This is new. My first drypoint engraving. Scratched on a thin piece of perspex I took from a cheap picture frame. Nothing complete here, it was just an experiment. Laid the plastic over a sketch of one of my woodcut prints and scratched away with the point of a compass. Rubbed in some ink and wiped the surface with some kitchen paper. Then pressed some wet Japanese paper into it with the back of spoon. I hadn’t expected anything to transfer, so I’m pleased with what did.
I am hopeful that Father Christmas might be delivering me a small etching press in a couple of weeks, so I will wait until then before further experiments.
The first layer of my planned leafy art nouveau woodcut is fully cut and prints quite well, although I am not sure of final colours at all.
I am planning an over lying layer of a leafy girl to compliment, but she is just in the planning stage. I want her to have a thick, plaited pig tail which will echo the least shapes. I was really struggling with this until I noticed a girl working in the cafe had a perfect pig tail, so I tried copying it, and have just about worked out how they work.
My linocut of Bessie Ellen setting sail was a dismal failure. Poor colours and the fine detail became way too blobby. So it will all be recycled, using the backs for test prints. I’ve started something new, using plywood for the first layer. Swirling art nouveau leaves as a background. The foreground might be a pretty girl, but I haven’t started on her yet. I’ve bought some oil based inks to try, to see if they give me a clearer image.
Haven’t used my sketchbook, but I’ve been working on my marine print, which is proving a major challenge. The sails had to be printed twice to get them clear enough. I should have printed them as an earlier layer. Still lots to go.
A daily drawing doesn’t have to be in a sketchbook. This is a lino block, laid out for a print of the Bessie Ellen West Country ketch setting sail.
It will be carved away in several stages to create the final printed image. I have an idea in my mind of how it will look, but it is very unlikely to end up that way. The cut away areas here will remain white throughout.
These are the first two printed layers, establishing just the basic cloud tones. Impossible to judge how good the finished print might be at this stage.
I am really enjoying making new sketchbooks, with proper sewn bindings. After I finish each one, I think of a feature I wish I had added. So this one has a proper elastic loop to hold a pen. This is in the correct location to hold the pen by its cap. This means the pen is just taken in and out of the cap, which stays in the loop. The front and back of the book are extended, so that they enclose the pen. This stops it catching in you pocket. I covered the book in Japanese paper, printed with one of my lino blocks. All covered in acrylic medium for protection. Plus a nice girl for my bookplate. I look forward to taking her sketching.
This is not expected to be a high quality print. I don’t know how to use the tools, nor how to achieve any desired effect. The only way to learn is to try. So I turned to one of my favourite paintings, Manet’s Olympia, and tried to copy her as a woodcut. Great fun to cut, but very hard to envisage the final result. Trying to copy a painting is probably not a good start. You can’t produce varied hues or subtle tones. The cut block initially gives a very false idea of the print. The block had white, cut wood, red uncut wood and black drawing. The print is stark black and white, with no intermediate tone. I think for the next one I need to start with a monochrome drawing. But you learn as you go on.
The best print was on thin Japanese paper. The Somerset paper was again a disappointment. So many printers swear by it. I must be doing something wrong.