Friday, 13 February 2015

Art Class - week 5

Sgraffito - Japanese Print

This technique reminds me of my childhood when we used to make pictures by covering a page in coloured wax crayons, going over with a black crayon and then scratching a picture into it.  Not sure what we called it then but I'm sure it wasn't anything as technical as Sgraffito.  We were given a selection of pictures to choose from and my choice was this Japanese lady.  I tried to find the picture on-line  so I could show you the original but was unsuccessful.  It is called Seibonomiyuki by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864). "Although well-prepared in a scarf and winter coat, this woman struggles against the icy wind with her umbrella only half open".

I drew in the basic shapes and colour with oil pastels. You have to press hard to get a good coverage of pastel. This was then brushed over with Indian ink.  The ink did not cover completely and as we chatted over coffee while waiting for the ink to dry several of us voiced doubts over whether it was going to work.  Back in the studio we all started scratching the ink with various instruments. I used an old vegetable knife which I wrapped masking tape around just leaving a bit of the blade showing.  My picture is much darker than the original print but I quite liked the effect of the diagonal scratches looking like rain so I left it with quite a lot of the black ink still on the paper.  At the end of the session we all agreed that this is a technique we would like to try again.

Lesley x

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Art Class homework

Still life - More tulips

I couldn't attend the Art class last week as I had a prior engagement. My brother-in-law Robert brought me a bunch of tulips when he visited so I thought I would have another go at a pen and wash still life.  I opted for dip pens rather than the twig from last time for a more delicate drawing. The ink I used was not waterproof so that when I added the watercolours some of the ink ran and blended into the colours, an effect I quite like.

In the class that I missed they painted night scenes so I have started having a go at this at home to catch up. I have some hare ornaments so I have painted one of them with a moonlit background. Not finished yet so will post later on if it is successful.

Lesley x

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Clarity Stamp Challenge - Floral

The 'Pretty Petals' stamps are so versatile I immediately thought of them when I saw that this month's challenge was Floral.  I enjoy painting the sunflowers that we grow on the allotment for the birds and bees so I thought I would have a go at interpreting them with stamps.

This is the first time that I have had a go at step-by step instructions with photos so I apologise if they are not very clear.  I worked on two cards at the same time so the photos might be of different versions.

Stamps: Clarity Pretty Petals, Fossil
Inks: Archival Jet Black, Adirondack Butterscotch, Lettuce and Denim, Big and Juicy Meadow
Other: Black pen, White pen, Spectrum Noir colouring pencils, Clarity stencil brushes.

The 'Fossil' stamp makes a perfect centre for the sunflowers.  Stamp twice on copy paper and cut out the centres, one small and one large, with a craft knife to make a mask.  You will need both bits. For each flower, position the mask where you want the centres and stamp through the hole with Black ink. 
Using the cut out bits cover up the centres and stamp the petals.  I used an old Big and Juicy ink pad that the colours have merged on to get the slight variations in colour.  Use the stamp at a slight angle to get the partial stamp effect. (Yes, I did do this on purpose) Don't worry if your petals slightly overlap.  

Now colour in your petals with the solid Petal stamp and Butterscotch ink. Then add some more petals behind, again adding some partial petals. I have used 2nd generation ink on some of the petals and the only masking is the flower centres.
Remove the masks from the centres and outline the petals with a black pen giving them a more realistic petal shape. Go round again slightly offsetting the lines.
Lightly pencil in the stalks and then add the leaves using the solid Petal stamp and 2nd generation green from the rainbow pad.  Mask the flower petals where you want the leaves to appear behind the flowers.
Draw in the stalks and veins on the leaves with the black pen.

Add some shading to the flowers with the colouring pencils.  Using the stencil brushes and ink pads lightly add some Butterscotch behind the flowers, Denim for the sky at the top and Lettuce at the bottom of the card. Outline with a black sharpie pen and mount on a coloured background. As a final touch, I added a few dots on the centre of the flowers with a white pen to represent the pollen. This is the other card that I made at the same time, with slightly more subdued colouring. Easier to do than to explain!

Hope you like them.

Lesley x