Drawing – Feeling & Expression

Exercise 1

calm cut

The four media I used were:-

Compressed charcoal, black ink with stick, black oil bar, and  8B pencil.

Something that on first reading seemed so simple immediately became a very challenging exercise for me.   Particularly gaining the nuances with the different media.  I feel that I have not really achieved this except with the oil bar (bottom right).   I have always liked working with this material as I like the way that you can smooth the lines into very delicate shadows of themselves. The other areas of line and shape do not interest me very much.

joy cut

Joy became a bit more interesting.   Firstly the compressed charcoal (bottom left) was more like the feeling of the unrestricted way joy encompasses the whole being in random ways and intersecting each other – thrills of excitement and little centres of thrills.  Not convinced that I have achieved as much variation in the nuances possible with the media.   The tone all looks about the same.   Needs more tonal variation I think.

Top left, stick and ink – enjoyed this much more liked to squiggle and reminded me of one of my grandsons (2 1/2) who when he is very happy does a lovely squiggle dance using his whole body.This feels like a partial representation of his dance but again I am not sure that there is enough variation of depth in the marks.

Bottom right – oil bar.   This felt a much more substantial experience with definite direction and movement.  Was not sure at this stage if I could contain it in the prescribed square.   Ordinarily it would have burst through the edge in some way.

Lastly the pencil (top right). Something here about experiencing the shapelessness of the feeling of joy as well as the contained spaces which want to break out of their constraint.

anger cut

This page was a really physical experience – I found myself breathing hard and working really intensively in the 4 areas.   Firstly the charcoal(bottom left) was about two beings being angry at each other and the inhalation of the space in between caused by the power and outflowing of the destructive energy.

Top left the spiralling of anger out of a single source with pen and stick.   I like this a lot because it has its own power and potential movement.

Anger in oil bar – bottom right.  This I feel I could work on a lot more by using the media more effectively.   Totally covering the area and then scratching back and working over building up layer after layer.

Finally the pencil which iI really wanted to work into the paper so that it would tear and shred but even with a lot of energy into it and the pencils breaking several times (very satisfying) I could not penetrate the paper.

I think I got a lot more out of anger than the previous emotions.

love cut

I chose love for the fourth emotion and things got a lot more interesting.

Bottom left the charcoal.   To penetrate or not penetrate? Was not sure how much I wanted to make the shapes contained or edgeless but I like the different density in the different parts of the shapes. I could work on this more.

Top left using the side of the stick with ink was trying to create a weave of the two directions of the work as well as the complexities of the intersections.  For me this was expressing love in some of its emotional complexities.   We do not know each other but sometimes we intersect each other at significant points in our day to day lives.

Oil Bar used softly and with tenderness – became a sort of jelly fish with a nebulous body and trailing ?  I like using the oil bar in this way using the facets of the face.  It is an interesting form for me to ponder.   The associations are about soft containment but with a sting in the tail!

Finally soft intersecting pencil lines coming from different directions and tailing off – ending randomly. Looking at it now it would have been more interesting if I had used different pencil density for the two entities and directions.


I found this a far more interesting exercise that I had expected. Already can differentiate consciously about some of the different types of mark available but obviously this can be expanded enormously.

Note to self:- did most of this blog post without saving it and it disappeared! Panic  but working my way back was able to restore what I had done.  Maybe in future write the text in Word and then transfer to blog post so I have a copy.