Ideas for Ex. 2.4



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Sketch Book Developement Course

Thanks to the recommendation of Sue Burgess, I joined Rosemary Firth‘s Sketch Book Development Course for textile artists and art students.

For the first assignment, we took close up photos, verbalized and worked from there.


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Part Two, Ex. 2.2, Block Silhouette

Block Silhouette

I chose the Teatime theme.

Experimenting with shapes:

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

That raised the question, once cut out, does the shape need to stay together?

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

I am happy with this one. I felt the prints on the pot, cups, etc., balanced well with the bright orange-red of the ‘tea’ and it has the slightly chaotic feel I wanted. Originally I used more pastel/floral papers for the crockery, but felt the steampunk style paper lent more to the overall tumultuous feeling.

The next one did not work well. I liked the notion of the teapots hunting, but overall it’s too busy, with no real focal point.

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

I was thinking about the next exercise, Line, in my journal:

IMG_2025and playing with watercolors:

IMG_2007Which led to another block collage, on a woven newsprint background:

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

Part Two, Ex. 2.2

I wanted to contrast the innocuous teapot and cup, as well as the fading primary colors with the mesh of dark news in the background, and I’m pleased with the result. You might notice that the cups are completely glued down, and the pots are not. I’m not sure which way is better, though since texture is not a part of this exercise, I suppose I will eventually glue them all flat.

I’d still like to try some version of my original journal idea!

Warm Up, Mark Making Ex. 0.4 and Summary

The last warm up exercise calls for larger paper, and marks of our own choosing.

Masking fluid, graphite and ink

Masking fluid, graphite and ink

This page is actually from my sketch book, but I liked the way these three mediums worked together, so I decided to try that again in the larger format:

Graphite, charcoal, ink and masking fluid

Graphite, charcoal, ink and masking fluid

It was interesting to plan out the different layers, and adding some marks after the masking fluid came off.

Back and white ink

Black and white ink

I applied the black ink with a sponge first, then used a drawing stick for both black and white lines. I like the high-contrast feel of this piece, the way the white pops out on top of the black ink. I had played around with it in my sketchbook first:

Balck and white ink

Black and white ink

Warm Up Summary

Trying all the different mediums and techniques has been great at helping me relax, and not be scared of the blank page!

The unconventional tools weren’t nearly as effective as the conventional tools, but some did provide a look that you wouldn’t get with anything else, so always worth trying. It was certainly something I might not have thought to do before this course.

India ink is something I can see using again in the future, I love the boldness of it when used undiluted, and the contrast it provides against some of the softer tools, such as graphite.

The warm up exercises helped me feel more confident about trying different mediums and tools, and not worry about whether or not I draw well, but more about using the different mediums creatively. I also moved from using my sketchbook solely to sketch with pencils, and more to experiment with different ideas and techniques, and I can see this being very important for future projects.

Warm Up, Mark Making Ex. 0.1

These exercises, 0.1-0.4, are all about playing with tools, both conventional and not, and trying different mediums and techniques. The first sheet, I simply tried out the different graphite pencils, to get a feel for range of hard to soft, and the second sheet, I used the word prompts:


This sheet was my first tine playing with India Ink, which I enjoyed using:


Especially using the India Ink pens, here just playing in my sketchbook:


The finer pens are almost like markers. At the other end, SB is more like a paintbrush.

Even though it had less control, I liked the character it gave to the sketch:

IMG_1667I also did other sheets using markers (or Sharpies); black & white wax (combined with ink or graphite); graphite while holding the pencils differently, or moving my arm from the wrist vs. elbow (surprising how much difference that can make).