Eva Schuster

Creative Language Learning and Visual Artist

Mark Making 6

Eva Lesson 6

Last lesson, OMG, time flies, and then what?! I so enjoy these classes, and besides the assignments and the so valuable feedback, it’s the participants’ posts, feedback and the group experience of the whole thing that I really enjoy.

And here we go, lesson #6:
First of all, I had forgotten to photograph the befores/processes/afters of my first experiments, so I did another 6 yesterday which I’m posting first.

For the collages I was trying to pay attention to difference in color, pattern, value and size. But now looking at them I can safely say that I didn’t actually do it every time. In most of them at least 3 elements have the same value. 2 and 5 have more variation in value.
Colors, except in 1 are different, sizes, and patterns are different.
In hindsight I can say that the biggest challenge is paying attention to DIFFERENCE.
As for paint scribbles I liked neutral colors. The density and neutrality of warm or cold neutrals seemed so soothing and pulling things together. I liked doing masses of neutrals.

Then marks, drops/drips/splatter, latex paint etc. Crayons, posca paint pens and latex lines are my favorites now as well as graphite. But with this smallish format the latex lines are sometimes just too fat, it seems.

It is interesting to note – and I would like to understand it better – that once a mark appears, space also appears. Without a mark, space is not seen, as soon as there is a mark, space is also there. – Not sure whether this is right, or whether I understand it.


1a quite similar in value, and the size of the two elements on the side are very similar.

1b wanting to introduce something spicy

1c maybe too many elements, and the little green tree-thing and the pencil cut-out have the same line structure, doesn’t seem to work well.


2a differences in pattern and size, color and values only to some degree,


2b added 4 more marks, all very different, seems to work well now


3a difference in size and pattern, but not in value, and not much in color.

3b the big neural helped, marks are different


4a difference in size, and pattern, but not in value nor color


4b but here come color and value variation, also the gray pushes the green shape back and there is depth, there is more of a push and pull, more dynamic.


5a difference in value, color, size and pattern



5b the neutral pulls it apart and obscures some elements




5c more dramatic foreground vs background; the transparent areas and splatter give it something mysterious. Also I used a brayer here.


6a difference in color, value, size and patterns



6b less clear, not sure about the size of the magenta crayon nor the size of the ocker element


7a except the size, and pattern these elements are all very similar



7b the neutral connects the elements


7c more connections made via blue crayon and pink posca marks
These were the ones I did earlier, but had forgotten to take pictures during their transformation.

11 like the variation here, the different sizes, patterns, colors,


The desire to create harmony and to fill the painting is very strong. It seems like breathing space could be more with most of them.
I like 4, 5, 8 and 11. But I’m now interested in taking some of these and work them until they seem complete in some way.

Jane Davies April 10, 2018 at 10:47 AM

I love that! Once a mark appears, SPACE appears. You have hit that nail on the head. Once you make a mark, you have a composition: you have the mark, the space around it, and the edges of the paper. There are RELATIONSHIPS between the mark and the space, and between the mark and the edges of the page.

Also, the biggest challenge is paying attention to DIFFERENCE. YES! It comes naturally to most of us to repeat and balance. Making things the same is soothing.

Great job on this. A couple of observations: on #5, why not extend the opaque gray OVER the collage elements? You are tiptoeing around them. The way you use opaque paint in other pieces (6 and 7, e.g.) makes more of a statement.