Medium & Surface



We recently purchased an Ingo Maurer-designed Zettel’z 5 Chandelier. The distinguishing feature of the fixture are the 80 stainless steel wires from which hang sheets of Japanese paper that direct and diffuse the light. So this past Saturday, when the Seattle UrbanSketchers met at St. James Cathedral for their monthly get-together, I set myself the task of doing some drawings on the thin translucent sheets that came with the chandelier kit.


I soon found that ink bled on the paper so I had to adjust the way I drew—moving quickly and touching lightly for thinner strokes; proceeding more slowly and pausing even momentarily resulted in blotting.


Because of the bleeding, I had to be very careful not to overdraw. Some of the blots you see are unintentional but simply part of the process, reflecting the interaction between medium and surface. I think they actually add character to the drawings.


This was just another reminder that while the medium we choose may not affect the viewpoint we choose, it certainly affects the way we execute a drawing and the resulting graphic image.