Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sketching on Random Backgrounds

Last spring I did a terrific class in how to pre-prepare acrylic ink  backgrounds, just to add a different dimension to my sketchbook.  Now and then I take them out to sketch on them.  I don't plan ahead--just use whatever background appears on the page to draw whatever I was planning on drawing.

Sometimes it works out in a funny, appropriate, match, like this portrait of my wonderful teacher, Roz Stendahl, which I drew during a live webinar.  I had started it before she told us she had a cold, and said she might look a little "splotchy."  Perfect pages to go with this quote!

This next one is just the next page in my sketchbook, as I sketched during the webinar.

What I discovered was that the blank background page and design (it had the blank insets there just waiting to be filled) impacted how I listened.  I was listening for something that would fit on the page as I had designed it.  So the notion of a plan, of 1-2-3 steps, just seemed to fit.

This next page is something I did later.  One of the cool things I find when working with pre-prepared backgrounds is that I'm less likely to fil up a page with words or sketches.  Instead, I find a few words or a small sketch that seems to fit the background design.  I leave more space.  I think this has the effect of adding more impact to what I do put there.  And it allows some space for my eye and mind to wander a bit.

I enjoy the same sort of space and wandering in this next spread.  When I did it, I wasn't thinking about traveling at all.  But when I turned to it in my sketchbook, it seemed like a page about traveling to me!  And so, I just made a list of all the travels I will be lucky enough to take in the next year (it's a big year for me travel-wise!  I never travel this much!)

And sometimes, the page doesn't really inspire me to do anything in particular, so I just proceed with my sketching as I would do if the page were completely blank.  I did that here, with a funny left-handed exercises I had wanted to try.

I am still exploring how I want to work in a sketchbook with prepared backgrounds.  Do I like it better than blank pages?  Are there certain circumstances in which I do like it better than blanks? Other circumstances in which I do not?  Lots to learn and discover --and more backgrounds to make!

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