Monday, 8 December 2014

HBP: Complete Printmaker - Painterly Screen

The next process covered by the course was painterly (or mono) screen printing. This part of the course was taught by Jenni Nuttall (have a look at her work here: Jenni). This process involves using a blank screen - the ink is painted directly onto the screen and the colours are built up in layers. We weren't aiming for the pieces to actually look like anything so marks were experimental rather than carefully considered - working in this way felt quite liberating (and for me a little bit scary at the same time) as we could just mess around and see how things looked without worrying too much about themes or image. I sometimes find colour a little bit intimidating - especially during printing as it's hard to know how things will look or work without actually doing a print and screenprinting in particular can make colours look really flat. I picked a bright blue and deep yellow ochre as I wanted colours that evoked the sea/coast (although they haven't ended up doing that very much..).

The 'ink' is actually acrylic paint which is loosened up with a screen print medium - with this process it was possible to paint blobs, marks and lines onto the screen with the ink and then flood the screen with medium. Doing this meant that only the marks were transferred on to the paper (the medium helped to push them through the screen). On a couple of the prints I painted the clear medium on to the screen and then flooded with a colour ink which left white gaps which I really loved (see the first, fourth and fifth images).

I'm really happy with the images that I produced however I'm not sure what to do with them - I don't want to work into them further as there's a possibility that I could ruin them but they don't really feel like my work as they're so abstract.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

HBP: Complete Printmaker - Lino

After collagraphs we moved onto relief printing with lino. I was looking forward to working with lino as the last time I had the chance to use it (during my GCSEs) I really enjoyed the process and since then I've seen a lot of amazing lino work by other artists that made me want to give it another go.

I was still using my travel snaps as source material for my print work at this point in the course and I chose a coastal scene (I used it earlier for mono printing as well) as I thought the patterns and textures of the waves/cliffs/grass etc. would translate well onto a lino plate. We were doing a multi coloured print using one plate so it took a while to work out the order of the layers - I don't think I'd be able to explain it again but you start with a plain rectangle of colour and gradually cut into the lino to add each additional colour.

I started with the green as my plain rectangular base colour, then printed the light blue and then the navy on top - I did intend to print a fourth colour to add more definition to the sky but I ran out of time. The colours don't really work for me, in particular the green (I prefer the third image below with the white background). I really should have printed a lot of different background colours and tried out a few combinations but printing a clean rectangle was actually really difficult and I think I felt a bit discouraged after making mistakes with the green.

The cutting and gouging process was difficult (I remember it being tricky in school) as the lino can be quite stubborn and it's easy to cut away more than you intend to. I did enjoy working with the tools and forming the lines and marks in a more hands-on way but I'm not happy with the results that I got from my plate - I don't think the process suits my work as it's clunky and stylised. It's frustrating as I do love lino prints but this technique just isn't for me.