Today’s post might not be to everyone’s taste – it’s about sketchbooks. As part of my production line of Laura Ashley consort dolls, I have been sketching for faces quite a bit and playing around with the moustache motif. The picture at the top of the blog is one of the pages using a technique I really like but don’t use often anymore: printing with polystyrene plates. These are the plates that you get food packed with, although not as often as we used to do given the move to biodegradable materials. I have a stack I have saved over the years. Basically you draw into the polystyrene with an old biro, cut round it, and apply some nice thick paint or a stamp pad. It gives a sort of woodblock effect. This plate gave me two for one because the reverse was textured:
For this print I cut out moustache shapes from the plate with a craft knife and printed with a purple tube acrylic :
I really like the texture you get. I haven’t incised any detail into these which I often do, but the brush strokes in the thick acrylic give a nice rough effect:
I also did a bit of collage:
I might print onto fabric with the plates at some point, but I was just having fun playing with the moustache shapes.
The sketches for the dolls are a bit more immediately interesting. These are for Keith, my hipster doll, who had a great time in London in the late sixties and early seventies and never really got over it:
The left hand fold-out shirt also shows the ideas for the ties of my last doll, Simon, with his kipper tie. I had originally thought that Keith would look like John Lennon in the Yellow Submarine phase of the Beatles, but after making the sketches, I might go for Paul McCartney instead:
Or I might make two and have one of each. Here’s another sketch to finish: