Black and white illustrations, from when I kind of had a style thing going on?

Graduate Drawing 2 for Tom Garrettt Illustration Class Fall 1990 Rachel KetchumIt’s hard to believe I could draw this confidently back then.

I would love to be able to make this kind of black and white drawing, made for Tom Garrett’s Illustration class at MCAD in 1990 or 1991, today.

Graduate Drawing 1 for Tom Garrettt Illustration Class Fall 1990 Rachel KetchumTom would give us an assignment and we’d do sketches and comps and finals, like real professional illustrators.

Somehow the repetition, and his charm as a teacher, let us cut loose. The final is the top one, the one above is the comp. And yes, this assignment was something like “Boomers vs Gen X”! Abandoned House Drawing 1 for Tom Garrettt Illustration Class Fall 1990 Rachel Ketchum

Look at this great horse I drew!

I still kinda wish I’d had a reason to put my skill at drawing horses to use at some point in my career.

Abandoned House Drawing 2 for Tom Garrettt Illustration Class Fall 1990 Rachel Ketchum
White inks or paints can react with the pigment in black pens to create blue or purple tones.

It happened with this long ago mixed media illustration, and some drawings of boylesquers I did here in Berlin a couple years ago. It’s hard to predict; it shouldn’t happen with quality materials, but it still does sometimes.

Tool Drawing with lace and smoke for Tom Garrettt Illustration Class Fall 1990 Rachel KetchumHow about this still life with a collaged real lace shadow?

What fun! The dark tones across are actual smoke – I still smoked cigarettes then, and I used matches or a candle to leave carbon on the board.

Tool Drawing with glue resist for Tom Garrettt Illustration Class Fall 1990 Rachel Ketchum aka Suzanne ForbesThis one used plain white glue as a resist!

Then I washed over it with black acrylic paint. The glue areas remained white (although you can see the pencil drawing underneath). This is a great technique for kids, you can use carboard (so it won’t warp under watered-down paint) and kids’ tempera paint. Just make sure to let the white glue dry for at least a couple hours first!

None of these pieces have ever been photographed; no modern media record of them existed – if we had a fire or flood they would just be gone forever. And of course, I am the only person who knows when they were made and why, the story of the pictures.

As a highly-vulnerable person with asthma and auto immune illness, it seems more important than ever to document my life’s work. Not morbid, just pragmatic!

I am incredibly grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to take time to document my art archives.

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