Monday, 18 October 2010

Printmaking: week 4

Today I improved my lino printing technique vastly, by slowing down and paying more attention when cutting the lino, as you can see below

(last week)


I also incurred far fewer injuries this week, which is another good improvement.

I was able to experiment more closely with how much ink to use on the roller and how best to incorporate text into the design. It needs to be in reverse, but on the red piece I decided to do the words round the right way (so they would print backwards) as I thought this would be an interesting detail to decipher and would not detract from the image as much as immediately legible words.
I learnt that:
  • Sometimes the 2nd or 3rd print comes out better as the lino has been coated in ink several times.
  • If you warm the lino up before cutting into it, it's easier and more pliable.
  • I should make sure my hands are clean before putting paper into the albion press; I got inky fingerprints everywhere.
  • Aiming lino cutting tools AWAY from your fingers reduces the risk of slicing them to pieces.

Rose Power 18/10/10

How many prints did you make? 8

How many of these taught you something new? All, though I only cut two lino tiles this week, as I wanted to add much more detail and experiment with colours and perfect the thickness of the ink.

How many hours did you spend in the printmaking workshop? All day! (6 hours)

Competence in printmaking techniques : Much better this week but still a long way to go.

I give myself a score of : 85

Rob Ryan Town

On Sunday I paid a visit to Rob Ryan's shop on Columbia Road.
It was really interesting to see printmaking being put to use in such a successful way; the opening of Rob's shop follows his commissions for Vogue, The Independant, Elle, and countless book covers.
He has also collaborated with quirky jewellery legends Tatty Devine and designer Paul Smith.

Here are some of his original screen prints which he develops from meticulously cut paper shapes:

Currently, his cute little shop is adorned with some beautiful taxidermy birds*. Sleeping on shelves and hanging mid-flight with ribbons, they make the shop look like a museum, and they perfectly compliment pieces like the one below, nests and eggs recurring as a theme in Rob's work.
Rob has released books with Carol Ann Duffy and one of his own, called 'This is for You' (definitely on my Christmas list along with some of this smashing tape)

Rob Ryan shows us how a printmaking blog should really look.
I'm a bit in awe.
Read more about RR

*by Jazmine Miles-Long great is her surname!?

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Our 1st encounter with Dr. Leo De Freitas

Dr. De Freitas (I GOOGLED HIM) told us about the history of printmaking techniques from wood cuts in the early 15th century to modern, mass-produced litho prints.
We looked at choice of print technique in advertising and by artists, to achieve certain effect, for example the use of crude wood engravings to evoke a sense of nostalgia.
I looked at some of the key artists he discussed in more detail. These include:
Harry Brockway, William Nicholson, Franz Masseral, Chris Wormall, T.Buick, Frank Martin, William Blake, Thomas Rowlindson, George Cruikshanks, H.Daumier and Graham Sutherland (see etching below)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Printmaking: week 3

Today I tried drypoint and lino printing.

Drypoint was interesting as the outcome had a very unusual effect. It's kind of blurry and smeary. I don't know if that's a word but it was smeary. Ok.
I liked the way it was difficult to predict how it would look. And the press is fun to use because it looks big and old and impressive. So is the albion press for lino cuts.

My lino prints were very bold and quite clumsy as I have not quite mastered the art of using the tools in a delicate or subtle way; all my lines have the same thickness.
I made one of a lizard and then experimented with mixing inks on the roller.

Then I did a gorilla one.
We also learnt about silk screen prints like those made by No Brow. I might get to try this next week.

Rose Power 11/10/10

How many prints did you make? 7

How many of these taught you something new? Nearly all of them because I experimented with different colours on each lino print and with the dry point I was able to reuse the etched card with different ink coverage.

How many hours did you spend in the printmaking workshop? All day (6)

Assess yourself this week for:

Competence in printmaking techniques : Not great – like last week I was trying these printing techniques for the first time.

Thoughtful and imaginative approach to printmaking: It was difficult at first to imagine what the print was going to look like, as I had no idea. With dry point, I tried to picture the image in reverse and the light parts and dark parts as lots of different shades of grey. I feel I was able to be more imaginative than with the lino prints because I was struggling to use the lino tools.

Visual Sensibility (understanding and expressing ideas in images): I wanted to stay loyal to my original drawings while making the most of the new print techniques and their unique effects. I feel I achieved this to a certain degree, but need to experiment much further to improve my visual sensibility. I want to practice using the lino tools, so I can vary my lines and marks in a more effective way.

Using research to expand knowledge, enrich thinking and affect your work: I looked briefly at the No Brow site and the history of the albion press, but need to look into these further.

Active participation in taught sessions: I think I participated well and learnt a lot today, but could look more closely at others’ work and take ideas from it.

I give myself a score of : 70

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Research attack

I did some more research about printmaking (using the list of resources on Blackboard as a starting point).

I looked at William Blake who I studied from a literary perspective at school.
In the 18th Century, Blake was considered a bit eccentric; he claimed he saw angels in the trees at Peckham Rye and said the idea for the new printing technique he created came from his deceased brother who's spirit visited him and conversed with him daily.

This new method was called relief etching. It writing/drawing on copper plates with acid resistant medium, then dissolving the background away with acid so the writing/images are raised. The printed images then have to be hand painted with watercolours.

I also looked at Audrey Niffenegger who, (like Blake?) is a polymath*.
Image from Audrey Niffenegger's illustrated novel The Three Incestuous Sisters which uses aquatint prints
Audrey wrote the bestselling book (and now film) The Time Travellers Wife but also produces graphic novels and children's books which she illustrates herself. She's also a professor at Columbia College in Chicago, and some examples of her printmaking (lino cuts and aquatints) can be seen here.

*New lingo from Dr.Leo de Freitas!

Monday, 4 October 2010

ABSENCE (week 2)

I missed todays print workshop...

The group learnt how to do drypoint printing, which is a form of engraving.
According to Wikipedia "Albrecht Dürer produced 3 drypoints before abandoning the technique". There's no hope for me then. But I'll try it next week.

Just FOR THE RECORD: 04/10/10
How many prints did you make: 0
How many hours did you spend in the printmaking studio? 0
I spent some time researching instead.

Here are some artists and illustrators who use print techniques:
Rob Ryan uses screenprinting. His shop is on Columbia Road, near my house!

This is also a screenprint. By Paul Blow @ No Brow