September 10, 2008

Drawing on New Surfaces

Paper, Canvas--traditional surfaces. But what happens when we take our favorite materials and work on new surfaces? Surprising things.

In a previous article, I wrote about my love of Sharpie markers in creating drawings of birds. I also like to use them to create bold, abstract drawings. Like the following:

What happens if we take those same markers, same bold colors, and apply them to a different surface? Below, you will see how the Sharpies look when I drew on a sheet of light beige foam.

This foam, used in kids' crafts, is sold in craft stores and in some discount drug marts. It's inexpensive and fun to use and comes in all sorts of colors. I first started buying it when I began incorporating collage and paste into my acrylic paintings; to build them up and create texture.

I decided to make some Artist Trading Cards using the same technique, and cut the foam to the 2.5 x 3.5 inch size.

The bold color remains, but the effect is softer, more impressionistic and dreamlike.

Take your favorite art materials and apply them to a new surface--see what happens!

Here are some surfaces you might not have thought of:

Recyled materials such as:
  • the nice white inside of a milk carton.
  • Old pieces of glass, old windows, old bottles,
  • old glass lenses, removed from frames and with a pin backing added
  • scraps of wood
  • old slate roof tiles
  • rocks
  • bricks

Materials you can find most anywhere:

  • Kids' board books can be found at most Goodwill and Salvation Army stores
  • Felt, foam
  • A variety of paper surfaces: rough, smooth, textured
  • Apply a coating of gesso or acrylic paint to fabric, then draw or paint on the fabric. How does velvet compare to felt? How does linen compare to fleece? For inexpensive fabric, cut up clothes you are going to give or throw away or buy clearance items at Goodwill.
  • Browse online catalogs from Dick Blick and the like and see what other surfaces are out there.

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