Drawing 2 – Norris
Abstract Repetition & Mark-Making Assignment
Drawing Utensil: You decide, anything except the utensils we use in class (charcoal, graphite, etc). It could be ballpoint pen, sharpie, chalk, stamps, stickers, collage materials, etc.
Paper: One sheet of 22 x 30” Arches Stonehenge or Arches Cover paper. You can purchase individual sheets at the bookstore. Tape off a carefully measured, one-inch border before you begin.
In our early drawing classes, we typically use marks to build an image of a real-life subject we are trying to recreate on the picture plane. The marks might be expressive and varied, but they ultimately exist in order to achieve an illusion of reality, translated from three dimensions down to two. For this assignment, we are going to allow the marks to take the spotlight and be the actual subject of the drawing. We will not be creating an image based on observing the world around us, we will be making work that is more abstract in nature and defined by a process driven by mark-making, repetition, and intuition.
1) Choose a single mark that will be repeated over and over again throughout the drawing. Choose your mark carefully. It should be a mark that is important, compelling, or confounding to you. It will be repeated literally hundreds (if not thousands) of times, so it should be something that will remain interesting to you over time.
2) The mark can be varied in terms of size, color, material, etc. or it can remain exactly the same throughout the piece. However, the largest version of the mark should be no more than one square inch.
3) The definition of “mark” is very broad here. It might not be made using a traditional drawing method. It may even be a collage element that is adhered to the paper. Or perhaps it will be a stencil or a stamp. Be creative. Try to come up with something nobody else will have imagined.
4) You may wish to create a grid, plan, or specific method with which to repeat your mark in order to establish a particular layout or composition; or you may simply repeat the mark in a more intuitive manner, letting each one tell you where to go next.
5) These marks are not coming together to create an image of a subject; the marks themselves are the subject.
6) Even though we are not seeking to create an image, the piece should still feel ambitious, well-crafted, and considered. Try to think of an element that will unify the piece: a consistent texture or pattern, layers that create a fade or movement, alternating colors or other variations that create a consistent composition or design, or simply repetition that is so exact that it gives the work substance and a sense of craft.
Artists we looked at in reference to this assignment: