Saturday, 2 June 2012

Week 2: Westward Ho! to Padstow 'In the Studio'

On returning from week 2's walk I immediately set up for Totnes and Dartington Open Studios. This was a mixed blessing: it was good because it made me tidy up the studio! and the feedback I got from the visitors looking at the sketches was very useful and made me think more clearly about what I am trying to say with the work; the only slight downside was that I lost a few days in the studio.

Thank you to everyone that came to visit! 

This week in the studio I have been working on some reductive linocuts. We walked through this lush green valley between Westward Ho! and Clovelly. I was interested in the angles of the field boundaries and the early spring colours.

First I produced thumbnail colour studies. Planning the palettes in paint or pastel first saves a lot of mess and expensive printing ink. Once happy with this stage I then mix the printing inks.

I sketched the image, reversed it and transferred it onto the lino. Reductive linocuts can be risky as you cut away the lino between each colour. Therefore if you make a mistake there is no going back, I find mistakes just have to be incorporated into the design!

At this stage there are 4 colours: pale grey of the paper, lime green, raspberry pink and dark green.

You can see why it is called a reductive linocut, as you can see there is very little lino left at this stage - it is all in small bits on the studio floor. One of the most difficult aspects of multiple colour relief printing is the registration (lining up the paper with the plate on the press), if there is any mis-alignment you create a double image which is very unpleasant to look at - it makes you feel a bit seasick!

Here is the finished print, I thought it was finished at the previous stage but decided to do one last reduction to create tiny areas of brighter pink. 

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