TroikaBooks in September 2016, has a landscape of pavements – rather dull I thought, until I discovered the effect of dropping rock salt crystals into very wet watercolour washes. At first there appears to be nothing happening. However, if you leave the wash to dry naturally and then leave the salt to do its work over many hours, the big salt crystals dissolve into much smaller crystals, picking up pigment and giving a sparkly, grainy, stippled effect – just right for pavements.I also discovered it was difficult to apply further washes over the texture without lifting it, so I put the pigment on very dry and then it would adhere and colour the crystal stipple.
The more I worked on this book, the more I discovered about pavements. Walking slowly and looking down at them as if from a dog’s or a very small child’s viewpoint, I suddenly started to see all the amazing drain cover patterns; circles, triangles and rectangles with elaborate geometric designs.