Friday, February 27, 2009

a couple of digital manipulations of the lino prints


Time is a bit short at the moment so I haven't had chance to get on with paintings - these are a couple of digital variations on the lino prints, playing with colours and time of day.


Tomorrow I'm off to the Private View of an exhbition in the Cotswolds of an artist new to me - so hopefully an interesting day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The lino monoprints so far


Lino monoprints, variations on a theme, Vivien Blackburn


These aren't simply linoprints now as they are all unique - I've used monoprinting techniques with them, 'inking' them up with oil paint and working into them with coloured pencils and oil pastel. So I'm calling them lino monoprints as the best description I can come up with. I've included one straight, rolled lino print to show how it prints with lino ink applied with a roller in the traditional way.

  • Monoprints are unique prints that contain a repeatable element - like the linocut in these - but with utterly different results due to colour and inking up differences and work done after printing.
  • Monotypes are absolute one-offs with no repeatable element.

Working with my lino prints this way suits my way of thinking better than the clean cut lino print that's included in the line up above.

If anyone is interested in owning one, I'm going to put them in my Etsy shop

I haven't sussed out the necessary alterations to my paypal account and buy button stuff yet to do anything here! I fell at the first hurdle when trying to change my paypal account to enable a buy button - sigh - I wish I was better at this stuff! I'll work on it though.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Developing the linoprints 2

Misty morning, snow, Aylestone Meadows. Linoprint plus coloured pencil and oil pastel on brown paper. Vivien Blackburn

First an apology - Ainesse left a really interesting and informative comment about linoprinting - and I somehow lost it :>( Ainesse could you possibly leave one again? and I'd love to read about the caustic soda process - and yes I have tried intaglio lino but wasn't very good at it! I don't have access to a printing press at the moment.

Then - these are 2 of the 10 experiments worked into with coloured pencils and touches of oil pastel.
The first print is an attempt to catch that thin mist, that often goes with snow, that softens and lightens colour, turning the world into gentle pastels.

Evening, getting dark, snow, Aylestone Meadows, linoprint plus coloured pencils and oil pastel on black paper, Vivien Blackburn
This one is an attempt to catch that cold bright light from the snow as the light goes.

Are you fed up with this tree yet? :>D

Thursday, February 19, 2009

a bit more experimenting with the lino prints - work in progress

Further experiments with the lino plate. The graphic clean print is all very well but I do like painterly expressive marks. So these are done inking up the lino with oil paint and a brush. This means that the colours can be more varied and the brush marks incorporated into the finished piece.

Neither of these are finished. They need a little more work to pull them around but I can see where I can take them.

On the one below, on black paper, I roughly painted a background and then printed wet in wet oil paint. Again, it needs more work.


These were photographed with flash so the colours aren't quite true, they are a lot better IRL. I'll take some daylight pictures as they develop.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Developing the linoprints


Linoprints with coloured pencil in sketchbook. Vivien Blackburn

I've been experimenting with those linoprints, The first one done on tracing paper glued to the left hand page, coloured on the reverse side (so the image is reversed and the print paler). The image was then continued on the other page of the sketchbook with the cp's. The paper is hand made with quite a rough texture and ragged edges,
The second one was printed on white tissue paper and continued across the book in the same way, again with coloured pencils.
The last one isn't a good photo - it looks better IRL, the oil pastel is shining in the light a bit and not showing the colours well. It's the monoprint roll up with the overprinted tree, worked into with coloured pencils and a little oil pastel.



straight linoprint and sketch - a reminder of the source of these images

I'm playing with digital versions as well -you are going to be sick of this willow!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

linoprints: pollarded willows

Today I managed to print a dozen prints, mainly on brown papers.

I was simply experimenting with what I could achieve and had only a limited range of colours to play with so worked with a mix of brown, ochre and ultramarine - no white available to lighten colours.

The first print I hadn't used enough ink - these are hand printed with water soluble inks - I prefer oil based inks and using an etching press but beggars can't be choosers! With the water based inks I find it's necessary to use much more ink when rolling up - I don't know if other people find this?

The second print worked better and I'd added ultramarine to the mix to darken it.

As I was clearing up I rolled marks onto a piece of paper to clean it - and then decided to do one last print with the residue left on the lino over these- I think I'll experiment further with this too as I like the loose painterliness it adds.

The chine colle ones weren't a great success and are probably heading for the bin - but that's another avenue to explore, along with a graduated rollup, where the bottom is darker than the top.

I popped them in a folder to bring them home and interleaved the prints with paper - these made rather interesting secondary prints when I unpeeled them on arrival - a sort of skeletal version - I'll do something with these as well. Don't you just love happy accidents?

I've been experimenting in photoshop with them since I got home - but that's for another post :>)

I still find lino very graphic for me but I'm learning ways to work around that so it's growing on me as a form of printmaking.


