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.
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.
I’ve started a relief printing class at the Gloucestershire Printmakers Cooperative in Thrupp, lead by Beth Jenkins. Got my hands on an Albion press for the first time. Very easy to use, because someone had already set it up. I was surprised by how little effort it took. I suspect the set up is anything but effortless. Produced a little, single block, multi colour print using a stencil and a new, too me, registration set up. A nice little print of a diving gannet, but I shan’t use it in my Poole birds series. It’s the wrong size.
Couldn’t resist the beak. Not as bright as I had in mind, but that is not a bad thing, I expect. Only applied ink to the beak area as it is the only red. Just the black layer to do on the bird block. I am away all day tomorrow, so that will give this all a chance to dry fully.
Printing on the third layer. This should be the colour of the chestnut band around the bird’s chest. Below are the basic tools of the trade.
The paper located on the Boswell device. The baren, which is the black disk you rub the back of the print with to transfer the ink from the block. A sheet of glass with the ink rolled out “just so” and the roller, which I think printers call the braer for some reason. This is my new soft roller, bought on Laura Boswell’s advice,and she was right, it really makes a difference.
Paper in place, about to be lowered onto the inked block. Some of the block had been cut away since the previous yellow printing, so they should stay yellow. The rest of the yellow should be covered by the burnt sienna.
The print lifted after buffing the back with the baren. Next layer will be the red beak, but I really need to leave this to dry fully before doing any more.
Second colour now printed. This should largely be hidden on the final print, but just show through in some places and just round the edges of certain parts like the beak.
I’ve carved out the body on the second block and am beginning to sketch in the background. Not at all sure how this will develop. On the first block, on the left, you can begin to see how more and more is being cut away. In the end it will only have those areas which are to be black left.
I’ve decided to start with a print of a shelduck. They are beautiful, but fairly simple in shape. One duck with a twisted neck, based on my Internet sketches.
First a quick sketch of the duck against reeds. Then a slightly more careful sketch on a piece of scrap paper with a rectangle the size of the lino block on it. This was traced off on tracing paper so it could be reversed and transferred to the lino.
I’m going to make two blocks, the first one shown here which will just be the duck. I’ve carved it’s outline carefully and then will remove all the lino from around it. If I use just one block, I think there may be too many layers of ink, and I was having trouble getting my mind around it all.
This basic outline of the bird was transferred to a second lino block by printing it onto a piece of teaching paper, and then printing this wet image onto the second piece of lino. All held in place with the Boswell device, so it should line up… The black area of this second image needs to be removed completely, and what is left them used to print the background, reeds, water etc. Long way to go yet. I have 8 sheets or Zirkal paper, so there will be 8 prints maximum, if I don’t spoil any.