Combination and experimental prints.
Whilst my images, techniques and outcomes are very varied and don’t appear to adhere to a theme, the beach and surrounds were my subject – specifically Cronulla which is a large vibrant ocean-front town.
My personal goals were to look back at the range of techniques learned throughout the course and encompass these where I could. I was not aiming at making a cohesive group of work that would hang together in a set but, instead, to have another chance at some of the concepts I had explored in the early projects. At the start of the course I had severe issues when printing: learning how to apply the inks correctly, when to use extender, what rollers to use, the properties of paper and so on. I wanted to revisit aspects of these early days and have a second go at some of the styles of printing, whilst continuing to add new ideas.
The techniques I explored include:
- Monoprinting – combining colours, creating texture, using rollers, brushwork, dabbing and rubbing back
- Using masks – both positive and negative
- Lino and woodblock cutting
- Chine collé
- Reduction lino printing
New additions to techniques so far explored during the course:
- Cutting lino to a design outline as opposed to a rectangle or regular shape
- Adding text
- Using a woodblock – this was my first attempt and I enjoyed this medium
- Printing over unusual (difficult) surfaces applied as chine collê layer: Vliesofix
- Uneven paper collage base: torn rice paper pages
- Multiple layered monoprinting using a paper hinging technique
- Changing the consistency of inks further than ever before – just to see what happens
How do I feel about the project outcomes?
I can see the benefit of cutting lino to the design shape. It avoids accidental inking of cut-away areas. The colour scheme has worked well and fits with my theoretical ‘target market’. The design and shape of the logo look balanced in situ on the clothing samples I displayed and I’m very happy with the crispness and detail of the wood lengths.
Overall, I’m satisfied with this outcome. I could see it being used in the real world and I feel that one of my strengths is graphic design and semi-abstraction. A solid unified design in both colour and configuration.
The idea was reasonable and the execution was OK but I’m not overly happy with this result. To be honest it would look much better in a completely different colour scheme, perhaps something more like the logo colour-set. Something that relates to the sea. That was a stupid mistake and if I could have the time again I would have used the blues and greens from the logo.
So, if the colour scheme had been chosen better the outcome would have improved 100%. I still think the repeat pattern fits well as a towel design. It’s a large pattern without too much detail (unless you’re carving it as a smaller prototype) and is quite eye-catching.
Reduction lino printing is not for me. I’ve already written my reasons for this in the design blog post.
This was something completely new for the course. I did a small amount of wood carving in a two-day printing course with Gary Shinfield in November and really wanted to give it another go. I hadn’t managed anything detailed in his class and was a little worried about how the umbrella sections would work. I was surprised at how well I managed to cut the Japanese plywood.
I love the design, I love the way it fills the whole plate and my decision to create a 1cm border around the image contains it and keeps the eye in the piece.
Unfortunately, being on a time limit, I haven’t been able to explore this plate any further but I intend to use it again and try more background effects. Nothing I attempted was easy as a base layer but some of the results have come out quite effectively, especially this collaged one. Next time instead of collaging the pieces onto the paper itself I would arrange them onto spare paper and photocopy that layout onto tissue and then use the tissue as my collage base on my chosen print paper. That way I avoid trying to print over a slightly lumpy background. Hindsight is a great thing – but I had to do it so I could learn the lesson.
My blog entry dedicated to this design says it all really.
The piece to the left is currently pinned to my work board and the more I look at it the more I like it. After the angst of the whole course and trying to figure out what’s ‘right’ and what’s not I finally just did something without over thinking it.
I’ve discussed this issue before: in workshops I’m on a time limit and can’t agonise over designs, I’ve just got to do them. In my coursework I have hours to ponder, to plan, to make the wrong decision and to end up with something middle of the road and mundane. I’m taking positive steps to address this and will cover it in my course wrap-up.