Week 2: What is a ‘Mark’?

This week I have found the brief particularly challenging, making a lexicon of marks and techniques. My Lexicon of Elements needs to be A-Z of different marks and techniques, so far I have 17:

  • (A) cross-hatching
  • (B) pointillism
  • (C) dashes
  • (D) layering
  • (E) gradient
  • (F) wavy lines
  • (G) zigzags
  • (H) continuous lines
  • (I) interlocking lines
  • (J) scribbly lines
  • (K) blocks of colour
  • (L) geometric
  • (M) broken lines
  • (N) splatter marks
  • (O) implied lines
  • (P) blending
  • (Q) brushstrokes.

I am waiting to hear back from my tutors as to what is a mark and what is a pattern, do they overlap? Once I have created the full lexicon of elements I need to make 4 different outcomes using a list of alphabet letters that the university have chosen. I need to consider my range of marks carefully to make sure I have enough tools construct my images as well as including texture. I will need to illustrate: Crocodile Eggs, Betrothed, A Misty Landscape and a Self-Portrait. This means I need to arrange my lexicon accordingly to be able to achieve the best outcome.

I have also been working on my contemporary context research and building up my annotating skills. I have found a few artists I find relevant to my work:

Anna & Elena Balbusso:

(Twitter, 2020)

The Balbusso twins are award winning Italian artists who have been published internationally. I believe mainly work in book illustration and have illustrated over 40 books. This piece is illustrating one of my favourite books The Little Prince by Antonie de Saint-Exupery. The have depicted the Prince with his Rose on their planet watching the sunset (one of his favourite things to do). The Balbusso twins illustrated the book in 2017. I like this piece not only for the book but because of the elegance they have created. I particularly like the warm colours used and the pattern of the planet; its very floral and natural. I would say the circle is the most prominent shape and the repetition of it makes the eye flow over the image nicely. Even the sharper shapes are softened with organic shapes near them. I particularly admire the choreographic use of pictorial space and composition to lead the eyes in a dance around the image. I need to be able to create this integration of the elements of form in my own work. I am curious about the use white, the Princes skin and the stars are the lightest part of the piece, I wonder what the significance of the star on a diagonal to him is if any. (May be the star collectors planet) Whilst I like this piece there are some of the Balbusso’s work that I do not like but that is down to genre rather than their style. 

Sydney Hanson:

(Bumble bee Sídney Hanson (With images) | Cute animal illustration, Animal art, 2020)

Sydney Hanson is an artist from Minnesota, she is influenced and inspired by her childhood adventures in nature and love of animals. Sydney worked for Nickelodeon and Disney Interactive as well as producing her original illustrations. I like the contrast of detail between the subject and background as well as the realistic texture and non realistic eyes. I understand the eyes are enlarged to create a cute effect that will appeal to some viewers. The use of soft textures and shapes gives adds to the cute none threatening quality of the piece. 

Jennifer L. Meyer

(Shannon Associates, 2020)

This piece has a very childlike and playful quality to it, very innocent. I like how it tells a short story. I have noticed that she has used a limited colour palette which is something I struggle with. I also like how the background is blank which enables me to focus on the elephant. I would like to produce some work that shows a similar sequence to this with my own characters. This is also the only piece I have found in my search today that features the movement marks used in comics, by this I am referring to the ears and wings. In relation to my work I am interested in the weight and gravity and the contrast between characters. I need to consider how to create/express this quality in my work. 

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