Life in grey

[By Murray Dewhurst in Auckland].

No nothing to do with the popular raunchy novel series, but a grey paged sketchbook I picked up late last year. Intrigued by the grey pages of a Hahnemühle Grey Book, I took one home to try out.

The pages turned out to be quite thin and I found that adding watercolour to them created all sorts of kinky buckled madness. So a little bit disappointed, I put it aside.

But a few months ago I picked it up again. I had been thinking about how to speed up my sketches, not because I wanted to, but through necessity as I simply don’t have much time at the moment. I also dug out a fat white Posca pen left over from a mural project and hoped it might help steer me away from my usual habit of adding too much detail to my sketches.

And so far it seems to be working. I start by blocking in white negative or positive space, adding soft black pencil over top for detail. The white marker does a lot of the work, and you can even add a little bit of water colour on the white without cockling the pages too much.  It does help that we’re in the middle of grey drab Auckland winter too.

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