I saw this technique by Mary Todd Beam in the February 2002 issue of The Artist’s Magazine. I routinely remove articles from magazines that I find interesting before tossing the magazine. Anyway, this technique is one I’ve wanted to try for a while. I changed it slightly to suit my style.
I then coloured it in with crayons.
Once I was satisfied I painted over the drawing with black gesso.
After the gesso dried, I followed the instructions and scratched over the gesso to reveal the crayon underneath – just like we did when we were kids!
At that point, I realized that I missed a small step in the instructions – to leave some spots unpainted. So, I drew up a grid of where I wanted the white to show and also decided to add some grey. But before I did that I added some more crayon.
I then painted the white and grey areas – not exactly as drawn but close enough and still pleasing. I don’t always follow my thumbnails or plans. In fact, most of the time I change them as I go. My next step was to scratch out again.
Mary Todd Beam then suggests unifying the painting with bronze paint. Which I did using Iridescent Bronze (Fine). I glazed the bronze everywhere but the blue vase. I used Pthalo Blue (liquid) for the vase and then painted the stems and berries back in. I left some of the crayon showing through. The colours I used were Burnt Umber, Pthalo Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Pthalo Green and Yellow Ochre.
Overall I think this experiment was a success and one I will probably do again.
PS Added May 24, 2008. I just got the book Celebrate Your Creative Self by Mary Todd Beam from the library. This technique is in her book on page 104. Now I'm off to explore her book in depth.