Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas letterpress

My first attempt at letterpress. Freeform Victorian woodblock type, printed in green and red, A5 image size printed on A4 paper.

Printed at Ink Spot Press in Brighton.

Reduction linocut, final stage

A final layer of dark green ink over the shadow areas completes the print.



Six stage reduction linocut, 10 x 10cm.

Reduction linocut, stage 4

A small change: I printed a grey-purple shadow area just on the edge of the road, using a mask to keep the rest of the image unaffected.

Reduction linocut, stage 3

The sky is finished, so that's all cut away; I also cut away some more details of the hedges and fields, and then printed the block in green.

Reduction linocut, stage 2

Second layer, and already the picture is quite detailed. Another gradient blend: darker shade of blue down to a bright green.

Reduction linocut, stage 1

And we're off again. First stage of a new reduction linocut: gradient blend from cobalt blue with lots of white at the top down to yellow and a bit of burnt sienna.

SGFA exhibition

Last night, we went to the opening of the SGFA Exhibition at the Menier Gallery in London.

Found one of my prints in the window!

Photos (C) William de Wilde


Fred Cuming, RA opened the exhibition.


Lots of good and inspiring drawings in exhibition. I was fascinated by this picture by Marie Blake: at first glance, we thought it was a watercolour, but closer inspection revealed that it was a linocut, slowly built up from about five carefully cut blocks, printed in pale thin colours.


And some excellent work by Myrtle Pizzey (sorry, I don't have a photo), and this print by Eric Gaskell.


Again, we were deceived: the detailed, close cutting made it look like wood engraving... but it's a linocut.

I liked this print by Shenac Rogerson, of one of my favourite places, Avebury.


There's some texture on the stones (which unfortunately doesn't show on this photo) which I think was created by spattering ink onto the plate before printing it.

The exhibition continues until Saturday 15 October, 2011.

Linocut, stage 2

A tricky gradient from dark grey to yellowish green to dark grey across the previous layer.

Linocut, stage 1

This new linocut starts with a gradient of grey to grey-brown. The challenge here will be keeping the registration perfect: as the layers of ink build up at each stage, the slightest misregistration will make the white lettering disappear.

Croydon Art Society exhibition opens

The Croydon Art Society exhibition at Denbies Vineyard in Surrey starts today, and is open every day until 4pm on Sunday 18 September.


High Waving Heather
Reduction linocut • Image size 15 x 15cm • Edition of 12


Linocut, stage 4

Fourth and final stage. Near-black ink printed over the previous three layers.

Lincut, final stage

Jeans, TShirts, Shoes. 10 x 10 cm.

This is another building that I found in the North Laines area of Brighton. The morning sun highlighted the clothes hanging in the window against the dark interior of the shop.

Life drawing

A difficult standing pose for our model at today's life drawing session.



Both pencil on paper, approx A3.

Linocut, stage 3

Red is difficult to print on top of. I printed this layer in grey (a mix of cobalt blue and burnt sienna, with white).

lc-clothesshop3

Linocut, stage 2

Red printed over the previous blue layer. The red ink (T.N. Lawrence's scarlet) is very transparent. If you add white in an attempt to increase the opacity, the red turns to pink. I adding lots (nearly 50:50) of warm yellow ink, which increased the opacity without shifting the colour.

lc-clothesshop2

The lamp will have darker ink printed on it later, but I didn't want the red on those parts because I was worried that the slightest misregistration would show up too much. So I used a mask to hide these parts from the red on this layer.

Linocut, stage 1

Straight on with the next print...

Cobalt blue mixed with lots of white for the first layer. Actually, it's the second layer: first, I printed the square of lino in white with a tiny bit of yellow; I find it easier to print the coloured layers onto an existing ink layer than onto plain paper.

lc-clothesshop1

Pink, blue, and purple linocut, final stage

Final stage: Darker-still mix of red and cobalt blue over the previous layers to complete the print.

Linocut: Number 27

Number 27. Four stage reduction linocut, 10 x 10 cm.

