Assignment 5: Improvements to Project 13

Following my tutor’s report on Assignment 5 I felt that project 13 had the weakest outcome and was the project I should dedicate time to improving. Here’s a before photo of the first series of prints from the project:

Complete series of combination mono and lino prints

Complete series of combination mono and lino prints

And here’s a photo of some of the prints in the series after ‘improvements’:

IMG_6277

 

My start point for making changes was to begin an observational drawing of the outside of my house. Just as a reminder the subject of theme is ‘feels like home’. But in my first series of prints they felt quite clumsy and almost childlike. To improve i wanted to create a more realistic almost illustrative print but that still reflected the textures and emotional ‘feel’ of home in the juxtaposition of the two differing techniques.

The observational drawings in my sketchbook led to a much more illustrative design for the linocut part of the print:

Cut out of study in sketchbook of design for linocut print

Cut out of study in sketchbook of design for linocut print

I was trying to create a linocut which had some white space in it to allow for the printed monoprint layer to show through and hopefully allow for better interaction between the two different types of print. I also was trying to create an slightly mysterious, intriguing feel to help create the impression that the house being depicted wasn’t all it seemed. Essentially to illustrate that emotions towards the ‘home’ could change.  I felt like the illustration was at a good standard so began to prepare my lino:

Linocut ready for printing

Linocut ready for printing

I knew I needed to consider the monoprint part of the print, as I’d created a linocut from the steps leading to the house it made sense to try and create the rest of the house on the monoprint layer. I read an article with a artist named Angela Bellamy who created prints using polypropylene and dry-point techniques. I wanted to use a similar method of marking craft foam to create a more illustrative/drawn monoprint.

The article was published in Artists & Illustrators magazine June 2006:

p.42 Article from 'Artists & Illustrators June 2006'

p.42 Article from ‘Artists & Illustrators June 2006’

p.43 Article from 'Artists & Illustrators June 2006'

p.43 Article from ‘Artists & Illustrators June 2006’

p.44 Article from 'Artists & Illustrators June 2006'

p.44 Article from ‘Artists & Illustrators June 2006’

p.45 Article from 'Artists & Illustrators June 2006'

p.45 Article from ‘Artists & Illustrators June 2006’

The article contains some tips through a step-by-step of the printing process so I used some of this to inform my printing.

I began by marking out the remainder of the front of my house onto craft foam with a ball point pen:

craft foam with impressions drawn on with ball point pen

Craft foam with impressions drawn on with ball point pen

I tried to create texture and pattern using the brick and marks in the walls. I think worked well, and it’s clearer at the inking stage:

Printing plate at inking stage

Printing plate at inking stage

I tried to create a bit of colour blend/bleed by applying two colours to the foam plate at once. My aim was for a mottled/blending effect at the printing stage. The colour’s were supposed to be earthy colours to represent ‘home’ feeling safe, predictable.

I used cotton buds to selectively wipe areas of ink away, like the windows and the glass panes in the door to add some highlights to the print.

Printing plate after printing

Printing plate after printing

First attempt at printing:

Print 1/3

Print 1/3

There’s a few reasons with this print wasn’t what I’d expected or hope for. Firstly the colours don’t sit well with each other, it creates an uneasy feeing. The dark background dominates over the foreground which is part of what I think makes it uneasy. But it’s also worth mentioning the colours didn’t create that ‘safe, predictable’ feeing it actually looks more like a nightmare, Halloween print. I tried again using the same colours and changing the transparency of the linocut ink layer.

I forgot to take a photo of the second print (the one I used in the final series) but here’s a third print attempt:

Print 3/3

Print 3/3

I wanted to try some different colour ways to create different ‘feelings’ towards ‘home’. I wanted to create a more harmonious, balanced feel, so tried to select colour palette’s where there was less contrast, using neutral colours with some accent colours. I created two prints which were successful:

Print 1/1

Beige/Pink Print 1/1

Grey background Print 1/1

Grey background Print 1/1

I really like the little accent of colour on the brick work on both the prints above. I think it adds interest leading the eye to observe the different textures in the background layer. I think the more neutral colours help calm the prints down and do give that ‘feeling’ of a place of calm, peace.

Concluding thoughts:

When considering the prints as a series I initially didn’t want to include the green & orange print as it looks so strange. But I think with the other prints it works to describe a range of ‘feelings or responses’ to the home environment, which was my original aim. Do I think the new series is an improvement on the first one? Yes, but I still feel it’s not quite a finished thought. I think the monoprint & linocut print work much more cohesively but it’s at the expense of being more abstract which is a shame. I just couldn’t think of a way to make it abstract but keep the two styles together so went with a direction I felt was more achievable.

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