Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Xmas!

Here's me printing them. Hope those of you that got them like them, and a very Happy Christmas and a Joyous 2008 to all!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Little Sunshine

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cookie, coloured

Phew, I just got a message from Angela saying that she's received her Christmas pressie in the mail in France where she is - so I can upload this painting now. I did it last week - it's a painted in version of this litho print. I actually found it quite difficult to get it in the style of Paul Colin (my pastiche artist of choice), and on closer investigation of the print and comparing it to his work, realised that my drawing was much too deliberate. It was my first time drawing on a litho plate so I didn't know how the materials would work.

Anyways, since I was not happy with the style of the image, I decided to not worry too much about getting the painting style too correct either. Instead I got it good enough to send it to its muse, Angela 'Cookie' Andrew; mentor and good friend.

I'm hoping to spend some time this weekend practicing drawing loosely, and more in the style of Paul Colin, and hopefully go into the lithography studios next week and get some more prints done before the Chrismas break.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Etching introductory workshop

Yesterday we had our introduction to the etching studios. We were given copper plates that we learnt how to clean, put a thin layer of wax on, and treat with a taper to give a black sooty layer (not many photos as the process was quite involved and I just couldn't do it and take photos at the same time!).

We then carefully etched on our image using a sharp tool. I decided to do the lyrics to the Beatles song 'Blackbird' - this meant writing the whole thing back-to-front ...

After acid treatment for an hour and washing off the wax, we inked up the plate and made some initial test prints of just the line work. This is what the plate looked like just before printing. I haven't got a picture of the print as it's still in college, drying.

The plates are inked up over the whole surface, and then the bulk of the ink wiped off leaving only ink that's gotten into the cut grooves in the metal. How much you wipe off can also make a difference to the print. Here I've selectively wiped the moon more than the background; which in turn is more wiped than the blackbird.

Today we did aquatinting, which involved fusing a layer of fine powdered pine resin to the plate, then selectively blocking bits out and acid treating (giving gradual tones to the image). The image at the top is one of the final prints I did today, and just above is a closeup.

I must say that I was less pleased with the aquatinting than just wiping away selectively. The wiping left a streaky texture on the print that I really liked. Also the tinting can be quite hit-and-miss - like my non-tinted moon and lightest tint just outside the moon. They were much too close in tone to my liking and so I still had to manipulate how much ink I wiped away to get a decent tonal range. Still, enjoyed the whole learning process and can see myself trying more in the future. I'll hopefully add a few more pictures when I get my dried prints back and you can see what I mean by some of the things I've mentioned in this entry.

Today was, sadly, our last print workshop. Fortunately though, this means we're now 'induced' ('inducted'?) and can sign up to use the print workshops ANYTIME we want ... HOORAY!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Relief printing introductory workshop

Most people think lino or woodblock when they think of relief printing. Both those techniques are a bit time consuming so as an introduction we've taken the quick and simple route: yesterday we did monoprints - ie ink up a flat plate, put a piece of paper on top, and then draw on the back. The pressure from the back picks up the ink onto the paper. As you can see I had a paper doily with me which was good fun to play with as a stencil; and I also quite got into doing moons by rubbing my thumb in a big circle :) Click on the pictures for bigger versions.

Today we did collagraphs, which is essentially making a collage of textured material, then inking it up and printing. Below is my random collage of textured wallpaper, wood veneers, flower sequins and my inked doily from yesterday. All stuck down and then a layer of PVA over the top to seal everything.

Here's the plate inked up and with some bits covered over (like the flat bit behind the flowers) as I wanted a clean print. Sitting waiting to go through the gorgeous old Albion press (that I hurt my arm on trying to pull the lever across!).

And my final print!

Next week - our final print workshop, etching!