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Session 02 – Mark making - Seeing


What’s in the box?

Sketching pencils


Welcome/Croeso to week 02 of the Feel Good Box sessions. Really loved meeting you all last week and amazed at the collages you produced…profound and honest and highly creative. I will keep returning to the subject of sketch books as the course continues as there is lots to be said…but want to move on to some practical understandings and sketching techniques. 



I will not be able to share all that I want to in these sessions and so I have put together a simple website that I will be building on each week with links and videos and images to further the themes of the sessions. This is a private website only for those on this course/adventure…to access the site simply visit the link below and then type in the password…once you are in you simply click and navigate around the site …only some of the links are working as I will add and activate the others as we go.



1 -

2 – Bill


4 – Password =FGB2020



Thank you for sharing some of your islanders with us last week…as I mentioned we will be returning to this as a resource during the course and so it would be wonderful if you were able to complete the three items for each category…try and restrict yourself to just three as this is part of the process of exploring your own creative pathways.


Mark making:

That what we like to call – drawing-sketching – it is about fully exploring the properties and versatility of the tool you are using to make marks with on the surface you are creating on.



This is a discipline that you will need to practice and is a fundamental skill to be able to observe and see an object in terms of: form – shadow - line – surface – colour – value – negative space 

So often we are ‘drawn’ into the process of sketching what we think we see rather than what we actually see…I will be sharing a couple of techniques to help us learn ‘how to see’.

Sketch book…

  • each week we will be looking at sketch books and how they work - this week we will make our own concertina sketch books - these are great for small projects and varying around with you and also having different size paper to work on - both sides!  See videos below...

  •  the pencils

  • try to avoid holding it like you would a​ pen for writing - instead keep it at a shallow angle and hold as you would say a stick you were pointing with  - by just letting it rest in the crook of your fingers - make marks rather than draw lines - spend time just playing and experimenting to see what marks the pencil makes

  • use the HB to 8B range these are the soft pencils and the graphite will leave make gentle smooth marks and the higher the B number the darker the mark

  • always be gentle and try not to damage the surface of the paper as this will not allow the graphite to key into the pours of the paper

  • the soft pencils will smudge easy - so use this to you advantage but using the smudging stick or your finger to merge the shading - use a piece of paper under you hand to prevent unwanted smudging

  • Using a rubber/eraser

  • try and only use these to lift graphite at the final stages in order to lighten an area - try to avoid erasing your construction and mark making as this is all part of the work - use gentle light pressure and these early lines will become absorbed into the final work

  • Paper

  • thick heavy weight paper will hold a lot more material - graphite than say a simple sheet of photocopier paper - so experiment with different types of paper also to find different effects.

  • Shading – cross hatching

  • think of shading in 5 values - lighters to darkest with three grades in between - use cross hatching to achieve these grades  - diagonals - horizontals and vertices  - also by increasing the pressure of the pencil as you shade

  • Observation through a cut out square

  • cut out a 5 x 7 ratio hole from a piece of paper and hold it out to an object to frame it  - use the rule of thirds - to find a composition using diagonals to add dynamic effect - draw precisely what you see in the way of form - this may well lead to some great abstract work

  • Negative space

  • this is quite simply the area out side of the body of the shape you are observing and is as important to the composition as the positive space is

Sketching basics 01

Making a Concertina sketch book

Inspiring concertina sketch book

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