Something Industrial page spread for sketchbook challenge

Something Industrial art journal page spread“Something Industrial” is the prompt for Day 3. This topic had me scratching my head as Canberra is not very industrial. Although I want to draw from life as much as possible, I decided use some photo sources and try to use them in a manner that pushed me a little. The photo I used were taken at Cockatoo Island when we were on a visit to Sydney. I did not want to simply draw from a photograph but use the shapes and main lines in them to create a page spread that could be “Something Industrial”. As usual click on the image for a larger view.

How I created the art journal page spread

I first lay down a layer of gesso. While the gesso was still wet I pressed a nylon net into it. When the net was lifted it left the impression of a grid that echoed the appearance of wire fencing. I then added some torn paper scraps before allowing that layer to dry. I knew the impression would create a texture that would be picked up by paint.

After going through my photos sources  I arranged 3 basic sketches on the page. I did not want to copy photographs but I used them as sources to hint and shapes. I chose them to provide strong directional elements on the page. The first was a pipe and stopcock that provided a strong vertical line. The next two drawings were of cranes that provided some strong diagonals on the page. I used watercolour paint and pitt pens to define the key lines and shapes of the industrial elements on the page. I let that layer dry.

I did not want the various elements to be illustrations as such, but to hint at mood, so painted over some parts of the drawing and then used some modelling paste and stencils to create another layer of texture. The stencils were commercial plastic stencils of a grid and a second had a pattern of V like lines. The modelling paste drys clear but it picks up textures when you paint over it. When the paste was dry I added another layer of watercolour paint using glazing to evoke mood and depth. Then as a contrast using craft dye cutters I cut some small squares and disks of printed paper. These prints had an industrial feel and the clean cut shape set a small contrast up against the hand painted shapes.

On the final layer I used colour pencil to add a little more depth. I hope you like my interpretation of this challenge.

The AJW Sketchbook challenge run by Palma of A Creative Journey  proposes a daily prompt throughout January which is shared in the Artist Journal Workshop Facebook group

AJW Drawing challenge day 1

Happy New Year everybody!


With the new year comes new challenges and this sketch is part of a drawing challenge run by Palma of A Creative Journey. It is a fairly easy going challenge working everyday in January from a list of prompts. I will probably hop around the list a bit as I hope to mainly draw from life but the challenge allows the use of photos. The idea is to draw and share it in the Artist Journal Workshop Facebook group

The First day of the challenge reads: sketch an item than you can’t bare to throw away but should. This is very similar to the EDM challenge 114 – Draw something ugly you love and keep for sentimental reasons. Here is  the EDM challenge list . Scroll to see my efforts. The Every Day Matters drawing challenge also has a  Facebook page. So my new starts combining two challenges in 1

This is a very tatty and tired Christmas decoration because it is 64 years old. My Mother purchased in the first year of her marriage. It was not long after the war and it is made of brittle cheap plastic with fake mistletoe woven in and out of it. It has aways been part of our Christmas. There are photos of of us 3 kids with the “mistletoe bell” and it was always hung somewhere in our house. Now that I have inherited it, I hang it on the tree each year and it holds very fond memories for me but it is ugly tacky thing that should be thrown way.

I sketched it quickly using watercolour and pitt pens in a Strathmore Mixed media sketch book. As usual click on the photo to see a larger version.