In an earlier post, I shared my work-in-progress for the Strathmore Visual Journal Workshop 1. Picking up where I left off, I began adding other media to the now-dry collage page.
Lesson 2 called for adding more layers and color to the page, such as using gesso to paint over unwanted elements, adding “under-journaling” using graphite, enhancing the depth and shape of the elements using charcoal, adding color with oil pastels, and pulling it all together with a gesso wash.
Lesson 3 called for adding more color and texture to the negative space and image elements with oil pastel, re-doing outlines with pencil, and adding hints of color throughout.
I made an honest attempt to follow instructions, but ultimately my method varied in several respects.
Layer 4 — The instructions called for adding lines with graphite and then shadows and depth with charcoal. I also added conte’ crayon because I liked way the reddish color echoed the layer of scrapbook paper. The charcoal just seems harsh and dirty.
Layer 5 — The instructions called adding color with oil pastel, and then giving the whole thing a light wash of gesso. I used oil pastels as instructed, but I simply did not like working with them, and I’m unhappy with the effect. (For more on that part of the process, see “Warming up oil pastels: Cup Warmer vs Warm Cat”.) I couldn’t find my gesso, so I used light washes of white gouche and a mostly-opaque flesh-tone watercolor to tie the elements together.
Layer 6 — I added more color using watercolor, a step that was not in the original lesson.
Layer 7 — The graphite disappeared completely into the page, so I used ink where I wanted to see the lines. This is where I stopped, after adding more color, more charcoal, more oil pastel, and ink. I probably should have stopped sooner. Like the page says, you’ve gotta start somewhere. Knowing where to stop is something entirely different.
I still don’t know what Lesson 4 will hold, but I bet it involves adding more layers to this piece. I’d like to try a do-over, using only the materials I’m comfortable with.