Sunday, 10 January 2016

Assignment 1 Final 4

These are the four prints I chose for my final task of assignment 1.

This print was a combination of masks and texture. I used fabric and bubble wrap for the texture. I drew several studies of coral to generate the shapes for the masks. This meant I had lots of shapes to choose from and was able to get a good balance of complexity. The paper was medium weight cartridge paper and computer paper for the masks. The masks left a white edge around the shapes, which I think adds definition. I was particularly pleased with the strong flat colour in contrast to the paler textured background. I think this is strong technically, with good control over the surfaces. I also think this is a good quality outcome as the print is clean and clear. This print is my most developed idea and I think shows the best supporting work and developed creativity.

This print is a contrast to the first print as it was much more improvisatory. It started as a painted print. I added 3 layers of prints over the top of each other then a mask, I did two layers of the mask to create some depth and then another layer for the bottom half as it looked like it was floating in the air. That was a lot of ink and it was slow to dry. The mask and the painting did not line up well, I like the unpredictable and uncontrolled aspect of this. I have created some good texture through the painted layers, some of which contained some texturing by removing ink with the brush handle. This is framed by the mask effectively. I did a brief supporting sketch of this to get some shapes for the mask. I think this is a less strong example of my skills, and the print is less neat. If I had been less impulsive and let the ink dry between layers I may have got a better finish. I think this is a strong example of showing my creativity through experimentation.

This print is a combination of a painted print with texturing. I used a cotton bud and paintbrush handle to remove ink. It was taken in one layer. I was really pleased with this from a technical point of view as the areas where I removed the ink to create the lightest values were very effective. I wanted to show the light reflections and I think I did this well. I did a preparatory sketch on black paper with a white pencil which I have sent in but unfortunately did not photograph. This was my third attempt at this print. This does not show very much creative flair or personal voice.

This last print was taken on my gelli plate with acrylic paints. I made practice background textures and practiced painting the plant first, these are below. I like that this shows a very different approach to a painted print. It shows a much freer style because of the different medium which I think shows my technical abilities in a new way. The background is textured using leaves to reflect the textures of the plant and the colours allow the yellow highlights in the plant to stand out which I think is effective. This print is more expressive in its loose relaxed marks.

Overall I think I've demonstrated good technical skills and shown a good range in this area. I don't feel I have achieved so highly in the other areas. I wasn't sure if there should be a connection between the works but I do not feel I have developed a personal style or voice yet. While I feel I have developed creatively and been imaginative in my use of processes I have not got to a stage where I am communicating or expressing anything significant. I also feel that although I did some research this did not make much impact on my work. 

For the next assignment I need to be more consistent in keeping a sketch book. The supporting works I sent in were taken from many different sketch books. I will use this to develop my ideas further and show connection between research and artwork created.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Painted Prints and Gelli Plate Experiments

As I've been reviewing my work to wrap up assignment 1 of introduction to printmaking I decided I needed to add a bit more to the painted prints tasks and try combining this technique with masks.
In this print I used water based printing inks and took the print in two layers. This was a happy accident really, the first layer was quite unimpressive so I just decided to add another layer. I didn't try multiple layers with my first painted prints so I was really pleased with this, I think it has depth and that I've used value effectively.

Inspired by this I had another go with more layers but this was less effective. I tried to add some texture into this one which could be effective but I think I just got a bit carried away and it lacks clarity. The final layer contained some white ink which was too thick and has made some big splodges which was not the effect I was hoping for.

In this print I used the same techniques as before, this was also a bit overdone with too many layers, I then added a background using a mask. I did the masked background in two layers to create some depth. I really like how this has created contrast. The biggest problem with these prints is that they took forever to dry. Printing ink, even water based, is not intended to be used this thickly. I should have let the ink dry between layers.

I am now the proud owner of a gelli plate. I used it for some texture experiments which I wrote about in my last post. I wanted to try some more painted prints in combinations with masks. I thought this was a good use of the gelli plate with acrylics, as the paint would be easier to work with, and I would get a good transfer of detail from the gelli plate.

These 4 prints are all based on a photo taken in Petra, Jordan, from inside a cave looking out onto the dusty landscape. I was not able to paint in half as much detail as I imagined so these were not effective. I think a more gestural style of painting would be more effective. It is very different working in acrylics.

These are quick gestural painted prints in acrylic. This is a much better use of this medium. I got good clear brush strokes in these prints

This is the ghost prints from both of the above prints layered into one print. I added some extra dark at the bottom as the two plants did not line up so the back print was higher making it look like it was floating.

I used a sparkly whites acrylic with blue to create this background and then pressed leaves into it to create a background. I love the shiny white paint, it created a great background. I then did another painted print over the top.

This was the ghost prints from the two layers. I prefer this, it is more subtle and delicate. The gelli plate is a total game changer for monoprinting. I already found this quite a broad assignment so this opens up even more possibilities. I think this print really shows a more fluid style of working which I enjoyed, but it is also harder to control.

Friday, 1 January 2016


Here are a few of my early texture experiments. I found it hard to make much impression in the ink.

This was a piece of heavy mesh and lines drawn with a comb.

This was lego, toy fishes and a plastic sieve.

I tried a thinner layer of ink to try and get a better impression, it came out a bit patchy, this was broderie anglais fabric.

For this print I used a cotton doily but this was disappointingly fuzzy.

The next few experiments are made on a gelli plate.

I used yellow blue and green acrylic paint applied directly to the plate and rolled together to create a blended variation of colour. I made the texture with a plastic lid and a shell rolled in the ink. The results were much more striking than with a traditional plate.

I added another colour without cleaning the plate giving a really interesting surface. I pressed leaves into the ink. This is a bit too busy but interesting to see how the bottom layer shows through when you take the print.

For this print I kept the red bottom layer and added green over the top. I used leaves again but this time they exposed the red ink rather than leaving a white area.

It is very different creating monoprints this way. It is harder to control. I think this is as much to do with the acrylic paint, which is wetter than printing inks, as it is the gelli plate. I also found that when I tried to use multiple layers the paper began to wrinkle as it was not heavy enough for the paint. This needs different combinations of paint and paper which will require some practice.