2D | mark-making IV | artist reference

Jackson Pollock

A very famous abstract artist, Jackson Pollock is a familiar name in the art industry. He was well known for his unique style of drip painting.

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh is a Dutch post-impressionist artist. In many of his artworks, he used very expressive brushwork, which contributed to the foundations of modern art.

I was very inspired by his art works and how he used his brushworks to evoke emotions. I wanted to follow his style of doing, but I didn’t want to use a brush. Thus, I used a fork instead. I dripped white paint on several spots on the strip of paper. Next, with the fork, I took some black paint, and started applying strokes of it on top of the white paint. To me, it looked a little like latte art, just more expressive. It turned out better than expected, and I used it as one of my emo lines.

Gestalt Principles

Gestalt is also known as the “Law of Simplicity” or the “Law of Pragnanz” (the entire figure or configuration), which states that every stimulus is perceived in its most simple form.

Gestalt theorists followed the basic principle that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, the whole (a picture, a car) carried a different and altogether greater meaning than its individual components (paint, canvas, brush; or tire, paint, metal, respectively). In viewing the “whole,” a cognitive process takes place – the mind makes a leap from comprehending the parts to realizing the whole,

We visually and psychologically attempt to make order out of chaos, to create harmony or structure from seemingly disconnected bits of information.

The prominent founders of Gestalt theory are Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler, and Kurt Koffka.

Gestalt Principles – Closure

The satisfaction of a pattern encoded, as it were, into the brain, thus triggering recognition of the stimulus. This can involve the brain’s provision of missing details thought to be a part of a potential pattern, or, once closure is achieved, the elimination of details unnecessary to establish a pattern match.

  • Closure is the effect of suggesting a visual connection or continuity between sets of elements which do not actually touch each other in a composition.
  • The principle of closure applies when we tend to see complete figures even when part of the information is missing.
  •  Closure occurs when elements in a composition are aligned in such a way that the viewer perceives that “the information could be connected.”

I wanted to apply gestalt principles to one of my strips, by the usage of negative and positive space to evoke the emotion between it. For one of my emo lines, I deliberately used tape to keep the negative spaces, and then painted the rest of the positive space.

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,