09 April 2008


...robber bird and a verb or a 'doing word' that people should wear everyday. about four years ago i remember a woman spoke to me in whsmiths and told me to smile. so i did and she said you should smile more often. i drew this word on one of the blank pages and used some typography research to help me with the font style. in the print room today, i added an aquatint to the bird plate. the first attempt didn't work so i tried again. first i de-greased the copper and when it was dry, used an airbrush gun to apply an even coating of the aquatint solution (magda the lovely technician helped). it is light a brick red colour. when that is then dry, i painted out the areas with 'stop out' which protects the areas where i didn't want the aquatint to be etched. when the plate is entirely dry it then went in the Edinburgh etch. i have never done an aquatint before. not even in a-level printmaking as i was too scared. i remember why now as it is a very quick process. i was going to leave it in the etch for an hour as i was going by the time of what it takes for a normal hard ground etch. thank god i checked with tracey the technician first! i only had to leave the plate in the etch for one minute and forty seconds for it to have aqua-tinted. the result is the print i have posted up. aquatint applies an even tonal area and the longer it stays in the etch the darker the aquatint will be when printed. so if i had left it in for a hour it would have been so dark that maybe his eyes would have disappeared. tomorrow i have a little plan of action, some screen printing, further dummy book work and maybe a soft ground or another aquatint on the robber bird plate.

there will be a robber bird print for sale on etsy within a couple of days. i am just waiting for the print to dry so i can sort it out properly and that ready for sale.



Hi u! all a bit over my head ~ you are all Ssoooo clever! but I love the images especially the birdie one holding the button! Glad you enjoyed the biccies - I like to share ( the world can be a mean place ~ we have to do what we can to redress the balance!)
X Vicky X

Catherine said...

I was too scared to do an aquatint at college (wimpish me!) so well done. Robbin' robin looks great. Does he have a gang of street-urchin-birds perhaps, who help him steal things? And does he have my marbles, I appear to have lost them?

Chris.P said...

Very nice Ladysnail. I had some very inspiring tutors for printing when I was at college. I quite enjoyed doing aquatints etc, but I didn't get to do enough of them to get that proficient at it.

natural attrill said...

Hi Deb,
Sorry not to have left a comment for a while, I see you have put loads on your blog! I just love that little bandit bird at the top!

Christiane said...

yes, the robber bird is really cute!
It looks like an interesting technique, too. You've been really productive+creative. Chx

Jennie said...

Hi Lady Snail,

I just want to say... how did you think of such an ace title for your blog? I remember coming across your blog before I knew about preston illustration and the related links and I thought who is this? what is this? It's really interesting and fresh! Lovely cute pictures!

Keep going with the work. Hope the shoulder is better!


p.s. Oh yes, I completely changed my blog because the last one was just about my older work and didn't really reflect me as in me now - if that makes sense...

p.p.s. could I put a link to your blog on my blog?