Art of mark making

What would you describe as mark making? Is it just making lines on a paper with a pen or a brush? There is so much more to it than we would’ve thought. Different lines, dots, marks, patterns and textures we create. It can be structured, controlled and neat or simply loose and gestural. It can apply to any material used on any surface: paint on canvas, ink or pencil on paper, a scratched mark on clay, a digital brush tool on a screen, a tattooed mark on skin, stitch on fabric. We can even classify sound as a form of mark making. Moreover, actors use gesture, body language, face expressions as a mark to express their emotions. 

The very first thing we have tried in the class was a carbon paper. We were given 5 minutes to draw a portrait of the student sitting opposite us.

mark making.jpg

Having used carbon paper I knew you have to press down hard for the image to be duplicated. I have used simple, bold lines just to highlight main features. Parts that I wanted to stand out more I went over it few times.


Things got a bit messy when we laid our hands on print paint and acetate and started creating prints. The theme remained as portraits and I have decided to focus on individual face parts of one of the students. Not quite sure what has happened with the rest of the pictures that I have done. I must’ve misplaced it somewhere. Not very impressed with my outcomes but it was good to learn something new to me.

We were also asked to find any random objects to use as a tool to make marks. From forks, round rose from a door handle to simply using our fingers. We have also used different types of paper like photo paper which is trickier to use as its very smooth and shiny.

Mark making has no limitations. You can run your imagination absolutely wild with all the medium that you can use and also objects of your preference. The only thing that can limit you it’s yourself. Using your skills you can express the mood and dynamic of the picture.



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