I knew I wanted to base my collagraph print on the many drawings I have recently made in my sketchbook of plants and flowers. I have been following access art drawing prompts, many of which revolved around simple objects, so felt it would be illogical not to base my design on these. I hope to also take inspiration from my music explorations in the way of colors when printing.
Initially all of my design ideas were in layers. I found it hard to switch off this aspect of my planning having been so pivotal to the design process before when i made my multi block prints.
In this design I wanted to use sections of 3 drawings of different scales layered over each other to create contrast, each layer being made up of different collatype textures. This layering was not hugely effective, it was too busy and there is a lot of empty space in this design. I need to give the individual elements more space.
This design was a development of the previous design. I wanted to create the backgrounds with string but realized it would be very difficult to create such a complex, representational texture. The composition was stronger, as the different elements work together and complement each other better with more space around them. In my next design I need to maintain this balance but try some textures that would be easier to create in a collage block.
In one of my practice blocks I used sandpaper and painted on gesso to create an intaglio block. I tried using watercolour and masking fluid to explore possible designs using this technique.
This one lost its way, I don’t really know what I was trying to create in the second layer here. The first layer was successful, the use of the masking fluid was successful and could potentially translate to the intaglio block. I hadn't really figured out what technique I was going to use with the second laser, I just played with masking another area. Looking at it now I can see the white of the first mask leaps out makes this unbalanced.
This was more successful due to the more open texture of the top layer. The top layer here would be relief with two contrasting textures, the flowers being flat dense colour of mountboard, the leaves being open line work of string. I think this was successful because the white areas are balanced, as are the dark areas of the mount board flowers. The varying scales of the leaves is more subtle and creates contrast without unbalancing the image.
I hadn’t really explored 1 block images so tried this in the next design. I like the graphic quality of this:
The balance is successful in terms of value and lines and shapes. There is good contrast between the line based texture and the blocks. I feel this could be challenging to create and print, the mount board is hard to cut and there is a lot of it. I don't know if there is an alternative to using string for the line based background, perhaps a thick acrylic medium? I am finding this process challenging and while I think this could be one of my more successful designs I know it could be difficult. Trying to create all the interest in one block is a new set of challenges, potentially the block has to be more intricate to create enough interest. Conversely, a simple block such as the mount board flowers on their own allow for a big range of possibilities for variable inking.
I went back to two layers in this design exploring transparency.
I think this is less successful as the transparent flowers don't achieve the contrast of the previous design. Not to say it couldn't be inked in a solid color. I think the main reason this does not work as well is because the line flowers are too similar in outline shape to the main flowers, they should be in more contrast by filling the rest of the block and white areas.
In the end I chose this design because I felt it had the biggest range of textures and the range of techniques used would allow me the biggest variation in inking techniques. I was very torn between this and the one block design with the red pink and yellow flowers as this would also allow for varied inking techniques.