Last Friday's Illustration Friday topic "parade" sparked this two-page spread in my large Moleskine sketchbook. I recently took a trip down memory lane as a looked through some old sketchbooks. These little 5.5x8.5 inch books were mostly from a time before I discovered the visual journal, and they were little books that I always carried around with me doodling constantly and writing the angst and love riddled poetry that only a twenty-something can write. They were truly my first visual journals, and the last two were my first foray into the world of visual journaling as I know it now.
But last week, I began flipping through them in an attempt to find some inspiration. I was immediately floored by their raw and prolific nature. I used primarily black ink and I sketched and worked fast, but I still manged to fill two or three per year. I didn't read the poetry, but I looked at page after page of doodles, sketches, and visual jottings. I was amazed to see some things - shapes, forms, and images that still reoccur in my art, but I was equally impressed with things that no longer occur in my art namely the figures. I've always loved figures and faces and people in general in art, but I've gotten away from the quick gestures that populate these little books.
So I decided to revisit them in a parade across two pages. I started with the black ink figures and then added the red-violet swirl. I then added watercolor pencil and finally watered down gesso. Despite begin grouped together, these figures are isolated from each other and do not interact. The gesso creates a fog and only bits through the rectangles are clear. It has a sombre feel, and it is most likely not finished and will evolve into something more.