Sunday, July 5, 2009

let it bleed

When adding color to my drawing, I usually avoid filling up the space inside the lines. You may remember that I wrote about this in the post beauty in blank spaces. Some subjects that are very detailed or very thin, however, actually benefit from having color bleed beyond the borders. A single, thin, asparagus spear for example. Or a bean sprout. Or a cluster of very tiny flowers. One day I decided to experiment and see how much I could get the colors to bleed. Before I drew anything, I brushed plain water over the whole card. Then I quickly sketched these Gerber daisies and painted in the color before the card could dry out. I also wrote the letters while the card was still wet. Bold, sturdy, Gerber daisies were probably not the best choice for this experiment, but I did learn something from the result. I have a feel now for how much water my cards absorb and how this affects the application of both color and sumi ink. In the future, when I come across a subject that begs for this treatment, I'll know what to do.

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