Final Selection

Cotton wool bud and ink, Masking fluid applied with a cotton wool bud (black ink), Charcoal stick and thumb marks.
4 August, 2018
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Acrylic applied with bull-dog clip, Masking fluid applied with cotton-wool ball (black ink), Acrylic with toothbrush.
4 August, 2018
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Charcoal, Acrylic with Paintbrush, Acrylic with Card
4 August, 2018
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Reflection on Warm-Up Exercises

As someone with no art background, I found this exercise a fantastic, comprehensive introduction to the tools I need to use.

New Experiences, New Tools
Through these warm-up exercises I used charcoal for the first time, discovering its marvellous potential: dark light capturing marks, the satisfying smooth feel as it meets the paper, the interesting marks it makes with fingers. That’s why it earned two places in my final choices.

The other medium which intrigued me was the ink. While charcoal and pain give large scale marks, the ink and nib opened up the possibility of drawing fine detail with a medium other than a fine graphic pencil (my automatic go-to tool).

Another discovery was masking fluid. I had never used this product and was fascinated to figure out how best to use it (paper selection, removal method) and the feint marks where the black ink or paint seeped beneath. It reminds me of wax batik print making, and opens up the same exciting possibilities. I can see myself making further explorations with masking fluid, with multiples layers applied.

Conventional vs Un-Conventional Tools
In a way, the conventional tools have familiarity, for instance, graphite pencils are one of the first tools we use to make marks as children. So, their marks are fairly predictable. They can also be intimidating, as we have seen the great works in galleries made with pencil and paint.

The unconventional tools, in contrast, are true experiments. Many of them made their way into my final selection.
Using the unconventional tools was fun!

One of my favourites was the toothbrush! I love the unexpected marks it made: Swirls, flicks, dragging lines. Exuberant swirls were also included in my final selection. Other unexpected, interesting marks were the circular marks made by dragging acrylic with a bull-dog clip, and the sweeping marks made with a card and acrylic paint.