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Not-so-Neato Sgraffito!

So I led a mini-workshop/tutorial yesterday on using a sgraffito technique (scratching through the top layer of color) with colored pencils and oil pastels, I got the idea from an article in a recent "Color" magazine issue. In fact, that's the technique I used to create my 2018 Christmas greetings. Well, the results of the efforts of those in the class were quite mixed. Pat Bell's was the best -- she used a dime to scratch away the top layer of oil pastel. Don is pleased with his efforts to date and will continue to scratch away here at home. Jan had to leave before her giraffe was finished but plans to finish up at home, too. Jack O'Keefe's sail boat picture turned out reasonably well, but Helen Long's final version was really disappointing. You have to know that Helen Long is a truly amazing artist. Her original image took our breath away. (Too bad I didn't snap a photo of it!) Once she covered it with oil pastel and tried to scratch through though, the color underneath was GONE! She did a small cactus image then, trying the smoother side of our Bristol paper. It was a bit more successful, but still not up to her standards. She left both of her attempts in the trash can. That was sad. My two attempts were not great either, but I did get more color to show through than she did. This morning I decided to see if using Inktense pencils instead of wax/oil based colored pencils and dampening them to let the ink sink into the paper would work any better. The results were "interesting." I learned a few things about the technique (I think). It remains to be seen whether I experiment more with the technique. It's definitely outside my comfort zone!

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