2D Project 1 : My Line in Emo (Final Project)

The aim of this project is to visually convey six different emotions by exploring expressive mark making through the use of traditional tools.


Project 1 – My Line is Emo




An extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation.


Portrayed by sharp and crisp lines swooshing by in a swift manner. When one is outraged, he would go out of control and unleash his fury in all directions, similarly, the lines seem to be flying in random directions as if in a pit of rage. The trails of ink give the lines a sense of movement and the direction they are moving in, making them look more dynamic in nature. The thick trails of ink also gives a contrast to the more thinner lines.


Created by chopping satay sticks dipped in Chinese ink onto paper. Trails of ink are created by simply dragging the satay sticks across the paper.



A feeling of great happiness and triumph.


For happiness, I imagined little children playing in a playground, and therefore it inspired me to portray the emotion as little sprites, who are known to be playful creatures in fictional tales, jovially whizzing through the air. The trail the sprites leave behind creates a sense of movement and direction. The angle of which the sprites are facing creates a sense of randomness as they are not bouncing in sync but at their own pace, making them energetic and full of life.


Created by dragging a scrunched up ball of paper dipped in Chinese and monoprint ink across the surface. I had to make sure there wasn’t too much ink on the ball of paper or else the ink trails will be too concentrated and the texture wouldn’t show.



Severe mental or physical pain or suffering.


The texture immediately reminded me of the sky from ‘The Starry Night’ by Vincent van Gogh. More specifically, I once heard Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, which is a slow and sad piano piece, in a video online with this painting as the background. The rough and uneven texture gives a feel of desolation, the way the ink trails in one specific direction and amplitude gives it a sense of lifelessness, reflecting pain and suffering.


Created by dragging charcoal dipped in Chinese ink across the paper. The characteristic of the charcoal gives the print a rough texture while the Chinese ink smoothens it out and blends the two.



An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.


With sharp and jagged elements from the top and bottom closing onto each other, creating little negative space, there is a sense of claustrophobia and uneasiness in this print. The more rough and faded ink give it texture and makes the silhouette of the jagged elements less crisp and clean, and also reduces the negative space in between, creating a greater sense of melancholy.


Created by dipping the edge of a piece of cardboard in Chinese ink and monoprint ink. The more watery Chinese ink gives a more textureless result and more crisp lines, while the thicker monoprint ink gives more texture, creating a rough trail of ink that bleeds out.



An overpowering wonder or surprise.


I portrayed this emotion by having a dense vertical disturbance suddenly interrupting the steady flow of horizontal lines. It shows how something smooth sailing can turn into a nightmare in an instant due to an external force.


Created by dragging a scrunched up ball of newsprint dipped in monoprint ink across the surface.



A great interest and pleasure in something or someone.


The lack of negative space gives a sense of darkness, with small specks of light whirling around like candlelights and also to give the scene a sense of movement. I wanted to make this an intimate environment with two ‘lovers’ in a dimly lit space. It also looks like an aerial shot where the camera pulls out up into the sky during a kissing scene.


Created by painting with a paintbrush. I did not use too much ink at once as I wanted more control so as to be able to leave tiny areas unpainted. The more narrow area around the two central elements area painted using the end of the paintbrush.


Scene from Ratatouille


Process Parts 1 and 2 can be viewed in the links below:

2D Project 1: My Line is Emo (Process Pt.1)

2D Project 1: My Line is Emo (Process Pt.2)


2D Project 1: My Line is Emo (Process Pt.2)

Process – Part 2

Before the start of this week’s class, I did several different prints during my spare time. They turned out quite well and I saw potential in some of them for my final submission.

Dripping ‘tears’
Karate Chop!
Exploring different methods of using satay sticks
Results of the various prints

During the consultation with Joy in class, she suggested that I try using different inks, such as Chinese ink, to replicate those prints that I have made previously which I saw potential in. She also suggested making the prints much bigger so that I have more freedom to choose which parts looked better.

More upsizing, using different inks.

After upsizing a few, I actually found that the previous smaller versions of the prints looked better, it was probably because the patterns looked too huge when placed in the viewfinder I created, which was the size our final ‘strips’ were supposed to be. It didn’t work out, but at least I tried it.

