Mark Making - Materials and Tools

Mark Making - Materials and Tools


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Making marks that have energy, rhythm and are visually interesting is not easy to do (at least not for me). I sometimes feel stiff and uncoordinated when working with india ink on paper. It is funny how simplicity can be sodifficult, a limited pallet (black ink) makes each mark matter. If something is off, there is no hiding it, the message has to be clear, direct and made with intent.

Something that helps me loosen up and create more interesting marks, is to work with non-traditional  brushes (like the Rooster Feather Brush below) in addition to traditional Asian Calligraphy brushes. 

I made the above pictured brush with a piece of driftwood that I found on a Northern California beach, and used roosters feathers for the brush head (rooster feathers are very soft, flexible and absorb the ink well).

In addition to brushes, using a variety of different paper also creates excitement, as each has it's own personality and will interact with the ink in specific ways. The painting below was completed on our Bamboo Scroll Paper (#308). This bamboo paper has a slight texture and is very absorbent, I especially like using this paper when I am working with ink.


I recently made a bunch of brushes and will experiment and work with them over the next few weeks. I enjoy making brushes and I am happy that I gathered enough driftwood to make a lot more which will be available for purchase in my online store.

Happy Creating!

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