Project 8: From Sketchbook to Design

After looking at and thinking about photograph’s I’d taken at Symonds Yatt I took some time to make a water colour and pen painting in my sketchbook that was an adaptation of the images I’d taken. This was because I wanted to adapt the image to give the viewer a feeling of looking out onto a really broad, vast, open landscape.

Painting of landscape in small sketchbook.

Painting of landscape in small sketchbook.

Whilst I was happy with how this looked I knew that it would be tricky to get the same sort of complex image for my first reduction method linocut. So I began working on adapting the design for the purpose of a reduction print.

Rough sketch of adapted design for reduction method print.

Rough sketch of adapted design for reduction method print.

I wanted there to be a border of white around the print when on paper, and it to sit within an A4 piece of paper. I began to think about what colours might work and given that the landscape is predominately green I figured the first layer could be a light green (like a base/under layer in a water colour painting).

First layer for Reduction print - green layer.

First layer for Reduction print – green layer.

My next thought was wanting to have some blue in the print, for the sky and the river, and if the shade of green was light printing in a light blue would produce a sort of turquoise blue in the sky and river, which would work well. My thought was to cut away the majority of green fields in the second stage of the print so that they would remain that light green rather than turning turquoise blue.

Second & third layer for reduction print - blue layer & detailed black layer.

Second & third layer for reduction print – blue layer & detailed black layer.

The white areas above represent areas that were green/present in the first layer but have been cut away in the second layer so that the green is preserved/kept from becoming blue.

The black pen layer over the top of the blue represents the final layer which is to add definition and texture to the image overall. I wanted to create the tree’s and define the wall on the edge with black lines/finer detail in the last layer to add interest.

I was feeling happy with the design so began preparing the lino for the first stage of the reduction print.

The first stage of cutting the lino.

The first stage of cutting the lino.

Whilst cutting the lino I realised I could get some interesting textures by really lightly scratching at the surface of the lino with a V-shaped gouge, you can see a close up of the detail in the next picture…

Close up of scratched texture.

Close up of scratched texture.

I’m hoping this will provide some more interest to the green layer of the fields, though it is quite light scratches so may not come out perfectly during the printing process.

One final thought is to extend the landscape outside of the boundary it currently sits in, so you see the lines of the box around it, almost like viewing it through the lens of camera but in reality there’s more beyond what you can capture/see. I think this would show what I’m trying to get across that sense of the land being so vast you ca’t capture it in one shot or with the first look.

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