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Experimental Drawing Lesson - Mark-making Drawing from the Subconscious

For this drawing problem you will need to consider three concepts:

  1. Using a variety of lines from bold to delicate, curved to straight, light to dark

  2. The drawing surface (middle gray value) as the middle layer of dimensional space

  3. Creating the drawing intuitively not analytically

Start by creating a middle-value ground by covering your paper with charcoal and then blending it to a flat even middle tone with a chamois cloth. The drawing process will start with you making a mark, line, and shape or form with charcoal or eraser on your paper (see Figure 1). The next step is an aesthetic response to that first element by making another mark, line, shape or form (Figure 2) and repeating that intuitive process until you complete the drawing. Push elements back and pull others forward in space to create as much spatial depth as possible to compose the drawing.  This drawing should have a variety of elements from broad quick gestures to delicate thin straight lines, large solid forms to outline shapes, all ranging in value from black to white with a variety of grays in-between.

Additional Notes: The concept is to create the drawing from a subconscious response to each element you add to the drawing. Try to shut off the analytical and rely on your instinct. Create a middle-value ground by covering your paper with charcoal, blending it to a flat even middle tone with a chamois cloth and then "pulling out" the lights with your gum eraser and "pushing back" the darks with your compressed charcoal. This drawing is to fill the page and even go beyond the edges.

Materials: charcoal, compressed charcoal, gum eraser, 18 x 24 quality drawing paper.


Figure 1 . The first element of the drawing


Figure 2 . The first response


Figure 3.  The second response to the added elements in the drawing


Figure 4.  Continue to build the drawing from an intuitive response . Do not analyze.


Figure 5.  Repeat the process until you feel the work is complete.

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