Experimentation Week 3

For week 3, I decided to work on the weird mediums and materials that I was more familiar with.


First and foremost would be glue. In my Junior College days, I had played with dropping ink on glue and realised that the ink diffused into beautiful patterns. Like marbling of sorts.

Ink on thin glue

But I realised, that for some reason the ink was not spreading as much as I remembered it to be. So I thought maybe this was because the layer of glue was not thick enough.

Ink on thick glob of glue

However, even then the glue didn’t spread. It was however, trying to slide off the surface of the glue.


And that when I realised that the glue might need a little help to create its pretty patterns and so I got gravity to help me  push the glue around.

Glue triplets


First I added the ink on globs of glue like how I did above. But this time I played with the amount of ink I added on each glob.

Marble Glue 1




I then picked the paper up and let both the ink and the glue to flow while turning the paper in different directions to change the flow from time to time

What I really liked about this is the very pretty marble effect that appeared on the paper. The black Ink really contrasted well against the white glue.

Marble Ink 1 Dried

Even after the ink has dried, I really wisps of ink that is left behind. What I don’t like though is the streaks of dark ink formed due to parts of the ink sliding off the glue. To side step this maybe I can 1) maybe add a lot more glue throughout the paper so that there is no way for the glue to slide off or 2) maybe there is another way to manipulate the glue to create the marbling technique?

Folding Ink and Glue

So next I added ink on globs of glue , let the ink drip and fall first, and then I folded the paper in half letting the glue stick on the other side and then unfolded it, letting the glue stretch. Instead of a marble pattern this time, we get … I would’t really know how to describe this pattern actually. Its the pattern that appears when rain falls heavily on a window of a haunted house. But either way I really like the feeling of dread/despair that this pattern evokes.

Folding Ink cutout 1
Folding Ink cutout 2
Folding Ink cutout 3






Folding Ink cutout 4










So here I tried do it again but this time I didn’t let the ink drip and fall and went straight into folding the paper multiple times.

Ink folding step 1


Here in step 1 you can see I have dropped the ink on both sides of the paper.




Ink folding step 2


Here you see the resulting pattern after folding it once. What I found interesting was that the patterns seemed like it had layers.You see the ink above the glue, the white glue itself and then you see there is ink that has slipped underneath the glue.

Ink Layers



Ink folding final



This was the resulting pattern after it has dried.  The resulting pattern was very different from the previous try where I let the ink drip first.

Ink folding cutout

We see less line and form here. The pattern created was formed due to sudden gradient changes. What I thought was also interesting was that the spots where the ink first fell had imprinted on the paper despite the glue between them after the glue dried.

Ink Splotches




Next I played with letting the ink fall and drip on a thin layer of glue.

Ink drip 1

I don’t really like the pattern though, I thought it was too rigid. But maybe it can fit for a calculative/ calm emotion.

Ink drip 2

So I tried it again, but this time, I also blew on the in which I thought made far more interesting patterns. It looked like there were explosions where the ink stopped dripping. It created the illusion of movement.




So next I tried to focus on the blowing of ink on a layer of glue. i thought it would be interesting if I experimented with the kind of breaths I used to blow the ink.

Ink Blowing 1

This first one was done by blowing the ink on the glue calmly and deliberately trying to control were the drip of ink was going. What I immediately noticed was that the ink when flowing on glue created much thinner streaks then when it was being blown directly on top of paper.

Ink Blowing 2





Here I used quick strong rapid breaths to play with the glue. Immediately, I realised that it created a different pattern as compared to to the calm breaths. Here the ink created a bubble like texture on top of the paper. What i immediately thought was that maybe I can use this emotion for something usually associated with that bubbly feeling you get in your stomach eg. nerves.

Things to take away:

  • Using the glue creates a glossy surface when the glue has dried. I must be sensitive about this texture. What would this surface represent ?
  • With glue, I will be able to create layers. create a patter, let the glue dry then layer on another pattern. But what would this act of layering mean? Would it have any meaning? Also, I have to be mindful of the time as it takes one whole day for the ink and glue to completely dry.


So naturally next I played with actual bubbles. Using a dropper, I created bubbles of ink and let them explode creating ink splatters.

Ink bubble perfectly captured

Here I was creating the ink bubbles above the paper and letting them explode. You can see the process here at this link:https://youtu.be/CAurBkb6cyg

And I tried to create bubbles on the paper itself and letting them explode:https://youtu.be/COwu3YC1WNQ

Ink bubble result

And thus this was the result of the ink bubbles experiment. Although I really like the patterns it created, I thought that this pattern was too baring on its own, it must be paired together with another mark making technique to be interesting. Maybe pair this with the bubble pattern above. So it will be playing with using actual real bubbles and the an image that reminds us of it.


I also played around with the ink blots on the paper to create patterns.

Ink blot patterns

Whenever i m bored, especially if I am at a restaurant, I would play with water droplets i find on the table. Creating swirling patterns using whiplash motifs. Here I basically used the same technique but using ink stead. Here i created the whiplash motifs using a fountain pen. This created very fine curves that look almost like hair.



Ink blot patterns 2

The next step would then naturally be to use different tools to create the whiplash motifs. Her I used a really thin fine haired painting brush. Playing with the whiplash here was really very fun. The ink trailed from the brush smoothly and creating the patterns even became slightly cathartic.



