Early this year I decided I wanted to do a really big drawing. Whatever I do, I need a starting point, whether it is reference of some kind or just marks on the paper. A technique I have used many times to give random vague marks that can be extrapolated is the blot.
There are plenty of ways of doing this, but my method is to drop small pools of water onto paper (it needs to be quite heavy paper to withstand the rigours of doing this) then, into the pools of water I add watered-down Liquid Pencil, which is a paste made from graphite. The next stage is to cover the still-wet pools with scrunched-up plastic wrap, cover it, weight it all down and leave it to dry. When it is uncovered, the blots have spread randomly, leaving patterns on the paper.
After a series of problems with the paper, I eventually managed to get it into a state where I could begin work on it.
In the above pic, there are a few areas where I had done a little work, but mostly this is the starting point. The Liquid Pencil I used has a hint of colour, I used one with some red in it and one with some blue, to give me some pointers of how to progress.
These two images are ‘before’ and ‘after’ of one small section. The ‘after’ is still not finished, there are several areas I haven’t yet worked into, but it gives an idea of the progression. (I’m sorry the photos are not very good colourwise – something I do need to work on!) I am using various weights of graphite pencil (2B, 4B and 6B mostly) with hints of coloured pencil. In some areas the Liquid Pencil had become a solid mark, so I lifted off any loose bits with a kneadable rubber, which revealed more interesting patterns below. The imagery can be interpreted however the viewer likes, I can see creatures, insects, plants, birds, a few faces … I would be interested to hear what appears for other people.
Below are more details of other areas of the drawing. I have no idea how it will turn out – I do intend to make it quite dense in parts, but whether it will remain a two-dimensional piece, or end of being cut up to make a three-dimensional artwork, that is all in the future!