A great example of how we artists call a “beautiful mistake” can indeed be beautiful! Some time ago, I made a Copic Marker sketch featuring Teddy Rides Giraffe. That was actually a second attempt at it. The first one I messed up whilst tracing the outline in black. Thinking it would be useless to continue as it was unerasable, it was cast aside but luckily not thrown away seeing I worked so hard on it. I’ll figure something out. And what did I do a few months later? Read on!
The Beautiful Mistake
And how adorable is this drawing of the giraffe giving Teddy Bear a little ride! Naturally, I loved this drawing so much that I didn’t want to dispose of it despite the little booboo. It is the left-side cheek of the teddy where I made the wrong stroke with the black copic marker. Thus not erasable and even with masking it with white paint and even gesso, I sadly abandoned the painting midway. A month later, I looked back on it and figured a way to salvage it. Continue as is, color it all in, cut out and paste! The rest was colored in with Copic Sketch markers. By filling in Teddy with a dark brown, the mistake was not too obvious. The figure was going to be cut out anyway as you will see.
On a page of Strathmore’s Visual Journal for Mixed Media, I set about my background using acrylic ink. Warm tones of red, gold and pink were randomly applied with a wide sponge brush. It doesn’t have to be perfect in terms of color distribution or streaks as they will be covered up with more layers of paint and of course that cut-out Copic sketch. So far so good!
Cut and Paste
Whilst waiting for the acrylic ink to dry, I carefully cut out my Copic sketch, making sure the area where the mistake had been made was snipped off. The rest of the cutting didn’t require to be so close to the figures since the edges will be painted on anyway. Modge Podge was used to glue it on, once again carefully here too. It was important to eliminate any creases and wrinkles, and for this I ironed them all down with an old credit card. Then I was able to start painting! As you can see below, I started with the sky in Ultramarine Blue and Cobalt Teal as well as some Titanium White to create a negative space for the sun.
Continuing on with the sky, another negative space was created with the house. I really love the red/gold/pink combo that I wanted to retain some in the painting. For the grass, a combination of Green Gold and Permanent Green were used, along with some iridescent green Daler & Rowney’s ink. The layer below from the background still shows through which gives a more interesting effect. To join the sky and the ground together, I painted in some tall grass then with a white gel pen some details with the eyes, horns and grass. And now we’re good to go!
Now I’m very happy I saved my “mistake” and continued where I had left off to make another use for it. Copic markers do make wonderful “cut and paste” pieces for paintings as we have seen here. A great combination they make with acrylic paint/inks! I’d definitely do more like this and will remember that the next time I mess up with unerasable mediums like Copic markers, there is a way out! Recreating is so much fun isn’t it?