Working backwards

Now that I’ve finished the course I’m taking the time to review my sketchbook pages to see what I can do to enrich them and make them a little more complete/interesting.

You might remember I painted and collaged quite a few moths in Module 2 – well, today I added a couple of Amaryllis buds that are just on the point of opening to this drawing of an Elephant Hawk Moth. I had made watercolour studies of the same bulb last year so I didn’t want to repeat the exact technique. This page had already had a roughly applied coat of acrylic gesso – that’s the patchy effect you see in the background where the dilute watercolour sits differently on the gessoed areas to how it soaks in and looks darker on the naked paper. This time I’ve drawn the buds with Inktense pencils after brushing with a little clean water to first wet the paper. The colours are really intense if you do this. While the colour was still damp I dropped a little white acrylic ink onto the petals and leaves. I know it’s probably breaking all the rules to mix the two but I quite like the way the ink flows on the slightly wet coloured surface.

Here are the products I used on this page. I’ve got Inktense pencils in scarlet, chilli red and shiraz, a couple of bright greens and a Graphitint dark indigo for a few shadows.

The ink is milky and slightly opaque so it helps cover the blue of the background wash I was drawing onto. The pencil colour is more transparent and only modifies the blue.

Finally, breaking all the rules again, I drew back into the still wet areas with the pencils to accentuate the shadows and add the linear marks. I really believe a sketchbook is the best place to experiment with different media and techniques. The pages are only small so it’s not a huge commitment of time and if it’s a disaster you can always paint over it with an opaque paint and start again!

Hope you are having fun with your favourite subjects and maybe taking a few risks to see What If?

Linda x