Thursday, 6 August 2020

Sketch for a concertina book

Computer problems have left me attempting to add this post on my iPad mini - not ideal! 

My daughter and I were given the opportunity to spend a few days in Devon a couple of weeks ago. We took all our food supplies with us - we didn’t want to break our routine of isolating as much as possible. The weather was good, excellent walking, no tv or internet so our evenings were spent reading or playing Scrabble or card games. I decided to do a panoramic sketch of the long, narrow garden and since returning home have redrawn this on a 30” x 7”  length of watercolour paper which should result in a finished concertina book of approximately 4” x 7”.

This is an enlarged scan of my original sketches which I have taped together. Because my drawing was done in different stages as I moved along the garden there are some odd perspectives - some I have adjusted slightly, others I have not. Coloured pencil has been added as a guide for the final painted version.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Sketches on black paper continued

Three more sketches in the Hahnemuehle black book.  I had intended to complete the clematis in just the Caran d'Ache Neopastel, but my sketch was a bit small for their broad textured marks.  I attempted to blend the colours in the top two petals with a Colour Shaper, but preferred the rougher application on the rest of the image.  However, it needed something to add more definition so I resorted to overlays of watercolour tinted gouache - I like the resist effect over the waxy pastels.

I like to keep a white gel pen in my sketching kit, but cannot find a make that doesn't let me down after a few uses.  A while ago I picked up a set of three "marbled", multi-colour gel pens - the colours are very muted and they look more like silver on the black paper, but they've certainly been more reliable than the white.  Unfortunately, they are no substitute for an opaque white when adding highlights to a pen and wash sketch on white or light-toned paper.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Painting with stitch

The fascination with stitch continues.  These little pieces are handy to pick up while enjoying my morning or afternoon tea break.  I still have no grand scheme about their final use, but have decided I will probably standardise on the base material - calico, which I am now staining with tea.  Several of the designs were originally those used for my linocuts and these seem to translate well into stitch.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Different media on black paper

Another page in the Hahnemuhle Black Book.

The small knapweed sketch made with metallic gel pens certainly stands out on the black background.  Colour choices are limited, but I did add a bit of coloured pencil for the brown base of the flower.

I was going to use watercolour crayons for the cape primrose, but they weren't opaque enough against the dark background, so I reverted to gouache plus some watercolour to get the colours needed.

I have only a small selection of pastels and pastel pencils and must admit don't use them often as I can't get to grips with their fragility as a sketching medium. However I do admire the work of artists who use them well, particularly if not over-blended.  In the rose image, I also used Derwent Drawing pencils which are a soft, wax-based product, available in very muted colours.  To me they feel very similar to pastels.  I did use a fixative on this sketch which appeared to dull the colours slightly.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Sketches on black paper continued

I picked the mallow (on the left) whilst out on my daily walk.  I started with gouache for this study and was finding it difficult to get a dense coverage and, as I only have a limited range of colours, I finished by mixing my watercolours with white gouache.

For the white passion flower I used a base of diluted gesso, with gouache, coloured pencil and watercolour for the leaves and flower details.

Friday, 3 July 2020

Explorations on black paper

I have set myself the task of doing a series of studies in the Hahnemuhle Black Book, trying to find the best mediums to use.  I particularly like to lino print on black, using white or a light tinted gesso which can then be enhanced with watercolour, acrylic inks or coloured pencil and there are several examples of this in my Artists Books gallery.  However, I wanted to explore further.

These two were mainly coloured pencil with touches of
acrylic line painters for the stamens

I liked using coloured pencils on the black, but it was quite difficult to get even the pale colours to stand out, despite using several layers.

This is a gesso lino print with coloured pencil
Here, the coloured pencil on the black areas seems to stand out more, and subtle variations of tints can be achieved by lightly applying the pencils over the gesso areas.