Module 2 – collage, paint and pastel.

Just a quick post today to show you what I’ve been working on in my sketchbook this week.

More studies of my keys but only the one on the right was worked direct to the page. The left hand keys were cut out from an old sketchbook and collaged down with gel medium. I cut them out carefully so that I was left with the negative shape that could be used as a stencil when I dragged oil pastel off the edges of the cut paper shape. The oil pastel gave me the basic shape of the key and I added more fine detail with a fine liner pen and a little black wash of watercolour for the shadows. I’ve roughly painted the pages with acrylic gesso to provide a little texture – I might paint a background colour to this page in the future.

This page shows another collaged key on the left. The large key on the right was first sketched very lightly with pencil to establish the shape and position. I then switched to a white oil pastel to draw the areas of highlight I could observe. Seeing a white drawing on a white page isn’t easy but I just embrace the risk involved! The paint box we send to students includes a lovely brown – not usually my favourite colour but this one is rich and warm. Using lots of water to help the colour flow I painted the key taking the paint over and across the pastel. While the paint is still wet it’s easy to touch in more depth of colour to make shadows which help to suggest this is a 3Dimensional object. I think this colour is perfect for the rusty surface of my subject. Once the paint was dry I worked back into the highlights to accentuate the white with more oil pastel. You’ll notice I’ve included two metal keys on this page. They had been lurking in my stash of bits and bobs for years so it was good to give them a home. It seemed right to the them onto painted luggage labels. The labels are glued with gel medium but the keys can swing freely.

Throughout the course we encourage everyone to work with sources of inspiration that have some personal meaning to them as this can only benefit the sketchbook that’s being created. I live surrounded by old musical instruments and although I can barely strum a chord I do love them as objects. I photographed this old banjo and traced the basic shape to a page of my book using the Intense Block technique I showed on DMTV a while ago. Instead of scribbling graphite pencil on the back of the image to make a tracing I use the blocks as they are water-soluble and the traced lines melt into subsequent additions of watercolour paint. This page is not yet completely dry but as soon as it is I’ll be adding finer detail with coloured pencils.

It’s great fun to mix and combine a number of different art mediums because of the way they change the look of the finished study so I’ll probably tackle the same banjo again soon with a different technique. I’m also going to go back and add text to some of my pages next. I’ve used wooden alphabet stamps on a few pages for this module but I’m saving letters in a lot of different fonts from magazine and newspapers now to start a bit of ransom note text.

Hope you are enjoying Module 2 and will post your pages in the gallery soon.

Bye for now,