By Sheila Ceccarelli
I thought it would be good to bring a bit of colour into my last two sessions at Red2Green, where I’d been working on a two week workshop programme for adult learners, so introduced them to wax resist and scraffito techniques.
Sally, tutor at Red2Green doing scraffito on a cardboard tablet
Inspired by images from magazines with patterns from nature, and pictures from BBC companion book to Life (narrated by David Attenborough), I introduced students to wax resist, using pale oil pastels on white paper, brushed over with dilute washes of coloured Indian inks to create rewarding effects.
Initially students chose an image and placed it over carbon paper sandwiched between white cartridge paper to make a tracing by drawing over the image with a sharp pencil
Derek draws over an image from the BBC publication Life
Andrew traces over an image from the BBC publication Life using a sharp pencil
Students then reproduced some of the shapes from their traced drawings on a fresh piece of cartridge paper. For some, this was a big step and required concentration and support.
Steven looks at his tracing and draws filled shapes in oil pastel
Steven then applies diluted Indian ink over the pastel drawing
Steven having used several colours of ink, dabs away excess colour from the wax with a paper towel
Exploration of natural forms in wax resist by Martin
Exploration of natural forms in wax resist by Steven
Andrew builds up layers of ink
And uses several choices of coloured washes with varying thicknesses of paintbrush
Derek explores colour inspired by sea anemones
And dabs away any excess ink with paper towel
Finished work by Derek
Scraffito is a ceramics technique which scratches a top layer of coloured slip away from a contrasting coloured lower layer. I remember a similar process from my own primary school in the 70’s, when we made our own ‘scratch boards’ by working coloured crayons onto paper and then covering the colours all over with a black crayon, which we then scratched a drawing into.
A simple, but hugely satisfying process and one that learners and staff all enjoyed at Red2Green.
Andrew, learner at Red2Green, uses a feather to scratch into a plate made by rubbing black pastel over a multi-coloured pastel plate
Making a start: oil pastel on cartridge paper mounted on cardboard
Martin colours on white paper mounted on cardboard
Board covered with coloured pastels
Steven covers his board in a thick layer of coloured pastel
Using a dark blue pastel to cover the coloured ‘plate’
Finished scraffito by Martin
Derek covers the whole board in orange and yellow pastels
And then, Derek covers over his coloured board with dark blue pastel
Derek picks up on his Anemone design from his previous drawing made with Wax Resist
Anemone by Derek
Gecko by Neil, student at Red2Green
Scraffito by Martin, student at Red2Green
Sally does scraffito into dark pastel over coloured board
‘Brazil’ – Scraffito by Jake at Red2Green
Under the Sea by Sophie, student at Red2Green
Many thanks to learners at Red2Green for letting me document the sessions.
Aspire to Create
In autumn 2015, AccessArt was invited to lead a series of practical workshops as part of an Arts Council, Grants for the Arts project, Aspire to Create which was managed and delivered by Red2Green.
Red2Green is a ‘Cambridgeshire charity providing services including learning, leisure and work opportunities for adults with a wide range of disabilities.’
To see all eight workshops in this series, tailored for adult learners, and exploring drawing, casting, printmaking, sculpture and colour, please refer to the Aspire to Create launch page here.