Ink Sketches to Rice Paper

I try to use moments of down time to consider methods of working in my head, so that I’ve at least given all of my ideas considerable thought before I try to execute them. Of course there are many drawbacks to this; just because I’m able to conceptualize an idea in my head, it does not necessarily guarantee results when I’m in the studio. The more important aspect is that the ideas have at least been considered and experimented with, if even for very brief moments in the studio. It’s my way of covering all of my bases and to be sure that I’m not making any assumptions about the work.

One concept I keep running through my head this week is this idea of how to make the transition from these smaller scale ink sketches to a large sheet of rice paper or stretched watercolor paper.

The other question I keep asking myself is how much can I plan out my marks in advance, and yet still retain the look of a spontaneous composition? I’ve already determined that the more preliminary work the better, in order to avoid major pitfalls in terms of composition. Every time I’ve upped the scale in the work, I find that my sense of composition immediately disappears simply because the scale is so vastly different than on a small sheet of paper. I keep going over in my head that if my skill with the brush is developed enough, that I should be able to replicate specific brush effects. At the same time though, the concern is that this advance planning will emerge too much in the image and spoil any sense of fluidity or spontaneity that I’m trying to simulate.

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