I have taken advantage of being cooped in by the awful weather and started the process of creating a design for my white velvet by making some stick and ink drawings. I liked the top half of the photo I posted on the 15th of April because it was less cluttered. I cropped and printed it out and used it as the starting point for my designs.  As I stared at the photo I realised it all fell rather tidily into a triptych, so, as I had the time, I did the three ink drawings below, and thoroughly enjoyed myself, lost in my own little world of thought.

Click on the images to see my comments and ideas.

I’ve not got a traditional art background and have had no formal training in drawing, but I am happy with these sketches and they do the job.

By sketching the tiny detail I can really begin to see repeating shapes and find interesting patterns, and this is the purpose of the drawings. I made a conscious decision to only draw the bold black areas of the photo, not the shading, faint outlines or any softening of the edges by the snow.  The next part of my process will be to scan or photocopy the images and use these new images to add the shading and any area of interest that I left out.  This is a really useful way to continue working on a design without losing or damaging the original.  As I drew them on A3 I will probably get them photocopied at the library, my scanner being A4.  Another benefit of this method is that you can use scissors to cut up and re-arrange designs, so always get a couple of extra copies.

Using a barbeque stick and ink is a useful way to start the design process.  You can’t rub it out and unless you want to start all over again you have to incorporate any mistakes.  Black ink is so decisive; you can’t hide your marks once you have made them, so you start to make decisions straight away about what to keep in and what to leave out.  I use this technique with groups in my “Confidence to Create” classes. Textile groups are more used to this approach, but art groups tend to struggle initially, because they expect to create something perfect to frame and they don’t like “messing about” to start with!  I use the barbeque stick because it is supposed to confuse the brain, making it use different pathways to be creative.  It still works in classes, but I am now used to it so I need to find a new brain confusing method for me!

April 26, 2012

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