I printed a photograph of my grandma onto watercolour printer paper. I then cut out the image and applied watercolour paint to the dress to colour it. On top of this I used a white Inktense pencil to where the white flowers were to add back some contrast to the pattern (as painting around them didn’t work well, so I had to apply a full wash across the whole fabric area). I intended to discard the background of the photograph but as I arranged the pieces I needed other pieces to contrast and add fill in the collage. I tore rather than cut the background pieces. I used a watercolour wash over the background pieces in a flesh and gold gouache which was watered down. The paint didn’t behave as I’d normally expect it to on watercolour paper and I’m unsure whether this is because of the paper itself or the ink altering the how the watercolour sits on it. I did however like how the gold gouache shimmered over the ink.

I tried different arrangements of the pieces and after a while I decided to add a piece of vellum (semi-opaque) paper to the bottom right corner to vary the intensity of the black and white image. I also had a second image printed on the sheet of watercolour paper which I was going to experiment with separately but I felt the cobbled street would work well at the bottom of the collage to anchor he base and I chose to use a circular piece from the terraced houses to sit in the top left of the image, as it gave a dark contrast to the light colour of the neck I placed over it.

With what was left of the second image I tried adding stitching and watercolour. Using the opportunity to keep experimenting with what I had.

It’s been an interesting day of experimentation. I’ve enjoyed trying different things to see how they work as many of these ideas and techniques are new. Feeling how they work and seeing what happens as different media interact has been a good way to start considering how I could use any of these methods in future work.

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