Thursday 25 July 2013

Exciting Times at Edinburgh Printmakers!

I've waited a long time to do an etching course, and finally I've done it this week at Edinburgh Printmakers with Bronwen Sleigh as tutor.  It's been brilliant...but my brain is tired - so much to remember!  Here's a selection of the prints I've produced so far.

This first is a photo-etching I made by scanning in  a charcoal sketch I did of a boat at Dunbar - at Cromwell Quay.  Using this image, I did a photo etching onto a copper plate, and then I added some textures, under Bronwen's supervision. A bit of a pick and mix - some textures work better than others, don't you think?

Being a bit of a purist, I was keen to do etching in a more traditional, hands-on way, directly into a copper plate.  I had my favourite image of the Applecross Fishing Hut in my mind and etched this freehand into a 'soft ground' on top of a copper plate.  We then did aquatinting as a follow-on (to provide more tone) and it turned out like this (printed in Raw Umber coloured ink - to be sepia-like)....

I then decided to re-ink with Prussian Blue and reprint on a white paper, resulting in this image which to me looks a bit more interesting and bold......

Now I'm not sure which is better - I suppose they are just different!

Today was the last day of the course, and we were to use Toyobo plates.  In the class we had talked about this yesterday and in advance I put together a base plate using an old sketch I had done in the Old Town, one of my printed images, newsprint, white acrylic and indian ink.  Of course, I didn't get round to doing this until 11 pm last night, and this morning I wasn't sure about whether or not to use it, but I was persuaded to do so in the class.  The print which I pulled from the Toyobo plate turned out like this.

It's kinda interesting, isn't it?  Quite different from my drawing-based images.

So I have now applied for Associate Membership of Edinburgh Printmakers and hope to develop my printing skills further in the weeks to come.  So exciting for me!

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Working Hard

I've been in the studio a lot over thelast week, working on a variety of themes. I do tend to get a bit distracted and so I've now written up a list of themes to help me keep focused.

One of my themes is messages from the past in the landscape.  For example, I realise that I feel drawn to crannogs and have sketched and drawn these before.  Ruined shielings are another relic of a past that has vanished.  Ruined cottages can be too. When we were last up north, we re-visited Wester Alligin and I did a quick sketch down on the shore, beside one of several ruined cottages and an old landing point. This week I have focused on this image which is also another view of Ben Damh (or Beinn Dhamh?).
I started in graphite
 Then added ink - looks a bit more dramatic!
 Then added more water, more ink marks and some sparing white acrylic
 Then more white acrylic and black and blue ink. I also added a tree in the building which I then got rid of.

So now it looks like this...I've tried to keep some of the paper shining through - white paper always looks brighter than the white acrylic. The current version is not as dramatic as the second version and it's not as loose, but there's lots on nice marks now. Oh dear...have I gone too far again?