08 April 2008


prussian blue...

...is a softer more appreciative colour to print with when printing a plate for the first time. well that is what i think anyway. everything seems to look better when it ain't in black or forced to have a black outline. i took my favourite doodle and decided to etch it onto a copper plate i had prepared earlier like they do in blue peter. i wasn't worried too much about the outcome. i decided to do an etch and made myself make snap decisions about what i was doing and thinking throughout the process. for example i started to wander and was tempted to etch something else but i told myself no and to be brave and to brew up at regular intervals. so first off i have etched into a hard ground. i blocked out some of the little mistakes i had done-not mistakes as such-it is just the hard ground has a tendency to etch away in bigger flakes sometimes and so i am able to paint it out to stop and protect it from the biting ways of the Edinburgh etch. then i dunked it in said etch solution for about three hours. the plate has to be rotated half way through the time or on a regular basis to make sure it etches even. it would do this by itself if there was a pump in there moving the solution all around but there isn't. above is the second print i did from the plate. it is a bit cloudy as i was having a war with the tissue you use to softly rub away the excess ink prior to printing. i am very pleased with the outcome though except that i forgot to reverse the image prior to etching as i would have preferred him to be facing right but never mind. tomorrow i think i may attempt an aquatint as i have never ever never done this before and maybe some soft ground as well. both of these processes may be carried out on the robber bird plate. these processes as per the dissertation is one way in which they used to mass produce books and within them reproduce illustrations in the oldie worlde days. aquatint and soft ground are and were alternate methods for adding detail as say just printing a harsh and very definite line. you can add depth, detail, line and tone if you wish by using various different etching techniques and methods.



working towards a smile...

...a hell of a lot has happened over the last twenty four hours. this, that and the other. i cant begin to explain and do not wish to put it all up here on this blog as i can safely say i am bit of a sensitive live wire at the moment. up above are two pages from a working dummy book that originally started life as the hundred words about a robot button. after speaking to tutors yesterday i went off and doodled and my favourite page is the top robber bird one. today was very rollercoaster-ish and once i had a brew and seen some kind of sense, i went to the print room with the plan to etch something from what i had created last night. in amongst today, Ali added some more blank pages to my dummy book and took some out. i started to draw in them straight away while i waited for the Edinburgh etch to do its thing on a copper plate i had sorted out before dinner. the bottom page is my favourite so far from the second/third batch of pages but i have yet to complete this batch. today has been like playing with fire. that's what i would say is the best word to use and therefore there has been some pretty fireworks exploding on my pages a result. the waves look very interesting.
cups of tea...

...up above is the front cover of craig barr's 'zine. he is a print maker and illustrator who's blog can be found by clicking on this word right here. craig likes cups of tea and playing with letters in the print room. i couldn't decide which pages to scan in to show you so i am just showing you the front cover in the hope you will go and find out more about it over on the link.