By Matt Fussell
Who says that drawings should be created with one of the traditional drawing tools that we all are familiar with? Most of us are all too familiar with the traditional players-pencils, brushes, pens, charcoal, pastels, and so on. Often, we take for granted the many different mark-making tools that exist all around us. Not only are these things readily available, but some of them can make some really cool and interesting marks.
Try creating drawings with sticks. Sticks are everywhere and they are free. But what makes drawing with sticks so great is the marks that you can create with them. We all know that line quality or line weight is incredibly important when you are drawing with line. When you make a mark with a stick,you get natural, expressive lines that create great line quality. Just dip your stick into ink and let the marks happen. It should be pointed out that you don't have full control over the mark. But that's not a bad thing. You can vary the marks by using a variety of different sticks. Thicker sticks will obviously make thicker lines, while smaller ones can give you incredibly precise lines.
While your outside collecting sticks, grab a few stones as well. Stones or rocks or varying textures can also create great marks when drawing. Dip the stones into ink and move them over the paper. Or let the ink drip from the stone to create marks. Some other tools you may try include feathers, string, and leaves.
Here is a sketch I created using sticks and a stone with ink. (I washed the background with a little ink wash too.)