Tag Archives: marbling

The Difference

17 Apr

 

double drop 3

Preparing an etching plate or a wood block or a silk screen is just the first stage of creativity in making an original print. The second creative input comes with the actual printing – the inks, papers and special effects you use. I printed the one above using the ‘double drop’ technique, printing the plate first in Vermilion and secondly in Prussian Blue. Although it’s quite monochromatic, it has a richer, more intense colour than the print below, which was just printed once, in black ink.

single drop .jpg

Metal Marbling

15 Apr

 

marbling

I’ve done marbling onto paper before but this is marbling onto an etching plate. I spent the weekend at a masterclass in etching at Andrew Baldwin’s Trefeglwys Print Studio in Powys. We covered quite a few processes and I’ve wanted to see this one for a while. Andrew marbles a metal plate with his B.I.G. (Baldwin’s Ink Ground) and bakes it to harden it up and then etches it. The results are gorgeous. Here he’s just poured some of the B.I.G., thinned out with lavender oil, onto a solution of vinegar and water and is dragging a stick through it to enhance the marbled effect, just before dipping a prepared aluminium plate onto it.

Scribbling Sacred Stones

19 Oct

Carreg Samson drawing

Here’s the fourth ancient burial site I drew over the weekend on my visit to ancestral graves in North Pembrokeshire. It’s a beautiful little chambered tomb called Carreg Samson, near Abercastle. The dolmen looks out across The Irish Sea from a farmer’s clifftop field in a glorious setting. It’s around 5,000 years old and is the site of over 1,000 burials and more recently a shelter for sheep.

 

stones

I forgot to take a drawing board with me so I scrabbled around on my hands and knees, drawing on the grass. I drew very quickly because it was cold, blustery and uncomfortable. I drew with a piece of Daler Rowney carbon onto a piece of Fabriano Accademica paper (200 gsm) that I had marbled with oil paint mixed with English Turpentine. I like the effect that the marbling gives to these Neolithic stones.

stone and drawing

When I got up off my knees, I realised that the field had been recently occupied by cattle. The evidence was on my leggings. I suffer for my art 😡

 

The Three Tombs

18 Oct

drawing

Trekking around North Pembrokeshire yesterday, hunting ancient burial sites, took us to Goodwick near Fishguard (what are the fish guarding?) and a bit of a trek along the cliff path towards Strumble Head, through a housing estate and along an overgrown path between back gardens and a barbed wire fence keeping goats at bay to the three prehistoric chambered tombs known as the Garn Wen burial chambers. They’re quite different to the other sites we visited, they are very low, the uprights mostly submerged and the capstones barely above ground. They’re hardly visible amongst the bracken. The other sites are beautifully manicured but this one has been left largely unvisited, going by the state of the hardly used, overgrown path.

goats

Little goats followed us all over the site, nuzzling our bags for something to snack on

I’d forgotten to take along a drawing board but there was a conveniently placed notice board on the small site so I taped a piece of marbled Fabriano Accademica to it and drew quickly with a piece of carbon. We were up above the cliff and the wind was gusting, very chilly for drawing. When I marbled the paper some months ago, I used black oil paint mixed with a little turpentine. It was very smelly so I put it into the garden to dry, forgot about it and found the paper next day covered in holes nibbled by snails. I like the effect of the rough drawing of the rough cromlech on the rough paper.

drawing carn

The Curate’s Egg

15 Oct

October

Tonight’s life drawing is like the Curate’s egg – good in parts. I had the most horrific foreshortening on the left hand. no matter how many times I measured it, the darn thing looked badly drawn. I used Winsor & Newton’s willow charcoal and white conte crayon onto a piece of Fabriano Accademica that I had marbled with oil paint and turpentine.

It’s late. I’m going to bed. Goodnight 😀

Emerging Patterns

23 Jun

d 2 final

I’m continuing to work with the paper I marbled earlier in the week, squinting and staring at the random shapes and letting them form into something that makes some sort of sense. I read recently that artists may see patterns in things more readily than other people. It didn’t take me long to see the broad shoulders emerging near the top of the paper and the rest of the male body developed very quickly.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m resisting the temptation to overwork it. I’m trying to keep the drawings of Egon Schiele in mind as I develop these works on marbling, keeping the line simple and flowing and not working in a lot of detail; making the figures spontaneous and minimal. The Fabriano paper has been ‘distressed’ by snails because I left it out overnight and they’ve nibbled some interesting patterns into the surface. The drawing has been done with willow charcoal, Bideford Black and white conte crayon.

See How It Goes

20 Jun

pastel nude

 

I’m going into a phase of experimentation for a while. I have been marbling some Fabriano Accademica paper with black oil pigment and turpentine and I left it out in the garden to dry out; it was quite smelly because of the turps. I forgot about it and it was out overnight and when I looked at it today, snails had attacked it, chewing out some small holes but also munching away at the surface, making it textured in places. Interesting.

I’ve been rooting through old sketchbooks, looking for drawings to work from and I quite like this simple one, done in an olive pastel at a life drawing session. I’ll use it as the basis for drawing onto the marbled paper, with different black and white media; graphite, willow charcoal, carbon, Bideford Black and oil pastel. And see how it goes…….

 

Waste Not, Want Not.

17 Jun

wpid-20150617_162951.jpg

 

So I was working with some fellow artists and one of them, a painter, chucked some black oil paint mixed with turps down the sink. Unfortunately, the sink was blocked so he filled it with water and squeezed some washing up liquid into it and suddenly it went all marbled. So, waste not, want not, I grabbed some of my Fabriano Accademica paper and threw it on top of the water and marbled my paper. It’s been sitting round for a few months and I’d just about forgotten about it until today, when I decided to do some drawing.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

I’ve been working on a series of silkscreen prints over the past few weeks, tight design and a very specific technical process and I wanted to get back to something intuitive, so I grabbed my marbled paper and various black drawing media: some willow charcoal, carbon, compressed charcoal and Bideford Black. And I got stuck in. I used an old life drawing very loosely as a basis and then got into the zone, moving the media across the paper, just letting it happen.

 

Wookey Hole

1 Feb

wpid-20150201_1912151.jpg

I was given a stack of vintage art papers by a kind benefactor a while back and I am gradually using them for drawing and printmaking. Today’s daily drawing was done on a beautiful piece of W.S.H. & Co British Handmade Paper, made at the Wookey Hole paper mill near Cheddar in Somerset in the West Country. Wookey Hole is probably more famous for its wonderful ancient caves, the legend of the Witch and its cave-aged Cheddar cheese, but in amongst all of this is a paper mill that has been operating over 400 years, since at least 1610. The paper is beautifully textured with deckle edges, a large watermark and a slightly bluish tint.

I had used this sheet of paper to do a bit of opportunistic marbling. A fellow artist had some left over black oil paint mixed with turps and chucked it into a bowl of water with washing up liquid and the surface went all marbly. So I grabbed a few sheets of paper and laid them on top and got some lovely marbled effects. I scribbled this while Husb was Skyping a relative this evening, using compressed charcoal and black and white conte crayons. It took about 10 minutes. It is fairly accurate but makes him look much older than he is.

I like to spend my time fondling beautiful papers and doing research and reading about them. I am such a geek 😀

%d bloggers like this: