Experimenting with Drawing/Painting Tools Made from Natural Materials: Mark Making and Landscape work

Now that I have made a substantial amount of natural drawing tools inspired by my field option “drawing as experience” and in particular the “materiality of drawing” session, and artist Stuart Cairns: I decided it was time to experiment by drawing/painting with the different tools to see what kind of marks they made. Each tool is very different and creates a very different mark, some of the marks are more controlled and the tools used to create these are more closely related to traditional drawing tools, however, other tools were difficult to control on the surface of the paper. As I created more marks, I started to get a feel for the abilities of the tools and what I would use them for if making a painting. Eventually, I want to incorporate the use of my own natural tools into my final piece for this project and so experimenting with them is key.

Mark making experimentation gave me confidence in my tools. I knew what kind of marks I could achieve from them and which weren’t as successful as others, for example I have learnt that the leaves on tools should be dry as if they are fresher they bend and don’t create much of a mark. Many of the marks were quite scratchy and textural and I could see how this could lend it self to depicting the contours of the mountains of the Brecon Beacons, so I started experimenting with doing so. I didn’t really think about colour much here, I just squeezed out paint and let my tools blend the colours on the paper. Obviously when using my nature tools for a final piece colour would be more carefully considered.

I was suprised at how well I was able to achieve a likeness to the mountains through the use of only tools made from natural materials like twigs, leaves, foliage, grass and tied together with string. The outcomes are freer and less controlled with more expression I feel that regular painting tools and of course I controlled the tools, but nature made the marks. Experimenting with ways of engaging and connecting my work with nature, I think this is one of the more interesting methods, both the tools and the outcome is made from and by nature. I will start to think about how I could consolidate my project and include key elements like the use of tools and having natural materials within the outcome.

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