Friday is laundry day for me. So while waiting for the washing to dry, I thought I would practice a bit of illustration. I day-dreamed of birds helping me hang out washing in my imaginary garden. As I came up with the scene in my head, I decided a collage would be the way to go. The advantage with collage is that is means you can create all the separate elements and then place them where you want on the page, which avoids the difficult task of painting the background around your subjects. It also means if you draw one element and then decide you don’t like it, well you don’t have to include it. This was the first time I have tried this but it was fun. I think it could be a good technique for children’s book illustration.
This is how I did it:
1. I started off drawing my laundry girl, the birds and the clothes in pen and then painted them in.
2. On a new sheet, using a flat 1 inch brush loaded with water, I wet the page and then painted on a blue wash for the sky.
3. I then did the same with a green wash for the base of the grass.
4. Once the grass was dry (I used a hairdryer to speed up the process), using a fine detail brush, I painted the texture of the grass using two different darker green colours for the texture of the grass.
5. On a separate piece of paper, using a dry-ish flat brush and a red-ish brown mix of paint I painted strokes to give the texture of the fence. Once this was dry, using a scalpel, I cut out the zig-zag shape of the top of the fence and then drew on lines for the planks with brown pencil.
6. I glued the fence to my sky/grass page, then cut out my laundry girl, the clothes and birds and glued them into place on the scene.
7. Then I decided the scene needed some clouds, so I made some of those with a blue wash and stuck those on.
That completed my illustration “Laundry Day”.