Sunday, 2 December 2012

drawing as printing

Before I post some more catching-up with our sketching so far year, I've been asked about the drawing in the background of the blog.

It is a quick outline sketch by Tina (whilst chatting!) of some roses and chrysanthemums. The mark-making is soft and expressive and moves smoothly through different blues and greens. The result is beautifully fresh and spontaneous.

The drawing is worked by pressing a drawn line (with a pencil, chopstick, biro, stick...) firmly onto the wrong side of a paper preprepared on the other side with chalk pastel and oil crayon, then placed face-down on a clean piece of paper on which the image appears (it's simpler to do than it sounds), creating a kind of dry monoprint. The oil pastel lifts from the chalk/soft patel ground and transfers to the clean piece of paper. It's a very satisfying technique and always fun to do whether you're a beginner or more experienced, with the added dimension of surprise.. you are never quite sure how it's going to turn out. It also has the added bonus of producing both a positive and a negative image.

flowers, positive
flowers, negative

The drawings can stand alone as they are, can be used as a basis for further work in oils, or can be developed with other media; for example, with watercolour washes the oil pastel acts as a resist. 

If you're not confident about drawing as Tina did directly from a subject, then you can also use this technique with photographs or tracings to excellent effect.

Here's a different subject by Fiona this time, based on plein air sketchbook work of a ploughed field, drawn here using a biro through a soft pastel and oil pastel 'plate' as above.

landscape, positive
landscape, negative

I'll post a 'how to' with details of materials and photos of the process later this week.

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