Playing around with ink on watercolour paper, it is almost a relief to draw without observing something in front of me. It is fun to play, without the learned pressure I put upon myself of trying to get a line or shape ‘right’. In the past I have often started large scale drawings this way, and worked into the surfaces. Somehow, when I start a drawing from observation, I lose some of my mark making and turn immediately to the linear drawing that is always just ‘there’. Sometimes I make tens of these pages and pin them to the wall; a dictionary to refer to whilst making something more linear, or a tighter, prolonged drawing. These small explorations never really go anywhere in themselves, but they form part of a preparation for other things. It is like warming up before a run, just making sure my limbs are working! I often repeat marks, layer them up, cut up the paper, rearrange and stick the pieces back together, to find marks, tones, lines, and layers that ‘work’ with each other, and contrast well visually.