Completed experiment and moving forward


I continued with the same combination of mediums for this piece; ink with brush and pipette, white pastel drawn on and sometimes smudged. I used paper with less texture for this experiment which I don’t think worked as well. Paper with more texture gives pieces a more ‘painterly’ feel, with more prominent brushstrokes and texture.

What worked well

Marks made with the pipette in washed down ink are very effective at giving the impression of branches. The chalk created nice texture to the trunks and works well as a highlight. It also adds depth by highlighting branches at the forefront of the image.

What didn’t work 

Too much chalk applied to the trunks, meaning there is too strong lines of chalky white in the image and not much elsewhere. It’s distracting and flattens the image. Being more sparse would suggest more and bring greater tonal balance. Too much grey, not enough black and white. This is partly because of the paper. The ink runs down it easily and absorbs the ink quickly. This means, especially in the lower half of the painting, the ink builds up and loses contrast.

What next? 

IMG_0068 I have begun to rework this experiment. I wasn’t happy with it so instead of starting again, I want to keep adding and taking away Buildings layers and playing with what works and what doesn’t.

I have started with a wash of white gesso over areas that are overdone. It’s lifted untouched areas off the page already.

I could do another wash to build up opaqueness in some areas, then work with more ink and pastel on top.. or colour..?




I also want to start experimenting with colour. At the start of this project I was intent on looking at colour and light, and how intensity of light affected the atmosphere of a scene. Perhaps I can return to this?

To begin this movement towards working in colour I want to do some research into artists that use colour in their work, and the theory behind it. The artist Mal Levittoux who I’ve already looked at is very relevant but I need to look at more examples.

Techniques for including colour so far:

  • Washes of colour – in acrylic? gouache? oils?
  • Linear work in coloured pastels. Could also smudge pastels for softer finish.

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