Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Sketchbook Day 20 - wax resist

The weather is dry and sunny here so I'm enjoying popping outside to sit in front of my huge stems of fennel. Hope you can work outside too.
TODAY'S TASK - Use candle wax or wax crayon to mask out lighter shapes. Paint over with water colour or inks. 'Scratch-out' across the wax marks to create cracks to allow the colour to seep through. The scratch marks were trying to suggest the fine detail of the fennel seed heads.
Winter clematis outside window.   On this page, I was trying to record the light patches of sky
                                                       through the leaves - not quite got it right as it's difficult to
                                                       see where you've put the invisible wax! Will try again later.
                                                      Two different coloured water colour paints were used.

The wax marks have been added to a previous drawing to suggest the tall fennel stems and seed heads. This is a little dark as I didn't choose a contrasting enough paint colour to the first layer. No matter, it makes a mysterious effect and the the effect on the opposite page got better! 

It is lovely to see the scratch-out technique in a 1882 painting by Meg's great, great aunt in her blog (Meg's that is) Set the Fibres Burning - link below. Thanks for showing this Meg.

TODAY'S TIPS - 'Scratch-out' through the wax areas to create cracks in the wax for the ink to go through - just like a classic batik method. The scratches seem to become much darker lines if done when the paint is still wet. Enlarge the images to see this and note that only one colour was used in the top one.

If building up a layer onto a previous drawing, choose one that is lightish and use a darkish colour on top to give a contrast between the two layers.

Every time you add a layer of wet, close your sketchbook and hold firmly to take a print on the opposite page. These can be worked into later.

1 comment:

  1. i am really looking forward to doing this at the weekend, knowing my luck it will ra.......!