Case Study: Run the Gauntlet Calligraffiti Painting

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66.6"x30" acrylic on brown paper

In preparation for larger canvas work and wall murals, I sourced the largest roll of paper I could find and mounted long strips of it on a hallway wall.

Despite the initial impression one might get of seeing a work like this as an "abstract mess of random strokes", there is actually a rather rigid system to help reinforce the visual rhythm and uniformity.

'Run the Gauntlet&' Calligraffiti Painting by Jake Rainis

Using several of wide-format acrylic paint markers, I began applying abstract blackletter strokes to a grid that contained guides at 0º, 30º 60º, and 90º. The goal was to use this grid loosely as a guideline for creating this uniform system of strokes.

The first marker I used was a Molotow 711FM. This marker is equipped with a large 60MM tip. Due to the size of the tip, this marker cranks out ink at a rate which allows you to desaturate the nib rather easily. This results in streaky lines. I wanted these streaky lines to act as a subdued layer of thick strokes underneath the white I had planned to apply after.

'Run the Gauntlet&' Calligraffiti Painting by Jake Rainis

The white strokes were done with a Molotow 627HS. This marker's nib is only 15MM. Still rather large, but small in comparison to the 711FM. The contrast of nib sizes played nicely on top of each other.

Starting from the left and working to the right, I applied the white against the grid and added gestural flourishes along the way for aesthetic variety.

'Run the Gauntlet&' Calligraffiti Painting by Jake Rainis

To run the gauntlet is to take part in a form of corporal punishment in which the party judged guilty is forced to run between two rows of soldiers who strike out and attack them. – Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_the_gauntlet)

The piece is called "Run the Gauntlet" because my hallway felt like a gauntlet of abstract blackletter calligraphy the day it was created. Shout out to my girlfriend for being patient while I turned our long hallway into an art studio.