Exercise 2: Texture

Texture: Frottage

For Exercise 2 , I decide to first explore texture through frottage. I started with drawing paper, but found the kind I have too thick to show details of the texture, so I shifted to baking paper that is much thinner and allows more of the underlying object to come through. I used a charcoal stick.


I used different leaves from the garden, a stick, a woven basket, a loaf of bread, a frozen lamb chop, coins, and a 2000Rp bill, wood, a crumpled paper, lettuce, basil for different textures:

I found this very useful in seeing how the texture looks on paper . Based on this I think it will be easier to draw different textures- it was a good exercise.

Here a few more trials with thinner drawing paper and a 2B pencil:

wood, a knitted pattern, a feather and a massagebrush




Here I go back too take a closer look at textures through drawing, not frottage. I study the surface of a coconut, an almond, a crumpled little paperbag and the scratched surface of my waterbottle.


I am quite happy with the nuts, but the paperbag and waterbottle do not look like anything recognizable!

Here I switch to a charcoal pen to draw a rough linen cloth and a smoother crumpled cottoncloth:


The linen worked really well, but the cotton cloth could be anything from a plastic bag, a sheet of paper or a cloth. Have to look into how to differentiate.

Some studies of wooden surface with the same black charcoal stick:


My friend visiting me here in my temporary little abode in Thailand brought GREEN INK and a metal feather to draw with it. I am so happy- this is amazing and so much fun!! So far I have only used black ink with a brush- this opens up a whole new world of possibilities! I love how detailed I can draw with this new tool and how many shades of green I can achieve.

A feather:


The rough surface of my very used bathroom cleaning sponge:


Here I continue to use the beautiful green gold ink with both a brush and a feather to study the surface textures of some little stones and a piece of coral found .



Also a shell and another type of coral. I am fascinated by the diversity of shades and effects I can produce with the ink, but find it difficult to control the tones . I am definitely happy to experiment more though- ink is a fascinating media for me.


I have realized that I always just sketch in lines, very rarely with any surface at all and plan to experiment more with surface and texture.

I would love to explore the human skin more… lets see if there will be time for everything I have in mind now- this opens up so many new ways of drawing!



1.1 Project 1 Feeling and expression

Here I divide four A1 sheets of paper in four A3 panels. On every sheet I am expressing a different emotion, using a different media for every panel.

For the top left panel I use charcoal, top right black oil pastel, bottom left ink painted with brush and bottom right a felt tip pen.

I really feel into the emotion, evoking memories and images to go deeper, and then draw quickly and spontaneously expressing the emotion. Usually I like to draw small drawings with a lot of detail, especially if it is an abstract pattern, so here I push myself to be more expressive and less controlled.


After drawing, I wrote what I felt through expressing these emotions , also very spontaneously and free-flowing.




Anger is dark, its black , no red, it is burning, it kept mixing with sadness and was hard to tell apart, but now anger has more edges and sharp corners, more spikes and screams and flames. It is hard and loud and bold. I let it out- it is bigger and darker than I thought, exploding from a dark center. There is freedom in this explosion, expansion.

For so long there was only sadness and a feeling of hopelessness thinking of this man that I love, but now anger is there too, it is getting louder. I can feel its strength and power. It is empowering me. Yes, step back fear and sadness, anger is beautiful!





Calm is quiet and soft, it is the space between the sounds, between the lines and colors. It is light and slow, maybe not still but with a sliding effortless silent movement. It is white or light and transparent, flowing, breathing. Can it be black? Yes, it can be a soothing , calm, black nothingness- nothing to do, nowhere to go, falling softly into peace. A safe black, a cave to rest.

My drawing looks like an eye, this is unintentional, the lines flowing together to see. The calm emptiness between the gentle lines, the calm dark in the safe center, a seed, a cave.





Joy is a dance, it is swirling, bursting, pearling, flowing, spreading. It’s the quiet warmth of gratitude welling forward in small crystal waves, it is colors and bursts of laughter , it is sharing and connecting and quiet again. It is white and light and exploding with colors . It is kissing and whispers and smiles and screaming and jumping and dancing , it is splashing water but also quietly watching the clouds.

Joy is a whole universe of magic planets and our secret love language. It is sketching, splashing, smearing and forgetting everything else.

I know joy, but I will have another go at drawing it. Why is it difficult to draw joy? I try to find the right music to go with it and realize how serious, calm, fearful, angry , sad my whole musiclibrary is.


