This is my latest entry for the Artistic Licence CJ - and the inspirational artist this month is Nikki Monaghan.
Now, I have to admit I had never heard of her before embarking on this circle journal, but I do like her bold, colourful style.
As other entrants in the CJ had already largely covered off her recurrent motifs of patchwork trees and boats:
I decided to choose a slightly less typical "Monaghan" as my inspiration, this one is called "Bird 3":
I love how the bright colours pop against the black background, and I figured even with my distinct lack of drawing skillz, I could probably manage a simple birdie.
I was going to paint the bird or birds first, and then paint all around it in black - but then my creative director (otherwise known as my other half, Jay, who always has the best ideas) said, why not do it like we used to do at school - with coloured wax crayons under black, and then you scratch off the top layer.
Trouble was, I really couldn't get the wax on wax thing working for me....so I experimented a bit with various materials I had to hand, and ended up with a method that seemed to work pretty well.
So just in case any of you would like to try something similar, here's a bit of a step by step.
Step 2 - not pictured. Spray a coat of clear acrylic varnish over the colours to help protect them from the scratchy scratchy bit later on
Leave some of the black showing in places, as this adds to the "woodcut" look
Step 7 - add another coat of clear sealant or matt varnish when you're done
And that's pretty much it.
Here are my birds (I added a third on a whim part way through to balance the composition):
And you can see my finished piece using them, along with some embossed copper leaves, at the top of this blog post.
It was fun to do something in a different style and devise a new twist on an old technique. If any of you lot do give it a go, please comment with a link so I can some and have a peek.