Below are four prints that I found ‘successful’ in displaying some of the emotions.

Joy – More towards cheerfulness and joviality, this print looks like little sprites playfully whizzing through the air.

Anger – Swords swooshing through the air with the blood of those killed trailing along…

Fear – A sense of uneasiness, this looks like a cave where stalagmites and stalactites are closing in on you, the minimal negative space makes it look claustrophobic.

Sadness – Melancholy, this print immediately reminded me of ‘The Starry Night’ by Vincent van Gogh. More specifically, I once heard Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in a video online with this painting as the backdrop. You can listen to it here hahaha –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVfPt8jgWOY





There is still ink in my fingernails.

2D Project 1: My Line is Emo (Process Pt.1)

Process – Part 1

For this session, we were introduced to mono printing, and it was my first experience with making prints using the print machine,

Applying ink for monoprinting
Arranging leaves onto ink

It did not go quite as planned,

A moment of silence

Shortly after, I proceeded with making marks using objects instead,

From polishing boots to dirtying paper

At the end of the class, I managed to produce a few patterns,

Test Prints 1
Test Prints 2
Test Prints 3
Test Prints 4

Creating the prints by hand was a much easier method and I had more control over how the prints came out.

As I forgot to take home my prints, I replicated what I did in class back at home, and had them added into my visual journal. I initially tried making the prints on regular A4 paper but found it to be too white and contrasting, I eventually went for tinted watercolour paper and it turned out much better.

Various prints with the objects used placed next to them

Below are a few notes i jotted down to aid in my next experimentation with making more prints.

Quick notes for future reference

2D Project 1: My Line is Emo (Research on Artists’ works)

A brief introduction on various artists and a personal take on how their works can influence my project.

Ed Moses

Ed Moses’s works are abstract and non-objective. Moses tries to break away from the containment of the canvas, here are more layers and chaos in his works. In the 1970s, he introduced the diagonal grid into his works, in the late 1980s, these diagonal grids became more of loose squiggles.

His earlier works appear more rigid, consisting of individual blocks that seem to be violently drawn, giving it texture and character.

Artwork by Ed Moses
Artwork by Ed Moses

Sol Lewitt

Lewitt works are of conceptual art and minimalism, he is regarded to be these movements’ founder. In 2005 LeWitt began a series of ‘scribble’ wall drawings, so termed because they required the draftsmen to fill in areas of the wall by scribbling with graphite.

Lewitt uses the same repetitive element, scribbles, but with varying densities to create his work. This can be applied to my project, using the same mark making tools but applied with different densities.

Sol Lewitt’s Scribbles

Cai Guo Qiang

Cai initially began working with gunpowder drawings and ephemeral sculptures to foster spontaneity and confront the suppressive, controlled artistic tradition and social climate in China. His gunpowder drawings convey his central idea of using natural energy forces to create works that connect both the artist and the viewer with a primordial state of chaos, contained in the moment of explosion. They also demonstrate his central interest in the relationship of matter and energy.

Cai Guo Qiang’s approach in his method of creating art is quite unorthodox, his art may not turn out the way he would expect it to be, as he has to ignite his work before the final results emerge from the explosion. If I were to use a similar method for my project, it would generate a sense of uncontrolled randomness in my mark making.

Cai Guo Qiang, Homeland
Cai Guo Qiang, Extension

Hilma af Klint

Hilma af Klint  was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were amongst the first  abstract art. A considerable body of her abstract work predates the first purely abstract compositions by Kandinsky. Through her work with the group The Five, a group of female artists, Hilma af Klint created experimental automatic drawing as early as 1896, leading her towards an inventive geometric visual language capable of conceptualising invisible forces both of the inner and outer worlds.

Hilma’s art seem to consist of multiple elements interacting with each other, each with their own unique personality, be it shape, colour, or size. This creates a canvas of varying shapes and forms which can be interesting for my project.

Hilma af Klint – Group IV, No. 7, Adulthood
Hilma af Klint – The Swan

Emma Kunz

For Emma Kunz, each colour and each shape had a precise meaning in her understanding of the world, she regarded her pictures as holograms, spaces you could walk into, images to be unfolded or collapsed back down again, usually multilayered in their construction.

