Printmaking

As well as all the design work I produce for publishers, I also try to find the time to for my fine art work, for Open Studios, exhibitions and galleries.  I particularly like working with various printmaking techniques, a few of which are shown here.

Paper Drypoints
Here I use a special coated board to make the plates.  I sometimes cut it into different shapes, like the pebbles. On some designs I use a scalpel to remove the top layer of board to expose a rougher surface. This gives the appearance of an aquatint when printed. The fine lines are added by scratching into the surface of the card with a sharp tool. Some are printed with coloured oils, others have watercolour added after printing.


Some have been published as cards.  I am particularly proud of this set of six designs published by Green Pebble in 2013.

Above is a collection of my Seed Head prints plus a couple of other designs inspired by nature. I have also recently produced a range of sea-side inspired prints.  The houses and boats below, are an homage to the Cornish primitive painter, Alfred Wallis.


Drypoint 
I use this technique to produce many of my fine art prints. I use a perspex 'plate' into which I engrave the outline of the image using a special tool. The plate is then inked up and printed in the same way as a collograph.  The ink takes about two days to dry. I then add watercolour to produce the final artwork. The plate can produce about ten impressions. They aren't shown in proportion to each other.  Some are sold but others still available.  Contact me for details of size and price.

Collograph 
I make these by spreading PVA glue thickly all over a piece of mountboard. As the glue dries, I trace the design into it. Once the glue is completely dry, I spread thick black printing ink onto the surface of the plate, ensuring that the ink penetrates into the lines. I then carefully wipe the surface of the plate with tissue paper, just leaving the ink in the lines. The plate is then placed on the printing press and etching paper placed on top. It is then rolled through the press, which transfers the ink onto the paper. Up to 150 prints can be taken from these plates. Watercolour is added by hand once the ink has dried.
There are many other variations to making collograph plates. The cardboard can easily be shaped into something other than a conventional rectangle. You can stick things to the cardboard such as string, sand, seeds, leaves, fabric, sequins etc. or cut away layers to add depth. Instead of PVA on the surface, varnish or shellac can be used to form a tough, non-absorbent layer, to ink up and print. Plates can be printed in relief or with the intaglio method.

Linoprinting
This is a relief method of printmaking which I use for many of my handmade cards. I firstly draw the design onto a piece of lino.  The areas to remain white are gouged out with a special tool. I takes rubbings from the surface of the plate to check how the cutting is progressing before I begin printing.  I use a small roller to apply a thin coat of oil-based ink. I then place the plate on top of the paper which I then roll through the press. I ink up the lino again before each print.  I sometimes add watercolour to the print once the ink is dry. Up to 300 prints can be taken from each plate.
Oil Painting 
I couldn't resist including a few of my oil paintings.

I firstly produce rough sketches and work out colours before starting a painting. Recently I have been doing this
by scanning outlines into the computer and experimenting with different colour combinations before settling on the colour palette for each painting. My paintings are usually quite small and are either on paper or board. My inspiration for imagery derives mainly from local Fen landscapes, Suffolk coastal scenes and imaginary flowers and seed heads. To add texture and definition to some of my paintings I draw into the paint while it is still wet. This is known as scraffito. The paintings take several days to dry.

Sketchbooks 
My sketchbooks are very important to me as they bring back vivid memories of places and are more evocative than a simple photograph. I use a mixture of pen and ink, watercolour, pencil, charcoal and sepia pencil. I wish I had more time for sketching. I also use larger sketchbooks as working documents for my design work.

Summer 2014