Wanderlust: collage river

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The second week of the “Rivers” theme and this lesson was led by another new instructor: Clare Etheridge (blog, Instagram).

The most fun part of this lesson has to be creating the collage papers to use in it first. I mean, I do have a small stash of papers already, but it was nice to have an excuse to randomly splash ink and paint around, and my stash definitely has more variety in it now.

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Roughly torn strips of collage papers formed the body of the river, a little extra colour filled it in and created banks on either side.

If I’d been doing this without following an instructor, I probably would have gone hunting for suitable ephemera or even stamps to use for the plants and wildlife, but Clare sketched hers from references, so that’s what I did too. I didn’t even print out and trace using my lightbox (a technique I’ve used several times in the past). I actually drew them freehand based on pictures found with Google image search.

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I fussy cut them out, glued them down and added colour with Inktense blocks (I like using the Inktense for things like this because they are permanent when dry, unlike other watercolour mediums). A bit of outlining and shading finished them off.

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I wasn’t completely happy with it, so I sketched in some grasses to try and tie it all together. It’s still not perfect — I’m tempted to go back and fill it out with a few more bulrushes — but I love it just for the added confidence I now have from doing the drawings.


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