Emma’s works are precise, symmetrical, more controlled and non-spontaneous. A similar method can be applied to my project if I am looking for such characteristics in my work.

Art by Emma Kunz – Title unknown

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin’s early works included biomorphic paintings in subdued colors. Her signature style was defined by an emphasis upon line, grids, and fields of extremely subtle color. Particularly in her breakthrough years of the early 1960s, she created 6 × 6 foot square canvases that were covered in dense, minute and softly delineated graphite grids.

Agnes was a minimalist and abstract artist, her works focused mostly on the texture. Textures are an interesting way for mark making as they can create details which may be too complex to be done by hand.

Agnes Martin – Loving Love
Agnes Martin – Night Sea

Andy Warhol

Warhol’s Rorschach series is one of the few in which the artist does not rely on preexisting images. Inspired by the Rorschach tests done on patients, Warhol would paint on one side and would imprint it on the other side.

Warhol’s Shadows , grounded by a high-contrast, abstract field limited to 17 specific colors ranging from Day-Glo green, yellow, turquoise, scarlet purple and crimson to hot pink, cobalt blue, silver, a somber brown and black. It is unknown what the shadows are actually of.

The “Oxidation Paintings” is a series of “paintings” done by coating canvases with wet copper paint and afterwards urinating on them, urine which oxidizes and changes color.

Three works which are all very abstract, shows that art can be created by an unlimited number of ways. Something to think about when doing my project, but don’t worry, I won’t pee on my work. 

Andy Warhol – Rorschach Art
Andy Warhol – Shadows
Andy Warhol – Oxidation

Julie Mehretu

Julie Mehretu is an artist best known for her densely layered abstract paintings and prints. She is also known for her large-scale paintings that take the abstract energy, topography, and sensibility of global urban landscapes as a source of inspiration.

A wide use of colours, shapes, and lines. Very spontaneous and random which can be used to create some interesting marks and patterns.

Julie Mehretu – Black Ground (Deep Light)
Julie Mehretu – Stadia I

Cy Twombly

Cy’s paintings are predominantly large-scale, freely-scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti-like works on solid fields of mostly grey, tan, or off-white colours.

Brush strokes can create some unique textures which can be applied to my mark making.

Cy Twombly – Leda and the Swan
Cy Twombly – The Rose (V)
Cy Twombly – Fifty days at Iliam

Franz Kline

Kline’s artistic training focused on traditional illustrating and drafting. Over time, he developed an interest in breaking down representative forms into quick, rudimentary brushstrokes.  In his later years, Kline’s brushstrokes became completely non-representative, fluid, and dynamic. It was also at this time that Kline began only painting in black and white. He explains how his monochrome palette is meant to depict negative and positive space by saying, “I paint the white as well as the black, and the white is just as important.”

Again, brushstrokes can be interesting as they create textures, which can add details when making marks. I can also play around with negative space.

Franz Kline – Hot Jazz
Franz Kline – Self Portrait
Franz Kline – Mahoning

Yves Klein

Yves Klein was the most influential, prominent, and controversial French artist to emerge in the 1950s. He is remembered above all for his use of a single color, the rich shade of ultramarine that he made his own: International Klein Blue.

In the case of People Begin to Fly, Yves used negative space to create the art. I could mask out a shape using an object and paint the area around it to achieve the same ‘negative’ effect.

Yves Klein – Anthropometry of the Blue Period (ANT 82)
Yves Klein – People Begin to Fly

Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford’s abstractions unite high art and popular culture as unorthodox tableaux of unequivocal beauty. Working in both paint and collage, Bradford incorporates elements from his daily life into his canvases.

Mark introduces sort of a graffiti style to his art, using exploding lines and blocks of squares, he makes these two completely contrasting elements work together on his canvas. 

Mark Bradford – Backward C
Mark Bradford – Daddy, Daddy, Daddy
Mark Bradford – Los Moscos

Pascal Campion

Pascal is a freelance artist known for his vibrant digital illustrations, which are based on his everyday life and his family.

An artwork by Pascal Campion