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Experimental Mark Making and Surface Textures

Tutor:  Eleanor White


Equivalent to 2 days studio time

Fee: £80

Course code: EKW#3 EMMST

Course introduction and information:

Intro to Experimental Mark Making and Surface Textures

Intro to Experimental Mark Making and Surface Textures

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VIDEO: Eleanor White - introduction to Experimental Mark Making and Surface Textures

A course for the beginner or experienced artist alike as this will take you through the process of mark making with mixed media. 


As an artist I see this course as a way of limbering up to making work, just as a musician would practice before a performance , or a dancer would practice moves or an athlete would train, an artist does the same. It is a way of learning processes, ways of working and expanding your learning from whatever stage you are at. So for the beginner it will give you an extensive lead in to understanding your materials. For the experienced artist it will give you a freedom to make marks with materials that you are perhaps familiar with but with the bonus of not making an image.


This is the key to this course; you are free from the tyranny of making an image. It is about the mark and the way that your hand moves to make that mark and the joy of the materials for their own sake. It will become a vocabulary that you can use again and again. You can put it into practice for any size and scale of work you prefer to do, with whatever theme that inspires you. 

You will use drawing media, charcoal, oil pastels and chalk pastels, acrylic paints, PVA Glue and Modelling paste. You will need A5 size paper and some A3 paper to make a concertina sketchbook. You can buy a concertina sketchbook or you can use and existing sketchbook to keep a record of the course. We suggest concertina as you can look at more than one page at a time which is a helpful reminder as you work.  But if you don’t have one or don’t want one, it will not hinder your progress of this course. 

This is not a do it once and it's done course; you can do it again on another day and the result will be different. Just as you will be different on that day, the colours you chose will differ and the way you move your hand will differ. That is the beauty of art; it is a genuine response to the world and not a copy or a repeat performance!


I aim to do a follow up course that will advance your practice as an artist from the learning you have done from this course. This will let you see how you can utilise your expressive mark making and surface textures to build sustained images. 


Materials/equipment required:


30 + sheets A5 size Paper (250gsm cartridge paper is a good weight. If you have sugar paper or black paper this is good also. These papers will be available in a large supermarket under the children’s section in a cheap scrapbook or in a stationers/Post Office. You may even find it in mixed paper sketchbooks. )


Acrylic paint is best for this course

Brushes:  small, medium, large and a medium household brush.


Spatula or pieces of mount board card


Water pot

Kitchen roll or rags

Palette for mixing paint



Chalk and oil pastels

Any drawing materials

PVA glue

Modelling paste – this is a paint bulker and can make textured surfaces.  

A colour wheel or access one on internet- this is for you to expand your use and knowledge of colour if you get stuck in rut!


Sketchbook – The sketchbook for this course is for you to paste in your mark making sheets and to keep them as a reference. You can make a concertina sketchbook if you have A3 paper, or you can buy an A4 concertina if you prefer. You can also just use an A4 sketchbook if that is what you have and is your preferred option.  There is a video to help you make one on the course.  You can do the course first then get a sketchbook later.

A camera or mobile phone to record your work 


What you get on this course:     


Introduction video


Slide talk to reference artists for inspiration


6 stages with step-by-step worksheets


Video demonstrations for each stage


4 extra bonus videos 


Materials list and suppliers


Suitable for all abilities 


Beginners will benefit greatly


Course can be adapted for use in a limited space or studio


Offers small scale working practice which in turn can be used in large scale work


Designated Facebook group for group feedback 

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