17 August 2016

Drawing, painting, printmaking course

This week, every day I'm at City Lit, on a course that combines drawing, painting, and printmaking ... a recipe for happiness.

We started with a number of quick drawing exercises, using an object of our choice from the all-too-familiar "bits" in the cupboard.
The exercises ranged from 2 to 5 minutes and included blind drawing, drawing with non-dominant hand, drawing the object with both hands at the same time, using very short lines, continuous lines (mostly)...

For this one we used a viewfinder and then scribbled in the tone -
More tone with the reduction charcoal, the one where you start with a square of smudgy charcoal and use and eraser for lights, more charcoal for darks -
Another view, closer up -
The scribbly-tone was one of my favourites, and also the one where we used coloured pencils in a series of repetitions, correcting or refining the original -
Then it was on to printmaking - rolling up a plate for monoprint. Sue showed us various tools and gestural marks, and the use of stencils -
Then it was on to do our own. With a piece in mind that I made for Tony some years ago, A Conversation of Kettles, I drew the kettle twice -
 My other prints were experiments in mark making, and left the plate with layers of history -
Day Two started with a look at what we'd done the day before, as we laid out our favourite pieces and said a few words about them. 
Did the ways of drawing affect what we'd done in the subsequent printmaking? Mostly not, not directly at least - but when I try this again I'll go through a few of those expercises as monoprints ... build up rich textures on the plate.

Rich textures were on the menu as Sue paired us up to work on coloured plates with either marks or stencils, with either transparent colour (mixed with extender) or straight out of the tube.
Then the plates were printed, starting with the lightest (yellow) and overlaying the subsequent colours -

Use of stencils -
The top plate was heavily layered with stencils and printed in colour straight from the tube. The grey marks are due to those stencils having been used yesterday on the black plates. The bottom plate shows use of ink+extender.

Two people each made a plate with all three colours on it - a bit of one of those prints is at the top of the picture -
Those prints, and the ones layered underneath, are quite transformed  when together! The bottom print was masked in the middle.

My own prints went back to the kettles, traced from yesterday's work. I took a quick print to use for cutting out the shapes, and found I'd put too much ink on the plate -
The bottom print uses two stencils, based on the kettle at home,. I didn't position it right on the press and the bottom of the plate didn't go through, hence the missing ink and the subsequent addition of the other kettle, via a tracing.

On the left, that print as it came from the press; on the right, the stencils re-used. Some of the colour from the newspaper transfers onto the dampened paper.  -
I inked up a plate in yellow and reused the stencils over the print on one of the red prints - here it is ready to go into the press -
With that laid aside to dry, the stencils were attached to a previous print and tissue-paper tracings overlaid ... this could be fused applique with a layer of organza or gauze with the lines couched on -
Such developments await a quieter time.

Next up (today) - painting. What surprises will Sue have in store for us?

(This post is linked to Off the Wall Friday. Further adventures in the course are here (days 3 and 4) and here (day 5).)

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