Monthly Archives: January 2013

Assignment 1 – Monoprints

Assignment 1 asks for a selection of prints from projects 1-4.

Contents of my submission

    1. Printing0003Early experimental prints
    2. Printing0005Early experimental prints
    3. Printing0009Still Life print
    4. Printing0017Painted plate – ‘Virabhabrasana I’
    5. Printing0023Flower
    6. Printing0037Positive mask – ‘Big Brother’
    7. Printing0043Negative mask – ‘Scribble car’
    8. 2 colour car 2Positive and negative masks – ‘Scribble car II’
    9. 3 colour monoPositive and negative masks – ‘Journey I’
    10. Backdrawing 2Back drawing – ‘Underground/Overground’
    11. Textured bird 2Textured plate & mask – ‘In flight’
    12. Back Drawing3Back drawn still life – ‘The print workshop’
    13. Birds2b‘CommonTern’
    14. Still Life2‘Still Life’
    15. Scene2‘A rainy day in the Dales’
    16. Map4‘Baras’

Assessment criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I certainly feel that my technical and visual skills are improving through this course and I hope my prints show this development. I need to keep reminding myself to reverse the image before printing as this affects the composition (for example the back drawn bird in ‘Common Tern’ should really be flying left to right across the print).

Quality of outcome

As I am still learning and experimenting, the quality of outcome isn’t as high as I hope to achieve in the future. I used cheap printer paper for a lot of my early prints, but seeing the difference in the higher quality paper used later in the course I will use this for assignment submissions in the future. I need to improve my technique for rubbing the print (particularly when using blue ink) to avoid seeing the spoon marks where these as not required (for example on the background of ‘Common Tern’). I will also mount future work when submitting it for assessment. I didn’t do this for this assignment due to lack of time and also through not leaving sufficient space around the edge of a number of my prints. I think my conceptualisation of thoughts and communication of ideas are strong though, and will improve as I develop the skills to translate my ideas into successful prints.

Demonstration of creativity

I hope this is demonstrated well. I am certainly pleased with the prints I have managed to produce, especially in project 4 where there was a wide scope to produce whatever inspired me.


Unfortunately my sketchbook and learning log is weak on this point. Whilst going through this course I didn’t really know what to do in terms of what was to go in the sketchbook and what would need to be kept aside for the assignment submission. Because of this, the sketchbook was produced after the event, rather than completing as the course progressed in the way I have done for my drawing course. It is also difficult as the prints need to dry before making notes on them or sticking them in a sketchbook. I made notes on my early experimental prints, but not on the later ones. However, now that I know more what I am doing and how the course is structured, I will keep the sketchbook going as I work through the rest of the course, so this weakness will improve. It will also include gallery visits / etc. which are absent in this sketchbook.

Tutor Feedback

The key areas to focus on from my tutor feedback on this assignment are evidence of looking at other Artists works that are of interest to me, exhibitions I have seen, books I have read and adding this to the web blog. Also, the use of a separate sketchbook purely for my ideas is advised.

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Project 4 – Textured and combination monoprints

1) Birds

Techniques: Masks + Back drawing

Inks: Linoprint water based

Paper: Somerset, Newsprint 250 gsm

I wanted to emulate a print seen in “Printmaking handbook: Monoprinting”, by Jackie Newell & Dec Whittington called ‘Feathers’, by Ann Bridges. This was a brightly coloured print of many different feathers on a blue background. I’d also seen ‘rainbow rolling’ in the book “Printmaking handbook: Relief printing”, by Ann Westley, which involved rolling two colours at either end of the roller so that the colour combined in the middle. With these two in mind, I chose a bird image to produce my background print.

I cut out bird shapes from some printable acetate (a slight mistake as a printing medium as although the plastic side worked on my second attempt, the side designed for printing on is effectively a layer of glue which obviously didn’t work very well!).

I then ‘rainbow rolled’ yellow to red with linoprint water based inks and placed the masks on top and printed (these prints were for pressing the ink onto the masks, not for use, although the results were very good and would make a good basis for another print).


The plastic masks were then peeled off, turned ink side up, and placed on a plain blue rolled plate and printed.


The print was finished off by back drawing the same bird (a common tern) in a different flying pose on top of the background print.


2) Still Life

Techniques: Drawing on the plate + masks + back drawing

Inks: Linoprint water based

Paper: Cartridge

I ‘rainbow rolled’ a green-blue plate and drew a still life sketch (the area in front of my printing plate) into the printing plate before printing.

I then cut a mask of five flowers which I printed on top of this in three colours, yellow, orange and red.

Still Life1

Holding the print over a light-box I then sketched in the location of the flower stems so that I could back draw these in green to complete the print.

Still Life2

3) Landscape in the rain

Techniques: Painted plate + turps on oil

Inks: Acrylic paints + oil ink

Paper: Zerkall 100hpw white smooth

When I did the turps on oil print for project 3 I thought this could be used to represent rain on a window, so I decided to try to use this to produce a print looking through a rain splashed window to a landscape.

I started out sketching an imaginary ‘Dales’ landscape onto A3 paper to place under the printing plate.

I covered the plate in acrylic medium, painted the landscape onto the plate, then printed it.


I then mixed a transparent light blue oil ink, rolled this onto the plate and sprinkled turps onto it to get the raindrop effect.


4) Map of ‘Baras’

Techniques: Textured plate + back drawing + mask

Inks: linoprint water based ink + oil ink + oil paint

Paper: Cartridge

‘Baras’ (or ‘Bare House’) is an old farm building up on Yarnbury Moor above Grassington. I have walked past this building many times and it used to have a rusty water tank outside (sadly now gone), which was riveted together and rusted completely through in many parts. The idea of this print was to show a piece of this rusty tank, on top of a map of the area.

The starting point was to produce a textured green background to depict the fields around the building. This was done using scrunched up tissue paper flattened and rolled on a green water based ink plate. I printed from both the plate and the inked up tissue paper, the latter giving the nicest print.


I then sketched the wall and building details on the back of the print from a map of the area and back drew these in black water based inks.


I then tried to add the rusty metal to the print by painting it onto the plate using acrylic paints. This looked terrible once printed though, so it was fortunate that I tried it on a test print, as it looked like a dirty splotch on the print.


It was then time to rethink so I decided that I would use a mask and some oil based inks instead. The brown I mixed up was darker than intended (on the test print) but mixing white to it resulted in a sludgy grey so I risked a second print from the plate, the speckled effect from which actually worked well for the effect I was hoping to achieve.

I then needed to add a lighter colour to the print to show the detail of the rivets and joining plate. I tried this first using a new mask and yellow ink, however this didn’t show up at all against the dark brown background.

So I resorted to adding the detail using oil paint.


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