Category Archives: Design Play

Design experimentation

Project Minimal: Experimentation

For the last couple of months I’ve been working on abstracting designs from drawings and photographs, trialing stencils and masking techniques, exploring textural prints and creating layers. All this for my current project entitled Minimal – having put my Brain … Continue reading

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Abstracting a design

This week I’ve been building resources in my sketchbook. An A5 pencil sketch of TV remote controls sitting on my cutting mat was followed by a closer view of a specific area in Sharpie pen. I picked these as my … Continue reading

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Collagraph: Man-made – progress

I first showed this print plate in October where I discovered the issue of using Shellac that had been made for a while and then shaken to remix. Tiny particles had hardened and subsequently transferred to the plate and printed … Continue reading

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Collagraph: Man-made

Using minimal materials; essentially mountboard, a couple of pieces of lightweight paper and some adhesive foil, I built a low-relief multi-layered collagraph plate. I cut into a few areas, removing the mountboard surface, thereby encouraging the ink to ‘grab’ the … Continue reading

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Making Boxes from my stash

Over the last couple of years I’ve enjoyed a lot of monoprinting using stencils, masks and pattern-creation with textured items. I’ve amassed quite a stash of prints. A few of us decided to cut up our prints and create small … Continue reading

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Project: Treads

Car and truck tires seem to have been in my peripheral vision lately so I drew a few and collaged them together to form a rectangular design. Being such a fan of geometric and linear imagery I was pleased with … Continue reading

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Project: Information Highway

Take two products … Last year I invested in several new stencils. In theory I could have cut some of them myself but the strain on my hands and possible mistakes when doing this wasn’t worth it. So the question … Continue reading

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Exploration: Journey

I’m currently part of an on-line creative exploration course. It’s nothing onerous, just something to stimulate ideas and create some random drawings without too much thought. The word for the day was ‘Journey’ and I jotted down a few things … Continue reading

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Gel plate collagraph printing

I recently read an article describing the technique of pressing collagraph plates into an inked gelli plate surface, followed by pulling the print from the gelli plate – not the collagraph. In essence, a transfer print. My normal printing routine … Continue reading

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Banksia Book – Part 1

I recently wrote about some etched solar plates I’ve been given, which I’ve started printing. My aim is to create a book showcasing the prints to give to the friend who kindly donated the plates. My criteria are as follows: … Continue reading

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Project: Noise

This project came about when playing very loud music whilst working alone in my studio. Sometimes finding it difficult to remain motivated through the long periods of lockdown and lack of external stimulation I used some of my favourite bands … Continue reading

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Creating a Colour Selector chart

I’ve designed a system of recording both the variety of paints & drawing materials I own and the items & colours I intend to use for each project I work on. I own quite a range of media including oil-based … Continue reading

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Working in only 2 colours

I recently taught a colour & composition workshop where we concentrated on the wonderful world of colour choices; tones, tints, likes, dislikes and colour matching. Trying to introduce the participants to a new way of considering abstraction in their work … Continue reading

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More gelli printing

This week I was introduced to another way of gelli printing, one where texture can be created whilst still being able to produce quite exacting patterns. In September I blogged about a similar, but slightly different method, and gave the … Continue reading

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New gelli plate printing

Over the last 12 months I’ve done quite a bit of gelli plate printing using a few different methods; random rolling of paints, applying stencils, mark making with objects and the like.  All have been done with either one or … Continue reading

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Exploring Mixed Media: 7

Working with nature: Plant Drying In anticipation of creating some nature monoprints I’ve continued to collect fallen flora.  Each leaf has been carefully laid out and pressed between paper, in single layers, using my Albion press and book blocks. These … Continue reading

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Exploring Mixed Media: 5

Continuing with the Gelli printing & stencilling, I used my original source photos as a start point and reproduced some of the images then cut stencils & masks, plus addition pieces to widen my selection. These thin acetate stencils are … Continue reading

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Exploring Mixed Media: 4

Gelli Plate printing These first samples have been about re-familiarising myself with the Gelli plate, getting good coverage and colour combinations.  All produced with various brands of acrylic paints. Creating patterns within the painted layers. Stencilling: Experiments with different media. … Continue reading

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Exploring Mixed Media: 3

Anyone following this thread will note that I’ve changed the title from ‘Working with nature’ (which were parts 1 & 2) to the overall course title.  I feel happier not being so constrained by the narrow reference to nature. It’s … Continue reading

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Working with nature: 2

Identifying  colour palettes from photos This is something I’ve done many times before but this time I’m exploring computer programs that automatically extract colours from photos. In the past I’ve always painted  swatches or wrapped threads to indicate colours. Having … Continue reading

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Working with nature: 1

This week I joined an online class exploring different ways of working with nature in an art practice. Initially we were encouraged to explore our environment and collect flora that attracted us.  Obviously, in parks and and on bush trails … Continue reading

