Monday, 29 November 2010

Printmaking: Week 6

I didn't go to printmaking on Monday as I was snowed in.
But I worked in the print room a couple of extra days this week to catch up, here's what I did:

Some of today's more successful prints (above)

I used a mixture of red, purple, brown and black inks to give a marbled effect:

I experimented with making 'masks' from cut out pheasant shapes, drawing wallpaper-inspired floral shapes inside the outline.

I also played around with the outside frame shape I want to use for each bird image. Once I'm happy with these, I'll combine them with the pheasants.

I realised that I could use the same drawings over and over again to trace the image onto the ink, but it became confusing as I had already gone over the lines, so I found using a different coloured pen each time was really helpful.

However, different pens produce different effects, for example the line from a biro is very different from a felt tip, so I got some different coloured biros, as I preferred this stronger line. I also found different a paper thickness changed the end result; wallpaper is thick so the line comes out quite blurred, but I like this effect.

I need to be very careful when tracing my drawings onto ink as if the paper moves, the image will be skewed.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Week 5 - research

Following on from this week's discussion with Caroline and decision to focus on monoprinting, I looked at some of these ideas in more detail:
  • Victorian life - the British empire, travelling to 'exotic' places, collecting taxidermy/decorative items, discovery, zoos...
  • Victorian wallpaper/textiles
  • Modern interpretations of these
  • Birds in flight
  • Birds in museums
  • Victorian life - the British empire, travelling to 'exotic' places, collecting taxidermy/decorative items, discovery, zoos...

  • Victorian wallpaper/textiles
William Morris: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”
File:Morris Bird and Anemone 1882.jpg
    I like this bird/anenome wallpaper as the birds are hidden in the design, being the same colour as the flowers. The simple use of just 2 colours lends itself well to printmaking ideas. It was designed in 1882.
    This textile design, also by Morris, looks typically Victorian and heavily designed with lots of colours and detail. I like its symmetry and could experiment with using this in my own designs.
  • Modern interpretations of these
Laura Ashley 'oriental garden' wallpaper
ORIENTAL GARDEN WALLPAPERmodern pass-production techniques allow this to be produced in large quantities at a cheap cost (compared to decadent Victorian designs aimed at the upper classes). I like this colour-way as the design looks at though it's a negative, being lighter than the background. I think the design is very pretty and, though the metallic finish keeps it looking modern, you can tell it is influenced/inspired by Victorian wallpaper.

Laura Ashley 'summer palace' wallpaper
SUMMER PALACE WALLPAPERThis is more brightly coloured than the dark/drab Victorian designs I have been looking at and looks summery/ suitable for a child's room. I think I prefer the simpler design above, but this is also pretty.

  • Birds in flight

  • Birds in museums
Victorian case in the bird gallery.Natural History museum
Egretta garzetta (little egret). Museum Number:NH.83.3/120 Not on display. Horniman museum
Haunch of Venison (Polly Morgan)
'Mr and Mrs Booth' at the museumThe Booth Museum (Brighton)

Websites I used:

Printmaking: Week 5

It's really more like week 7, but I've been away.
Today I sat down with Caroline and discussed where I'm going with my project as I've missed a lot of Printmaking sessions and the deadline's looming; I need a final piece!

From looking at my sketchbook at my drawings of a taxidermy pheasant and sketches from the zoo, we discerned that my strengths lie in simple illustrations on wallpaper and incorporating the floral wallpaper designs into the drawing.

From here we discussed wallpaper designs, the Victorian era and birds. We also decided that, due to time factors, it would not be beneficial to continue experimenting with different print techniques and I should instead focus on mono printing. This is quite disappointing as I would have liked to have had a chance to try silkscreen printing, but time is running out. The idea of using mono printing for my final piece came as a shock as I have found it difficult so far and have not been impressed with the images I have produced (see week 1's disastrous experiments if you don't believe me!)
However, I am willing to keep trying with the mono prints. The best idea is to keep practicing, I can't exactly get worse. I made a few experimental mono prints today by simply tracing an image from my sketchbook that I drew at the Horniman museum (pic of drawing).

I have a lot of more focused ideas now, so after some thorough research I will be able to begin work on my final designs.

Rose Power 22/11/10

How many prints did you make? 2

How many of these taught you something new? both did; it's been a while since I've done mono printing and, though I know how to do it, there is still a lot of room for improvement in technique. Also, I have only made mono prints by drawing freehand in the past, today I traced an existing drawing and it was interesting to compare the finished print to the original sketch in terms of aesthetics.

How many hours did you spend in the printmaking workshop? 1 - the rest of the day was spent at the computer, researching.

Assess yourself this week for:

Competence in printmaking techniques : Though I was returning to a technique I had used before, I feel I have not improved a lot as my work still looks very amateur. I need to practice more over the next week.

Thoughtful and imaginative approach to printmaking: I certainly did a lot of thinking this week, and tried to imagine how things would translate from initial drawings to prints. Mono printing lends itself well to experimentation as it is fairly quick to set up and very quick to produce. I will be able to try out my designs before I produce the final ones, to see what works well and what doesn't.

Visual Sensibility (understanding and expressing ideas in images): see above. I need to focus on WHAT my ideas are going to be before I try to express them... What do I want the images to be saying?

Using research to expand knowledge, enrich thinking and affect your work: I spent a lot of time researching today so I have a lot of relevant and interesting resources to work from now. I could look at more artists to see what they do well, and what I aspects of their work I can use/ manipulate. I think looking at modern interpretations of Victorian ideas is a useful and interesting aspect of my research.

Active participation in taught sessions: I spent a short while looking at other people's work at the start of todays session, to consolidate my work with theirs and try to fill in the gaps I where I have missed taught sessions. It was helpful to do this, but also intimidating - most people have done a lot more work that me, as I have been in hospital.

I give myself a score of : 75/great. I have made good progress today with ideas, despite being intimidated by returning to printmaking after such a lot of time off.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


I have made a few changes to my blog to make it more accessible and easy to follow.

I've added labels to diferentiate between my work and the work of other artists I have been researching.

Click here to see MY WORK

and here for RESEARCH.

I've also added labels for my ideas and for different types of printmaking:

Saturday, 20 November 2010

2 amazing resources

Here are 2 really interesting blogs I looked at over the weekend:

I had fun looking at this site, which left me full of good ideas, like 'ephemera swaps'.
Their 'search' facility is really useful, as I wanted to look specifically at monoprinting, so I typed in 'monoprint and here's what came up. I like the idea of using unusual found objects and materials to produce prints, like trees and even jelly!?Printresting are on Facebook and Twitter as well.

jello monoprints

This is a space for all livejournal users to contribute to, from complete beginners to experienced printmakers. It's interesting to see the wide range of techniques and levels of expertise, particularly the most amateur work, which is met with encouraging and helpful comments.
Some of my favourite pieces on here combine a mixture of techniques, like this beautiful linocut/silkscreen collage by Megan Frau. Some of the aritsts have even included step-by-step tutorials, and images of work in progress.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Bit confused

I've been ill for a while and feeling kind of overwhelmed by all the work I'm missing.

I decided to sit down and re-read the printmaking brief, to try and sort things out in my head.
Here's the to-do list I made!

(Miss you! )

Have also updated my summary of Leo de Freitas' lecture on printmaking.