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Frottage: Birch Leaf

If you have a look on my Pendelbaum (see former blog entry or below), you’ll see that this drawing of a double-tree consists of a lot of elements: the both trees itself, some maple leaves, a lot of birch leaves, a spider, mushrooms, a heart and a squirrel. My method of making such a complex illustration is drawing first the single elements with a pencil on white paper, then digitizing them with my scanner and finally putting together the single drawings with an image editing software like Photoshop.


Now I would like to show you how I produced the birch leaves with a drawing technique called frottage.

Step 1: I picked up a birch leaf on my way home and dried it between the pages of a thick book. It works best if you additionally use a blotting paper to absorb the water running in the veins of the leaf.

Step 2: In a second step I took a very thin piece of paper, set it on that dried leaf and scrubbed over it with a blunt pencil. As a result I got a kind of copy of the leaf. By the way: Surrealist painters like Max Ernst loved to use this technique because it allows to get a naturalistic look without producing a naturalistic picture.

Step 3: I scanned in the leaf and cutted it out along his edges.

Step 4: To get different looking leaves I changed brightness, contrast and so on.

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