Saturday, 4 April 2020


I can't quite believe I am on prompt number 3. I am very relieved that I didn't promise daily prompts. I also have to admit a very selfish thing...writing this blog keeps me thinking and gives me a shape to my week. 
I expect we are all spending a bit more time looking on Pinterest and searching out online tutorials, or is that just me? This week I found a great tutorial by Karen Stamper on Sketchbook Revival. It is great to find something to have a go at it was right up my sketchbook street, we all need reminding about what we know and have a few nudges towards new techniques.
I suspect you have come across this site already as I have seen some familiar faces in the Facebook Group? 
I thought I would have a go and let you see how I got on. I, of course used my eco printed fabric and paper as a starting point, so this builds nicely on the last two weeks prompts, as you will notice I am repeating some of last weeks techniques.
My garden is beginning to wake up and this is the view from my shed. This will be fleeting as like most spring flowers this blossom will last a week at most. But while it is here it is my inspiration.
These are the materials I collected together, have a good rummage and pull out what you have. Pens, pencils, graphite sticks, an oil bar (oil pastel will do), candle wax, white crayon, rubbers.
Then the wet stuff, paint and sponges.
Inks, spray bottle and Acrylic wax if you have it, but not essential.
Look at your garden and choose a couple of shapes and make some rough ol' stencils from cereal card. You could just draw around the leaves and blossoms. Rip and cut them out, varying the edges and also play with scale. Or choose abstract shapes like last week, I am just inspired by Karen's tutorial Wild Garden so am giving the garden theme ago.
I decided to use a piece of Eco paper and fabric to compare the behavior of the drawing materials on the different surfaces. Plain paper and fabric will do.
I started off by randomly scribbling on the fabric and the paper using pencil,
graphite and white crayon. Vary the pressure of your lines and the density of the marks.
Relax into this, get rid of some pent up frustration...and breath! Channel that inner child.
Then using a rubber I knocked back the marks on both paper and fabric, this spreads the stronger  marks and softens the scribbling. Again a very stress relieving  process.
I then worked back into both substrates with a white crayon. You can spot that some of my random scribbling became less random and a bit leafy...anything goes.
It was at this point that I fell in love with the pencil and white crayon on the fabric. It is eco printed white sheeting and is a beautiful surface to draw into.
Dig out those old cotton sheets.
It is an advantage that these are not white surfaces to start with, both substrates have twig and leaf images on them, so a perfect start for a garden image.
Stencil time, here I am using an oil bar. What is an oil bar? Its a big old stick of oil paint and it drys on the surface. In comparison to an oil pastel which will stay oily and smudge, but you can use oil pastel instead.
Using the stencil and oil bar I worked my stencils across both surfaces, working on the fabric and paper in tandem...yes I am churning out lots of work at the moment!
I also did some paint and sponge stenciling, it gives a flatter softer look to the image. I used white and buff here, but go for colour if you are ready.
Here are the two pieces coming along nicely. Everything I did to the paper I did to the fabric, so don't worry if you do not have fabric related materials. And the other way round of course, if you only have fabric materials try those on paper.
Paper with added Biro drawing. Biro makes a very satisfying mark on layers of other materials.
Fabric with added Biro drawing, just adding definition at this point.
Now scribble, draw, mark  both pieces with wax candle and/or Acrylic wax
I don't know about you but I find this next bit daunting. Washing ink into the surface. I often look at the piece and think, just leave it now! But this would lack courage...and what's the worse that could happen? I am risk averse so I always dilute the ink first, so I don't commit myself immediately, then build up gradually. Especially as I added green ink at this point.
The wax layer, the acrylic and oil bar stenciling should resist the acrylic ink. The ink adds depth. Here I have used a stick to draw twiggy things on the paper, at the same time I have sprayed it with water to disperse the lines, blotting and allowing things to dry as I go along. 
However the ink reacts very differently on the fabric. I went in very gently, it is softer and there is not the same definition as on the paper. I still like it though.
When the ink has dried, anything that looks too dark or too inky I reinforced with more stenciling using the oil bar and the paint
Phew...this was a happy afternoon with the odd adding moment every other day. Just above, you can see my first attempt in black and white.
When you have had a go at this leave it for a couple of days and then go back and work on it again, especially if you are not happy with the first results. That's what I do, I tweek for days until I am bored.
Start off just using black and white drawing materials, then do another one adding one more colour, spot the green and build up confidence until you are working in full colour.

Keep everything, I will be using all these pieces in the coming weeks.

Who is inspiring me at the moment? Take a look at:-
This is coming to an end soon, there are a couple of tutorials that I really like.
Very inspiring Eco, mono printing and check out the felted paper tutorial, I don't know how I have lived without it.
Cath came up with a great daily prompt to get us looking. Alphabet I-spy. Well worth considering.

You can still find me on Instagram, sb.brown21, I have updated my Pintrest page,
and sadly the yard:ARTspace, Cheltenham is closed at the moment, but you can still check out the website and join the mailing list ready for when I am back teaching face to face.

Look forward to planning next weeks prompt. Have the best creative week you can. Best wishes, Sue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had fun with Karen Stamper's tutorial too. It's given me some ideas to play around with for my textiles and has definitely helped to get me doing something during the lockdown. I've just discovered your blog and site: your prints are wonderful.