Tuesday, February 2, 2016

More Black Beauty

As I mentioned I was back in the studio for a few hours over the weekend, planning and thinking and sorting my head.

I have two teaching commitments so far this year - the first is in May and the second is in June-July.

First up I am teaching a one-day course for the Calligraphers of South East Queensland called Black Beauty.  It is all about exploring the vibrancy of colours of all sorts on black paper.

The workshop will have participants making lots of test swatches on black paper, doing some sampler ideas and then binding them all into an exemplar book. All in one day...

So I have been pondering the best way to structure the day; thinking about the best sort of book to create and doing lots of swatches using different mediums.

There will be coloured pencils.


Watercolour pencils.



I think it is interesting to see how different coloured pencils look on a white background and a black one. Black gives so many colours lift and life I think.

And here is the play table.

It is a good feeling to be back in the studio, sorting and sifting, planning and preparing.

I hope the workshop pans out OK - I love creating sampler books to keep as references and guides and I really enjoy the discoveries and experiments along the way. I hope that participants do too. I have developed what I hope will be great book style to use - now I have to go and make one from scratch and check that it works as well in real life as it does currently in my mind!


  1. how exciting to see all those samplers - wish I was near enough to participate in the workshop! but as I'm in the UK I will have to try it for myself in the studio - colour is always a challenge for me so maybe this is just what I need! thank you for sharing Fiona I always enjoy your posts even though I don't often comment

    1. Thanks Rosie. It's funny, but I do find sitting down and going through a routine like making a set of swatches like this is very helpful! I love having it to reference in the future and it always teaches me something...go well!

  2. oh, fiona, such a wonderful workshop... i would sign up right away!

  3. What a revelation watercolour on black paper is! I have never thought this was even possible and my little brain is wanting to rush out and try it. If only I could get Scotty to beam me up and turn up at the workshop. Looking at the amount of preparation you have done already I can tell it will be a wow of an event and I'd get to see that book idea you've planned too... even graphite on black paper sets my head spinning with thoughts.Hope we'll see more as your ideas evolve although I know you must not give too much away as it should be a lovely surprise for your participants.

    1. I know Lesley! Who'd have thought?!? I read about it years ago and couldn't wrap my head around it; but it is amazingly intriguing. And graphite offers so much - hard and soft so different too. I did my first proper mock-up of the book and I think I've got it - yay! Have fun exploring...


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