This is one of the houses in the North Laines of Brighton: endless rows of small, late Victorian, urban housing, most of which have been carefully restored. There's lots of inspiration here.

Pink, blue, and purple linocut, stage 3

Third stage: I cut away the sky, the window panes, and some of the pavement, and then printed the block in a mixture of red and cobalt blue.

Linocut: Pink house, stage 3

Oops. Not sure I like the way that this is going. Some of the cutting of the details is clumsy. The windows are wobbly.

As compensation, here's something else in the same colours.

It's a rabbit.


In a flowerpot.

Pink and blue linocut, stage 2

Second layer: I cut away what I want to remain pink, and then printed blue over the pink. I was worried that the blue printed over the pink in the sky area would turn lilac, but luckily the blue was opaque enough to hide the pink. It's a mixture of cobalt blue and white, both of which are relatively opaque.

Linocut, stage 2

Watching the detective

A nice twist to our usual life drawing poses: the model was dressed in trenchcoat and hat, giving a Forties' detective feel.






This is the same pose as the first drawing, drawn immediately after it, but the model seems to have slumped a bit -- or I got the angles wrong.




Another pose. Lots of linework with a hard pencil and a soft pencil; smudging to create tone; and then lifting out the lights with a putty rubber.

It makes an interesting change to draw a clothed model: there's a suggestion of a story; a reason why the model is there.

Each pencil on paper, approx A3.

Normal service has been resumed

It's been quiet around here later. Too busy working! Normal service has now been resumed.

One of my photographs has just appeared in the National Trust guide to White Horse Hill. Here's the cover (not my photo):


My photo's inside.


It's in the middle, near the bottom. Their caption is "Sheep on the ramparts" (of Uffington Castle). Here's the original:




In the garden again



Molly and Marlow in the garden. Not quite finished, because Marlow decided that the modelling fee that I offered wasn't enough.
Ink and watercolour on paper, 28 x 9 cm.

Making books by hand

I'll be teaching a two day weekend course, exploring contemporary and traditional bookmaking methods at the South East School of Art in East Grinstead.

13 - 14 August 2011, 10.30 - 4.30pm

  

This weekend course introduces bookmaking techniques from traditional casebound books to more surprising structures. This is an ideal introduction to bookbinding for both creating books as beautiful and useful objects, and as a starting point for making your own artist’s books. All the techniques that you’ll learn can be easily reproduced at home with minimal equipment.

  • Make a minibook from a single sheet of paper.
  • Learn how to create books with just a few folds and cuts.
  • Make your own sketchbooks in ten minutes.
  • Create your own hardback casebound journals.
  • Fill and decorate your books with simple printmaking techniques.
  • Explore the mysteries of books that move and twist.

You’re welcome to bring any photos or drawings that you’d like to include in your books, and plain or decorated papers for covering the books.

Fee: £120 for two days tuition, including materials, refreshments, and light lunches.

To book a place, or find out more, please contact the South East School of Art.

  

Sketching in Brighton



Duke Street, Brighton. 11 July 2011, 11.10am.
Ink and watercolour on paper, 28 x 9 cm.

Life drawing/linocut

I made a linocut of one of my drawings from one of our recent life-drawing sessions. Keeping it simple: just black and white.


Linocut, 18 x 18cm.

Exhibition opens 9 June

The Sussex Arts Collective "Upfront" Exhibition runs from 9 - 28 June, 2011 at the Fishing Quarter Gallery, 203 Kings Road Arches (on the seafront, right next to the beach), Brighton, BN1 1NB.

Open every day, including Sundays, 11am - 5pm (Monday closes at 2pm).



 

The Courtyard, Nyman's

A final dark layer completes the print.



The Courtyard, Nyman's. Five stage reduction linocut, 10 x 10 cm.

Phew. Just in time for the exhibition.

Linocut, stage 4

I cut away all of what was left of the view through the door, and some details on the door itself, and more of the leaves. Then I printed a darker green to brown to green blend over the previous layers. Fortunately, the mistake on the previous layers has been successfully covered.



One more layer, and it might be finished.