Please keep your comments and advice coming on the 'buy' button post below - I'm finding it very helpful :>)

Advice please??? on a 'buy' button

OK my stats show a large number of readers and regular readers, many of whom never leave comments.

This is your chance to advise :>)

Tina suggested putting a 'buy' button on the blog and I quite like the idea, though I don't want to turn this into the primary function of the blog (Tina never pushes the sales angle though the option is always there)

What do you think?

does it put you off?

should I?

and how???? not sure how to do it!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Those pollarded willows again - in pastel

Pollarded Willows, Aylestone Meadows, Pastel. approx 16ins. Vivien Blackburn

Another look at those pollarded willows. Behind me is the canal, just a few feet across the towpath and in front is Ulverscroft Brook. The dried grass of the winter field was pale in the bright light and the sky a pale cold blue. Late afternoon sun warms the sunlit side of the willows with an amber light.

The patch of darker blue sky on the top left is a shadow not part of the painting.

c&c???

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Linoprinting again - Pollarded Willow , work in progress

Work in progress: A pencil rubbing of a new linocut to see how it will print - the pollarded willows of earlier sketches shown here - done quite freely onto soft lino, about 5x5.75 ins. A bit messsy but it gives an idea of how it will print (I flipped the image on computer so this is how it will appear)

I've been really busy this week and have finished a large pastel of this willow but haven't had daylight time to photograph it yet.

I thought the image would maybe work in lino with the strong contrasts between light and dark. I'll experiment with rolling it traditionally, painting oil paint on and also with working into prints. I'm not sure how it will work out yet but I think it has potential.


c&c welcome :>

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Drizzly morning, clearing up, pastel

Drizzly morning, clearing up
pastel on Pink Pink paper, approx 12 ins square, Vivien Blackburn

I need 3 pastels for a show next month and set out to do a large piece based on the pollarded willows. I got half way through one and it's at the ugly stage just now and needs thinking time, so I got side tracked into completing this one. The attention span of a gnat <> Never mind! this one can be one of my 3.

It's mostly Unison pastels as I love them - velvety soft and rich but they don't break up and flake away to expensive shards and powder like some. What I do want to get is some white Schminke pastels, as I'm told they are the richest, whitest white with brilliant covering power.

I often underpaint when I use pastels but this one is just pastel and no other medium.

I love pastels with the mix of drawing and painting they allow - my skin doesn't like them much though and dries out terribly. I've tried wearing those thin disposable gloves but I use my fingers too much to soften edges etc and I just don't get on with wearing the gloves to work. I'm just piling on the moisturising creams.

I'll get back to the willows done much larger in pastel and see if I can rescue them - or maybe it won't look so bad in the morning - she says hopefully. I just may end up putting 3 seascapes in!



Friday, February 06, 2009

Aylestone Meadows in the snow

We've had heavy snow here - well for England it was heavy. It was a foot deep in the countryside yesterday.

Unfortunately, the one day it was really beautiful, deep, powdery and unspoilt - I was teaching all day.

Today it has thawed quite a bit and along the paths and roads is a dirty sludgy mess.

Ithought I'd go out to the meadows with my camera. Though I hate working from photos I'm going to have to if I want to do any snow scenes as

working outside in this weather doesn't suit my arthritis.

I'll just have to remember the colour that was there, subtle and muted and greyed. Then take the knowledge I gained sketching plein air there and try to build this knowledge into the work.

The canal and pools in the water meadows were frozen in places. Reflections were often muted and greyed like the sky.

In the cold light things were silhouetted with little detail.

I have to do some pastels for an upcoming show and I'm thinking of working from the sketches of the pollarded willows in the golden sunlight and now in this icy light.

I need 3 and thought it might be good to link it with the waterways project. They would be much larger drawings/paintings.

A good idea?




































Wednesday, February 04, 2009

make a font of your handwriting

I thought I'd share this from Julie Oakley's blog

http://www.yourfonts.com/print.html

design a font from your own handwriting - I thought I'd have a go as soon as I have time - the weekend maybe. It looks really good see Julie's example.

I've been rushed between work++++ and helping my mother to choose a plumber to install a new central heating boiler - quickly - as the snow is still lying with more to come so no new art work.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Old Work: pastel still life

Still life with chair, Vivien Blackburn. pastel


I came across this old drawing when rooting through the plan chest, looking for something else and decided to show it. It's on red Ingres paper in a mix of pastels - mostly Unison. I love their velvety softness. It's fairly large - a full sheet of Ingres.

This was done at a pastel weekend workshop - I think it was in the first year of my degree, during the holidays. The colours of the set up were wonderful and so I chose the red paper so it could flicker through the other colours.

Still life isn't usually my 'thing' though once started I can get hooked. The battered velvet chair with the dent in the seat was fun to do and I played with the perspective, exagerating it slightly.

I need to get my pastels out asap as there is a pastel society exhibition in March I must put work into.

I may put this on Etsy as it's just sitting there in the drawer doing nothing. What do you think?