Mark Making Researches

Week 1: Thoughts and Online Researches

The given text and video resources on Blackboard have helped me understand a bit more on mark making. Here are my thoughts:

  • I think monoprint can be explored vastly because there are a lot of materials we can use and we can play with not just the shape, size, side of the objects we use, but also the space. I’m excited to see the various type of effect created by thin materials, for instance, the cheese cloth example shown in the video.
  • Fumage is cool but I think it’s very limiting cos there’s only one way of doing it, which is to use the smoke of a flame to create marks. Unless, maybe we can use another medium in between the flame and the paper to create different effects? Something like a funnel. Hmm…
  • Mist mark making is cool. It’s quite like monoprint, but just that you gotta let the ink dry up. I’ll be interested in seeing what the outcomes will be for different materials.
  • Decalcomania… It really looks nice when it’s all colourful. At this point all the resource videos really opened my eye to what you can do with materials and mediums haha. Feel that it’s gonna be fun! Anyway, I digressed. I think it can be fun to do, especially using it to create symmetrical works.
  • Grattage, the end results is nice and all, but just very boring, in terms of material exploration.
  • Nail polish art, I’ve seen this before! Marbling. I think the outcome is nice and it can be experimented on using different solutions.

Week 2: Intense research

I went on to read up more about mark making online, how different strokes is made and what they mean.

“Marks are not just used to form the pictures that artists create, they are also used to add expression to the work. Some marks may express movement while others express stability and strength.

Artists can use slashes as marks to express anger or curves as marks to express calm or peace.

Marks can be descriptive, expressive, conceptual, or symbolic. They may be bold and clearly state the intention or they may be so subtle that the concept is only perceived by the viewer’s subconscious.”

The above links explained the different kind of mood different marks have. Here are my notes:









The research is broken down into two different parts: first is identifying the different kinds of lines, and the other is what the lines mean.

The next part was kind of experimental. I really love music, and music makes me feel. So I thought, why don’t I use music to help me find the perfect emotions I should work on.

It is interesting and fun to do this, but it is very inefficient and time consuming. Nonetheless, there’s some effect and I’ll attach each selected emotion with a song to listen to, to immerse myself in the emotion.

I also went to research on artists that make abstract marks in hope to understand more about what different mark means. An example is Picasso.

Picture taken from

In this painting, Picasso used strong strokes to represent harder shades, and thin strokes to represent lower toned shadows. In certain parts of the painting, there are no strokes at all at the silhouette of the subject.

I like how Kandinsky can effectively portray the movement of the horse and the man with just abstract strokes. A lot of diagonal lines that depicts movement.

What does each emotion mean? I’ll try to define each emotion subjectively so as to understand them at a personal level. I intend to listen to musics that evoke such feelings to aid my understanding of the emotions.

  • Optimism / Hopeful: Song: Miracle (Someone Special) – ColdPlay
    • Hope is something that makes you look forward. It encourages, and motivates. It is something so strong, yet feels so soft. It leaves you warm and pulsing. It gives energy in a spiritual way. It is as though your soul is trying to reach out to grab hold onto something. It also in some cases helps you to push yourself, physically, to keep pressing on. It goes on and on and on, up and up and up.
    • Hope, to me, is something rich and full. So I’m going to use the mixture of glue and ink to create a thick texture. I’m going to use something that can create a define line, something like a toothbrush, or a piece of sugarcane fibre. The reason is that I feel hope is something solid, and it has a flow to it (from small to big) so it can be represented by the amount of lines present. Perhaps from a single point, some lines, to a lot of lines, all going upwards.
    • Hopeful: Paper? + ink + glue + toothbrush + texture?
  • Enthralment: Song: Captivate – Midst
    • Being captivated is to be brought into another world. It’s, to me, something unconscious. You’re so awed by something that you don’t even know it. Being in wonder. It is also focused, everything else drowned out, sound feels muffled.
    • Enthralment: Fabric + Ink + white ink.
    • Fabric shrinks when you add paint to it. So by creating difference in ink density, the fabric will shrink accordingly and create the funnelling effect I want. The folds on the fabric will represent the energy focused down to the middle. The entire thing shall be pure black because being captivated means not seeing anything else. But maybe I’ll use a bit of white paint to guide the eye.
  • Longing: Song: Touch – Shura
    • It’s a bittersweet feeling. It’s like a push and pull. When you long for someone, you feel sweetened by the thought of someone. But the person is not around so you feel like something is missing, or lost. The feeling is powerful, all over, but it’s more central, near the chest, and quite pulsing. It’s more pain than sweet.
    • Use tissue + ink + water
    • The reason tissue is used is that tissue gives a wrinkly texture, which can represent the aching feeling.
  • Loneliness: Song: All I Want – Stonefox, Ovenbird – Brooke Waggoner
    • Loneliness is knowing that there is nowhere to go, and no one to be with at a given time. Even though there are options, you just feel like it either isn’t enough, or that it isn’t appropriate to make a connection. It comes with a lot of thoughts. It’s stale, it needs comforting.
    • Salt + ink
  • Resentment: Song: Free – Broods, Never Ending Circle – CHVRCHES
    • Resentment is a continuous bitter feeling. It lingers and it can get powerful if uncontrolled. It is quite blunt, and can feel like a sore, which pulses, circles around. Bassy feel. At one point, there is some outbursts. Very prickly, very sharp. But it strikes only once, or for a short period of time, before dying down. It is very focused, at one thing.
    • Ink + tire brush to create an aggressive mark.
  • Regret: Song: Talking with Strangers – Miya Folick
    • Regret is a very down feeling. It’s very low to begin with, and leaves you thinking and thinking, how you can make it better, why did something go this way? It makes you reflect about yourself, and reflect about your past.
    • I feel that regret can be represented in 2 parts: the reflection, and revelation. During the reflection, it is low and dull. It is fuzzy and moving a lot, very fast, because you’re thinking. Then, the revelation comes, it becomes clear. And it starts to get sharp, strong, and overwhelming.
    • Regret: Transit from soft fuzzy strokes to clear, strong, aggressive strokes.