Tag Archives: printmaking

Vermilion!

20 Apr

mari vermilion

I started making this aquatint plate back last September the first time I spend a weekend at Trefeglwys Print Studio, but it was the third plate I made that weekend and I didn’t finish it. So during my recent, second, visit to Trefeglwys, I prioritised finishing and proofing it. Here it is being inked up in Vermilion, the first colour in a double drop print process….

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.

14 Apr

double drop 3

I’ve spent the weekend at Trefeglwys Print Workshop exploring etching with Andrew Baldwin. One of the things I learnt was how to print a ‘double drop’ plate, where the plate is printed twice on the same piece of paper in different, complementary, colours. It’s not easy, you have to be very precise, but it’s worth it. Check out some of Andrew’s instructional videos on different forms of etching here

 

On the left, inking up the etching plate with Vermilion ink. On the right, overprinting the orange print with Prussian Blue.

Flowing

9 Apr

Chris 6

 

Thinking and planning what to work on next. I want to develop a series of large woodcuts working with a retired female soldier and life model, so I’m looking back through my sketchbooks at the work I have already with her done over the past three years to get the creative juices flowing. I like working with older models, particularly women because we’re so often ‘disappeared’ in our youth-obsessed society.

 

An International Bunch

1 Apr

workstation

A Temporary Print Workstation. This is how I print small blocks at home. I use the top of my plans chest but you can use any surface – desk, table, kitchen work surface… Cover the area with old newspaper (or similar) stuck down with masking tape.

Left to right:

  1. Registration sheet (I blogged about this 2 days ago)
  2. Printing area – where you actually rub the paper onto the inked block – I use Japanese barens
  3. Gluing area – for preparing the chine collé (I use Pritt stick – always use really good glue). Click here to find out more about chine collé.
  4. The inking area – see yesterdays blog for more on this.
  5. At the back I’ve put the stack of pre-cut printmaking paper and the prepared chine collé papers.
  6. I use Cranfield Caligo Safewash relief ink (made in Wales); Hosho Japanese paper for the print; and for the chine collé I use Indian hand-made recycled sari paper. I’ve used vinyl for the block, inked with an excellent roller from Intaglio Printmaker in London. And chine collé is a French term translated as China collage. An international bunch.

 

Easy Peasy Quick Ink

31 Mar

prep 4

I often print small blocks at home as I can do them by hand and don’t need to use the fabulous Columbian press at Swansea Print Workshop. This is how I set up a little inking station without fuss or mess.

Stick some newspaper onto your work surface with a bit of masking tape.

Stick a piece of ordinary white paper down onto it, with masking tape. I used a sheet of A4 size white computer printout paper.

Stick a sheet of thin but sturdy PVC / plastic / acetate over it with some masking tape. I used acetate document covers you get with comb binding machines.

There it is. Easy Peasy.

 

 

Andraste

27 Mar

Andraste is a warrior goddess of the ancient Britons; she was invoked by Boudicca before battles with the invading Romans around 2,000 years ago. She is the Britons’ equivalent of the Irish / Celtic war goddess Morrigan.

May 6

Andraste The Warrior

For over a decade now I have been working with a male life model who is also a soldier and have developed a large body of work, drawings and various forms of printmaking, around the concept of The Warrior. I have also more recently been drawing a female retired soldier and I am thinking of developing these drawings … and more to come … into another body of work focused on The Warrior, but this time the female aspect. And I’m interested in linking this to the ancient mythology of the war goddess. Early days yet.

Next Steps

27 Mar

Phew! Finally, my commission for Sky Arts TV channel’s UK-wide arts project, ART50, ended tonight with the broadcast of the visual arts films, including the one about my artwork, “Here Be Dragons”. And now I have to decide what my next creative steps will be. I liked working with giant woodblock and text and chine collé so I think I will develop some ideas that have been popping up in my head from out of the ether, I might develop a text piece in Welsh. I’ve been playing with my original on Photoshop, cutting, pasting and redefining segments to make a new image. I might bring this, or something similar, into the real world.

Dragon eye 2

And I want to pick up my figurative work as well. I haven’t done any formal work with nudes for well over a year but now I have some very definite ideas based around a particular model. Time to get back in the saddle and make some new art!

June 5

Andraste – The Warrior

So Excited!

25 Mar

I’m getting excited now. The Sky Arts TV project I started working on what seems like aeons ago …. about 9 months …. is finally being aired tomorrow, Tuesday March 26th, along with the other visual arts projects from 9pm.

 

I was commissioned to create a new flag for Britain – that’s opening up a can of wurms as I’m Welsh and we Welsh have never been represented on the Union flag. The film shows my creative process, how I researched and developed what eventually turned out to be a massive woodcut print. It’s called “Here Be Dragons” which not only reflects the dragon on the Welsh flag, but it’s also an ancient phrase that used to be written onto maps to mark “dangerous and unknown territory” which is where I feel we are in the UK now.

 

Here Be Dragons small

 

“Here Be Dragons” also works as a spoken word piece, read aloud and the colour is a combination of chine collé and specific inking. If you subscribe to Sky TV or NOW TV, please drop by tomorrow at 9 and have a look at it.

 

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