Now joy is more quiet, more internal, it is gratitude, it is flowers and the sky, it is sand between the toes and listening intently kind of joy, it is walking barefoot and being alive.





Fear is a dark beast, stiffening, engulfing everything else, it is the cold creeping in from the outside, and the dark furry caterpillar welling up from the inside.

It is empty and acid, it is too full and suffocating , it is spreading and compressing, repressing , holding back, closing in . Then stiff and rigid, cold, marching on towards the next dark spot, pulling strings to memories and pains stored deep.



Of all the emotions, I think “fear” is expressed the best. The visual outcome really reflects my emotion of fear. Calm is also close by, as is anger, although my daugter would name both “confusion”. I struggled the most with “joy” and had two attempts, but both ended up more swirly than I feel. I feel joyful, but in a way closer to calm, grateful, centered. For “Calm”  I felt tempted to leave the page more or less blank at first, but then I felt all the movement in calm and also the fullness.

It was interesting using different media. Charcoal and oil pastel allow more or less similar movements, but with ink I felt less control of the outcome. With the felt pen, I felt maybe too much control and had to restrain myself from getting lost in symbolism and detail and force myself to really keep spontaneous.

These are the separate panels I would choose to best express emotions:




1.1 Warm up- temporary drawings

As a warm up for Drawing one, I am encouraged to explore temporary unusual drawing , an exercise that I immediately love. I tend to become too strict when doing the coursework, so this is a perfect start to become more playful and spontaneous.

Smoothie drawings:

I just finished a red berry smoothie and see my turquoise pants through the almost empty glass. So now I start to draw with a spoon in the traces of smoothie:

These colors are really explosive!


And on the table I have a small bouquet of flowers in a glass, so moving the stems around here are some more breakfast drawings:

It is afternoon now and I have been seeing potential possible temporary drawings all day! Even boiling spaghetti, I get inspired to do a spaghetti drawing.

But these shadows are definitely worth remembering- as fleeting and temporary as possible. My daughter Ria is helping to document the process:)




Here I am drawing with two flashlights in the dark, and taking photos with a long exposure, between 1/2 to 2 sec. It was a surprise bonus to discover that the flashlights had different colored lights.  I moved smoothly and constantly with both hands.


I shifted to holding many insence sticks instead, to have more filigrane lines and more freedom of movement. The results are random- chance drawings .

This is my favourite- a small lightfairy:



Flower petals

Here in Bali women create beautiful offerings to the Gods and decorations with flower petals every day- temporary art and spiritual practice. I am so used to seeing this , that I don’t always SEE it anymore. And I realized that I have used flower petals to greet someone for a birthday or decorate a little here and there in the house, but I have actually never tried to create art like this myself. Today is Nyepi- the Balinese Day of Silence, so everyone is at home in quiet reflection and everything, including ATMs and the airport, is closed today. A perfect day to draw with flowers.


I start with a stardesign: a compass , turning into a star, turning into a mandala:


I like drawing mandalas as a meditation. Now I remember the tradition amongst Buddhist monks to create very intricate mandalas with different colored sands. This superb very detailed mandala takes many weeks to complete, but as soon as it is finished, the monks will blow on it to destroy it, practicing non- attachment and reflecting upon the temporary character of all beings.

Another very simple mandala:


Of course i must try to draw an eye. The eye appears all over my sketchbook. Shakespeare the cat is very curious at what is happening here.

This all -although fun- feels a little stiff and unoriginal, I try to create some less predictable designs:


I dont know if it is the choice of flowers, but it seems like whatever I “draw” has a whiff of cemetery and funeral designs.I like the three dimensionality and texture of the flowers, but I am not really content with any of the “drawings” or flowers as a media.

Then after cleaning everything up, I leave the orange flowers on the table with my incense holder and crystals- and there- the simple beautiful mandala I was looking for 🙂



Dishwash liquid drawings

As suggested in the manual, I try out drawing with dish wash liquid in the sink. Some furry cosmic creatures emerge..:


Spaghetti drawings

Ok, so I couldn’t resist drawing with spaghetti. Second time pasta for dinner this week:) Its just so playful with the wiggly shapes and lines. Never again will I tell the kids not to play with their food ( Just kidding, they are old enough to tell me off, so this project was done in secret).