Mark Making/Preparing Surfaces

Hi Guys,

I thought I would kick my Blog off by discussing mark making and preparing surfaces for painting, this will be a recap for my Landscape students as this is what we covered on Friday, but I hope it will be of interest to those of you visiting my site. I will also be discussing what I've been working on personally in the last week. I hope you enjoy this and please do leave comments if there are painting subjects that you would love to discuss.

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Well I thought I would cover mark making with my students this week at Cheltenham Fine Art. It's a really good idea however experienced you are as an artist to occasionally revisit this area of your work. The way I like to do this is place all mark making tools within your personal kit out on the table and explore how many different marks you are able to make with them.

So this might include a selection of brushes, knives and edges such as mount board, string and other objects that you may use as a simple printed mark.I would include using different parts of your hands in this list to {if you are preferring to keep clean hands put a pair of thin disposable gloves in your kit so as you are still able to explore this and feel comfortable}.

Now its useful for you to keep a record of your mark making so either do this in your sketch book or transfer it there at a later stage so as to jog your memory when you may be looking for inspiration.

I have split the exercises to try into categories of acrylic/oil and watercolour.

Acrylic and oil.

Start to explore each brush in turn being sure to use the side and tip and as well as applying a mark you are able to remove the paint to leave a different mark. You are also able to get soft what are known as ghost marks by using a soft cotton rag to wipe marks back.

Make as many marks as you are able to and try to discover new ones to add to your repetoire.Remember to experiment with knife tools or the end of your paint brush handle to strike through marks, I think this is a really energetic mark and creates great energy in the mark when done with confidence.

Lastly try using different parts of your hands to make marks, I find this really helps me connect directly with what I m doing and I find it can really enliven acrylic marks.