Mark-making with paints and tools

I had a bit of fun on Saturday with my friend, Judy – also an OCA student.  We set up her garage with huge sheets of paper and determined to be free and flowing in our mark-making, using whatever bits and pieces she had accumulated around her work-area.  I had Derivan screen-printing inks and she supplied acrylics in tubes.   A range of spatulas, thread reels, jar lids, bubble wrap, plastic cutlery and so on came in handy.

MM1This is about as free as I get and it’s nothing like what Judy produced.  Her entire sheet was a mass of lines, spatters, random marks, more detailed areas with bubble wrap and set shapes appearing throughout.  Below are some close-ups of the above piece:

MM1aThe plastic side support of a peg bag was used as a print plate/stamp using thick screen-printing inks.  In the right hand image I added some areas of yellow and, once the stamp was in place, I twisted it a little.

MM1bI dumped globs of ink onto the paper with a spoon.  A plastic serrated knife was run through the ink multiple times from bottom right to left.  Great fine lines from the serration.

MM1cWow!  Ink was picked up with a round end spatula and wiped across the paper.  This was then used in an overlapping circular motion to create all these wonderful swirls.  I love the colour mixing in this section.

MM1dUsing the same method as above I pulled the inks out to form reed-like sweeping lines.

MM1eI started with rows of yellow splodges, almost thumb prints, and added vertical lines in other colours.  It was far too contrived (I’d just glanced at what Judy had done!) so I swiped my hand across the whole lot several times until mixed.  I then scribbled with the blunt end of a clay shaping tool.

MM1fUsing another part of the same swiped area above I repeatedly pushed my finger into the ink and drew it slightly to the left before lifting and repeating, slightly overlapping each finger mark.  It’s so soft looking with lovely integrated colour mixing.

I have been wanting to play with pipecleaner circles for a while.  So I twisted some to create a ‘handle’ and an open end – similar to a bubble blowing gadget.

MM2aI applied ink to them with a brush because I quickly realised how they could work, but with too much ink the effect would be ruined.  I laid the shaped pipecleaner on the paper, held the straight section and guided the loop round in a circle with my other hand.  Then looked in amazement as I got exactly what I had been hoping for (and what I’d seen in my head, if it would work).

MM2Thrilled with these circles.  The pipecleaner loops were different sizes and I inked different colours together so my range would expand.

MM2bUsing paper hand towel I dabbed bubble wrap with turquoise ink and added mid-red on top in parts.  This was then pressed into selected areas of the print.  It’s produced a dirty purple and dulled the original colours down considerably.

The used bubble wrap and hand towel were (of course!!!) hung on a line and left to dry.  You never know when you might need some collage items for a project.

MM2cThe end of a thread reel was used to add dark turquoise and silver rings across the surface.

MM3I’m hoping to cut most of this work up and apply it to the artist book I’m currently working on with another friend, Nola.  So I made a final small narrow piece for the book spine, whilst cleaning a plastic tool.

A fun day and some excellent textural outcomes.  In project 13 of my printmaking course I’ll be looking at textural effects in monoprinting so these have been a good place to start.

You can see the pieces Judy worked on at  So different to my approach.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
This entry was posted in My Creative Pieces, Printmaking 1 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Mark-making with paints and tools

  1. Pingback: T1-MMT-P3-p2 Weekend sketchbook | Fibres of Being

  2. fibresofbeing says:

    It’s amazing how different we are. Pretty clear personal voices coming through.

  3. Pingback: Print 1. Project 13: Design & proof prints | TactualTextiles

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