Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Owl and the Swan

Found this little doodle of a swan in my Sleaford sketchbook and liked the simple shape with stylized fluid reflection. Thought it would be a good picture to try out the simple print with black background I fancied doing after being inspired by Tamsin's Owl.

Simple graduated colour for the first layer, yellow ochre at the top as I wanted to capture the warm yellow you see on a swans head. Graduating down to the cooler blue for the shadow/reflection.

For the second colour I tried a strong peacock blue, but wasn't really sure about it. Seemed a bit harsh. So went back to the tried and tested method of using the same graduation as the first but darker in hue.

Felt this worked better, and it shows off the colours on the swan better than the bright blue. Liked it so much I wondered about leaving it at this, and not putting the last layer of black over. Then realised that as using a black background was kind of the point of the whole print it would be a bit of a cop out to no do it. So today I inked up and thought I would try out one of the blue ones as a test proof. If I didn't like I could always clean up, cut out the background and just have a black outline. When I came to print I realised my roller was a bit glazed, so should be cleaned up before printing to pick up the ink properly. Decided not to bother as I was a bit hesitant about laying the black over that lovely graduation.
What that meant was the roller didn't pick up as well as it should and allied with a light application of pressure resulted in a really lovely broken almost sgraffito or monoprint texture. Gives a really nice sense of depth, texture and fluidity to the print. Almost exactly the kind of feel I have been missing from the , static colour you get from lino. I do love a bit of texture..