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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Different paper, different styles - using my Lamali sketchbook

As I wrote before, I have this Lamali sketchbook with different types of paper which I use for portraits for JKPP.

After fumbling just a little, I have come to the obvious conclusion that I cannot use the same technique for all types of paper.

I'll be posting a few insights I gathered during my experimentation.

The first type few sheet is made of some kind of fibre I don't recognise and looks really beautiful. It is, however, the trickiest to work with in my opinion.

The first drawings I made on it, which I already posted, were made with a simple felt pen, so I didn't quite understand it until I tried using watercolour.

For my first attempt, I kept my brush very dry and remained very careful when adding colour, so, although the result is a bit unexpected, I like the happy accidents.
Jo Kettlewell for JKPP
The red was a spur of the moment addition that works well in my opinion
I got a bit cockier with the second one, less careful, and discovered that the water bleeds a lot on this paper. Every drop of water seems to just spread to three times the area I want it to...

Although I don't dislike the result, I'm still a bit disappointed. I don't know if it's because the colour bled so much or the black felt pen that is too "radical" here. The fact is I was aiming for something lighter.
Sol or JKPP
My impatience made everything runnier...
So I learned that I had to be a tiny bit more patient when using watercolour on this paper, and let it dry as much as possible. Which is what I did for this next drawing, at least until I tried adding some shawows in the face.

Again, the watercolour went a bit wild here, but I like it. I could have done with a tiny bit less on the cheek, but the result is quite moody, which is what I was aiming for.
Magdalena for JKPP
The original picture looks like an image from an old silent film
I also experimented with Tombow brush pens, which I love to use. On this paper I still need to be carefull with the bleeding, but less than with watercolour, so I can control the outcome a bit better.

The hue of colours can be a little bit unpredictable, though. For example, the pen I used for the shading on these portraits was blue, not grey.

John Rajesh for JKPP
I went a bit bold with the yellow. More dynamic.
Marion for JKPP
I later found out that Marion's favourite colour is blue :)
For this last one I also used Tombow, but tried different colours. The difficult thing when using them on this paper is that the fibres get a bit stuck on the brush, so you need to clean it from time to time. It's particulalry visible on the grey area on the bottom right part of this portrait.
Molly for JKPP
I love the colour of the lips here
I really enjoyed playing with this paper. I learned that I had to be more patient when drawing with watercolour and to enjoy unexpected outcomes. Nothing really new I guess, but it's still good to be reminded.