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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« Look Again: Selection Of My Found Object Doodles | Main | About my food art, found object book update and other found object artists »
Friday
May302014

My Found Object Art Process: How I Created The Lily-Of-The-Valley Parachutist Doodle

Some people have been asking how I create my found object doodles, so here's an example of how I did the lily-of-the-valley parachutists. 

First thing in the morning, I go out into the garden:

When it was winter, I usually looked in my fridge instead. This is the first spring that I've been actively seeking out found objects for doodles, and I am SO EXCITED by all the potential art material out there.

Like these:

I love lilies-of-the-valley. These have been creeping in from our next door neighbour's yard, and I've been encouraging the spread. Some people hate them because they tend to pop up in places they aren't welcome, but I'm all for the ground cover as well as the flowers.

I'm pretty sure that my lily-of-the-valley obsession stems partly from the fact that they have such a brief season. 

But I digress.

After I decide on lilies-of-the-valley for a found object doodle, I pick a bunch. Most are for a small vase in the kitchen so I can just enjoy the fragrance but I also take a few stems down to my office cave, then pick off the blossoms.

Have you ever looked at lily-of-the-valley blossoms up close before. I mean, REALY up close? They are amazing. I love the purity of the white, the delicate curve of each perfect blossom, and each is SOOOO TINY. They also roll around a lot, so I ended up using a dab of rubber cement to keep them in place on the paper:

My favourite sketching tool, the Pentel Pocket Pen Brush, would produce a line that was too big for the doodle that I envisioned, so I opted for my 0.38 Muji Pen instead:

I decided on a Post-It Note instead of my usual sketchbook because I knew the doodle was going to be small, and I didn't want to waste paper. Plus I wanted a coloured background, else the white blossoms might get lost.

I drew the ink bits first, stopping every so often to make sure the blossoms would fit properly. When I was sure I had the right size of doodle for each figure, I dabbed a bit of rubber cement on the back of the blossoms and stuck them on. I had to work very carefully to avoid destroying the delicate petals.

Really need to get a pair of tweezers for smaller found object doodles like this. Anyway, here's the final doodle:

Here's my found object doodle photography studio:

I love these adjustable lights because they soften any shadows. Thanks to Jeff for getting this set-up for me, specifically for my found object doodles!

In case you're curious, here's what the doodle looked like one day later:

The blossoms actually started shrivelling only minutes after I took the original photo, which is one of the reasons I always need to work quickly. 

But that's one of the reasons I was drawn to found object doodles in the first place. They're ephemeral and fun, leaving little room for detail-obsessing or angst over mistakes.

I love creating found object doodles and post them on Instagram"Found Object Art" gallery on Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr  and in my Found Object Art portfolio.

Reader Comments (1)

I'm a fan of both lily-of-the-valley and your found object doodles! Thanks for sharing this.

May 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeather J.

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