The isolation has agreed very well with me, and I found some creative energy to try my hand at a few new things. I haven’t done oil painting in over a year – mainly because it is a medium that I really struggle with, but I am so in love with the richness of colour and the techniques you can use, that I suffer through it, usually to be pleasantly surprised and rewarded by the end result. I am doing four paintings at once, just because I find it easier to rotate between them while the others dry, and because this probably is the only time this year I will do oil painting, so I only suffer once through the messiness for a month or so, until I finish them all.
I also tried a new technique for the first time, namely Scratchboard. This is a type of direct engraving, using sharp knives and tools to cut into a thin layer of white China clay that is coated with black India ink. You cut into the black to reveal the white layer below. There is also foil paper covered with black ink that, when scratched, exposes the shiny surface beneath (this last part I didn’t know….). The image is created completely by making repeated small lines, marks and strokes.
Since it was my first time, I did not realise that all scratchboards are not white underneath, so I started scratching, and lo and behold, a psychedelic array of metallic colours awaited me!! I still completed the picture I was busy with – for practice – but it really didn’t go with the bunny I was drawing. I still had a whole bunch of these boards available, and it is lockdown after all, so I decided to choose a theme that would better suit this medium. I have to say, I fell in love with this technique (and colours!), and will soon have my “Under the Sea” series of these images on my website!