The litho plate with plankton that I created the other day worked extremely well and was easy to do , I opted for a moss green and brown mix that would compliment the other. The print below is after putting it through the press twice but in alternate directions and in different colours.
As I progress through University what continues to surprise me is how much inspires me to create. At the start of this semester I had no idea what I wanted to do in the printmaking module or what I wanted to focus it on , however there were two instrumental things that helped that. The first was a visit to the beach, obviously this is the sea, rock-pools, the sand and all the creatures that live in it.
A washed up fish, which I suspect was some kind of bottom dweller, was decomposing on the shoreline among the seaweed, although a slight bit stinky, the bone structure and remaining texture was really fascinating and I remember thinking at the time how it would make a interesting drawing.
The second part that really convinced me as to what I should do in printing was a visit to the local shops. After seeing the texture and contemplating using that as a starting point, when passing through the isle doing my daily shopping, the fish counter caught my eye, there were some fillets with the reflective scales facing upwards, the striped still glistening wet surface of the mussel shell and the shrimp and prawns with their nearly translucent but rigid exoskeleton, all of these established the sea creature theme that I have been working on. What I learnt from this semester most of all is that inspiration is all around us, we just have to let ourselves think and mull things over, time to consider what we have seen will eventually nourish that tiny seed of thought into a plant and that in itself will turn into fruitful rewards for us as artists either through the experience of creating artwork or the process of it.
My first time using litho plates. Splashed a bit of toner onto the plate let it dry, baked it in the oven for 3-4 minutes and then drew onto the plate with lithograph ink using the toner as a guide for the plankton drawings. This will be etched and then printed sometime in the near ish future.
Using the previous idea of looking at shapes that were either created by the lithograph materials or that could be within the materials, I focused on using toner and tusche wash, pooling them onto the surface of the stone and letting them dry I created the base for the piece.
Looking at the pattern that was created it reminded me of seaweed and coral, instead of outlining the patterns and making them into these plants I thought that a crustacean that lives in this environment would be more effective !With a shrimp in mind I set out , drawing the creature, instead of creating a dark body for the animal I left it relatively transparent with the washes underneath still visible, this adhered to the shrimps actual features as well. The below image is a photograph of the piece before the final touches were added to the creature and background.
Once completed the stone received its first etch, due to the toner not being cured as it should have been, some of the colours has been removed, in an attempt to darken the piece it has been left for a couple of weeks. After it has been printed as it is I think that I may go back and counter etch it and add some more contrast to the background.Keep an eye out for the finished piece! Any comments are welcomed!
Sea Urchins. This was the creature that I had set my sights on for my next lithograph. Although I could have decided to depict the urchin with spines, the bare dried shell interested me more as I thought it could translate to the materials of the lithograph much more effectively.After using toner, tusche washes and some lithographic ink I scraped back into the piece to create a interesting background that was more intricate and decorative than the actual urchin, this was to create a contrasting scene with the simplistic shell. It was only after I had finished it all that the lecturer reminded me that the toner needed to be set onto the limestone surface. Luckily all was not lost and I was able to cure it with some lighter fluid that was poured over it, as to how it cures it I am not sure and my lecturer didn’t seem to be too certain either! This stone now has its first etch on and is nearly ready to be printed!
After seeing the result of the first attempt at the jellyfish I couldn’t not go back and alter it in an attempt to make it presentable ! I outlined the tendrils and some of the lines on the main body of the jellyfish, very simple additions but it made a huge difference! Here is the stone with its first etch on, nearly ready to be printed!
Using the basis of the monochromatic materials that can be used on lithographs such as tusche, toner and other grease based items, I decided upon combining that and a sea creature theme; consequently a jellyfish popped up in my mind. With a black background it would be easier to emphasise the transparent body of the creature, washes could be used to show any shadows and the inner structure of it. This was one of the first lithographs I have done and the first that tusche was primarily used. The end result on the stone looked good but as my lecturer has said, it can all change depending on the way it is etched and print. And boy, it changed alright! The background with the delicate reticulations disappeared and became a mixture of areas of dark dark grey to solid black. The areas of light tusche wash on the jellyfish completely vanished and it appeared very flat.