Anna Barriball's art comes from the marks she industriously "traces" from the everyday surfaces she chooses to immortalise.

Doors, windows, fireplaces: a key part of her subject matter might be seen as entrances and exits, objects which, by their very function, both suggest, hide and avoid the view or gaze. She works in everything from the monumental – a wall installation of wind breaks, worked on in black marker pen – to a simple piece of card, wrapped in black thread (Knife II, 2006).

Occupying the ground somewhere between drawing and sculpture, Barriball's graphite tracings – and for tracings, imagine an intensely worked, grey graphite gloss that betrays every mark on the surface over which she rubs her pencil (it's a little like brass rubbing, but magnified) – Barriball's dark drawings have a presence that seems to suck light, like a photo negative of the world in which she lives.

The effect is disconcerting, not only for the black void spaces or conversely glistening silver impressions left by her pencil, but for the effort that has gone into memorialising everyday objects whose value is only mysteriously suggested by the artist's choice to preserve them.

Born in 1972 in Plymouth, Barriball completed her BA at Winchester School of Art before an MA four years later at Chelsea College of Art (2000). Oddly enough, for someone for whom highly laborious, almost fanatically repetitive process is evident in her work, Barriball has said she does not want the labour to "become the story". It is why she also works with found photographs, from the miniature and rather lovely framed windows (Windows, 2006) to the ink bubbles swirling over old photographs like burnt-out film or the bubble of memory. There is something a little sinister, too, in the blown ink blots of 36 Breaths (2002), a series of found photographs of a family on holiday, marked with spikey, almost animate ink blodges, rather like dark ghosts in the room, a black shadow on past happiness.

Fiona Bradley, director of the Fruitmarket, first noticed Barriball's work in New Contemporaries (2000) at the Milton Keynes Gallery, the gallery with whom the Fruitmarket has collaborated for the current exhibition. "She's someone I've always been aware of, making progressively more ambitious work in group shows nationally over the past decade," Bradley explains. "Quite often people write about her in terms of slightness and ephemerality, and I'm not sure that's it."

The show, which covers the span of Barriball's 12-year career to date, opens with the marker-penned windbreaks, Untitled (2011), and is surrounded by earlier works which Bradley says aim to show a little of where Untitled (2011) originated, including a heavily pencilled leaning door from the Saatchi Collection that seems to inhabit negative space.

"There's a similar determination in all those works, an ability to command space and think about materials," says Bradley. "For me there's a clear trajectory in her work of using the practice of drawing on two-dimensional surfaces to make three-dimensional objects. Her means might be slight – a pencil, some paper, a wall – but the results are not."

Anna Barriball is at the Fruitmarket Gallery, 45 Market Street, Edinburgh (0131 225 2383, until April 9