Assignment 2: Abstract prints ~ preparatory studies

For this assignment I decided to create prints of a semi-abstract nature. This mostly because I felt happier with the results from the semi-abstract project as opposed to the more ‘random’ abstract project.

Initially I was a little dry of ideas/inspiration so started with some artist research. I took a slightly unusual route in my research. I remembered an illustrator called Beci Orpin, her work often involves hand drawn patterns or textures cut into shapes to create abstract images. I liked her hand based approach and wandered whether some kind of abstract collage would be a good basis for a collagraphic print. I selected some examples of her work and annotated these arrangements in my sketchbook.

In my research into Orpin’s work I came across another artist with a similar method, Erin Dollar.  I was particularly taken by a series of collages, all labelled Untitled, by Dollar. In ‘Untitled Collage by Erin Dollar’   a series of different coloured and patterned shapes are arranged in an aesthetically pleasing oval shape. These arrangements reminded me of collections of pebbles and stones I have kept from trips to the beach. It gave me the idea to create natural collections or arrangements as the inspiration for textured collagraphic prints.

I found my collection of stones and pebbles and arranged these in semi-oval shape on-top of a white paper back drop. Once I was happy with the arrangement I took the following photographs…

Stone/Pebble Arrangement 1.







Stone/Pebble Arrangement 2.








Whilst I was happy with these arrangements I wanted to explore some other ‘natural’ arrangements so gathered a selection of plants, flower heads from around my garden. I then created a few different arrangements with these new objects, see photographs below.


Flower/Plant Arrangement 1.







Flower/Plant Arrangement 2.







Flower/Plant Arrangement 3.







Flower/Plant Arrangement 4.







I then began to try and abstract a few of the arrangements by creating simplified line drawings and illustrations.

Initial line drawings of possible arrangements.










Coloured illustrations of two possible arrangements.










Having created more abstracted versions of the ‘Natural Selections’ I decided to experiment with creating mock collagraph blocks, cutting the shapes of the forms out of different textured papers. I then took some graphite pencil and coloured crayon rubbings of these textured collages. This was my attempt at seeing how the arrangements, and particularly the textures might appear as a collagraphic print. I’ve kept these in my sketchbook. I felt satisfied with not just the arrangement of the forms on the pages but also the variety of textures and shapes across the arrangements. I felt confident that these arrangements would retain a pleasing quality when turned into collagraphic blocks for printing.

Collage of Pebbles.







Collage of flower/plants 1.







Collage of flower/plants 2.








Coloured crayon rubbings of 2/3 collages.










Coloured crayon rubbings of collage number 3.








Coloured crayon rubbings of collage number 3.







Pencil/Graphite rubbing of collage 1 & 2.










Pencil/Graphite rubbing of collage 3.







I think the theme and title ‘Natural Selection’ for this series of prints is fitting given the subject matter. Whilst the theme and some of the general form (oval shape) ties the prints together I also wanted another visual tie, I felt printing the blocks all in the same single colour might be a way to achieve this.


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