21 September 2010

Experimental Art Course - Wild Sketchbooks - Staining

The second assignment of the wild sketchbooks week was 'staining' uses many different materials and techniques. It felt just like being a kid again! I thoroughly enjoyed messing about with paint, food colouring, ink and an assortment of brushes and sponges.

For the first creation I started by painting a blue watercolour wash on the pages, followed by purple, and then used a cheap foam brush/sponge to mix them together. Then I got out all the brushes I had and splattered and generally played about adding different colours. I added the ink blot and then played about with my dip pen and ink. Really pleased with how it turned out.

Something I'd have never thought of myself is to use food colouring and straws to create patterns. I wasn't sure how it was going to sit on the page so I first had a go using a plastic pipette dropper to make lines and circles with the red and yellow food colouring. I ended up getting annoyed because the food colouring went through some of the other pages in the middle! Discovered I'm still not that comfortable with mess in my sketchbook!

My second food colouring attempt was blowing it through a straw on a plain page. I wanted to create the feel of a sunset by using red and yellow and then adding the green at the bottom to represent the grass/ground below. I quite like the effect produced with the straw and I'll probably use it for backgrounds on some of my artwork soon. 

If you use the food colouring/straw method on a wet/damp page, you get a totally different, softer effect like this blue tree. I added the green by flicking and dabbing paint, and then added the little birds with ink to add some interest.

What I've probably enjoyed most is allowing myself to just create something, anything, without having a plan or an idea first. I love just having permission to get messy and play with materials, without thinking I'm being stupid or childish, or wasting my time. It's for an art course so it's OK!

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