Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Summer Drawing Project – lesson 13


Continuing the theme of making marks that show rhythm, this week by using a range of different textural effects on your sketchbook pages that will help to give the drawn marks a rhythmical effect. Ideas of ways to create simple bands of relief on your sketchbook pages -

  • Make folds or creases.
  • Score lines with implements by pressing hard onto the plain page – stiletto, seam ripper, scissors – hint to place scrap card behind page if you’d prefer the scores to remain on the one page and not go through to other pages beneath.
  • Add strips of paper or masking tape.
  • Make lines with glue stick (Pritt)
  • Make lines with candle wax.
  • Make lines with a thick medium such as emulsion paint.
  • Make perforated lines  of holes with sewing machine, where the needle makes lovely burred edges so use back of page or place sketchbook in machine upside down!
  • Any other way you can think of.

You might like to make a sampler page of several of these ideas so you can try out different media on them to find the most successful combinations and ways of showing off the rhythmical textures best.

Tools such as a pipette, small paint brush, scrap paper and finger will be useful but not essential.


Hopefully the large images below show some of the different relief surfaces up as there is very little colour at this first stage! The textured lines on the page below were made by applying thick emulsion paint with the edge of a strip of card.P1080592

The page below has been scored with a stiletto that added interesting rips to the surface.P1080600

The page below has been scored or indented with the end of scissors.P1080601

The textured lines on the page below are ripped strips of masking tape.P1080602

The textured lines below are made with a glue stick on the left half and candle wax on the right half.


Lines of perforations made with a sewing machine needle – page stitched from the reverse side to make the relief ‘burrs’ point upwards.P1080612

Now to make marks on these surfaces that will reflect and be effected by the different types of relief surfaces. Here are some ideas, but experiment with different colouring media yourself.

Make simple marks, such as lines, rather than complicated marks, so that you give your relief surfaces the chance to show up clearly. Allow each relief surface to decide on the way your marks look. These are a few ways in which my pages have turned out.

The page below was scored in horizontal lines. Grey pastel and watery lines of ink (from a wet brush that was still dirty) make vertical lines, showing off the scored surface in the first stage on the left. Then more scored lines were added diagonally while the surface was still wet in the second stage on the right.

P1080606 P1080608

Below, another page of scratched score lines – this time made diagonally. Black ink, pulled downwards with a piece of scrap card.


The indented scored lines made with the scissors point shows up well after black chalk has been dragged across the surface of the page below. The second stage was to allow red ink to dribble downwards to see if the dribble would re-direct itself along the score lines: it did, but only in the last couple of dribbles! To add more interest, it was decided to make the dribbles more interesting by adding more scores across each dribble in the opposite angle.

P1080618 - Copy - Copy  P1080636 - Copy (2)  P1080642 

Another page which uses dribbles. Here are the stages of making marks on the needle perforations page, below. I noticed that the burrs around the perforations weren’t enhanced in any way by the dribbles – probably too narrow -  so I smudged the ink dribble with my finger and found that this showed up the rows of perforations more successfully – see right hand image.

P1080627 P1080628 P1080629P1080630

…. and then I over-did the smudging – see above - and had to think of a way of rescuing the perforations by adding some white chalk – see below!


However - the over-smudging had the benefit of pushing the coloured inks through the perforations onto the back of the page.


The page below was folded and opened many times. The sharp folds created slight ridges which trapped smudged coloured chalks well.


The ridges of the lines made the dried glue stick and candle wax allowed me to do more smudging – this time applying the coloured chalk onto my finger and then dragging it over the ridges – see below.

P1080619  P1080623

Again, I felt it needed a second stage and used the chalk stick straight onto the page – but trying not to over-do it this time!


The final page is the relief surface made with ripped strips of masking tape. Grey chalk was dragged diagonally across the strips and then a very dry brush of red ink in the same direction.


I’ve used mainly straight lines in these pages and also a limited range of colours. This to make it easier to concentrate on the interesting details of how the different media and relief surfaces are responding to each other. You will now have a good idea yourself and will be able to make further use of these combinations in following lessons.

Remember to stabilise any pages that are likely to smudge further by spraying a fixative over them, either from an art shop or by using a cheap aerosol hair spray!

Lesson 14 will be posted on Monday 11th August.


  1. This looks such fun Sian. I'm way behind because of holidays, visitors staying and struggling with the paperwork for my late aunt's estate, followed by a (delightful) two day workshop with Alison King in Aboyne. However, now that I've finished Chapter 8, I might take a little time to catch up with the drawing project.

  2. Lovely exciting marks,may try some of these for barriers.