Sculpture Block Trial

 
A surprise package of Artcoe Sculpture Block arrived from the SAA in May. It’s not the sort of product I would normally buy but was intrigued by its density and strength whilst being very light. It reminded me of Oasis flower foam that I used whilst teaching floristry.

I have been painting for a new body of work focussing on our diversity of West-Country coast, hedgerows and gateways. Whilst collecting information, sketching and painting I also photograph the stone textures and colours and I decided to see if this sculpture block could be used to create a 3-dimensional picture of the stone I had encountered.
 
THE PROCESS
 
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I ran a greyscale print from my photo of some granite with natural fissures and lichen – then began carving the block using the tools I was sent plus others in my studio that I use for making collagraph plates etc.

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Once I was happy with the carving, I painted all over the surface with Schminke watercolour ground.
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This image shows a block and my carved one painted with the ground. Whilst the ground was still wet, I sprinkled mica flakes (Dervan Matisse) on the wet surface.
 

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I then selected some watercolour paints that echoed those in the natural stone: Schminke Gold, Daniel Smith Indigo, Lunar Black, Lunar Blue, Cobalt Teal Blue, Winsor & Newton Raw Sienna. These were applied with a brush (SAA all rounder and a No 2 rigger)

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I gradually built up layers of colour, running into the cracks and over the surface textures. Its only at this point do you find out how good the carving was.
 


This close up illustrates the varying textures and stone colouring highlighted by some AV Vallejo ‘still water’ (which dries to a high shine) and looks like the stone is wet in the cracks and crevices

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As part of my new body of work, I have a range of Treasure Boxes. These evolved from visitor comments during an exhibition I held where I displayed some of my sketchbooks. I often collect ‘treasures’ from where I am standing to paint and glue them into the sketchbook when I get home. The new ‘treasure boxes’ are mounted mini-watercolours with treasure collections mounted beneath the watercolours and framed in glazed box frames.
 
Here is the finished sculpture and as it looks framed up with some ‘treasure’

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Cherry Lyons © 2015

You can find the sculpture canvas and block at http://www.saa.co.uk/sculpture-block. Try yours today!