook_4_8

Stefan513593_part5_sketchbook_9

Stefan513593_part5_sketchbook_9

Stefan513593_part5_sketchbook_10_12

Stefan513593_part5_sketchbook_10_12

Learnings

What marks are more successful?

  • Looking at movement, gestures, pose, expression:
    – indicative, scribbling, directional marks, edge control (hard, soft), ambiguous marks
  • Looking at simplicity:
    – Indicative marks, light washes for volume, a few directional marks
  • Looking at edge control:
    – Thicker marks for undercut, disappearing forms
    – Blurred marks to merge with surrounding space (uncertainty)
    – Sharp edges for certainty
  • Looking at ambiguity:
    – washes, gouache overlay, various markings for form and negative space
  • Looking at use of ink:
    – Besides for atmosphere creation (background), sparely use for light washes to create volume, for bold markings to strengthen visual depth.
    – New for me to use ink for building up form (ex. sketch 12) as with charcoal. It is less forgiving, non erasable, so I need to be certain or slower and smaller in my strokes.
  • Looking at composition:
    – more appealing with parts are leading towards the viewer, over the edge of the frame (ex. sketch 7) or it is a representation of a balanced circle (ex. sketch 11)

Next time and for further research:
– Elaborate the tested markings with other subjects and at larger scale.
– Pushing further for the most relevant marks (simplification) and ambiguous marks (gesture, movement, pose, expression).
– Experiment further with translucent drawing techniques, tissue overlay etc.
– Experiment with edges (of paper, frame etc)

Overall a quite exciting approach in just a A5 sketchbook on mark making (building on what I learned during this course)

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