Project #1: Everyday materials


The sponge was the first material I used. The rough part of the sponge made more sketchy, thin and broken lines. They look a bit like dry brush effect. 

Blotching the sponge on newsprint

The effect I got was more haphazard. Next, I tried the smoother side of the sponge. More of a bold, strong stroke as this side of the sponge was able to absorb more ink.

Strong diagonal bold stroke, as if there is upward movement

I also tried soaking the sponge into the container of ink, and then squeezing the sponge over the paper. This time, I diluted the ink with a little water.

The result was just black drips of ink. Nothing spectacular. I tried to make something more positive(?) and clean cut. I diluted the ink too.

I didn’t like the idea of it being faded so I used saturated ink next.

I prefer it saturated as it comes out bolder and more eye-catching.

Next, palette knife.

I used the sharp edges of the palette knife first and scraped it roughly onto the newsprint. Occasionally there were some tears on the newsprint but I liked the concept of the little tears. Again, the thin sketchy lines along with the tears gave a haphazard effect.

After which, I used the flatter side of the palette knife. A thick, bold straight line was created.

Next I dipped a piece of kook crunch into ink. It has a rough surface and it can’t absorb ink very well so I had trouble even creating ink marks on the newsprint.

So I let the koko crunch soak in the ink for a few minutes and tried again.

The ink came off richer and looked like a crayon effect. The kook crunch became way too soggy to even hold later on so I threw it away.

So I guess these ‘materials’ are more personal to me compared to the above daily items. I see the marks as ‘self-portraits’ as they’re products/results of my bodily parts. But whatever it is, I had fun!!!

The first thing I did was to play with hair. It was quite tricky as I only collected so little strands(mistake no.1), and it didn’t really leave any prominent marks. So I really dipped the whole bunch of hair into the tub of ink, to the point that there was too much ink to even create intricate ‘hair’ marks(mistake no. 2):

Too little strands 🙁
Too much ink, so the marks were just big awkward blobs of ink
Much regrets

Thus I don’t think hair would be of much use to me. I didn’t really fancy the bog blobs, so I moved on to use my hands.

I dipped my palms and fingers into ink and wiped the excess onto tissue. I wouldn’t want dark obvious hand prints.

I first smudged my finger tips, as if I’m ‘wiping’ off the ink and cleaning my hands
I moved my hands from left to right whilst wiping
As I continued wiping, the ink became more faded and became wispy

I like the wispy and faded effect created so I might consider having this element in my final work.

String timeeeee!!

Next, I dipped string into the container of ink. I flung the string onto the paper to leave everything to chance(lol). Surprisingly the effect came out pretty cool, having some overlaps and even creating weird organic marks.

I continued this fun process of constant flinging and picking till I was satisfied with the effect:



Splattered effect
Allowing drops of ink to drip from the string
Cool random patterns made

I started dragging the string around. It was quite therapeutic. Do watch this therapeutic process!:

I also tried making repetitive patterns with the string. They turned out like flowers and I LOVE IT!!! I’m probably going to implement this element in one of my final emotions.

I then tried pressing the string on a black painted Lino pad using a roller.

I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone. I tainted the roller with black paint too, so that both sides of the paper had marks. This is the top:

This is the bottom:

I personally like the bottom one more cause it’s interesting with the intersecting lines and varied textures.


So then I tried making marks with soap. I first dipped a small part into the ink, then dragged the bar of soap across the paper. I find that the soap makes great dry brush texture:

Dry-brush texture

After a few strokes and messing up the paper, I find parts of the soap starting to dissolve into the ink. This made the ink on paper develop a chalky effect. The paper also smelled nice.

Chalky effect

If I press hard enough, bits of the soap will come off and dry with the ink. This creates a kind of bumpy texture.

Finally, I dipped the whole bar into the container of ink. This resulted in wider and bolder dry brush strokes.

More defined and bolder strokes

I combined the different techniques above. I tried to make haphazard marks to suit a negative emotion. Feel free to watch the short clip below(click the link) of me having fun with the soap!


Next, glue.

I first squeezed glue onto a palette and slowly added the ink. I used a palette knife to mix both and apply on paper, but I realised this process was too slow for me. So I just squeezed glue straight onto the newsprint.

Using a palette knife to spread
Added more ink to darken

The ink became super shiny and made abstract ‘marble’ patterns. The palette knife didn’t give me the thick, blotchy effect that I expected so I used my hands.

The more glue I added, the more faded and translucent the ink.

Next, I took some dry flowers. I dipped the flowers into ink and dotted it onto the newsprint. Tiny cute organic spots are made!

Next, I dragged the dried bouquet across the paper. They appear very tangled and give a strong sense of direction.

I dipped the bouquet in ink again and rattled it over the newsprint, so that the ink will drip and fling off. The spots created are smaller and random, as compared to the manual, careful dotting. I prefer this effect more.

Next I tried making marks on aluminium foil.

Using dried flowers to create splatters
Creating tears along the foil
Pasting foil onto black paper to see contrast
Ink dries shiny on foil

That’s all for now!sealed







Project #1: Artist reference + Emotions

“Mark making is a term used to describe the different lines, patterns, and textures we create ​in a piece of art. It applies to any art material on any surface, not only paint on canvas or pencil on paper.”

-by Marion Boddy-Evans, July 05, 2017


  • Yves Klein, 1960, anthropometry performance

    Smearing paint using the female body. Some of the paint marks evidently produce the female figure, while some are just long smears of paint. I admire how Klein has pushed the boundaries of the human body, where the models’ bodies were dipped in paint, pushed, dragged and rolled around. Here, the human body is no longer just a container for survival, but also a medium to create art.

  • Mona Hatoum, 1998, Untitled(Wheelchair)

I admire this work especially as the work revolves around irony. Two contrasting entities- A wheelchair and knives- are put together to become a unified body. The wheelchair signifies the idea of aid and life, while the knives connote the notion of death and violence. Taking this idea, I wish to make marks with items that have contrasting ideals with Ink. For example, soap and sponges, where they are regarded as cleaning mediums and tools. Ironically, in this project, they are used to make messy marks with black ink.

TA-DAAAH So here are the 6 emotions I would like to choose:

The state of undergoing immense pain, distress or hardship
Accumulated desire for someone or something
Strong disapproval aroused by something unpleasant. It's a strong repulsive emotion but one gets used to it- over time it just disappears/fades.
Viewing things in a positive/calm light
Unexpected and uncontrollable, sudden without warning
Growing anxiety, like countless little organisms accumulated over time