|| First Lesson Back at Uni ||

For our first lesson back at Uni, we dived right into creating a ‘texture library’, this consists of using as many different objects to create combinations of patterns you can create using the objects and the texture derived from the object. We collected objects such as leaves, twigs, forks and knives, and many more things; there were our tools.

For our first task, as a class, we poured some Indian ink out in the very centre of the paper and then using our new found tools proceeded to create patterns and and textures from the centre of the page. Below is the final piece we created together, first impressions when looking at it is that it seems very cluttered and loud because of the intense use of different clashing textures beside each other, especially because of the very dark centre that draws the eyes in and then sends you around the painting. The contrast between some of the textures are quite great, in that there are some textures that are discombobulated, scratchy and feathery, directly next to patterns that are smooth, neat and flowing lines. In my opinion, having the darkest point being the centre, both works and doesn’t because of the composition of the art. Having it in the centre and different patterns around it make it hard to define a specific route that the eyes can follow around the page.
However, this piece was not intended to be an art piece, but just a place we could store a whole bunch of different textures that could come in handy in the future when we are stuck for ideas on textures to use for individual work. Different textures that was achieved from the tools we had were: the fork created either neat, uniform lines or scratchy waves depending on how it was used, the same applies for the knife, using a leaf as a stamp by dipping it lightly in the ink then pressing it against the paper, this would creat finely detailed leaf prints in which, if the ink had dispersed well, you would see all the fine veins and lines. Using other items found in nature such as a small bunch of berries and leaves created a fairly messy but distinguished texture, the marks seemed to be planned before because of the way the marks land on the paper. I have to say that my favourite few tools were the spoons and the feathers. The feather, once dipped lightly in a small amount of ink created soft, feathered strokes that highly contrasted the sharp marks made by the other items such as the forks. The spoon was another material that I quite liked because of the marks it made; using the back of the spoon created different marks to poring some ink into a bowl and spooning the ink onto the page. Using the back created thick rounded marks, it was also slightly more difficult to create pointed and sharper lines; spooning the ink onto the paper created markings that almost looked like text because of the ease of creating different thicknesses of marks and being able to have more control in flicking the ink in any direction wanted. Below are examples of both the techniques mentioned, what I do have to note about using the spoon to paint with is that the paint/ink would probably have to be a fairly runny solution, in order to create the same effect as above, but what would be interesting to see would be how the paint would move depending on the thickness of it, for example using an acrylic paint that hasn’t been watered down at all would rule out the possibility of using the spooning technique as it would not run down the spoon, however if my goal would be to creat thick markings then using the back with the thick acrylic would give me something similar to that.  

   
As we did this together as a class, I would have to say that there is an obvious range where you can different people may have worked on certain areas of the page. The bottom left corner is full of finely detailed thin markings, as opposed to the opposite side where the marks are a lot darker and harsher, displaying a stark contrast in art styles. The markings just off the centre in the top left are nice to look at because of the equal contrast in it, there are the same amount of darker and harsher markings as there are thin, crisp markings. This is especially obvious in the vertical line markings with some horizontal lines through the middle, the neatness and thought out appearance of it next to the different sizes circles on either side created a harmonious contrast between the two. The second task of the day was to do a similar thing as earlier, but rather than starting from the centre of the page this time, we stuck the paper against the wall and went back in with our different tools. Below is a photograph oh the final piece we created. In my opinion it doesn’t flow the same way as the first one did because each section is each differentiated by either a small white gap where the textures don’t meet or just a stark change in pattern. Similar patterns and textures are used to the previous one but the fact that it is all separate means the patterns wouldn’t be able to blend into each other in a smooth manner unless there was a common theme throughout all of the textures such as a dark shade across the whole thing or a certain texture/pattern across the whole thing.
One tool that I decided to use for this task was a small block of wood that I found. I dipped it in the ink the dragged it down the page fairly quickly this created the dark stripes, while I did this I made an effort to keep an even gap between each marking I made. After I created the drag marks, I decided to see if the block of wood could be used as a stamp and I think it worked only when there wasn’t a lot of ink on the wood, this means that the lines and fine wood grain details would all appear once it had been stamped. I decided to make a stamp part because as I would put the wood block on the paper, before I dragged it, I would notice that there is a pattern that went down before but I then proceed to drag the ink over the top, getting rid of the stamp. After I stamped along the top of the drag marks, I still felt like there was something that needed to be added in order for it to look complete; so I took a spoon and poured the ink down the page in singular, fairly uniform lines. I like the effect this created because it looks like as if the thinner lines are in front of the thicker lines, even thought it is a flat image, some part of your brain makes it appear more dimensional that it is.

   
I also like the 10th texture in from the left side. I like the way the circles all line up evenly and the structure of the circles and how some sections are a bit messier than others. I would have liked to see more of where the ink has dripped down near the bottom few sections to have seen so over the whole thing, I think it would have looked quite industrial because of the harsh lines and neat circles colliding against each other, by industrial I mean that it would have looked rough but also somewhat put together. As you can see above, the circles seem to be more heavy with ink at the base of the them rather than the top half, that looks more spotted or lighter on ink.

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