Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Back to the Llynoedd (Lakes)

I was very pleased with this sketch from the shore of Llyn Ogwen ( The image above is the A2 tracing done from the original drawing). It is my first A3 sized sketch rather than the more usual A4 and done with a drawing felt pen rather than my usual pencil. After drawing the scene in my normal A5 sketchbook it looked cramped and squished in. So I drew it again in my bigger sketchbook I had taken along for just such an eventuality. The landscape around the foothills of Snowdon being so expansive.

However once ready to print I realised that I didn't really know where I was going with it. Being determined to 'do something special' can be quite inhibiting. There was a vague feeling that I wanted to do something to follow on from and develop further the previous A4 two colour wave prints. But how?

To make matters worse I had decided to experiment with a completely new non Japanese paper. No pressure than. 

The paper is BFK Rives which is a lovely strong, bright white, four deckled edges paper but with a slightly rough surface. After printing the first print of the first colour I realised the surface was just a bit to rough to get a good smooth take up of ink printing by hand. So I turned it over and printed on the back. Has a slight laid pattern on the reverse which does add to the print.

It was only when I coloured in the tracing, and was quite strict in keeping to only two colours and black that I started to get somewhere. It also had to be quite bold colours, almost a pure yellow/ yellow ochre and a strong slate blue!

I also wanted to keep it as rough and loose as the original sketch with very strong cutting and patterns so kept more to the original drawing. Without the usual additional colours to help distinguish different areas in this print I decided to use more expressive cutting and really enjoyed getting a bit carried away. I also haven't used black for the final colour for a while now, finding it too heavy and dark against the lighter palette of colours I have been using. In this instance though it had to be black to get the most out of the contrast and the hopefully expressive cutting.

The paper worked very well and has taken the colour and the most delicate lines well. There is a slight misting or graininess to the black where it is not the completely saturated colour you expect. That may be down to the paper simply being a bit to thick to hand print, or to the plate getting a bit greasy while cutting because the intricacy of the drawing results in more chinagraph pencil being on the lino. As you cut the wax of the chinagraph line is rubbed across the plate creating a slight resist to the water based inks?
Very happy with the print and the overlay of colour, pattern and cutting. Just not sure how it fits in with the other prints. Next:

1 comment:

  1. Great print Ian. I've had a similar problem with chinagraph pencil and waterbased inks, if I've shaded in too large an area of black on the lino block. The biggest problem I have found though is the chinagraph drawing on the block offsets onto the paper when printing the lightest colours.