Drawing on Surfaces


As part of a sketchbook exchange that I am involved with, and in response to some beautiful surfaces my sketchbook buddy had created, I wanted to have a go at drawing on some interesting surfaces, rather than on white paper.  I painted some white tissue with coloured inks.  You could use inks, watercolour or watered down acrylic for this part of the process.

I stuck down the inked tissue paper across two double page spreads.  I like the way the tissue ripped and creased.  Layering it created interesting effects and mixed the colours even more.  I deliberately let the tissue come off the edge of the page.

The newspaper that I had placed under the tissue also became interestingly stained.  (A happy accident) I decided to incorporate it into my second double-page spread, placing it in a diagonal across the page.

Creating Surfaces

Keen to push myself into doing some direct observation, I headed into my garden.

Some drawings were better than others but I chose to remind myself – this is only a sketchbook, not everything has to be perfect.


Drawing on Surfaces

I then went back to inside as I knew I wanted to make the drawings stand out a little more.  On the first drawing, I used Paynes grey watercolour.  You can get this on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.  A tube will last a long time as you only need a tiny amount.

On the remaining drawings, I added white acrylic around the edge.  Sometimes this was straight from the tube, sometimes watered down to a single cream-like consistency. I like the last drawing in particular.  I think if you’re pleased with one in four drawings in a sketchbook, that’s not bad.

These are my latest Sketchbook Circle pages.  Sketchbook Circle is a sketchbook exchange group.

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If you are interested in getting your students to draw natural forms, I have lots of natural forms resources on this website.

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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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