Task: To use 4 A1 sheets of paper to inhabit 4 different emotions, using 4 different per panels on each A1 sheet for each emotion.
Objective: To use non-objective images (no words or figures) only lines, marks and abstract shapes
The tools I have chosen to use are:
- Medium charcoal sticks
- Indian ink, and a wooden stick to apply the ink
- Chalk pastels – blue and black
- Oil pastels
To prepare for this exercise I kept four separate coloured sheets of paper with me at all times, each with a spider diagram to add to for each emotion. I chose a different colour for each emotion so it was easy for me to grab and jot something down if I needed to.
The first emotion I did was calm. I completed the ideas for this page after spending the day by the sea, so I was completely inspired by this emotion. For the first panel I tried to recreate the feeling of ‘getting a clear head’ – something which often helps me to reach a feeling of calm, imagining the centre of the panel is the centre of my mind, and the thoughts emptying out. I used the blue chalk pastel for this panel.
For the second panel I tried to capture the effect of looking at a lake and seeing the water shimmering in some sort of light and the ripples moving across it, which is one of the first things I picture if I tried to imagine ‘calm’ as an image. I used a wooden stick and ink for this panel.
For the third panel I wanted to try to recreate the soothing waves I had seen at the beach that day, I used the charcoal stick for this and it worked perfectly as it was extremely soft and smooth to drag across the paper, that just doing that felt like a calming motion itself.
For the fourth panel I thought about what being calm meant to me, especially how to get there, and one of the best methods for me is creating as sense of order (whether it be in my mind, my life or just my desk) so I drew a basic grid like pattern to represent creating order, and did a lot of dark smudging of this to give the effect of a pattern ’emerging’ – my mind forming order. For this panel I used oil pastel.
The second emotion I did for this exercise was anger. I felt I may struggle with this as anger is not an emotion I’m very comfortable with being, so this one did take quite a bit of time to get ideas for. The first thing I thought of was the feeling of anger making you, your mind, and sometimes all rationality spiral out of control, so I created that feeling for panel one using the charcoal stick
On panel two I wanted to create a bubbling effect – the idea of your anger bubbling over, and I discovered I could do this by gently rubbing a chalk pastel over the paper and the small raised bumps on my wall behind the paper would create this effect
For the third panel I used the ink to make small dark scratches on the paper and for the final panel I used oil pastel to show a hazy/fog like appearance to visualise the feeling of ‘seeing red’ when you feel blinding rage
The third piece I did for was for the emotion joy.
In my first panel I used charcoal to show the feeling of excitement that comes with jot, an elevated heart rate, or possibly the sound waves to a song with a lot beats
On the second panel I filled the space mostly with black chalk pastel apart from a white circle, thinking of the sentence ‘a beam of light’ which I associate with the feeling of joy.
I used ink in the third panel to try to capture my mood rising almost like flames from a fire, and in the fourth panel I used oil pastel to create a sort of springy effect to show the light/bouncy feeling that joy can bring
My final piece was an emotion that I chose myself – anxiety, something I find an extremely easy emotion to relate to.
The first panel was to show the confusion that anxiety can being, when you’re scared and start to panic, I drew swirls to show my thoughts swirling in my mind
On the second panel I wanted to put across one of the physical symptoms that comes from this feeling and that is the nervous/jittery/shaky feeling and i used oil pastel to do little dots and smudges across the space to show this.
In the third panel I used ink to create lots of small X’s, almost like small warning signs and in the final panel I used chalk pastel to do small darting lines going towards the black space in the centre to show that anxiety can sometimes make you feel like things are swarming towards you, almost like you’re under attack
I’ve found this exercise has really tested me artistically, and like the ‘temporary drawings’ exercise it has pushed me to think outside of the usual boundaries I’ve stuck to in art. I really enjoyed having to use the different tools for each panel, its made me appreciate how much I can do with each one – especially the ink and the chalk pastel, both of which I’ve never used before. I did struggle using the oil pastel and this has definitely made me want to improve my skills with that particular tool.
I’ve also found upon reflection, that some of the drawings I’ve done may not truly reflect each emotion to another person looking at it, like the smudged grid panel on my calm sheet, or the dark surrounding the light circle one on the sheet for joy. I’m not sure if this is a negative point on my behalf or if it is showing me a deeper understanding of how everyone can express themselves differently through art.