Making Marks – 3 Mark Making Techniques

This exercise of trying out various media and various techniques to see which mark making techniques work with best which media, was great for reintroducing me to techniques that I hadn’t used for quite some time.

The media I used for this exercise were a variety of graphite pencils, colour pencils, felt tips, Bic biros, Art Liner drawing pens, a 1mm Marker and Charcoal; plus a number of mark making techniques such as hatching, cross hatching, stippling, squirkling and point and side shading. I hadn’t used many of these techniques for a number of years so I was a bit rusty and need more practise with each medium.

My favourite medium at this stage has got to be pencil and so I began this exercise using various graphite pencils. However I soon learnt that I have a lot to learn about pencil usage and narrowed my choice of pencils down to 2 to 4B. Varying between 2B, 3B and 4B pencils I managed to use several different mark making techniques to fill up the boxes in my sketch book.

Mark Making Techniques Using Pencil

I found that graphite pencil was a generally good all rounder but particularly great for hatching, point shading, smoothing and  squirkling, however to carry out stippling effectively it seems to help if you know which pencil to use with the weight and tooth of the paper. I can see how graphite pencils are also great for cross-hatching but unfortunately I need a lot more practise at this, it was a technique that I found difficult especially when applying long strokes to large areas where I had to make another stroke to carry on the line which was far from seamless. Another technique which my art teacher taught me at high school was shading with small circles that gradually get bigger, I found that this technique didn’t work well with graphite pencils and seemed to be reserved for pen drawing.

Mark Making Techniques, Pencil, Coloured Pencil, Bic

Colour pencils are also quite a good all-rounder and you can carry out most of the same techniques as you can with the graphite pencils but using 2 or three colours for hatching rather than applying pressure to the strokes give your drawings a better sense of depth. Stippling was also a pleasure especially when using two colours but the points had to be kept sharp or your pencil had to stay longer on the paper drawing the dots to create the stippled effect. I’ve always stayed away from colour pencils lacking the confidence to use them but this exercise inspired me to do my first colour sketches.

Mark Making Techniques, Bic, Drawing Pen and Marker

I moved onto pen starting off with Bic biros which I found were great for squirkling creating a very lively effect with good depth but again this is a medium that I need a lot more practise with and should have done so before filling in the squares I attempted two spheres with squirkling and hatching and failed on both, simply because the with the squirkling creating obvious rows between each row. Hatching with biro just shows how much I need to work at this technique not being able to cheat by smoothing the lines in. Biro was great however for shading with the gradual circles technique I learnt at school as were the Artliner drawing pens.

Mark Making Techniques, Drawing Pen and Felt Tip

The Artliner drawing pens were superb for stippling and I can see how they can be good for other techniques such as hatching and cross-hatching but again like the biro they showed me the bare truth, that I really need to work on my hatching technique. This was also true for the felt tips.

Felt tips were cool for stippling especially with two colours but with the hatching there is a risk of the two colours blotching where they strokes meet and creating a messy darker coloured dot,

Charcoal is a medium that I had never worked with until ‘Holding Pens and Pencils’ exercise but I do love the texture that each technique gives you, it’s a just a shame that when working on this exercise I only had large sticks of hard compressed charcoal so was limited by this. Since then I have found a great art supplies shop at Silpakorn University so I am really looking forward to the next exercise.


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