Exploring drawing and painting

Let’s explore, experiment and make a MESS!

Apple with bite out of it

I really love mark-making, you can see throughout my sketchbook that I like to experiment, test and try new things out. I was a little worried about this exercise, due to the fact I have tried loads of different mediums, textures, and papers. In fact, every summer my daughter and I do a summer sketchbook project that involves mainly mark-making in our sketchbooks. We experiment and try new things.

I recommend a book called “The drawing idea books” by Frances Stanfield and a youtube channel called Kim Dellow.

“The drawing idea book” gives all these pages of different inspiration, pages for both technique and medium. I found in the book some very useful tips such as how to create using ballpoint pen and it covers something for nearly every exercise.
Dellow’s youtube channel has many videos about painting, art journaling, mixed media, card making. Her techniques, tips and methods are well worth watching and is what helped me form some of my ideas within this exercise.

With that in mind, I feel I needed to add something to this exercise objectives, something to keep me on my toes and explore more freely. So I came up with a little limitation upon myself, I will try to draw/paint an apple and whatever medium I pick it has to be a new paper/canvas/card something I’ve never to my knowledge remember using the medium with.


POSCA pen on grey toned paper

This was interesting as I always used Posca pens as just pens, until this exercise I do not think I explored enough, I’ve never tried blending like this and I think I now see Posca more than a “liner” medium now.
The paper couldn’t handle much so that meant I had to work fast and keep simple, this limitation meant I couldn’t over blend like I tend to do. Meaning more of hard edges.

I also like the boldness, there are a couple of areas could have done with being broken up (like the huge white patch area)


Crayola on cereal box cardboard / White Acrylic base

This was one I was most worried about, however on the smoother surface Crayola became something new, I could blend the ink like never before.

However I did sadly ruin the finished result, you see the Crayola had no grip to the surface and was in serious risk as smudging, so I thought to add a varnish lightly to steal, however, this created a very different result, very blurry, but still interesting never the less.
I know a thin coat of varnish will not work (Maybe a spray vanish ? or will that make it run? )

White and Black Charcoal

Charcoal pen & white on a red greeting card envelope 1

This is one of my favorite results, I was glad that I picked a red background with a black and white piece.
It is simple and I feel a bit of elegance from this.

Liquid watercolour

Liquid watercolour on rice paper

This is the first time I’ve used rice paper, I had ordered quite recently as I’m working on calligraphy and wanted to try lettering with Japanise/Chinese brushes. The brushes which I used in the ink challenge.

Details are completely lost, however, I do like the bleed, it was at this piece that I started thinking about my assessment for part 2.

This makes an interesting texture.

Oil paints

Oil paint on scrap of fabric stabled to cardboard

Yes, I did oil paints, at point of this picture the top layer isn’t completely trying.

I do love the texture this creates and when fully dry the colour tone.
I do not have the patience for paint drying however I think the day I do, it will be worthwhile.

I think I also need to invest in some better quality oil paints to see if makes a difference as these are quite a cheap basic set.


Acrylic on bubble wrap

I’ve wanted to try something like this for a while, now I had the reason to.

The acrylic at first found it hard to grip the surface and any form of blending was out of the question. The key was to build layers. I feel this one I could have work on more, acrylic are not my strong suit and need to get better a some of the basic skills and techinques.

Alcohol Markers

Alcohol markers on pastel card

The card soaked up the markers, so the blend wasn’t so refined as using the “right” papers and very little bleed due to this. This actually had a very crayola effects.

It would be handy if wanted this effect (however I feel it is a waste of a good marker to gain this effect)
Maybe adding some “rubbing alcohol” would bring back the bleed ?

Magazine cuttings

College on black paper (Magazine cuttings)

This was fun, however I do need to explore this area more as very abstract to point it really to me does not scream apple.
That being said the more I do this exercise I seem to get more into abstract side of creating fruit and the textures.

Soft pastels

Soft pastel on Kraft paper

This is another finished result I liked, it is very soft and “free”.
However, when I completed I realized wasn’t kraft paper but brown packaging paper. So I will be shopping for kraft paper very soon!

I do like this, so will be doing this technique again, maybe something could also look at in the assessment ?

Oil Pastels

Oil Pastel On magazine paper

I did this one as I was running out of ideas in the “different” theme I gave myself.
I’m glad I did this one as well, again another interesting texture, I was forced to used oil pastel differently.

I could use it in new ways on a more slippy surface.

Spray paint

Spray paint on clear plastic

I had some spray can laying around from a project I did for a local school..

So did another “crazy” experiment that actually now interests me in terms of technique.
Without giving too much away I will be using this in my assessment.

I love the loose spray and fuzziness of this.
Again I’m really inspired by this and ideas, inspiration is now buzzing around in my head.


Gouache on sugar paper

This was one of the results I do not feel 100% happy with, it does not help that didn’t photo well.

I found I lost the “watercolour” side of gouache, the paper soaked up with water quickly. Yet layer building wasn’t possible as a layer under would still reactive with paper. I found the paint to be very sloppy!

I may have given up too early on this, could I have found a different way to get gouache to work for me.
Was it also the fact since I started the course I’ve enjoyed using gouache and when not working the way I wanted I lost interest in the experiment.


Ink on newspaper

This is the one I use my new brushes on.
I knew right away due to the bleed on the new paper I was’t going to be able to add much detail so was perfect time to play with line weight.

With red ink I created the base and using the brush I quickly added the “lines”.

I like the newspaper peeking though
I feel I should have found some kind of text to suit the image not random page out of the sports section.


Watercolour on coloured card

This is another that soaked up the water, however, I was able to work on this one better than that of the gouache, as result, this is another interesting result. It was a challenge to use watercolour with the card as unlike watercolour paper it does not sit on the surface to blend.


There is so much to explore with, it is a good exercise to use when what to experiment with mediums.
I will continue to add more to this list as the course gets completed. I have also invested in a bookmaking kit in aim to learn how to make my own sketchbook so this will be something I do as I work though the course.

I enjoyed this exercise as really do enjoy mark making and testing supplies, you will see throughout my sketchbook I often just make marks, test things out and experiment. I did do my own little thing on this exercise mainly as I wanted to do something very different to me, so the reason I added the extra objectives and limitations on myself. I am glad I did this as I discovered bits I really like. Such as spray painting effect on the plastic, this would make a very interesting texture in my design and curious if I could use this method in my assignment for this part.

There is nothing I would do differently as I will continue to make marks and explore and very likely added more to this exercise come time of assessment.
Maybe just explore a little more in different ways each of these techinques.

One thought on “Exploring drawing and painting

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