Friday, 16 September 2016

Reduction Print Design Development

Following on from my post about reduction print inspiration I have been drawing a still life of bowls of fruit for my reduction print for Assignment 3 OCA Introduction to Printmaking. In my previous post I observed how artist's have created form with simple shapes and flat color. I wanted to explore this, and explore creating shadows in complementary colors to the subject for a high impact image.

I began by making some drawings of my subject, and kept drawing until I felt I knew the subject really well:

I used inktense water soluble colored pencils and water soluble graphite for these. I then decided to try using some different media which would give me an experience of building layers of flatter color. I tried Promarkers as I know they are quite translucent so can be used for layering and give relatively flat color. I started as if I was working in reduction, I drew the whole base area in yellow marker, drew over with orange etc. This worked until green which unfortunately did not show over the top well. this helped me further analyse my subject but did not really give me an interpretation built up of flat color. The sharp lines in the fruit were effective and I could see these translating to reduction print well, an idea I took further instead of flat colors.

I repeated this exercise with masking fluid and flat washes of watercolor:

This was more successful but the colours are quite pale, particularly the red and orange. This helped me visualize how the shadows would work, in green blue and brown to differentiate between the different objects without outlining or variation in value.

I tried this one more time with collage, trying to create flatter colors again but this was less successful:

This second version is developed with colored pencil and white paint marker. I realize now to create a form with flat color you have to have absolute understanding of that form, to create the form more traditionally with contour lines and shading is actually easier. 

These experiments allowed me to experiment with background colors and ways of showing the light. I want to show the light, but more simply than Picasso did in Still Life Under the Lamp.

I will use the watercolor painting and value drawing as the main guide for my design, but will use the background and light colors of the marker drawing. I want to keep my cuts quite free so am starting with a background outline and building up the details by eye as I go.

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