Ink blot patterns 3


Here, I used the back of the brush to create the whiplash. The curves here become disjointed and almost ghostly







Ink blot patterns combined

Lastly I combined the different techniques together in one piece. To me this piece represents boredom as the actions used to create this piece is one I would do when I am bored. However, I don’t like how the visuals do not match that. There is a lot of movement seen within the piece and this it makes it seem more energetic than anything else. Maybe if I had created less whiplash motifs and made the curves smoother and longer it would have created something that looks more calming.

Things to take away:

  • By using the ink bubble, I essentially have little control over the pattern created, in the sense that I can’t control how the bubble explodes and where the droplets of ink will land. Would that have a meaning to the pattern created ?
  • With the ink blots on paper. I have to remember that in a sense it is a for of automatic drawing as when I do it (similar to when I play with water droplets and create pattern) my mind wonders and it is not on creating the pattern itself. Would this represent anything in the pattern created.


Lastly, I played around with different tools that can create marks and used them with ink to create patterns. At this point in exploration I still didn’t really have direction, my mantra was basically, try everything and the rest will come.

Tissue and Ink


Tissue and ink here I thought created a beautiful pattern on the paper. Who knew hahas. But the pattern here reminded me of the forest. Of the unclear and the unknown. This to me I think could be used as the background to supplement another pattern.




Fan Brush and Ink


I created this using a fan shaped brush, usually used to clean computers. Here I dipped it in ink and lined the whole paper with the flat side of the brush. To me this has a lot of movement, as if something was flashing from within. My dear classmates also commented that this looked like what they would use to show surprise in a manga panel and I agree.


Fan Brush and Ink 2


Here, I used the edge of the fan brush to create swirl patterns on the paper and create a sense of rhythm. This I thought gave a very calming effect. It looked like ripples across a clear lake.



Fan Brush and Ink 3


This I feel invoked a sense of fear. The lines that are trying their best to be straight but are actually wavy look like wet hair to me. And from this naturally it reminds of  Sadako from the movie “The Ring”




Fork and Ink


Here I used a fork and dipped it in ink. It was pretty hard to make a pattern. It was difficult to get ink onto the paper as the for couldn’t hold the ink well. As a result I ended up using quick movements. The pattern created I feel looks like the wind getting ready to form a storm.




Fake Flower and Ink 2


Here I dipped a fake flower into ink and kept swiping it across the paper. Because it was flimsy I used the same actions as I did with the fork, which were quick movements. If the previous pattern looked like the wind getting ready to turn into a storm, this pattern is the storm itself with thunder and rain as you can see thicker and bigger splotched of ink.

Would it be interesting to create a gradient change from something calmer to something with more energy like this pattern within the same panel?

Things to take away:

  • What I realised was that the patterns created using random tools usually ended up looking like background (like the patterns on fancy papers used for collaging. These patterns can be used together with another technique to create a more complicated patter, but what would that act of combining patterns mean?


Whenever I am writing down my thoughts, most of the time my brain ends up running faster than my hand could write. As a result my hand creates nonsense scribbles (also this is why my handwriting usually becomes illegible so please forgive me). These scribbles eventually become more like patterns and just the act of “writing” is the one that becomes significant to me, not the writing itself.

Automatic writing Pilot Gpen
Automatic writing Thin brush
Automatic writing Maru fountain pen

So here, I played around with automatic writing using different tools. Personally, I liked using the maru fountain pen the most as it was the most enjoyable to write with, the hardest however was using the thin brush as it did not hold ink as well and the easiest would of course be the Pilot G pen. However the G pen I feel creates lines that are too harsh and are not as visually appealing as when using the other two. Using the G pen however, creates the thinnest lines.

Next I played with combining the different types of writing.

Automatic writing Gpen with thin Brush
Automatic writing Maru pen with thin Brush

I combined the thin brush writing with the other two. I used the thin brush writing to serve as the background as the thin brush created writing that was more faded than the rest. Even though that was the case, I felt that the overall piece created was a little bit too messy for my tastes.

Lastly, I combined automatic writing with the other techniques I have used above.

Automatic writing Maru Pen with tissue background
Automatic writing Maru fountain pen with ink bubbles

I used the tissue pattern to serve as a background and the bubble splatters to serve as the foreground. To me this feels more visually appealing. It creates a complex pattern but it is not as messy as when combining the different forms of writing.

Things to take away:

    • For automatic writing what I need to take not of is that I have really make sure that the writing is illegible as it would otherwise be too representational if there were actual words and letters. Make it really look like what I call “fake calligraphy”
    • While doing automatic writing, I listened to music and videos at the same time. This I feel definitely affected the patterns created. Would the act of listening to music at the same time add to the meaning of the piece? If so would the type of music I listen to add to the meaning as well?


    Overall things to take a way:

    Personally, I think I have explored quite sufficiently. However, the problem I have at the moment is that I have not associated any of the patterns or techniques with an emotion. Most if not all of them are just vague links at the moment and as a result, I have no direction nor an overarching theme that ties the whole thing together. So what should I do ? I need to take a step back and curate everything I have created. Analyse everything again and find a path from there.

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