Today I am doing something a little different - drawings and mixed media work on paper for a very exciting show that is coming up in the spring. Here's one in progress on my board in the studio.
As you can see, I'm working from a photograph that I took on site, and I'm using acrylics, inks, pastels and chalks on a nice rough buff-coloured handmade paper with a lovely unusual tooth, almost like a textile. It's nice to work out of a ground that's not white, as it gives a nice ready-made mid-tone.
To apply the paint, as well as brushes I use a flexible plastic spatula, which gives marks with a lovely volume, and a long stick to apply the coloured inks. Using a stick allows for a more expressive, loose style of mark-making, but anything is fair game - a roller, sponge, edge of a piece of card. This is especially useful for grasses and foreground, as it gives the feeling of the growth and the grasses moving.
I also like using the stick/ink technique for architecture, such as in my pictures of seaside piers or bridges, as it makes the lines of the structure feel less 'precious' and more organic. You become less caught up in the exact delineation of every last detail, and become more focussed on expressing the feeling of the presence of the building or structure.
Eastbourne Pier (Mixed, 30 x 24)
Exploring a subject through mixed media is a good way of thinking through how you might want to express a subject in oils, and how you might achieve a variety of qualities of mark and texture.
You'll have to wait a bit longer to hear what the project coming up in the spring is - plenty of things happening before that!!