Day 8: Ink Blots

Bulletism is a  Surrealist technique of shooting ink at a blank piece of paper. The result is a type of ink blot. The artist can then develop images based on what is seen.

Gather Materials:

  • an artist’s journal, unlined notebook, or piece of paper
  • pencil set
  • pencil crayons
  • India ink
  • a timer

Today’s Exercise

  • I took my journal down to my art studio and splashed some India ink on the page
  • I tilted the page allowing the ink to run in different directions
  • I drew a bristly brush through the ink creating feathery lines
  • I spent 15 minutes doing yoga while I left the ink to dry

Responding to ink blots

  1. Set a timer for 5 minutes (I remembered – YAY!)
  2. Spend the 5 minutes responding to the marks on the page
    • Use a charcoal pencil to extend some lines
    • Make some lines dotted and some dashed
    • Experiment with white on top of the black ink
bulletism Ink blots

Reflections on the Exercise

  • I thought this would feel like a Rorschach test where I would be looking for realistic images in the ink blots, but that didn’t happen at all. I played with mark making as I have with other exercises, not looking for realistic images. Wonder if that says something about my personality 🙂
  • 5 minutes wasn’t long enough
  • I should sharpen pencils all my pencils ahead of time so I don’t spend time sharpening during the exercise
  • The two whites I have didn’t do anything much on the black. 
  • The extended lines with charcoal pencil blend in nicely

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