2D | mark-making III | paper marbling

Paper Marbling

Paper marbling is a method of aqueous surface design, which can produce patterns similar to smooth marble or other kinds of stone. The patterns are the result of color floated on either plain water or a viscous solution known as size, and then carefully transferred to an absorbent surface, such as paper or fabric. Through several centuries, people have applied marbled materials to a variety of surfaces. It is often employed as a writing surface for calligraphy, and especially book covers and endpapers in bookbinding and stationery. Part of its appeal is that each print is a unique monotype.

I was interested in experimenting with Paper Marbling, as one of the mediums/technique to use for my lines. I did research online on the various techniques of paper marbling and there were several. From a website, https://www.homesciencetools.com/a/two-marble-paper-projects, there were 2 methods on how to do water marbling. The first method was to use shaving cream with food colouring/paint. The second method was a little more complicated, to use mainly cornstarch, water and paint. After researching online, I found that many artists use the second method more. A variety of colours was also used, and it looked very whimsical.

2 artists I found that did paper marbling was Heidi Finley & Robert Wu.

Robert Wu, is a paper marbling artist from Toronto whom used traditional techniques to create marbled paper. His prints are all one of a kind, and cannot be replicated.  He manages a website, www.studiorobertwu.com, where he sells his prints.

Heidi Finley, from Sault Ste. Marie, sells marbling supplies on the Internet and also conducts workshops whereby she teaches paper marbling.

From the research, I realized many did paper marbling with a variety of colours, made the design on water and then dipped the paper in. I felt that the design of the usual marbling was too messy and complicate for the emotion I was going for, as I wanted to just experiment with black and white.

Thus, I decided to use only Chinese ink and water to create the design. I first dropped a few drops of Chinese ink into an aluminium tray of water, and it naturally formed a random marbled design.

I then took a strip of paper and briefly slid through the water, just enough to get some marbled effect. The first few strips turned out surprisingly nice, but was very complicated as there was a lot of marbled details. I wanted to show ecstasy in paper marbling. After a few tries, I churned out the most suitable paper marbling emotion.

Till then,

2D | mark-making II | tools

To start off my mark-making, I garnered several tools to help me!
Below are the tools I used. Leaves

Cling Wrap Blade

 Masking Tape

Bunch of Masking Tape

Bunch of Masking Tape and printed over with Lino

Palette Knife




Dog Paw

ForkFork with paint

Styrofoam Fruit Wrap

Till next time,


2D | mark-making I | process

Before coming into ADM, I went around researching on the projects and assignments we might have to do throughout the years in the course.
I chanced upon many seniors’ mark making assignments and felt that they were really interesting!

Judging from that, I knew that there will be an assignment relating to mark-making and I was really hyped up for it! However, when the project actually begun, I was at a lost.

Coming from a non-fine arts background, the art/designs that I do are usually digital works, very seldom with paint, pen or paper. Thus, I was pretty afraid that I will not have inspirations, especially for abstract art.

To start out my mark-making exploration, I used the Principles of Designs to sketch out some designs using mostly lines and dots.

I did several little grids, playing with thick and thin lines. Horizontal, vertical and even disconnect implied lines was explored. Each type of line gives out a different emotion. For example, thin lines relates to fragility, while thick lines gives strength.

After some exploration with pen and paper, I headed on next to execute my mark-making exploration with newsprint, paint and ink!

Stay tuned to my next post to see how the exploration went!

Till then, xoxo,

4D | Reading Assignment: Rhetoric of the Image by Roland Barthes

What are some of the key questions Barthes aims to investigate in this article?

He aims to investigate how does meaning get into the image, and where does it end. And if it ends, what is there beyond?

What are some of the key terms/ concepts introduced and discussed?

The concept introduced was the three messages, in an image used for advertisement. The three messages are linguistic message, a coded iconic message and a non-coded iconic message.

The first message is the linguistic message. It uses the caption and labels to decipher the message.

As we go on, we realise that all images are polysemous; they imply, underlying their signifiers, a ‘floating chain’ of signifieds. Readers are able to choose some and ignore others.

There are 2 functions of the linguistic message with regards to the iconic message – anchorage and relay.

Anchorage is the most frequent function of the linguistic message, and is commonly found in press photographs and advertisements.
Relay is more commonly used among comic strips and cartoons.

The linguistic message is twofold – denotational and connotational.

The second message is the iconic message, which is concluded from a denoted image.

The denoted image seems to constitute a message without a code. It plays a special role in the general structure of the iconic message which we can begin to define: the denoted image naturalizes the symbolic message, it innocents the semantic artifice of connotation, which is extremely dense, especially in advertising.

The third message is the non-coded iconic message, where the significance seems to extend over the whole image. The number of signs on the same advertisement varies according to individual.

Do you agree or disagree with his argument and point of view?

From the article, I do agree with Roland Barthes’ argument and point of view. I feel that in every image that we see, the visuals are really important. Visuals give us the first impression of the image. Further on, by analysing the image more, we will be able to identify the coded iconic message, which is the primary statement of the image. Next, based on each individual’s past experiences and knowledge, we will identify the non-coded iconic message, which is connoted. This differs as we are all brought up and taught to decipher messages in a unique and different way. Thus, I agree with Roland Barthes.

Provide a brief analysis (200 words) on an advertisement of your choice by using the terms/ concepts proposed by Barthes and discuss the role of text and its relationship with the image in the advertisement. Please include an image the advertisement in your post.

“It’ll blow your mind away” Advertisement by Burger King, 2014.

This is an image which advertises Burger King’s new burger called the “Super Seven Incher” back in 2014. There is usage of both text and image. The linguistic message is “It’ll blow your mind away.” In this case, text is considered a huge factor which affected its relationship with the image in the advertisement.

When removing text from the image, the image shows a female trying to get a bite of the burger. This denotes that one will gain the same amount of pleasure eating the sandwich as they would from receiving a sexual act. The advertisement tried to use sex appeal to promote food. Although it was said that by using sex to attract in advertisements is one of trending methods, this advertisement by Burger King was a flop.

By associating food with sex, it might be considered offensive and degrading to women. In my opinion, the connoted message is that the women is just a slave to men in sex, and they try to portray women to be so desperate to use burgers for their needs.

With the addition of text in this advertisement, it further backs up the image’s message, which means the burger is related to sexual acts.