Preparing for Project 5 – Experimenting with techniques.
Here I have started experimenting with some of the rollers, stamps and stencils I made a couple of days ago.
On the left I have used a painted linen background with a fairly solid print from my foam block. I changed direction just trying out different ways to see how the pattern might fit together. I think it looks a bit disjointed and am considering using it in a cascading pattern with the block always in the same direction and closely spaced. At least this test gave me that idea for the next stage.
Above right I have 2 pieces in the picture. The piece on the left is my recently dyed ‘waste’ cloth (see posting of 2nd October 2011 in Musings category) and on the right I have some cream wool felt. I used black printing ink on my string covered roller. On the left it has been run once but on the felt I have done it multiple times. The fluffy surface of the felt has picked up some of the paint from the roller giving the piece a soft mottled look in parts. The run-out of paint can be clearly seen on this piece. It’s quite easy to continue adding paint to the roller as it moves across the fabric.
This little sponge block has been very successful. On the left I have it on paper as individual stamps showing a good mix of colour and then multiple layered stamping, basically cleaning it before I washed the final colour out. What a brilliant effect that is. On the right I tried some wet on wet printing on a base of lightly coloured silk dupion. I started with yellow, added blue – which gave me green – and finally added red giving me a brownish red colour. I then went back and re-applied yellow to the sponge and did a final print.
On the left I have a variegated colour (blue and pale pink) crinkly synthetic. I applied torn masking tape strips as resists and sponged over the exposed areas. The pink I’ve chosen is very lairy and my feeling is to use this technique to add interest to a plain background using a colour more closely aligned to the original. For example a light green fabric might have a slightly darker green sponging. In my sample here the pink has just overwhelmed the masked areas leaving nothing of interest – it hasn’t enhanced the piece, it has negated the point of starting off with a coloured fabric.
On the right I have a new soft sculp block that I cut yesterday. It is based on the swirl design I used in Project 4 Stage 3 when I stated that changing the colour scheme of my original drawing could give this design a very different feel. Firstly I used the block fully loaded with colour and then I had a look at how it softened for a second print.
In the left picture I have used a lino block and also some corrugated cardboard on thick water-colour paper. I started off with each one on dry paper then I progressively wet the paper more to soften the edges of the prints. In the right hand picture I experimented with multiple prints without re-inking the block and also when I hardly had any colour left on it I stamped a couple of times on top of itself (the top left hand image).
Bubble wrap was used on both these samples. Firstly I used thick black textural card. I glued bubble wrap around a roller (see previous post) and applied green to it first. I let the green dry on the roller before putting white over it with a sponge brush. Then I rolled it over the surface of the paper. The green was reactivated as it was wetted by the white but stayed true to its colour and didn’t mix and lighten. The white is the dominant colour having been put onto the roller last. Great effect, white with a touch of green here and there in the centre of the circles. On the right I used a dyed cotton and applied the green with the roller to the fabric first and let it dry. Later I applied the white. Obviously the two methods give totally different results.
This stencil I cut from further development of the floral design in Project 4 Stage 4. Being left-handed I tend to work from right to left so my hand doesn’t smudge any work I do. I stippled using a stencil brush without reloading it as I wanted to see how far I could go with one lot of printing ink. The base is crumpled brown parcel wrap.
This last piece is large. The white chalk marks show a 40cm square (cushion cover size). This thermoplast block was just crying out to be used as a flower petal and repeated. Some of my placement hasn’t been 100% but with care I think I could improve that. The foam block is adhered to a piece of foam core which is cut slightly larger than the block so I can’t see exactly where I’m placing it. I think I’ll prise it off the back and put it on a piece of perspex (except I haven’t got an offcut the right size so I’ll have to buy one) so I can position it exactly where I want. I know that this hasn’t been developed though the design process I have been following but I’m delighted with the serendipitous way it evolved.
Throughout this exercise I have used fabric paints or printing inks as I find them more unpredictable than some other media and I have less experience using them. In Project 1 Exercise 4 there are samples of my work with Markel sticks (called Shiva sticks here in Australia), pastel dye sticks, wax crayons and metallic paint. I intend incorporating these into my work for Project 5 but I felt I would benefit more in this stage using the paints and inks.