Sunday, 22 May 2011

Westend Willow

I have been very enthusiastic about a new image over the last couple of weeks. Its been a bit frustrating as I wasn’t able to get a piece of copper big enough for a week or so, but now I’m underway and I can share the story so far.

It started with another drawing session in my village, in Westend. It was a lovely spring day and the light was bright, the sketch had some energy to it which suggested the potential.

Photograph taken in May, when the sketchbook work was done

Photograph taken in March

Photographs taken of the same tree a little earlier in the year, before the grasses were too long, showed good light and structure.

The photographs when edited held even more promise. The black and white contrast was very interesting; I could see that I could play with a wide variety of experimental etching marks that I had been exploring over the last few months, and that I could retain some compositional ‘free air’ in the image. I am often frustrated at how I fill my compositions, why can’t I leave well alone?

Drawing done in reverse to aid the drawing out on the etching plate

The drawing allowed me to get to know the image better, especially the movement within the tree and this time it was natural to achieve the composition I was after.

Etching from sugar lift, first stage 50x30cm

This is the first stage of the resulting etching, or should it be a final stage? I will take a few prints as it is, but I would still like the image to have more of an untidy new twig growth to it. I would also like to resolve the base of the tree, and enhance some darkness in the weight at the top of the tree. So one more stage at least...

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