Mark Making Research

For lesson 1 today, we learnt about the art of mark making and how mark making can express various meanings.  I learnt that I can create a mark making tool from anything around me. From simple disposable materials, I could make out various patterns.

Below are some of the marks I made using the materials that was provided to us in class. The materials I used includes styrofoam food packet and some plastic food packaging.

I went home to do my research and came across the website of artist, Edward A. Burke, and find his work very interesting. His work is made up of abstract shapes and prints which can be seen across his paintings and drawings. I like how he played with the spaces in the canvas and using shapes to form his masterpiece.Another artist that caught my attention is Julie Mehretu. She uses conventional mark making tools like pencil, ink and paint.

Her work is made up of densely layered abstract prints. I like how her work is composed. Messy-looking but so rich and full of dimension. If I were to do something like her, it surely will turn out like a piece of flat scribbles.

As most of the famous mark making artists I saw online uses conventional mark making tools, I decided to dive deeper into artists who uses unconventional mark making tools. It led me to the site of Vanessa Lemen. Her work is so beautiful and she uses tools like squeegees and baking spatulas.

Beautiful right?!

I went on find out what mark making tools I can utilize for the second lesson where we are required to bring two mark making objects.

i found it really amazing that a single tool can craft out so many different kind of marks.

I also did a bit of reading up on the shapes I could create with mark making.

Then I went on to research on marks and emotions. I found this article on zeven which was very helpful in my journey towards creating mark making with emotions.

Apart from the usual lines, circles and dots, this summarizes the effect different shapes and direction flow of the art work could create.


I decided to use materials from nature like flowers and leaves (which I dismantled a bouquet that was gifted from a friend). I also found an old crafting tool and some spare bubble wrap.

1. Mark making done with scratches and prints of leaves and flowers.

2. Bubble wrap, craft tool and a steel scourer

3. More marks using the above tools.

4. Smeared paint on the left side of the paper and folding it at different length to produce this effect.

But sadly, the rest of the flowers rotted and I didn’t preserve them, so I wasn’t able to use the beautiful flowers as mark makers for the assignment pieces.

I think one flaw I had was that most of my work was very scratchy. It makes the piece very noisy and I am not able to find a focus in the piece. I will need to practice more forms of marks like giving more color tones, density and maybe play with the strength I put on the object.


Author: Lina Yee

Hi !

Leave a Reply