Reduction lino printing:
Design progression and sketchbook work.
I’ve always loved this feature tile in our renovated bathroom. Above on the left is the actual colour but on the right I’ve played with it in Photoshop to add more tonal variety and so I can see the layers better.
This isn’t the first time I’ve used this design as inspiration. Back in A Creative Approach, Project 2, Stage 3 (right at the beginning of my studying) I took a rubbing of the tile and made a small sampler.
Simple it may be, but I’m still drawn to it and would like to develop the design and the colour palette. I enjoy the thought of returning to a piece I produced in the past and reworking it into something completely different. How many ideas could I create from just one initial inspirational bathroom tile?
Note: Being left-handed I tend to draw from right to left, so my hand doesn’t sit over previous work, and often bottom of page to top. It works best for me.
My aim is to produce a design that could be converted into a furnishing fabric, probably for upholstery. It was very hard for the camera to pick up the initial pencil outline drawing so I re-photographed and enlarged that section of the page.
I photocopied the initial drawing and applied some colours that I anticipated would give me a retro, almost 1950s, feel to the design. After some thought, I worked on other colour combinations because my first choices couldn’t be formed by my colour layering, bearing in mind that I want to use translucent colours to form new outcomes.
Looking at my first trial I could have used deep yellow, red/orange and sepia, combining them successfully but how was I to form the mulberry using it as my third layer (I can’t find anything that successfully mixes with orange to form a mulberry colour)? Yes, it would be possible if it was solid with no transparency and was an independently mixed colour that sat above the yellow and red/orange without being affected by them. But my goal is to TRY to mix colours within the composition to change the results. So, for my purpose, this colour scheme had to be put aside. I did a few more pencil mixing swatches. The blue, red and black works quite well but, to be honest, it’s not my favourite colour scheme for this project. I’m veering towards the yellow, blue and black swatches, in the hope I’ll create some good greens.
Here I started collaging pieces of coloured paper, overlapping the hollow squares and using the cut centres in different formations. They were resized and moved into many positions before settling on these formats. Next I cut the squares in half and tried a type of continuous linking pattern but it looks too boring. I started colouring and adding shading, trying first a blue and then a yellow base, moving the shading in from the edge of the shape then back abutting the edge. Putting it back as a whole I added a solid square in the vein of my previous collage. Finally I interlinked hollow shapes and added a much more dynamic solid square as a focal point. I looked at it for several days, mulling it over, and decided to move ahead with different sizes of interlinking and solid shapes combined with the wavy line work from the very first drawing (you’ll notice that this has been drawn on the opposite side to the bathroom tile I started with).