Water Squiggles

watersquiggle_ipad_conceptI have been developing a form of ‘marbling’ using oil-based paint and turps on water. I refer to this form of accidental mark making as ‘water squiggles’. The floating paint is transferred to paper or canvas. Different chemical reactions are created by variations in the ‘recipe’, the quality of pigment used, the temperature of the water, and the timing. A wide variety of textures and fluid squiggles result creating interesting patterns textures and random marks – squiggles.

Finding images within these squiggles has become “a way of developing and arousing the mind to various intentions”, (Da Vinci, 1508). I have always had an interest in pareidolia and visual phenomena and optical illusions. As a graphic designer, understanding visual perception, visual limitations and gestalt principles are essential to the creation of good design.

I use the Sketch app Procreate to play with possible images and meanings that can be derived from these water marks. Using the ipad to sketch over the top of ideas, make composition variations and quickly compile ideas from photos, text and sketches can be an efficient way to think through ideas and record this process for future analysis. Students could benefit from combining process drawing with other cut and paste activities in their creative processes. The iPad sketch apps allow this to happen more easily.