Just Testing

Drafting film, used by architects, has a smooth, translucent surface, and is an interesting alternative to paper to draw on. It takes pen, pencil and coloured pencils well, and has the added advantage of being workable from the back, which can add an extra layer of interest or intensity to the image.

As an experiment, I have been using acrylic paint to create a loose base drawing, scraping the colour on very roughly and thinly with an old credit card, then working into the image from the other side with coloured pencils to bring out the forms and take the image to another place.

Below you will see four small pieces (30 x 30 cm or 12 x 12 in). No great thought went into the base marks, all were inspired by flowers from photos I have taken, but I haven’t been faithful to the original colours, or even the forms in most cases. These are strictly an exercise, not images that are worthy of being framed or exhibited. However, the ideas they have sparked are worth following up, so I have plans to make a larger drawing using this technique.

The drawing below was inspired by a tiny wild orchid, the image is 30 x 42 cm. The background was created with acrylic paint scraped loosely onto another piece of drafting film and simply placed behind, so it is softened and set back by the translucency of the top layer. I think this one, with its greater level of finish, is more successful than the small ones above, I feel it has the sense of being underwater.

Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

7 thoughts

  1. Very interesting and yes, so liquid, that I see why there is a feeling of under water. The bottom one is almost cinematic (or like Miyazaki’s sophisticated manga) due to the two layers of drafting film. It gives the piece a lot of depth. Who would think of applying paint with an old credit card? You are so imaginative and innovative!


  2. Thanks Julie – I can’t claim the credit card trick as an invention of my own, I have seen it done before. I did start applying the paint with a brush, but the marks became far too smooth for what I wanted. There is much less control with a hard edge like a credit card!


  3. All these images are really engaging. I find they all have really interesting structure and depth. The idea they are based on images from your travels shows in these studies. I look forward to seeing where they take you next.


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