Monday, February 23, 2009

Lucignano Sketches Pen & Watercolour

Pen & watercolour - Moleskine watercolour sketchbook

Yesterday was a perfect day - warm sunshine chasing away the winter chill, lunch with delightful friends at a great restaurant in Lucignano, one of the prettiest little Tuscan hill-top towns, and I managed two sketches!

Pen & watercolour - Moleskine WC sketchbook

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pumpkin Linoprint.

Linocut 13 x 20cm printed on cream paper.

This pumpkin print is a joint effort: HWEM grew it, I drew it. He cut it up and cooked it, I immortalised it in lino. What a lot of fuss about a pumpkin, you're probably saying. Actually this is a one off. I crave roasted Kent Pumpkin. They don't exist in Italy, so with some seeds from Australia we decided to grow our own. We ended up with two beautiful vines covered in flowers - male flowers. Unfortunately only female flowers produce pumpkins. Finally we got a female flower. The vines produced just one pumpkin. We saved it for Christmas dinner.

I think I've progressed with my mark making in this linocut. Previously I've mainly been carving out silhouettes now I'm trying for a greater variety of texture. This is printed with my favourite red brown ink, Charbonnel Sanguine.

Much to my delight Katherine Tyrrell has featured this linocut on her Making a Mark blog round-up Who's Made a Mark this Week?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Paper Doll & Chine Collé

Monotype with rice paper chine collé

Still playing with the paper doll idea I used a chinese brush and oil based inks to paint the image on a plexiglass plate. I then added chine collé newspaper dolls and tinted rice paper and ran it through the press. Of the paper doll series, this is my favourite.

I then added some scraps of the tinted rice paper to the inked lino block below.

Endless possibilities with chine collé aren't there? Now I'm back to cutting lino again.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Paper Doll Monotype Print

24 x 32cm Monotype on Canson Montval 90lb WC paper
chine collé tinted ricepaper & newsprint

I received the key to the print studio yesterday. Better than the Key to the City, more like the Key to Heaven! This means I now have access whenever I wish to a big, fully equipped studio with two presses - one large, one small and a beautiful old book binding press that makes gorgeous lino prints in seconds. Expect me to go on rather a lot about this in future.

Carrying on with my Paper Doll series, I experimented at home today with a combination of chine collé using watercolour tinted rice paper and some newsprint. The print was made by the Direct Trace Printing method, which is believed to have been invented by Gauguin. It's a great way to use up that water-based ink I don't like. First I rolled a thin coat of black ink on to a piece of plexiglass. I then resketched the original drawing from my watercolour on to a piece of typing paper attached to the back of a sheet of 90lb watercolourpaper which I had placed face down on the inked plexiglass. When I lifted the paper the image had printed over the chine collé.

This is my first attempt at this style of monotype. The rice paper picked up the ink beautifully but the transfer was less successful on the watercolour paper. I was too nervous to dampen the watercolour paper incase it absorbed too much of the ink from the plate. Next time I think I will cover the whole piece of paper with plain rice paper and any other collage can be applied on top.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Sketching Birds in Watercolour

Robin - watercolour & mapping pen

With both Katherine Making a Mark and Toni A Spattering painting and drawing beautiful bird studies from their own photographs, I have been very envious. My friend Catherine in Dorset has a new camera with a very long lens (as well as being taller than I) so I begged her to point it at a few birds. Bless her, she did!

Spotted Woodpecker - watercolour & mapping pen

In an effort to loosen up my watercolours I sketched these birds with a brush and added a few touches of ink at the end. It really does stop me fiddling and I'm quite pleased with the results. I'm going to leave my pencil at home and try this approach with some other subjects.

In Florence in December I stood and froze trying to sketch the Ponte Vecchio amongst a crowd of tourists. I was using my fountain pen and waterbrush loaded with an ink wash. Apart from the humiliation of not being able to draw a straight line in public, I wish I'd tried the watercolour brush painting approach. Maybe next time, when my teeth aren't chattering. I obviously don't have the Right Stuff for sketching outdoors in a northern winter. Probably my thin Australian blood.

Ponte Vecchio - Montblanc fountain pen & Pelikan Brilliant Brown ink

Pen & Ink

The house next door is about as far as I'm now prepared to venture in the cold.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Paper Doll

Watercolour, crayon, oil pastel - 20 x 28cm

A few days ago I was reading a lovely post about childhood memories by Jeanne Grant on her blog. Jeanne struck many chords but the one that really resonated for me was her delight in paper dolls. When I started asking friends, I realised this was a fond memory for so many girls.

As you can see I've been playing around with watercolour again and went a bit overboard with colour but I will probably revisit the theme of paper dolls because I still love them.
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