Plant Life Sketchbook

I found I was actually coming to the end of my first sketchbook, I chose to focus on leaves and foliage in the one sketchbook, and use a different one for the animals, and the plan was to kind of combine them and work on motifs that incorporate both in whichever sketchbook has more room left in it. But right now I think I will start another A3 book to continue with the plants and foliage, because I have yet to start with the berries, nuts, acorns or structures development in my book.

I continued to explore some styles that I was enjoying using, and working on combining them and refining them, and considering how they would translate over to a more digital format as I plan to take my mark-making over to Procreate as well.

These pages show the continued experimentation with techniques that I think could work well for motifs, although I think I would have liked to try a thin dark green outline on the lighter green leaves for example to avoid the heavy use of black, but I found a sharpie was not achieving this look in the colours and the use of paint just would not achieve that thin perfect line that I wanted, but again this can be done on Procreate.

I took some of my favourite shapes of the leaves to use and to try and name a few of them. From here I knew I wanted to go ahead and play with the solid shape of it more that I touched on previously.

I tried out some techniques here that represent the idea of shape a lot, such as the cut out and the patternwork shapes, I also tried an embroidery technique and a woven technique which I think helped to amplify the shapes and form of them more as the stitches defined the edges and the woven technique made from squares is quite obvious. I also tried the wax resist by drawing with a candle which was quite good to give a strong line drawing. I also went back to some of my favourite techniques such as the leaf skeletons, the splatter resist of the shapes and the bleach outlines too. I want to think of some ways to translate this better to Procreate and digital and see what I can do with it then.

I worked agin with lino here but made sure they were cut out shapes that would make clear motifs, I then made such the veins were the right kind of shape on there, and went ahead and tried out some patterns with these, over watercolour and bleach backgrounds or just plain white to focus more on the motifs.

Continuing with my Sketchbook

I lasted showed some experiments I did into leaf printing, bleach and batik that turned out quite well, I wanted to continue with some techniques I had looked into trying as I felt they would work well for my leaves and plants.

I experimented here with a range of different materials and colour with the lino printing, using old book pages and a number of different coloured backgrounds. The impression of the white on the black paper is quite good I think, and it allowed for adding the gold and silver pens onto it as well which i think worked well. I had fun with this, mixing a few of my techniques together to make creative new pieces.

I used charcoal and oil pastels to create rubbings of the leaves, which picked up their skeletons quite well, which I was focused on when I was trying to print the designs as well. I quite like the green one as it shows a good size of the leaf and a lot of detail of the different veins in it.

I created these oil pastel images which started out as quite dense colouring, however with a cocktail stick, scratching away some of the colour allowed for a totally different level of detail in the design. I quite like this, and observing a real leaf while I did it helped to get the lines and veins in the right places.

For these images, I used some basic flat shades of the greens, pinks and browns to create this gradual shading idea with the block colours. Using the darker green shades where the image would have been darker and fading to the lightest colour which I imagined the highlights would be.

These pieces were done using the same pink colour just diluted with either water or white paint. I think these actually turned out okay and I like how they are bold but with a little gradual shading in them.

I wanted to paint the contours of the images here, but I think the holly leaf ended up just looking like more of a line drawing, so I tried to do it with the nuts instead. I think this one is better and shows more shape to it, but this does look more like a strong light has been shone onto it so half is visible.

I also tried embossing here to create the leaf skeleton, I think it would have been nicer if the lines had been thinner but I only had the one size brush. I do love the effect of embossing and I think I would like to order some more colours to try this with.

I experimented with stippling and crosshatching here using a few media, such as paints, ink, pen and pencil. I think my favourite is the pen stippling one, which took a long time but I think it looks like a graphic motif which could work well if I experimented with changing its colour more.

Initial Drawings

Using some of my research photos, I created a few initial drawing pages based on the first hand images I put together.

To start I wanted to use one of my favourite media, I thought this would help me work on form and shape and encourage me to produce something really nice first, to get me excited about the project. I think if I just went straight into acrylic paints, or lino, something I am not as practiced in, I may feel discouraged with the results if they do not turn as well as I think these pages did.

I like the use of the patterns in the leaves, I think they work quite well because of the range of patterns used. Some of the lines in the leaves too are placed to show a bend or a sense of depth to the leaf, this works better when the leaf is folded or something as it then has two layers to it.

I decided to experiment on watercolour, as it is quite a soft media that can produce some nice results. Combining this with the fineliner pens too is nice because it then produces this more graphic representation of the subject, which I think works well. I think some things here look better than others. I think working in a realistic watercolour style is difficult and something I need to work on more as I do not think the results of this worked as well as it could have.

I took a couple of my printed research photos here and decided to work directly from these on the double page spread, I worked using the colour scheme I wanted to work in with these bright watercolour paints and fineliner. I think these designs have worked well but I need to expand a little more, I think coloured pencils would be a nice next step to try a sense of realism then moving into more exciting experiments, such as bleach and lino, as I find interesting motifs within my research pictures and carry on trying them out in various techniques.