Tuesday, 13 October 2015

A twist on an oldie...

Remember when we were kids and, to transfer an image, we used to scribble pencil on the back and draw around it? Easy, eh? I was reading Drawn to Stitch by Gwen Hedley the other day and she used a similar kind of thing to make marks on paper.

Instead of a layer of graphite pencil, she uses a layer of light-coloured chalk pastels with another layer of coloured wax crayons over the top. When you lay a fresh sheet of paper on top and draw on the back with pen, colour transfers to the other sheet.

My first attempt was a tree. (What a surprise!)

Here's the pen drawing side...

...and this is the transfer side. The result, if all goes well, is a positive-negative effect.

However, I learnt there are a few tricks involved. First is not to layer the colour too thickly. What happens is you get transfer but you can't see where it's disappeared from the coloured surface.

I also learnt that you need a distinct difference in tonal value between the chalk pastels and the crayons. My second one (above) had colours that were similar in tone, so the result was fairly ordinary. I think the best results come from using very light chalk pastels and stronger coloured wax crayons.

I'm not sure how useful this technique will be for me, since I don't do much on paper. I wonder whether the same technique would work with fabric crayons and cloth. An experiment for another day!

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