Elian in the land of the giant mushrooms

Whilst I’m still working on my hand-painting for Elian and the Vortex, he is off on another dream adventure.

As per last time, I will provide the print and the viewer should concoct their own story to go with it.


During my 2015 printing course I drew various types of mushrooms.

m1I’ve always liked these but didn’t get an opportunity to use them, so I started playing with them in Photoshop as a basis for a solar print.

m2I grouped, duplicated, resized and reversed them, and considered cropping.  Once I’d got the general layout I started working on Elian.  He was always going to be ‘dropping in’ so I explored parachutists on-line.

m3m4Using the second silhouette on the left as a guide I drew Elian and gave him some details based on the Vortex print: he kept the same jeans and jacket.

I’m not the best at drawing and rely on Photoshop to help me quite a bit.  If I can get part-way there I can use the program to finish off.  So I gave him a parachute.

m5What did we do before design programs?  (strived harder to become self-sufficient is the answer I imagine!)  By this stage I felt my idea was slowly coming together and I placed Elian in with the giant mushrooms.

It was too sterile and bare, too one-dimensional and static – even though Elian is supposed to be providing movement.  I needed some depth and another interest.  So I sat, pencil in hand and worked further into the composition.

m7Ah, now it’s getting more intriguing.  Elian is in immediate danger but can’t save himself as he drops towards the mushroom caps – and are they going to be poisonous?

Drawing is improving and I’m slowly getting the hang of shadowing and shading (although today in some areas I can see mistakes in the finished print).  The design was transferred to acetate and etched onto the solar plate ready for printing.

The print below is on 300gsm Fabriano using a 50% black/extender mix to create the grey shading throughout.

m8Very pleased with this outcome and, again, I think it could be enhanced with a small amount of hand-colouring.

Enjoy imagining your own story around this adventure!


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
This entry was posted in Elian and his world of fantasy, My Creative Pieces, My prints and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Elian in the land of the giant mushrooms

  1. Nola says:

    I really like the mushrooms and Elian and the talons. Despite your plaints about your drawing, I think you’ve done really well in that department!
    I do feel Elian is a little lost against the mushrooms and there are too many of them, which minimises the impact. Ideally, I’d like that mushroom behind him to vanish away, so he is further from safety and more visible to the owner of the talons. But I think matters have gone past that? So I’d like to see a lot more difference in contrast, so he stands out against the background more. Maybe more vivid colour on him, so he looks more like a target for a passing giant creature?

    • Claire B says:

      The original drawing had no mushroom behind Elian but it left the image very flat with no impression that he was falling between the mushroom caps.
      I intend a slight amount of hand colouring on this and the last print so will see how I feel about making him more visible then. However the intention was always that he was a little lost among the other elements. I may put some colour in his clothing but I’ll see how I go.

  2. kath says:

    we had to watch a video on Charline von Heyl’s process for class and there’s another of her printing – I thought you might be interested https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2XCoJ5YINA it’s good to see how she makes the decisions for the layers and tests the colours/techniques

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