Abstract Shapes – Drawing and Imaging


Step I – Symmetrical Ink Blot: In a group of 4 we explored the elements of symmetry and abstraction by creating a collaborative ink blot with a vertical axis on large-scale paper (“36 X 54”). We used india ink, water, sumi brushes and the rim of a plastic water bottle, that was cut in half, to achieve various shapes and values in the ink’s pigment. Our goal was to maintain symmetry and abstraction while striving to create depth and variation in the overall work.

Step II – Six Asymmetrical Compositions: Once the large symmetrical piece was complete, we were instructed to individually identify six examples of asymmetry within it. Thus using our phones’ digital screens as new picture planes for each balanced asymmetrical and abstract compositions found.


The process of the large-scale collaborative ink blot is under Symmetrical Ink Blot Process and the fallowing six asymmetrical compositions are under Asymmetrical Ink Blots.

Symmetrical Ink Blot Process

Symmetrical Ink Blot

Symmetrical Ink Blot


  • To create this piece, all of the members of the group would take turns in each of the fallowing roles; one person would apply ink onto one side of the paper, two others folded the paper along it’s vertical axis and rubbed the targeted area to create a mirror image on the other side before the ink would set, the fourth member of the group would be watching the overall production giving direction and highlighting any areas of concern that needed attention.
  • Our group looked to insure symmetry of the larger, more obvious abstract shapes, dots and lines, as well as the equality in value of their pigments, on each side, before moving on to the next member’s contribution.
  • We used the last 10 minutes of collaboration to individually touch up any remaining discrepancies in the ink blot’s symmetry by dividing our attention to 4 distinct horizontal sections of the piece, and finally doing a collective overview.


  • Experimenting with various techniques we played around with creating different value in the ink by; diluting it with water prior to applying it to the paper, as well as applying water first then adding drops of ink to create a more seamless gradation.


  • In an ideal world we would have achieved the compositional balance of this piece through the execution of absolute symmetry, however given the conditions of the project this work is rather an example of the use of mirror symmetry to create balance.
  • The ink blot maintained the objective of abstraction in the project.
  • In terms of value, the piece demonstrates a wide range of pigment variation. Moreover, considering the element of value in relation to the direction of the overall work, it is rather top heavy due to darker pigmentation, which in turn influences the balance of the image from top to bottom.
  • If I were to redo this project, I would consult with my team about the general aesthetic and intention of its composition in terms of balance before starting the process. I believe this additional step would have made the end result feel more cohesive.



Asymmetrical Ink Blots

Asymmetrical Ink Blot - I

Asymmetrical Ink Blot – I

  • The combination of the rounded organic shaped and the straighter lines intersecting are what drew me to this section of the larger ink blot. I like the direction and sense of motion they give.

2nd Asymmetrical Ink Blot

Asymmetrical Ink Blot – II

  • The variations of values and visual texture of this composition is what I find interesting. It fosters an eerie and mysterious undertone to the picture plane.


3rd Asymmetrical Ink Blot

Asymmetrical Ink Blot – III

  • Here I enjoy how the linear shaped ink at the top seems to be moving, inviting the eyes to view the top right corner, while the aligned dots of ink bring the attention back down toward the bottom left corner.


4th Asymmetrical Ink Blot

Asymmetrical Ink Blot – IV

  • What struck me about this composition is that although it remains abstract there is a presence of repetition in the joint-like abstract shape, first in the foreground’s centre and then again in the background at the top left corner.


5th Asymmetrical Ink Blot

Asymmetrical Ink Blot – V

  • I was drawn to Asymmetrical Ink Blot -V because of how the éclaboussure of the ink in tandem with the smokey quality of the ink’s visual texture, at the top left, makes this composition seems rather explosive.


6th Asymmetrical Ink Blot

Asymmetrical Ink Blot – VI

  • Lastly, in this instance I enjoy the texture of the paper that was rendered from the water and continual folding of the paper while making the Symmetrical Ink Blot. The texture brings an extra level of depth that the ink could not achieve on it’s own.

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