Thursday, March 15, 2012

Designer Block

That's what I've got. Its been sooo.... long since I created any new designs. All sorts of excuses for why not...needed to produce lots of standard stock (done!), needed to refurbish my screens (done!), needed to go to a few arty classes for inspiration (just finished a day and half course on improving the creative process) - so there should be no stopping me now.
This latest course provided me with a few interesting (and some new to me) principles and techniques
1. basic composition principles,
2. use of positive and negative space
3. some techniques to engage the right side of the brain e.g.upside down drawing
4. work quickly, produce lots of sketches etc initially, not everything will work and be carried forward
5. have more than one work on the go - so if you get stuck on one you can leave it temporarily and work on something else, and
6. beware of overworking a design
7. use a viewfinder - a cardboard frame like the matt board surrounding a picture - to isolate specific areas as part of working up the design
8. use an overhead projector to blow up images. Many art shops sell this sort of equipment. This is a small one I bought at Eckersleys
9. use a lightbox - I already do that
10. and finally document everything (e.g. in a visual diary) and using a camera to do this. Very easy to forget how you achieved a particular effect

So off I go.....

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More Monoprinting

I've just finished another three hour workshop on monoprinting with Sandra Pearce. My first exposure to this art form was way back in September and I had not followed up and couldn't even find my notes - so thought I had better repeat the experience. The workshop was through the Brisbane City Council Art Bites series which is just so good - and even better, Art Bites activities are free!!

Something must have stuck as I was much more productive this time, producing 8 or 9 small prints. I meant to take photos of the process but forgot my camera so here are a few notes. We used various objects to produce the prints - fresh and dried plant material including some amazing skeleton leaves, paper cutouts or stencils (birds, dragonfly - even more interesting effects if they are made from textured paper), bits of lace, onion bags, string, in fact anything that makes an interesting pattern and is fairly flat.

The inks are oil based etching inks which are quite thick. Ink (lightest colours first) is placed on a glass plate and a small roller completely inked up by rolling over this source plate.

This is then rolled onto the printing plate which in our case was a small piece of plastic (about 12x12cm). Then the various objects were placed on this plate, this preventing ink being printed on the paper (a resist). These objects could be inked as well - in a different colour - to give a different effect. Paper (photocopy paper is fine to practice with) is placed on top of the inked plate and pulled through a roller (which happened to be called Thumper!).We used Asian rice paper (110gsm) and newsprint (50gsm). After this first print, the plant material etc is taken off the printing plate and another piece of paper placed on top and run through Thumper again. This gives what is called the "ghost print".  These initial prints can then have other objects and inks added producing a layered effect. I didn't get that far!
 The bottom prints are ghosts prints of the top prints
My favourite
These are actually thin card tags.
It all can get very messy so gloves are a good idea. Cleanup with vegetable oil and turps.