Execution & Final Artwork

I believe emotions are expressed differently from person to person. For example, different people express their happiness differently, some may express it outwardly, some inwardly, some may even cry when they are happy. Hence, for this project I hope to reflect my perspective on how I personally express this emotion.

To covey this, each emotion corresponds to a specific year in my life where a particular event occurred of that significant emotional nature. This events have shaped me to be the person I am today. Hence, I reflected my growth throughout the years from those older incidences in the newer ones by including certain mark making of old events in the new ones. Also, to display the aging growth, I have used older textured papers for older events and fresh white papers for newer events.

Resentment (Anger)

Year: 2004
Story: Being bullied by people who I thought were my friends
Methodology: I cut out thin strips of paper and arranged them to form crosses






I placed the crosses above a layer of paint and place a sheet of paper over for the transfer

Meaning: The crosses represents my resentment towards the people that bullied me.

The crosses are not perfect straight lines, and the paint bleeds through the white areas. This represent the resentment and frustration towards myself for not being able to forgive this people.


Attraction (Love)

Year: 2006
Story: Experiencing my first crush
Methodology: Using different sized bottle caps to create various circle shape all over the paper and adding a gradient using water colour for that bubble effect.

Meaning: Bubbles represents the first time experience the bubbly feeling in the bottom of your stomach.

The negative space around the bubbles represents the pure innocence of puppy love and also illustrates how the bubbles are floating.


Depressed (Sadness)

Year: 2007
Story: The day my sisters and I found out of my parent’s intention to divorce

 (Includes some crosses from 2004 incident)

Methodology: Firstly, I spritz the paper with some water and added water based paint on the top of the paper, allowing the paint to drip vertically onto the paper.




Then, using a stick and hitting it lightly to create a splattering effect.

Meaning: I wanted to illustrate the feeling of being ripped apart from the inside by representing this with blood.

Some methods I chose was blood splattering and dripping.


Bliss (Joy)

Year: 2012
Story: A night walk on the beach, away from the stress of O levels.

(includes some bubbles from 2006 incident)

Methodology: Using black paint of different intensity to create the outline of the waves and water colour to give it some gradient.
Meaning: The gentle waves represent the peace and calmness from the stresses of O levels.


Anxiety (Fear)

Year: 2015
Story: Internship – difficult boss, heavy workload, stressful situations

(includes some crosses from 2004 incident, some blood splattering from 2007 incident)

Methodology: I poured some water based paint, water and soap into several cups. Using a straw, I created bubbles and placed the paper over the bubbles. This process is repeated to build up the colour intensity. The bubbles on the paper forms a cloudy effect.

Meaning: The cloudy effect represents my inability to think straight and the messy thoughts that were going on inside my head.



Year: 2017
Story: Receiving the results for University Application

(includes some bubbles from 2006 incident, some waves from 2012 incident)

Methodology: Firstly using white paint at the beginning and gradually adding black paint to darken the colour, ending with black on the other end of the paper. Thus, creating a gradient.
Meaning: The gradient effect is to illustrate the feeling of nothing to great excitement (0 to 100).

I decided to go with diagonal lines to relate it back to the Bliss emotions which showed gentle waves. The diagonal lines in this piece was more angular and rigid compared to the Bliss waves to show that surprise was a completely different emotion from that.



One of my biggest challenges for this project was creating the bliss piece. It was difficult to recreate the emotions from that event. I wanted to recreate the waves from the beach that day, however, was worried that it would be too literal.  Instead, I thought the gentle waves would represent the calmness.

Some things I believe I could have improved on for this project was exploring more visual meanings rather than representational meanings. Adding meanings to each bubbles, crosses, waves, blood in the newer events. I could have also used a more abstract way of expressing this emotions rather than being literal and representational.

A positive thing that I can replicate in projects to come is adding a personal touch to my artwork hence creating an emotional connection that other people could relate to.

Links to previous post:

Research: https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/nora0020/research-on-mark-making/

Experimentation: https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/nora0020/experimentation-mark-making/


Experimentation – Mark Making

I started my mark making journey in class by experimenting on several methods and materials that could be used.

In class experimentation:


  • Wires
  • Flowers
  • Cotton wool
  • Leafs

My first attempt was an epic failure but hopefully success comes with failure.

Using the flowers and leafs, I did not consider that the thickness of the object would affect the print. The flower I used was baby’s breath which was a little too thin so only the outline of the flower appeared on the print and small details inside the flower was not reflected.




Second attempt was slightly better. The wire I used was still slightly too thin so I made sure to go around every nook and cranny. This proved to have worked better as the outline of the wire was more clearly defined. I also used cotton wool to create clouds above the wire tree.




My third attempt was using aluminum foil to create texture. I crumpled a piece of aluminum and spread it out and placed it over the linoleum. After which, I placed the parchment paper over the linoleum.





Own Time Own Target Experimentation

I experimented with some of my ideas that I had in my mind to see whether it is executable or whether it looks presentable.

Resentment (Anger)

I used tape to create white crosses on the black painted paper.


The paint bled onto the tape thus creating a messy, jagged cross. I felt that the tape was too thick and would like to explore using a thinner replacement (strings? Paper?) instead.

Attraction (Love)

I found an interesting method on YouTube where the artist used bottle caps to create the shape of bubbles (circle) and using water to blend it in.