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Counterchange

With the restrictions of being at home pretty much full time I joined a small on-line challenge this week.  Entitled Notan/Counterchange, it was described as follows: Notan is a Japanese design concept involving the play and placement of light and … Continue reading

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Printing with water-colour

I’ve spent a week playing with water-colour paints, exploring how they can be transferred to print paper outside of the normal landscape or still-life painting arena.  In the past I’ve gone down the traditional route of water-colour painting and haven’t … Continue reading

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Playing with my photo booth

Having taken some advice from a gentleman by the name of Patrick, a member of a photography group, I finally ordered and received a photo booth.  I can’t promise that all pictures will be perfect from here on, but I … Continue reading

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Playing with paints

In anticipation of a couple of book-binding courses I’ll be teaching in a few months time I’m exploring ways of applying different paints to paper without too much mess and water.  Last time I taught at this venue I asked … Continue reading

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Pastepaper Workshop

The notes received in this workshop stated (in part & abbreviated): Pastepapers have been used since at least as early as 1650.  They were often made in the binder’s shop, but some businesses were set up solely to provide them … Continue reading

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Design Play: Circuit Project – More grids

Loved the grid experiments in my last post so continued down this path this week with some great results. Sequin waste was cut to shape and placed over an inked acetate sheet.  This was run through the press and the … Continue reading

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Design Play: Circuit Project – More backgrounds

More background experimentation – yep, I’m not done yet Whilst making book samples recently I’ve been mulling over my Circuit project.  I’ve tried quite a few different ideas as background bases for my connections and circuitry to sit upon but, … Continue reading

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Design Play: Circuit Project – Getting started

The value of experimentation No-one gets it right first time and I’ve a vision in my head that has been difficult to translate into reality. Having had a brain stuffed with home renovations, builders, paint choices and so on for … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise – connections

I’ve been looking back over some of the work I’ve created in the last 5 years or so.  While I’ve covered a variety of subjects I see that I keep returning to the idea of connections, boxes, containers, lines and … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise – collagraph abstraction

I’ve moved away from the source book I was using for my exercises and am following my own direction.  The book helped a lot when I was a bit lacking in creativity but now I’m back up and running I’ve … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 5 – Textures – Part 3

‘Other World’ Print Plates In my post of 16th February I created my first 3 collagraph print plates for this series + 2 masks.  Here are plates 6 & 7, the final ones for this body of work. PLATE 6 … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 5 – Textures – Part 2

‘Other World’ Print Plates In my post of 18th January I looked at both internal and external textures with a view to planning my Other World project print plates.  The aim is to produce several small prints to be mounted … Continue reading

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2019 01 28 Image of the week

Continuing working with design play exercise 5 I chose one of the images and explored what I could achieve using Photoshop CS6.  I’ve never had much in the way of formal training on Photoshop but have used on-line help, forums … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 5 – Collecting textures – Part 1

Goal: To create a resource of both found and self-created textures for future reference and to stimulate ideas. I’m planning my next print project which will involve producing prints from textural collagraphs and as I have fairly specific imagery in … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 3 – Final design & prints

The goal: To turn solid shapes into line drawings, create variations on the theme and translate these into a workable design to print. Stage 1 of this exercise started by using photos of Walking Irises in my garden.  I developed … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 9 – Line studies

I’m jumping around with the exercises in the book and missing some out as I’ve done similar things multiple times in the past. The goal: To explore the power of a line and the nature of a line versus a … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 3 – Creating a design

The goal: Take line drawings and create a workable design to print. After my initial drawings of irises and grevillea (very loosely translated) a couple of weeks ago I spent a few minutes messing around with floral bouquets and was … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 3

The goal: to turn solid shapes into line drawings and create variations on the theme. Part 1 For one day only, late last week, my Walking Irises came into full bloom.  I had a sea of green, white and purple … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 2 – extending a design

The goal: to create a variation on a theme. I’ve long been a fan of 1950s fashion and homeware print designs.  I’m drawn to repetitive semi-abstract motifs, usually large bold shapes and colours.  I recently saw an exhibition which included … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 2 – creating the designs

Exercise 2: designing and cutting stamps The goal: to explore the possibilities of stamping as a design tool. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks carving 11 stamps from some of my comma designs (posted here) and then printing them. Collagraph … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 2 – drawing and preparing

Exercise 2: designing and cutting stamps The goal: to explore the possibilities of stamping as a design tool. I’ve decided to use an old favourite image of mine, one that naturally lends itself to wide interpretation; the Boteh. The Boteh … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise 1

Alongside the time I spend printing, drawing and whatever else I can fit in I’ve decided to undertake some exercises from a design book I own.  Whilst the first exercises are very basic I’ll still work through them.  I’m aiming … Continue reading

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