Project 13 – ‘Feels like home’

I mentioned the inspiration for this in the post about experiments in frottage but I wanted to show progress with the idea in separate post as there’s been much development from the initial idea.

First design ideas - sketches on page 16 of A4 sketchbook

First design ideas – sketches on page 16 of A4 sketchbook

The initial idea was to create quite a linear looking print which was a combination of textured mono print shapes with a lino print of my house over the top. The front of my house is half brick half pebble dash so there’s texture inherent there already.

I wanted to create simple squares of texture by masking off shapes and applying a textured surface on the top to peel away leaving an imprint in the ink which when printed would give texture. In terms of colour I thought orange, yellow and blue would be complementary but could give some contrast.

But as I looked at the two sketches I felt it looked too safe and like the easy option and wanted to stretch myself beyond my natural preferences.

More design sketches - page 17 of A4 sketchbook

More design sketches – page 17 of A4 sketchbook

The second design (on the right hand side of the photo) above shows me considering how to give more movement and a bit more of a lively approach to the idea of a print with squares of texture and images of the outside of the house. I thought that if I broke up the outside of the house into different elements it might add some dynamism to the print.

Rather than carrying on with sketches for designs i wanted to try out a bit of mono printing. Specifically adding texture to the ink on the plate before printing. To do this I cut squares of wallpaper which had a raised pattern to the same size as a square of ink on the printing plate. I also applied the ink to the printing place using an area marked out by masking tape so when I removed the masking tape I had clean areas the same size and shape as the wallpaper.

Here’s how it turned out:

Experimental Mono print 1

Experimental Mono print 1

Wallpaper used to give texture to Mono print experiment 1

Wallpaper used to give texture to Mono print experiment 1

I think the texture came through really well and the colours worked well against the white backdrop. Once I’d taken that first print I had an idea to do some back drawing on a fresh piece of paper to create texture through drawing rather than imprinting on the ink. here’s how it turned out:

Experimental monoprint 2

Experimental monoprint 2

I quite like the rough/childlike nature of the texture given by drawing on the back of the paper. I think it’s quite effective!

Having done the two experiments I was happy that I could use either technique to create a quite effective mono print so I moved on to thinking about what kind of lino print could go on top of such a mono print.

I liked the idea of having parts of the house deconstructed and placed around the page. So to try this on top of the mono print I took a colour copy of mono print 1 and drew in fine liner some shapes from the house over the top. I think there’s a good balance of shapes across the page and the mix of the two colours and black/white gives a healthy contrast. However it did get me thinking about what this said about how I saw home. It doesn’t paint a pleasant picture, or create warmth to the viewer and I wondered how I could rectify that.

New design idea - page 18 of A4 sketchbook

New design idea – page 18 of A4 sketchbook

I did want to give a quick try at a more linear approach to the print so made a colour copy of mono print 2 and drew the front of my house over the top of it, the result is in the photo below. I don’t think it’s as interesting or stimulating as the previous idea and it feels quite dark as it’s dominated by the black half of the house. It looks very top heavy as an image and I don’t think reflects how I feel about my home. I won’t be pursuing it as a final print design.

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I wanted to try and make the print a bit more light and give a visual representation of being happy, comfortable in my home and felt like that required some different colours and even shapes. I was happy with having the house deconstructed and distributed across the page but wanted to add some colour around it and some circles as these seem less visually imposing and perhaps suggest calm or peace more than squares (if that doesn’t sound too crazy)!

I tried a blue/green colour scheme with overlapping circles to give that overlap of colours showing through. I think it’s a quite peaceful looking scheme and does give a more laid back rather than sinister print.

Different design idea with circles - page 20 of A4 Sketchbook

Different design idea with circles – page 20 of A4 Sketchbook

I also wanted to try a bit more of an injection of colour. I did this to see how different colours would look interacting on the page and chose ones that were a combination of bright and soft pastels as these would compliment and contrast each other. I think it looks fairly effective. But it’s a slightly odd way of approaching it as I used coloured tissue paper to make the circles and tried to add texture to the circles with colour pen or rubbing them over textured surfaces!

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Different design idea with circles – page 21 of A4 Sketchbook

My next step is thinking about how I would create the circles as mono prints and overlapping the colours/ registering them effectively. I’d like to try a couple of experiments to see if it works before creating final designs and colour schemes.

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