Another way of making bold images in your sketchbook is by printing.
There are several different ways of making print blocks but something that is often overlooked yet can be very effective is the potato!
You need to slice the potato in half and leave it to dry slightly by turning it face down onto some kitchen paper. When it has dried a little, place the potato onto a sheet of paper and draw around it.
Then within the drawn outline you need to draw your chosen shape or motif. I've continued with the poppy heads but any bold shape will work - we're not looking for subtle or intricate designs here.
You then need to cut this shape out, place it onto the cut surface of your potato and cut around the outline with a sharp craft knife.
When you have gone all around the outline you need to cut away the excess potato - the part you do not want to print.
You can add some additional detail at this stage but nothing too fancy as it gets difficult to cut.
You will then need some acrylic paint. One of the advantages of working with a limited colour palette is that you can buy just one or two colours to try out the different media.
I find that the best way of applying the paint to your potato print block is simply to paint it on or sponge it on - no need to get a roller dirty! It is good to combine colours - here I've used a rich burgundy together with scarlet.
You then press down firmly with your potato onto your page. It is worth doing a test run on a scrap of paper before working into your sketchbook to see if you have put enough paint on or possibly too much.
You then lift up the potato without dragging it and you should have a lovely bold print.
I used the second half of the potato to make another print block which I combined with my first one...
And printed this double page spread in my sketchbook. You will need to reapply the paint to the potato every time you take a print. Notice how I have filled up my page! You could if you like just leave it like this, but I like to add more colour...
When the prints are dry, using inks or other water colours apply a wash of colour over the page. The acrylic paint will offer a certain amount of resist to the watercolours.
The red on red looks a little bit boring so I've livened it up by adding a bit of green. Green is the complementry colour to red (as it is made from the other two primary colours - yellow and blue). When we put complementry colours together they can make a painting "sing" but the trick is to get them in the right proportions. Red and Green are a similar intensity so if we use them in the same amounts they fight each other, but by using a little bit of one with the other we can often lift a painting and make it look more interesting. Other complementry pairs are blue/orange and purple/yellow.
I'm not sure I've finished this yet, I could work into the page with pencil or pen, add text, maybe some more colour. The point is to keep working on your sketchbook pages until you are happy... and knowing when to stop! Also experiment with shades, tints and tones of your chosen colour, overlapping prints, working on to pre-painted pages instead of white... experiment and have fun!
You can see what other people are doing with their sketchbooks here: Moogsmum, Ragged Old Blogger, and Zaz
And one last little thing... the winner of of my blog birthday sketchbook giveaway. I was overwhelmed by the number of comments and I had to abandon ideas of random number generators and resorted to bits of paper as some people had two or three entries (whose idea was that?). No photos of me folding up or picking out bits of paper but the winner is...