This artwork was made for a sktchy live session on Facebook. Sktchy is an iphone app where artists share selfies & other artists draw them - an international portrait exchange.
When Jordan Melnick (Sktchy app creator) asked me to do this project I was at first terrified because I was unfamiliar with the technology. I did a trial session at school (a huge disaster) our school Wi-Fi wasn't fast enough to accommodate Facebook and probably too many children were on the Wi-Fi system at the same time.
Jordan contacted me this last Monday (29th August) and asked me if I could do a Facebook live session on Saturday 3rd September and this immediately catapulted me into action.
I organised a live session with my grade 10 and 11 students on Wednesday evening.
My husband, Fred, created a set up for me that allowed me to work with a camera directly above my work. (see below) I mistakenly caused an echo by turning the sound up on my computer when I started filming. Otherwise the session went well - with me managing to communicate with my students.
I thought I was prepared for Saturday evening. All of my equipment laid out, music downloaded from a royalty free music site (Incompetec), an overhead LED light, all devices fully charged (I thought) & then disaster struck. My ipod wasn't fully charged & stopped playing music & it was too late to charge it.
I started the broadcast aware that there would be long silences - which can be a bit disconcerting for people watching the broadcast.
I had pre-prepared a supawood board with a texture pressed into plaster & then sketched out the face in pencil. When I started drawing in the FB live session I started with Faber Castell pens (Grey of Grey range). These pens help establish a tonal/value range.
I then switched to ink - I use acrylic inks and shellac based inks. The shellac inks are more expensive, but the colours are so vibrant they are worth the price.
I then used various skin coloured pens, white highlighters and various chalk based markers. (see pics below)
I was asked what surface I worked on & I turned the piece on its edge so the block could be seen from the side
Sandra (above) asked how I hang these blocks - I usually drill a hole in the back - hammer a nail into the wall & hang the piece from the nail.
As an answer to Paul's question above - The surface I work on has been sealed with fixative (after I did the pencil drawing). So the surface is slightly repellant. This makes it easy to smear markers.
I often sand in-between layers of drawing and working with ink & I apply acrylic paint (sample house paints bought from a hardware store) & acry-oil a thick buttery acrylic paint with a palette knife, plastic spreaders or old credit cards.
Jackie (above) asked if I seal my work when finished - I do. I use a waterbased varnish. (see the pic with the can of fixative above - the tub of glazecoat varnish is next to the fixative)
(Stage 1 after the 45mins on Facebook live)
(The finished piece is at the beginning of this blog post) Details below:
I just love the comment Sktchy made 32 minutes into the session:
Thank you to the Sktchy app for creating a forum where artists across the world can inspire and support each other in our creative journey.