Thursday, June 25, 2015

More Scribbling on Sugar Cane Paper

I've continued to scribble in this odd little sketchbook made of sugar cane paper.  Such interesting results.  I really like what it does, but not for everything I want to capture.  So I'm probably going to have to start another journal of more traditional paper to keep in parallel to this one.

I try not to keep multiple journals at the same time.  That's the subject for a future blog post!  Nothing wrong with it, of course.  Just not the way I prefer to work.

Anyhow, here are some recent pieces in the sugar cane sketchbook.

In this first one, I wanted to see if I could saturate the paper enough to take solid blocks of color.  I'd had trouble getting the paper to do this when I first tried it earlier (see previous post on that).  Turns out, I could, as long as I scrubbed the paper with a watery (or watercolor-filled) brush.  It was a good opportunity for me to do a plant sketch, capturing one of my favorite wild flowers from the Spring woods around my home.

By the way, I have no idea what these flowers are actually called.  I just call them "seven-pointed star flowers."  I should look it up some time.

Next, I did a sketch of a bag of candies some friends of mine had begged me to purchase and bring them them.  I had several bags on my kitchen table and decided it would make a nice exercise in observation.   Plus, I wanted to see if I could do smaller lines and details on this sugar cane paper, or if it would lack precision because it doesn't absorb.

You can see the paint floating on the surface again, especially in the smaller shapes where I couldn't saturate it.  Again, personally, I really like the look I get from the paint drying on top like that.  

The last one I'll share for today is something I copied from a photo I saw in Entertainment Weekly.

Here I felt like I could use the properties of the sugar cane paper to get the effects I wanted.  I let the color break up and float for the shadowing.  I saturated it for the hair and lips.  And I used a Uniball Signo white pen for highlights, which showed up nicely on the tan tone of the paper.

A fun little book with a great challenge for scribbling.  Since I still am not sure I now what the paper will do, it tosses a little bit of chaos into each drawing.

I find that the uncontrollable and the unexpected keeps my sketchbook experience lively and fun.  And it keeps me from getting too tight in my expectations.

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