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.