Friday, 13 January 2012

Peacock Feathers

For several weeks now I have been working on a drawing project based on the idea of peacock feathers. I thought I would show you some of the techniques I have been using. I have tried to be quite varied with my methods, ranging from wire pieces to simple pen drawings.

 So then, starting simple and with some pre-prepared backgrounds, the above sketches are done using watercolour pencils (left) and fine line colour pens (right).

 Some black and white drawings: Using a marker pen and some dots (left) and a really quick mono print over a wax rubbing.

 I really like these examples as I think they look spontaneous and were quite fun to make. Taking some cut out pieces of card from the below drawings, I stuck them randomly back together and flicked coloured ink over it, highlighting some of the paper shapes when dry with a fine line pen.

 This is a layered piece, with the colour coming through from the page underneath. Peacock shapes were cut out of one page and the eye of the feather highlighted on the page below with copper ink and black Indian ink.

 Photocopies are a really nice and easy way of generating lots of work quite quickly. These are reduced scale copies of a wire feather I made, printed onto tracing paper and glued over a tea stained background with straw blown ink. The right hand image is just the negative version of the left- to get the slight variation in colour I simply turned the tracing paper over for a more misted effect.

 String prints are a great way of getting different effects and colours quite quickly. I have found them very useful when experimenting with layouts as you can repeat your motif as many times as you like. These have been printed onto a kitchen towel background with a slight watercolour wash in some areas.

 Again, on the left hand side, we have the string prints, although this time worked over some quick ink and stick drawings. I have simplified the peacock shape by selected which areas of the string print to coat with ink. On the right hand side I have drawn around a peacock feather, then gone over the pencil with masking fluid, painted over that with ink and then when the ink was dry, rubbed off the masking fluid to get a relief pattern.

So these techniques are really simple, although they can be worked into with stitch or developed further, maybe using several techniques on the same drawing. You could bleach or rip up and collage etc

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