61°36'21.4"N 21°26'43.4"E

Surface Drawing

Ragnar Rael

Description of work

During a study project in Reposaari, we got an assignment where we could just do whatever we wanted in a 3 hours time and then present it to our class and teachers.

At that moment I felt motivated to go to the beach and just do something there. It had crossed my mind to maybe draw something but I wasn't sure what. So I took my charcoals with me and went to the beach. In this particular situation I was feeling very anxious and sad in a way. I had just gotten a text message from my ex girlfriend where she wanted me to listen to this one song "Casey's Last Ride" by Kris Kristofferson. So I put that song on repeat and started drawing after I had chosen a rocky surface with a lot of flat space just by the sea. The first lines on the rock felt so weird, so rough and it just ate up my charcoals. After a few adjustments continued drawing and saw that it was possible to draw on the whole surface. I've never drawn this size before, I've only drawn on my sketchbooks, and after everything was done, included my charcoals, it looked like something I would be interested in trying again.

The concept is to draw and express whatever mood I'm in through lines and texture. So far I've been thinking about how each mistake, each pattern and pretty much whatever mark I leave or whatever marks that are already there tell a story, albeit a hidden and abstract story for the most part.

I don’t erase anything but sometimes I do find the need to open up some lines for continuation. There are also smudges that I always seem to leave behind because I'm left handed and using charcoals and dry pastel doesn't really help in that case. I still like those smudges, even the big ones that come from when I accidentally rub my shoulder, elbow or knee to the drawing. I feel that these forgiving moments and just letting things be as they are is an important part of my inspiration. Just go for it and try not to mind all the obstacles, such as tiredness, mood, imperfection or whatever. Oh yeah, there are also the segments that I do for each session that I draw. I relate them to the music I'm listening to, the people who are there and the topics we talk about.

What next?

As of now it's not very clear to me where I want to head with these drawings but I just need to collect some hype and inspiration to take it somewhere else and express it. The idea to be able to draw these things and meet people where we can inspire and motivate each other with face to face conversations is enough motivation. I just need a box of charcoals and a surface.


Ragnar Rael was born in the Philippines, grew up in Iceland and is now based in Helsinki where he is still trying to find ways to express his experiences with things and stuff. Ragnar loves people, movement and nature. Those are his most important inspirations