Surface accidents

The watercolour painting (right) is by Victor Hugo, the French 19th century novelist. While out sketching he often rubbed substances such as cofffee grounds and cigar ash into the surface. He also used a type of pencil which produced soluble marks to deepen and dramatize the tonal effect. However these techniques should be used with caution as they can destroy the surface of your work.

Shape accidents The 18th century artist Alexander Cozens developed an idea based on making landscapes from inkblots. He thought that natural accidents resembled nature and inspired visions of imaginary places. The picture (right) was produced by dabbing a cloth dampened with ink onto a flat piece of paper. This was then placed, inked side down, onto another piece of paper which had previously been crumpled up. He gave the resulting pattern of inkblots to his students to use under a piece of translucent paper to produce fantasy landscapes.

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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