Antidote to Watercolour

Well, after my watercolour efforts the previous day, I needed a real contrast. When I feel a bit short on ideas, my first port of call is 200 Projects to Get You Into Art School. It’s not a detailed ‘how to’ book, more of a ‘Jack of all trades’. However, it does present a good range of options to try, and I take the view that once I have an interesting idea for an approach  I can either develop it myself or explore online for more inspiration or technical advice.

As I was flickinRose Collageg through the book, my eye was caught by a striking portrait made from a collage of torn magazine pages. Now let’s be clear, I’ve never been into collage, I couldn’t see its appeal. But yesterday, tearing and sticking seemed to be just what I needed to get over the wrangling with paint of the day before.

I chose a rose for my picture, raided my old Sunday supplements, grabbed a glue stick and plunged in. The paper often tore unpredictably, and it was quite fiddly as I was working small (8x8ins). But the the resulting interesting rugged edges showed up well on the black sketchbook and added an unusual dimension. It was, unexpectedly, tremendous fun!

I realised afterwards that the process has also taught me a lot about looking at block shapes of colour and tone, a useful exercise in itself. Every day you learn a little…

A Memory in Copper

Here’s something I’d forgHair ornament sketchotten about completely. Some years ago I did a basic silversmithing course, which I really enjoyed. One of its pleasures was the ability to quite quickly make a basic item, with the minimum of technical knowledge.

I set to with my sketchbook, and after a suitable amount of scribbling, came up with an idea for a hair ornament. From the date on my sketch I can see that it was late September, the nights were drawing in and I must have been thinking about snuggling up beside the fire…

As iHair ornamentt turned out, apart from the fiddly nature of the dimensions, this was fairly simple for a total beginner to execute, although I had to make sure that the flames weren’t too pointy and sharp.

I’m happy that I still have the finished item today, made in copper and with a brass pin. When I look at this, it still conjures up the smell of the workshop and the sound of focused filing!