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Abstract Art, Drawing

New Drawings: exploring texture similar to my ceramics

So… since the finger injury in August (if you need a recap I as good as amputated it whilst preparing for an exhibition! see this post

Anyways this has been the motivation (necessity is the mother of invention) to do some smaller condiment dish style items & jewellery pieces since I can’t go on the wheel or handle large pieces of clay.

Some of these smaller items are now available in my Etsy store.

However, I have also been exploring some drawing exercises.  My intention though was to try to capture some of the texture and depth of my ceramic sculpture….

I have been living in my current house for about 12-13 years : the longest I have ever lived anywhere. The floors in the kitchen and bathroom are tiled with slate, a very textured tile, and for years I have been staring at this slate and seeing images emerge and mutate before my eyes.

For a few years I been thinking I wonder if the same images would appear on paper as those I actually see?? But I have always been too busy (kids, etc) to sit squat on the floor and give it a go.

Well my kids are teenagers/young adults now and the second one is about to spread his wings, so its now or never!!

I was further motivated by my partner giving me a pencil drawing set & visual diary for Christmas… so all the forces are converging…

So, squat I did… and rubbed those tiles for all I was worth.

The results have been interesting. Most tiles do not produce what you think you see with your eyes… but some have, such as “Pole Dancer”, below.

Also, different paper gsm and different pencils, drastically different (and often unpredictable) results… I experimented with various soft pencils, charcoals, coloured pencils, layering up the coloured pencils…Also, different paper gsm and different pencils, drastically different (and often unpredictable) results… experimented with various soft pencils, charcoals, coloured pencils, layering up the coloured pencils… some are shown below:

This technique I am using is referred to as Frottage and was developed by Max Ernst during the Surrealist period as an ‘automatic’ method of artistic creation. Ernst explored the method in 1925, whilst observing wooden floorboards & the grain worn away after many years. He took to it with soft pencil, and a new artform was created : as so many were during this early surreal/expressionist period…

Well, its working for me!! Thanks Ernst 🙂


6 thoughts on “New Drawings: exploring texture similar to my ceramics

  1. Very nice!!!

    Posted by samroderick | January 23, 2012, 9:24 am
  2. Hiya Dawn, interesting to see frottage in this context. I wonder if there is some mileage in creating a print of a textured surface on smooth ceramic, or alternatively finding subject matter for sculpture this way? Elsie

    Posted by Elsie Green | January 23, 2012, 9:44 pm
  3. Hey Elsie… thanks for the comment…the main focus in my artwork is texture, the organic surface, natural form, etc… my ceramic sculpture is abstract & features textured, organic surfaces, images of this artwork can be seem on my Facebook page (“like” to right)… so I was particularly trying to capture a textured surface via the frottage technique. But, yes, trying to capture a textured surface via printing on a smooth ceramic would be an interesting experiment 🙂

    Posted by Dawn Whitehand | February 1, 2012, 12:18 am
  4. Mm , I must try this myself – preferably without the finger injury as an incentive ! In fact I’m going out soon to draw trees so I’ll take something less refined for the bark .
    I hope the finger is operational again , any cuts are awful when working with clay .

    Posted by rukshanaafia | March 16, 2012, 7:51 pm
  5. Hi there rukshanaafia… yes clay is a problem with finger injuries.. but getting better now… still a bit numb, etc

    Anyways, good luck with the frottage experiments: take lots of different gsm papers & lots of different pencils… the paper & pencils make a big difference to some textures

    Posted by Dawn Whitehand | March 16, 2012, 8:00 pm


  1. Pingback: Pencil on Paper | Dawn Whitehand: Visual Artist - July 24, 2012

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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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