Archive for September, 2009

h1

I’m listening to Brandi Carlile’s new album

September 29, 2009

Although it’s not officially released until the 6th October, you can listen to Give Up the Ghost on Billboard.com right now!  Sweet.

h1

Polychromos, now you’re talking!

September 23, 2009

It’s a special day for me.  I’ve just bought my first set of Polychromos.  Suffice to say that my other coloured pencils are now retired.  Polychromos really have it all: smooth, rich, creamy, intense and the layering capability is truly incredible.

I think I took the poly part of the name a bit too literally with the number of colours in these sketches but you get the idea!  Colour pencil heaven, oh yeah.

Polytree close up (watercolour and colour pencil)

Polytree closeup I (watercolour and colour pencil)

Polytree II (watercolour and coloured pencil)

Polytree closeup II (watercolour and coloured pencil)

Polytree (watercolour and colour pencil)

Polytree (watercolour and colour pencil)

h1

How to make a linocut print

September 13, 2009

This weekend, I made my first linocut for the Fine Art Printmaking course I’m currently undertaking.  I thought you might like to see how the print was created.

The printing plate is essentially a block of lino with the design carved out using a range of specially designed linocutters.  These are the tools I used:

Lino block and tools

Lino block and tools

To begin with I drew my design onto the lino using a white chinagraph pencil.  The drawing must be the reverse of the final design required as the print produced will be a mirror image of the block.

I carved out the outline using the smallest cutter before scraping out sections using the larger tools.  The areas cut away do not print – linocut is a negative form of printmaking.

Lino with design cut away

Lino with design cut away

The next step is to apply the ink.  For this you need a roller and a glass plate as well as your chosen ink.  I used a mixture of black and blue water based relief ink for this design.

Preparing the ink

Preparing the ink

The ink is rolled out thinly onto the glass plate. (Mine is an old reinforced glass chopping board!) This ensures an even coat of ink is spread on the roller for applying to the lino.

inked lino block

inked lino block

The final step is to transfer the image to paper.  If like me, you don’t have a printing press this takes quite a bit of elbow grease.  The lino block is placed face up and the paper placed over the top.  Weight is applied to the back of the paper to transfer the ink.  I use a wooden spoon for this, rubbing it over the back of the paper repeatedly using lots of pressure.  You can peel back a corner of the paper to check if the print is ready.  If areas are still faint, replace the corner and carry on burnishing. 

Here’s one I made earlier:

Final linocut print on white paper

Final linocut print on white paper

h1

Poetry

September 10, 2009

I love to explore new creative avenues and have recently been trying my hand at poetry.  I’m hoping to develop this further with a view to incorporating some poetry into my artwork (and vice versa!).

Today I received confirmation that Every Day Poets have accepted my poem Seeds to appear in a future edition. I’ll post further details once the publication date has been confirmed.