Organic form drawing experiment: Hybrid | Laura Kranz
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Years ago, I started a series called Organic Form Drawings. They’re tiny, intricate pencil drawings made with biology-inspired shapes and motifs, using a technique called automatism. Usually the drawings are made with a single colored pencil on 3″ x 5″ paper.

I’ve been growing this series slowly (organically?) over time, and decided to try an experimental approach with a tangential drawing. Related to the series, but not necessarily part of it.

Years ago my dad gave me some vintage marbled paper. I think it was made by his grandfather, or at least by someone in my family tree that died before I was born.

I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but I did have the idea to cut off the frayed and torn edges and reinterpret the shapes, coaxing more exaggerated formations out of them.

I took the sheets of paper and carefully cut down the edges and made myself a uniformly-sized stack of about 10 4″x 6″ pieces.

I’d had the idea to apply some of the thinking in Organic Form Drawings to this paper for years, and I finally made the effort to try it out.

At first, I let the shapes guide me. The question I was answering with the lines and shadows I drew was, “what are these patterns doing?”

As I gained context, I started coaxing shapes out of the more ambiguous and blank spaces on the marbled paper. My question changed to “what would these patterns do?”

By the time I was nearly done with the drawing I had such a level of familiarity with the flowing patterns of ink across the paper, that my question got a little more cheeky. “What could the patterns do?”

Organic form hybrid

This drawing took far longer to create than I expected with the level of detail required to get the effect I was going for. It was a worthwhile experiment, and I think an interesting final result.

But I’m probably not going to make a series of pieces like this one.

Drawing specs

Name:               Hybrid
:    4″ x 6″—see below for scale
Materials:        Vintage marbled paper, colored pencils
Series:              Peripherally related to the Organic Form Drawings

To give you an idea of the level of sharpness I needed for the pencils to get the detail you see above, here’s a picture of me holding it for scale.

Organic form hybrid drawing in my hand

If you like this drawing, I’d love it if you joined my email list to keep posted on the projects that will come from me in the future.

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