My first attempt I used too much paint, hence the “bubbles” are too dark. From there, I adjusted the amount of paint by transferring the excess paint on another piece of paper before I transfer it to actual paper.

Depressed (Sadness)

I wanted to reflect blood on the paper. Some ways I thought of reflecting blood are dripping, splattering and cuts.

Image result for blood dripping
Image from: https://www.videoblocks.com/video/blood-dripping-down-over-white-background-dkxaled/
Image result for blood spatter
Image from: https://www.forensicscolleges.com/blog/resources/7-things-about-blood-spatter-analysis








To create that drip effect, I sprayed the paper with some water. I proceeded to place some block paint on the top of the paper. However, the paint was not dripping. I decided to try using water based paint instead which successfully created the drip effect. I also sprayed more water on the block paint and it started to drip too.

Bliss (Joy)

To create waves and starry sky.


At first, I wanted to create a scraping effect to reflect waves. However, it just appeared like a big black blob of mess.



I replaced this with creating a wavy pattern and using water colour for blending. To create that starry sky, I used 2 brushes, 1 with paint and hit it against each other. However, I found that this method was too literal. I shall explore other methods to convey my emotion.


Anxiety (Fear)

I wanted to create a cloudy effect and decided to experiment on using bubbles. After watching a YouTube video, I experimented on a method using cups, black ink, water and soap. Using a straw, I mixed the contents of the cup and blew into the cup to create bubbles.







I learned not to place the paper too close to the cups to prevent the shape of the cup from transferring to the paper. It was also a building up process, so I had to do it a number of times to build up the shape. What I think I can improve on is the colour intensity (use block paint instead of water based paint?)


Create a gradient effect using brushes and black/white paint.


I started with black and gradually adding white to make it lighter which resulted in the colours to be too dark to reflect the 0 to 100 feeling. For the final artwork, I will be using white paint and gradually adding black paint.


Research on Mark Making

Never having taken Art, mark making is a new concept to me. Hence, I embarked on a research to find out more about mark making.

What is Mark Making?

To describe different lines, patterns and textures we create in a piece of art.

Automatic Mark Making Techniques

Creating art by suppressing conscious control and allowing the unconscious mind to take over the creative process.

Examples of Automatic Techniques:

Decalcomania –a piece of paper or glass is laid over a painted surface and then removed. This action creates suction, pulling at the paint to form a scaly, biomorphic texture

An example of a decalcomania artwork is Max Ernst’s Europe After the Rain, 1940-1942

Picture from: https://www.artsy.net/article/jessica-beyond-painting-the-experimental-techniques-of-max






Frottage – a technique of taking a rubbing from an uneven surface as a basis of art

An example of a frottage artwork is Max Ernst’s The Entire City 1934

Picture from: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/ernst-the-entire-city-n05289








Fumage – impressions made by smoke of a candle or kerosene lamp on a piece of paper/canvas

An example of a fumage artwork is Wolfgang Paalen’s Fumage 1937.

Picture from: https://www.wikiart.org/en/wolfgang-paalen/fumage-1937










Grattage – technique of scraping wet/dry paint from the canvas using a blade (palette knife/spatula)

An example of a grattage artwork is Max Ernst’s Forest and Dove (1927)

Picture from: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/g/grattage










Torn Paper Collage – torn up/cut up paper are randomly placed on a sheet of paper which are then glued down or using torn up paper of an image which is then placed randomly according to the fall of the paper

Sand Painting – glue is randomly smeared on canvas then sand sprinkled upon it. After it dries, it can be further manipulated using brushes/knifes

Froissage – crushing a piece of paper then smoothing it out. When soaked with paint/ink, the creases takes up the colour, creating a veined effect.

Artist/Artwork References:

Gunpowder Drawings by Cai Guo-Qiang

  • Cai places sheets of specially made paper on the floor and sets up gunpowder fuses and loose explosive powders to create silhouetted forms on the canvas.
  • Once the setup is completed, he ignites a fuse at one end of the work.
  • With loud bangs, the ignited gunpowder rips across the surface of the paper, lighting the explosives according to the form that was created.
  • What was interesting about his work was that he demonstrated his interest in the relationship between matter and energy in which matter; referring to the gunpowder; explodes into energy; ignition of gunpowder and explosive; and transforms to matter in another state; the charred drawing.
  • His work displays charts of time (time taken to setup the gunpowder), process (igniting the gunpowder) and transformation (how the gunpowder transform into a charred drawing on the canvas).

Yves Klein

  • Best known for his trademark ultramarine pigment, which he patented as International Klein Blue in 1961
  • He created anthropometry paintings, for which Klein smeared nude women with blue pigment and used them as human brushes on canvas. Sometimes this process was displayed in elaborate public performances.
  • I found that this method was very intriguing, even though it is unconventional or controversial. I thought of exploring the idea of using the body to create mark makings, for example, using my feet, elbows, hands, etc.
  • The idea of using an art piece as a form of performance was something that I think adds a new dimension to the artwork. Not only does it become a visual art, but it also serves as a performing art. The act of engaging the public to view the process of the artwork, I believe allows the audience to understand the process and actual art itself better.
Pictures from: https://www.artsy.net/artist/yves-klein
Pictures from: https://www.artsy.net/artist/yves-klein