First up, frottage

In the experimental drawing class I’ve been taking, I’ve been having fun playing with a technique called frottage. I’ve always loved texture, and with frottage I can bring it into my art in a very visceral way. The term “frottage” comes from French frotter, “to rub,” which probably gives a good hint as to what the technique entails. Developed in Max Ernst in the 1920s, it’s similar to grave rubbings, except instead of intending to reproduce, it’s used for further exploration and refinement. You can chose a variety of surfaces to rub on. Your house can become your playground! I used the surfaces of baskets, cushions, furniture, walls and objects such as those pictured below. Photos by Elizabeth Cooper

Here are a couple tips I’ve found: 1) Experiment with a wide variety of papers, because the texture of the paper will impact the rubbing. In general with my art I use a variety of thick papers, so I’ve found that softer, thinner paper is a bit easier. 2) An automatic eraser (such as the Sakura Electric one I use, pictured below) can be your magic wand to transform the rough frottage into a more finished piece based on whatever you see emerging.

I have found creatures emerging from my frottage (pictured below).


What do you find emerging?