Shaking it Up

I’ve had this picture rattling round in my head for some days now in one form or another, but it’s only today, after a trip to town and an investment in a brown paper sketchbook, that I decided how to tackle it.

Poppy shakers inkThe poppy shakers are so sculptural that they beg to be drawn. I wasn’t sure at first whether I should be painting them in watercolour, drawing them with charcoal, or sketching them in ink… or something else entirely. Part of the issue was deciding what to do with where the stems finish – the stalks are so long, and I was worried that the picture would come out too tall and thin to be pleasing to the eye. However, once I’d decided to take a more illustrative approach and to work the stems into the inner border, things started to crystallise. The decision to use ink and a chinagraph pencil followed on fairly naturally – I was looking for a slightly ‘Arts & Crafts’ feel. Taking the foliage outside the border was then an easy decision.

Happily, the finished article has turned out more or less like the picture in my head – always a nice feeling. The border isn’t quite as wiggly as it appears here, I think the camera lens is distorting somewhat (that’s my excuse anyway). I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself having another go at the seedheads in different medium sometime. I’m not sure what else I’ll be using the brown paper sketchbook for, but I’m sure I’ll find something…

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19 thoughts on “Shaking it Up

    • Haha, thank you, Carol! I’m finally realising that the amount of time you spend thinking about a picture before actually doing it really can make a difference… it often seems to be that the ones which we have to puzzle out in advance feel the most rewarding once they’re actually done. πŸ™‚

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  1. Yes, very sculptural ~ relief-like, it just jumps off the page. I bought some newsprint to work with and I want some other colored papers too. Good to see this and I like how you talk about thinking it through first…

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    • Ah, thank you so much. I was sorely tempted by some Indian coloured papers in the art shop, so I know where you’re coming from! I don’t always have time or inclination to think before doing, but when I do, it feels pretty good. πŸ™‚

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  2. They’re wonderful things to draw, aren’t they? Like thistles, also a delight. To continue the subject of my own current post, brown paper is great for life drawing – my teacher sometimes uses it with charcoal and white pastel to great effect.

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    • You’re right, I’m looking forward to thistle season – there’s a big one down the garden I’m cultivating…that’s my excuse. I’m also thinking about trying a self-portrait on the brown paper, but I’ve got to psych myself up to it!

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