I approached the mark making exercise and looked at representing various objects as marks of feeling that explored the textural sense of how those objects 'felt' to me. I was interested in being very fluid with the interpretation whilst still maintaining integrity in the marks so that they contained a 'representative' sense on the paper rather than pure abstraction. The exercise allowed a great deal of freedom and was intended to get us to see objects in a form beyond the traditional line.
I looked at 4 elements of making a mark when using the pencil; weight, length, speed and direction. Each of these elements individually made a different impression upon the paper's surface. Weight produced a lighter or deeper mark dependant upon pressure, and the pencil point made a different mark than the pencil side when the same pressure was applied. In terms of length this seemed to alter my grip on the pencil, with longer lines moving my hand further along the pencil away from the tip and shorter lines bringing my hand nearer to the tip. Speed felt a very emotional way of using the pencil, it was the primary component for me that seemed to reflect my feelings about a surface. The speed seemed to me the most subconscious of all elements of using the pencil to make marks. Finally direction seemed to create dimension in the marks or in the interplay between the marks and were responsible for making negative space a part of my textural representation or mood. I used the combination of these 4 elements as the framework for making marks.
I wanted to clarify the method or thought behind the technique of making marks to make something conscious within the subconscious feelings the surfaces gave. I wanted to feel the objects through the pencil but also wanted to be mindful of not falling into pure scribble or doodle and so the 4 elements above kept me focussed upon what the pencil could contribute to the process of feeling. It wasn't a constraint but more a gentle awareness of the pencil as a device for feeling.