Sunday, 21 February 2016

The home run

This was how the big print looked when I thought it was finished...

... then I put it up in the studio, and I looked again and realised it wasn't really what I wanted.

I wanted the wall, centre left, to blend better into the background and the background to be darker, so back in the etching tank it went.

This looked better when the image is viewed as a whole. The focus is re-directed better onto the path.
Then I needed to sort the gap in the textures in centre of the lane and the post which wasn't quite there.

After a final judicious use of aquatint the lane textures are linked together and the eye is drawn along the lane more effectively.

And now I think its finished... maybe...

'Turning for home' etching 66 x 44 cm
I do wonder if I might still give this plate the chop - my favourite areas are the main lane leading backwards; in these areas everything has worked as I wanted. A Photoshop crop gives the general idea...

Sometimes less is more?

Sunday, 14 February 2016

A big print getting nearing to completion

Following the progress of this print which took a long time to get anywhere near resolved...

A lot of stopping out allows details to be created with an open bite, gradually less and less metal is left uncovered. This part of the process takes a long time; the stopping out takes its own time and then theres the waiting for the varnish to dry. A full day's work, hopefully rewarded when the plate comes out of the ferric.

The bite at this stage was quite light (not quite so rewarding! but that's printmaking...) and revealed that some of the underlying textures were too strong. A bit of strong scraping/burnishing helped to put the balance right.
The proof from the next stage shows how the structure has overlaid the organic sugar lift marks, hopefully bringing the focus onto the shape of the lane.

Another layer of open bite textures provides better contrast of light and dark, distance and focal points. But is it there yet?

Time to stand back and think.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Some prints take longer than others...

I've had a large print sitting in the background for some time now and its taken a while to resolve. I had to leave it for a while and then go back to it - sometimes it needs to happen. Over the next few posts I'll show you the print 'journey' so far.

To begin with I couldn't resist making large scale drawings of the place I wanted to represent

Drawing 1, 66 x 44 cm

Drawing 2, 66 x 44 cm

Then having photocopied the two drawings I pasted the together to create a plan

...reversed so my head doesn't get too messed up while I'm making the plate.

I then threw caution to the wind and sloshed sugar lift onto the plate to give me a starting point

plate size also 66 x 44cm

and then two more sugar lift and open bite combinations provided the following stage - a worn, chewed up and puddled surface...

The next stages will involve careful stopping out, but I may also have to burnish down some of the marks which have gone in a bit deeper than I hoped.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

All of a twitter

I've got a lot of exciting printmaking things hapening over the next month or two - so with a small flutter of trepidation I decided to explore a little further along the social media road.

You can now find me @wendyrhodesart on twitter.

I may not always post as fully on the blogspot, but I will keep you up to date and show work regularly.

Thank you for following me so far, many of you have been very patient and loyal. I hope you'll also be able to join my tweets.