Life class with no model

Our model was ill, so Mark Kelland, our tutor, modelled for us. He took his jumper off and told us that was all we were getting…

Working in pastels. Drawing a clothed model is really quite challenging, all that coloured cloth and folds.

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Personalising sketchbooks

I’ve made several sketchbooks now, and I wanted to cut some sort of maker’s plate into them. As I’ve been very busy printing, cutting a lino block seemed the best idea. As I often do I liked back over years of life drawings to find inspiration and found this one, which is an old favourite.

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Then I cut a block, which I think works quite well.

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Printing straight into the book is a bit but and miss, but that rather adds to it.

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Woodcut after Manet

This is an unfamiliar medium for me, so I am practicing with a familiar image. We went to Intaglio Printworks in Southwark on Wednesday. Paradise for a print maker. Amongst many bits and pieces, I bought three sheets of Japanese plywood for woodcuts. This cuts beautifully with my Pfeil lino tools, but it is so different. Grain to cope with, plus splinters. I painted the wood with red ink to start, to highlight the cuts. Then started work on a copy of my copy of Manet’s portrait of Berthe Morisot, one of the world’s greatest paintings in my belief. Had to photograph it and reverse it first.

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Looks good as a red carving. Then I inked it with water based ink and printed it first on textured Somerset print paper. Really bad, I just threw them away. Then on some Japanese paper, which was much better but still too thin for my liking.

Then I tried the oil based ink which I also bought. It is so different from the water based. Much thicker and stickier. After a lot of working I printed another proof on Japanese paper, which was better, and finally onto a spare sheet of Zirkal paper which was missed from an earlier run and that was at last something worth while. I think the block still needs some work, especially around her mouth, but that is for later. Cleaning up the ink is not a lot of fun.

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