An online sketching group I am part of occasionally has a ‘Sherlock’. This is how it works: there are a set of parameters that each person who takes part must abide by. Then we email our sketches to one person, who puts them online anonymously. After the deadline, all sketches are revealed and everyone has to try to guess which sketch belongs to who.
In this Sherlock, we had to work on a 10cm square. We had to use all of the materials listed:
- black ink
- a twig
- one brush
- cotton wool ball(s)
I began with the ink and a twig, then lay on ultramarine glazes with a brush. I made a ‘cotton bud’ from the twig and the dampened cotton wool ball and softened the edges with that. My two sketches were from photos taken in the Tuscan village where I stayed in September.
It was a very interesting exercise. A number of the sketchers sharpened their twigs (I think from a tutorial by an Asian Urban Sketcher found somewhere on the net). However at art school I became very accustomed to sketching with twigs, so that option wasn’t of interest to me.
In discussing afterwards, we found varying results with the twigs. Some of the sharpened ones took up a lot of ink, making it an expensive proposition. Another sketcher tried a number of twigs from different trees and found the results quite different. My twig was from an albizia julibrissin (Persian silk tree) in my courtyard. I think I’ll stick to that.
You should be able to see all the Sherlock entries on this Facebook page.