Present-day sand painting techniques
With a huge surge of interest in craft subjects having a serious environmental slant and a spate of craft magazines encouraging readers to try it for themselves, permanent sand painting skills have improved dramatically the quality and variety of work available in this medium and has resulted in its being included on the recently created ‘Wikicollecting’ site. The environmental aspects of a craft with which one can compose such quirky creations have much to commend them to a wider, more appreciative audience, and with the exception of the nontoxic adhesives used, all the work shown below consists of re-cycled and found materials and no preparatory drawing is made. Dry naturally occurring oxidised and mineral-charged coloured sands, perhaps with the addition of powdered charcoal to widen the palette, are sprinkled through a sieve or ‘drawn’ with a paper funnel onto the area of the picture being worked on, and then blended in – either with a discarded feather ‘brush’ or gently blown into position with a drinking straw before being permanently fixed to a plywood offcut which is used as a ‘canvas’. Having been allowed to dry, the sand painter moves on to the next section of the picture. Any minor adjustments or snags are sorted before the work is given a final coat of varnish which intensifies the depth of colour but without the disadvantage of surface reflection which occurs in the case of many oil paintings.