Monday, 10 December 2012
drawing as printing (2)
Following on from a previous post, 'drawing as printing', I said I would return to the topic to describe the materials and process with pictures.
-2 pieces of cartridge or drawing paper. I cut mine to approx 8" x 8".
-soft pastels or chalk in pale shades
-drawing tools e.g. ball-point pen, hard pencil, chopstick, stick, the wrong end of a brush.. experiment with mark-making using different tools.
1) using soft pastels, cover one of your pieces of paper entirely with colour. It doesn't matter which colours you choose.
2) choose some oil pastels and steadily rub them on top of the soft pastel surface until the whole surface is covered. A fairly generous hand is required. Irregular shapes will be most effective, the more random the better. Overlap the colours to soften transitions and mix colours on the paper. Here I've chosen 5 colours: dark blue, pale blue, lemon, ochre and a mid-green.
3) On a flat surface, take your coloured paper and place it face-down onto a clean piece of paper.
4) At this stage you can either take some time to experiment with different drawing tools or choose a subject/pattern and plunge right in.
5) Taking a page from my sketchbook as inspiration, I choose to draw the shell on the right.
6) Working into the back of my coloured paper, I use a ball-point pen to do a simple outline drawing of the shell based on the sketchbook image. A firm line and simplified form works best. Here I've varied the weight of the line slightly to emphasise the basic shape.
7) Happy with the drawing, now I'm ready to see what's been happening underneath. I peel back the paper to reveal an oil pastel monoprint. You can see how the random colour placement magically gives form and interest to a fairly ordinary outline drawing.
The negative image is also interesting....
...but if you don't want to keep it, then you can continue using the coloured 'plate' until exhausted.
Here's another monoprint taken from the same coloured plate, this time of dried honesty seedheads. The drawn lines as less distinct in places but the image still works.
The negative image is now breaking up, but could make a very interesting texture to work into as it is, or to cut up and use as collage, or to paint over... wherever your creativity takes you. Never throw anything away!
If you experiment with this technique we'd love to see your work. Post a pic on your own blog and leave a comment here with the link. We'll drop by and visit.