Saturday Art Club – Mark making

Mark making with charcoals is one of our favourite things to do at the Saturday Art Club, as we can create large murals using a number of techniques.  We experiment with using different sizes of charcoal, as different thickness can produce different types of mark making, as well as varying the pressure we put on the charcoal.  Another favourite is to get a stick and secure the charcoal to the stick with some masking tape and free styling with that.

Jane Topping is one of the artists in our exhibition Domestic Bliss and she also choose charcoal to use in her prints.

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Charcoal (or pencils if you don’t have any charcoal)
  • Sticks of different sizes
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Rubbers

If you don’t have any paper handy then why not use the cardboard from some of your shopping packaging? You might need scissors to cut them open and get an adult to help. We strongly encourage you to use recycling especially since before Lockdown Saturday Art Club went Green! When you go out for your daily exercise try and pick up different sizes of branches to act as your sticks if you don’t have any at home.

The first technique to experiment with is using different pressures on the pencil.  For my first square I’ve used a very light touch, whilst in the second I’ve used more pressure to create a darker font. To make a cube draw one square then another one just behind it, and then join the two squares together.

Pencils are like charcoal in that you can smudge them to create shading, but don’t worry if you don’t like the effect as you can use a rubber to erase it! Play around with different pressures on the pencil and smudging the pencil to create different effects.

For the next technique we are going to get our sticks and secure the pencil or charcoal at the bottom of them with tape. Place paper or cardboard on the ground and use the sticks with pencils on them to create some marks and remember to experiment with different sizes of stick! Did it get easier or harder the longer the stick was?

Have fun trying to apply different pressure or different sticks to your marks. If you want to shake things up, what about trying to do some mark making with your non dominate hand (if you use your right hand to write then use your left for this experiment and vice versa)?

Most importantly have fun and remember to share your creations with us in the comments section or on social media! #SaturdayArtClub

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

Leave a Reply