Artistic Inspirations: tracing sketches, watercolour and frottage

Another wonderful art lesson with guest teacher Kim, yesterday!

The first task was to trace over an original sketch – using either the light from a window or using a snazzy school light table – to get an outline of an original idea without having to start from scratch. Then, with each repeated outline, we used different techniques to create contrasting pictures based on the same drawing. The original sketch was in pencil, the two variations used watercolour pencils, watercolour crayons and brushes:


A great idea to trace around the work already done allowing for experiments in texture, form and colour with each repetition. And as a beginner painter, using the watercolour pencils was a really good way into this unfamiliar medium.

Secondly we learned about “frottage” technique. In simple terms rubbing graphite, drawing or painting using different textured surfaces behind the paper – or even selecting higher grade paper that had its own inherent texture.

We were drawing from magazine cuttings that were taped upright against the wall for an easier grasp of perspective. I varied the texture by drawing on top of a board with small ridges. I experimented with a graphite block. First I used this small graphite block on its side in circular motions for the jacket, then used the tip (held like a pencil) to make horizontal lines on the skirt, then did a cross hatch shading on the shirt. A harder pressure was used to create depth and shading:


Feeling inspired and lucky to have lessons with a professional and patient teacher, especially as I couldn’t take art as an option at secondary school. Really a beginner but enjoying the process and having a way into starting to draw, paint and design.

I almost bought out the stationery shop again today… this girl needs her art equipment at the ready for when inspiration next strikes…;)


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