Thursday, July 28, 2011

Printmaking Week 2

I spent some time during the week in preparation for another night of making monoprints. I sketched up a fairly geometric landscape that I planned to reproduce by placing masks or stencils over the plate between ink applications. My hope was to achieve an even tonal graduation. On the drive into the BIA I decided that wasn't going to work and maybe I could accomplish the same thing by applying ink and selectively wiping the plate clean....

That didn't really work. So I went back to my first idea, cutting masks and laying them over the plate while I applied the ink. But the paper masks were too thick and the ink wouldn't roll evenly, and I couldn't block off an area that had already been inked... so as expected, that didn't really work either.

David Nixon (tutor) and I had a chat about what I was doing and he described to me a process he'd developed with another student that involved masking the plate and making ghost prints and then, well he couldn't remember the next bit but then....... and I realised I couldn't do what I wanted to do with just one pass through the press...

so I inked the plate, laid down a partial stencil and printed the image. Changed colour, inked the plate again, laid down a new stencil, and so on for four passes through the press.
I kind of like the fact that the print is not registered perfectly and the masking overlaps and the ink on the plate is insufficient and uneven and that while everybody else was making loads of prints, I only made one. Even David liked it, describing it as a great prototype for a "working process", though he lamented the lack of vibrancy in colours.

Ideas for next week?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jim Stanley - Portrait

Back to the portrait program with a painting of my friend Jim. I have been reading further on colour theory and it's application and decided to buy a colour wheel. A similar but different approach was recommended early in last semesters painting course, but I've not been sufficiently motivated to paint my own complementary charts.

I set out mixing skin tones in Yellow/Violet and ended up with a split scheme using Orange/Blue for the warm side. The Yellow/Violet mix looked good but unnatural so I painted over the warm side using the Orange/Blue mix I am more accustomed with . My wheel tells me that's called a Tetrad so maybe I'm learning something!

I finished this painting in around 2 hours, the new magic number, and I like this one quite a bit.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Introductory Printmaking

This semester I am taking Introductory Printmaking with Tutor David Nixon and it looks like it could be a lot of fun. After a short preamble and demonstration we got straight into making Monoprints, a once off printmaking process of rolling ink onto Mylar sheet, variously marking it then running it through the printing press. The whole time David apologised for taking up so much "art making time" with practical discussion. Looks like he's into learning by doing!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jarle Hagen with MÃ¥lselv Bunadslip

This is a painting of my friend Jarle. It's based on a picture of him I lifted from his website. There are many very cool photo's of him there. His company SPTZGRBN makes hand embroidered Ties emblazoned with the floral emblems of his homeland, Norway.

Didn't spend a week on this one, but it was more than a couple of hours and I must admit to some ambivalence about the results.

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Portrait of a Man" or "CV with Clip Art"

I got some pretty positive feedback from Tutor Nameer after the past semester of painting. Part of it was encouragement to pursue those composition and rendering techniques that blur the distinction between three dimensional representation and the two dimensionality of the painting surface (see the artful splats and orange spots in previous posts). This also got me thinking about pictures of things that aren't really pictures of things. And I had a thought of growth rings in a tree being representational of a life lived in the same way as are wrinkles in the skin of a face. The rings of the tree in this drawing are replaced by glyphs indicative of the stages of a life so like the tree, it is a portrait of a life lived. It's also a bit of a joke because in reality it's not ALL work and then you die.
And it's really not what Nameer was talking about with the 2D/3D thing either...but I thought it'd be good to do anyway.