EDiM #117 & 118

May 18, 2011

Fold-out page folded in. I knew I wanted to work for two consecutive days with sanguine/black/white, the traditional “three pencils” medium. I would have liked to have worked with an acid yellow/steel grey colour palette. What I wasn’t conscious of when I was working was using the background colour in the face, nor was I directly conscious of replicating the reddish sanguine of the ear on the far left with that of the far right, or the black of the glasses with the black of the skull. I knew there would be links between the face/skull and man/monkey, but in the end, I was surprised how much one page was “mirrored” by the other!

Fold-out page folded out. I wanted to retain a bit more of the painted background so cut out a ‘shadow’. While waiting to be glued in, the paper skull cast a shadow in the strong light I was working in, so I decided to emulate the line of that shadow in the paper cut. It ends up being a silhouette; if I was really careful, I could have cut out a silhouette of an ape skull. As it is, it looks decidedly human, right down to Adam’s Apple.

Faber-Castell PITT sanguine and black oil-based pencils. Today’s #118 Draw some hair is one step removed, similar to yesterday’s Draw something round. But in the visual journalling style of working, this is as much about working on what preoccupies me as fitting in with a more literal interpretation of the daily challenge.

Apart from taking special care with pasting-out and trimming pages with a craft knife, there’s a lot of hit-and-miss here. A much more measured approach would involve working out exactly how much painted background would disappear and sizing my sketches accordingly. If they were Formal Drawings (rather than sketches), I’d probably spend a lot more time fine-tuning the linework. I’m not worried my fold-out muscles in sanguine don’t fit exactly the skull in black underneath: it’s all about experimenting with new techniques and ways of working.

Cutting out and glueing separate sketches isn’t as transgressional or sacriligeous or wayward as I first thought. I was horrified when I first heard that colleagues “finished” location sketches in the studio at home, or added text or watercolour later on, so I am fast throwing out lots of pre-conceptions about sketching and developing my own personal approach. And if due consideration is given to paper grain and paper weight, there are no technical problems with cutting-and-pasting. What is really thought-provoking is that while these are “properly” pasted-out with acid-free bookbinder’s PVA glue, it’s possible to go on location with scissors, glue stick and pre-painted backgrounds.


www.RozWorks.com Roz Stendhal, presenter of the free online Strathmore Artists’ Workshop 3 in Visual Journalling.


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