Experimenting with Texture part B – Frottage

Experimenting with Frottage - Crayon

The technique of Frottage was invented by Max Ernst in 1925 and involves placing paper over a rough surface such as grained wood and rubbing with a crayon or pencil. In this exercise I experimented with the technique of Frottage (which I always thought was just called rubbing) to see what kind of patterns and textures rubbing over certain surfaces gave me.

Up until this exercise I had done all of the coursework in my apartment and most of it at night, due to early evenings and work finishing times, this was a great opportunity to get outside and do something in the daylight.

Armed with charcoal and pencils I headed out to the swimming pool to experiment on tree bark, stone-chip floors and wooden sun chairs only to find that the paper in my new sketchbook was too thick or too rough and it wasn’t giving me any patterns/texture whatsoever.

It was another day before I finally got going on this exercise or should I say the next evening (fated to working at night) I took some pages out of my small sketch book, a white paper with less tooth and started with charcoal.

Experimenting with Frottage - Charcoal
Experimenting with Frottage – Charcoal

I tried the technique on stone chip floor, my apartment door, floor and even the draining board and then again with different colour crayons before heading downstairs to the lobby,

Experimenting with Frottage - Crayon
Experimenting with Frottage – Crayon

Unfortunately the bark of the trees outside did not give me good results which was both surprising and disappointing and down to the bark being very smooth (difficult to find great trees in Thailand). I did get some nice rubbings off other surfaces though including the joint of a breeze block wall, which looking at it now resembles a crucifix in the sunshine but the best results using both charcoal and coloured crayon were got from the grain of the wooden door of my apartment with different panels giving me different patterns.

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