Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge Theme: Opposites

The theme this month over on the Sketchbook Challenge blog is Opposites. Here is my post on that subject.

My favorite use of opposites in my work is in creating high contrast with color.


I like to use many, many layers of transparent color (I admit to a weakness for Golden Fluid Acrylics) and one of the beauties of working directly into the pages of a sketchbook is the ability- days, weeks, even months or years later- to work back into the pages, deepening and tweaking the composition. This week, the two-page spread above was reworked for the millionth time with magenta, lemon yellow, and pthalo blue and green to punch up the contrast.

I love to express myself by using colors that are opposites on the color wheel. Fiery oranges and reds contrasting sharply with cool, soothing blues and greens epitomize to me the experience of living on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Here, the extreme heat and sun of spring and summer can only be combated by cool, blue waters. I crave both things equally, and my experience with these two powerful forces of nature inform my most favorite color choices.


As you can see, my sketchbooks are often messy and unruly. I welcome that, encourage it even, and am never happier than when the book becomes grungy with wear, tear, and colors all splashed together.

But my sketchbooks are also incredibly useful tools. For instance, this previous sketch...


... became the inspiration for some new ideas on fabric.


The fabric was painted with MX dyes and then drawn into with Stacked Journaling using a fabric pen. I even used a similar color scheme as I had painted into this sketchbook page, and then emphasized the color contrast (opposite) with black and blue ink.


These types of sketches and samples can be elemental in uncovering your personal color palette, texture choices and favorite design motifs.


Here I did some sketches exploring the idea of using opposites in shapes and colors, and this theme will most likely carry over into future surface design explorations on fabric, just as the "bubble" sketch above did.

Your sketchbook can be the place you escape to when you're stressed for doodling and mind mapping, or it could be a genuine work of art, or it could simply be a utility that moves you along on your way to bigger and more detailed design ideas!

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