part one: form and gesture

project one: feeling and expression

exercise two: experimenting with texture

lemon peel



Spent quite sometime trying to capture lemon peel with an HB pencil – nwith no success – though it did help me getting my ‘control’ side out of the way, helping me loosen up to experiment with other techniques. Best results seem to be charcoal and a sponge dipped into paint.

scouring pad (steel wool)


This was maddening – such fascinating texture – it’s all about the angular shine. My best effort involved a whole process of ’embossing’ the paper with the head of a nail, rubbing charcoal in lightly, going over with charcoal pencil, and finishing with a fine ink pen.

basket weave


As with the lemon peel, I felt I wanted to ‘conquer’ the basket weave with my trusty HB pencil before experimenting. Trying to capture the pattern was maddening – it felt a bit rubrics cube – by the time I’d gone from looking to the paper, I’d forgotten once again the pattern. The key to the texture is the slight fold in the material itself and the dark shadows where it dips under itself.

I think the frottage and the frottage mix worked ok, and I can imagine blending in the frottage as part of a sketch. In the fourth I had the idea to pull back from the detail, to get an overall idea of basket weave texture – I don’t know why I found this so difficult. The light was dim and flat so there wasn’t a great deal of texture but even so, I’m really disappointed with the result.

The final experiment I’m happy with – weirdly a rubber cuticle stick dipped in crumbled brown pastel and pushed into the paper. It seems that using materials that take away some control give more expression – I suppose this is obvious – just that it’s taken a while for me to discover this.



Wood was the most maddening of the textures I chose – perhaps because it’s the one I thought would be the most straight forward. I’ve added a photo here to remind me of what I was looking at. Frontage didn’t work. I also tried rubbing charcoal and pastel into the wood itself and then rolling that across the paper – no go. The charcoal probably works best for a sense of that crumbly texture. The paint was the most frustrating – I’m a total beginner in paint and trying to work it here just made me mad.


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