Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Process of Creating

Clothesline Drawing

It always begins with sketches. Many color combinations and layouts
are practiced at thumbnail size, with color pencils and a regular pen.
This particular one included decisions about creating a composition
that would lead the eye around yet ultimately give it somewhere to
rest. This is why, in the last sketch, one shirt was chosen to be
hung upside-down.

Next, the Bristol board (series 500, two ply plate) is taped to a mat,
and the basic design is carefully measured and laid out in pencil.
Its important to me that the final work fits in standard sized mats
and frames, because custom stuff is often too expensive for me. This
one is 10 x 8 inches.

My favorite part is the inking. I use Koh-I-Noor Rapidographs of
various sizes, and slowly ink lines over the pencils.

Once the ink is dry, and all pencil marks are thoroughly erased, then
I tape up the clean edges of the work that will not be painted. This
allows me to be a little freer with my brush strokes and not so scared
that paint will obliterate the freshly inked lines. Its not an
exacting process, and touch-up comes later, but it does soothe my
nerves while painting.

Using red, blue, yellow, black, and white I always mix my own colors
with acrylic paints. For this piece, it was a lot of blue with some
white and black to mute the brightness a bit. I applied the paint
with a dry brush, which essentially means when I put paint on my
brush, I remove most of it on scrap paper before dragging the dry
bristles across the page. It gives it a very loose and ghosty effect,
which I've come to adore.

There were a few areas that needed to be touched-up, and I do that
with black ink and plain white acrylic ink (the only white-out for
me). The color used here worked out well, for it seems like a cloudy
sky backdrop for the expanse of clotheslines, but also resembles
denim... a familiar combo with t-shirts.

That's the process I've been most comfortable with, and the whole
thing took about one day from sketches to hanging.

A print of this drawing is available in my Etsy shop.
Please click here for more information.

Thanks so much,
Jaye /


  1. Jaye,
    This is one of my new favorites! Well done!
    Thanks for sharing a part of the process!


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