Thursday, 12 April 2012

(Nearly) All in the Name of Science

Hey! I'm feeling bold today, so I'll let you in on a little known secret about me...

It's meant to be a cyclamen.
And "yes".  I am too lazy to bother with properly colouring the background.
  Problem?  Talk to the pencil!
At certain times in my life, I've been known to be a brave experimenter.  I know, you're shocked!  Seriously, it's true.  In fact, to demonstrate the possible depths of my aptitude for innovation, I'd like to share the following true childhood anecdote with you, so you can fully appreciate that this is a skill I've been developing over many years:

Step One:  The Thought Process (AKA - "The Impossible Dream"):

[Scene:  Kate, as a six year old.  Standing in front of an open fridge.  Thirsty.]

Kate: "Hey, I'm thirsty. What should I drink? Hmmmm, I really like orange juice. Never mind that it's concentrated. Who needs water." Kate looks further along the shelf, looking up...

Kate: "Hey look what else I see - lime cordial  (Coola), still concentrated and in the bottle.  And hey, look! There's some milk!  Yum!"  Kate scratches her head.  She is presented with a very real dilemma.  She likes all three beverages equally.  What to choose?  What to drink?  What. To. Choose. To. Drink?

Kate: "Hey! Given I like milk, I like cordial, and I love juice, why not create an "uber drink" of splendid proportions by boldly mixing all three together?  I. Am. A. Genius."

Step 2:  Scientific Execution

Using scientific precision, I carefully measured 1/3 cup of concentrated orange juice, 1/3 cup of lime concentrated cordial and 1/3 cup of milk together to create my new and "tasty" concoction, bound to be a world-wide phenomenon. I mixed carefully and with wild anticipation, sipped the fruits of my labour.

Step 3: Results and Analysis


Thoughtful Contemplation.

Conclusion: Foul.  So bad it was worse than disgusting.

Surely it cannot be?!  Surely my drink is actually, really, truly, splendid!

With staunch determination, I drank the entire cup.

The result?

A rapid cure for constipation.

Whilst the drink in itself didn't work, on reflection, perhaps I should have patented it as a viable alternative for Laxettes.  Oh well, opportunity missed.

End of story.

So you see?  It is true. At times I have been known to be a brave experimenter (even if it is only in my head).

Anyway, back to the present.  Today's experiment is hopefully slightly less "productive" than my memorable drink mixer of old, however I must confess it was almost as exciting.  In the initial stages anyway.

So what did I do?

Well, I'm so glad you asked!

I used my Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils to draw this little picture of a cyclamen on some Art Spectrum paper as an initial step.  Nothing unusual so far.

But then we get to the magic....

I got out my bottle of Mineral Turpentine (aka "Turps") and used a little paint-brush to paint a light layer of Turps over the top of the pencil.  The effect was magic and I *loved* it!  From what I understand, the Turps slightly dissolved some of the pencil (which is a high quality oil based pigment in lots of wax), creating an almost painterly effect.  It dried very quickly and I found I was able to add additional layers of pencil over the top of the "wash".

I was a tad naughty, because I used cheap, domestic grade Turps, rather than artist's quality, but as this was an experiment, I couldn't justify the cost of buying professional grade product.

I'm afraid I can't tell you how badly this technique will impact on the longevity of the artwork.   Perhaps you can ask me in twenty years time and I'll be happy to let you know. Regardless of whether this creates a "for now" or a "forever" artwork, if you have some good quality pencils and a bottle of Turps, why not give it a try next time you do a drawing.  Just make sure you apply the Turps in a well ventilated room as the smell is really strong - feel free to learn from my mistakes <hack!>.

Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope to see you again soon.  Don't worry, I'm not going to be mean enough to dare you to try my drink!


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Thank you very much for reading and taking the time to comment. I get so excited and love reading what you have to say!