"The artist...is also a born adventurer. His explorations, unlike those of a tourist, are rewarded by the discovery of beauty spots unmentioned in the guide books, and with tireless curiosity and an exceptional proneness to wonderment, he will come upon objects of remarkable interest overlooked or even shunned by more disciplined observers."

Augustus John, R.A.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

New Work

Had quite a productive couple of days. With the first of this years art fairs coming up at the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield in two weeks time I need to get some new work done.

First of all I've got a couple of colours down on a new Linocut.

 Block cut and inked for the first colour. There has been quite a bit of carving done already as this print will have a lot of white areas in it.

 First colour printed.

 After a bit of cutting, block inked for the second colour

I could have printed this colour first and then printed the grey. But the next colour is going to be a pale green and that will look much more vibrant on top of the yellow than it would on the grey. Well that's the theory anyway. It should start to make more sense after the next two colours are printed.

After dithering around trying to decide if the mezzotint that I have been scratching and scraping at for the last couple of months was finished. I finally made the decision and printed the edition. I'm still feeling my way around doing mezzotints, this is only my third attempt at one and it's taken a bit of experimenting to get the pressure right on the press and to wipe the plate properly. There is a very fine line between getting it right and wiping too ink much from the plate. But after 7 hours of,  it has to be said, pretty monotonous inking, wiping and printing I now have an edition of 20 prints laid out and drying off nicely.

Time for a beer!

Sunday, 1 March 2015


Yesterday I delivered some prints to the By Hand Gallery Shop at Salford Art Gallery. Today has been mostly spent printing this edition of 20 Drypoint prints. Once they are dry I'll scan one and post a better picture.

144mm x 210mm
Edition of 20
Printed on 250gsm Somerset Satin.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


I gave a talk and demonstration yesterday evening to the members of Doncaster Art Club. As part of the demonstration I carved and printed this simple 2 stage reduction print. I'm not the most confident of public speakers, I find talking and demonstrating much more intimidating than leading a workshop. Anyway I think I got away with it without sounding too incompetent.

After making the print above and to demonstrate that the process is the same if you are printing two colours or ten I showed the following sequence of prints, that in the best Blue Peter tradition I had prepared earlier.

Colour 1

Colour 2. A dark to light blue blend.

Colour 2 overprinted on colour 1.

Colour 3 printed on its own.

and overprinted on top of the previous colours.

Colour 4. Looks quite pale

but darkens up when printed over the previous colours.

Colour 5, on its own

and overprinted

Colour 6

looks a bit garish when overprinted, but the next colour should knock it back a bit.

Colour 7

colour 7 overprinted all the previous colours.

and the final dark. At this stage the block has much more detail on it than my usual work. I wouldn't normally use such a heavy keyline around everything and I don't put a border around my prints, but I was printing this as the final part of the demonstration and I needed it to look like I had actually done something when I pulled the print from the block.

the finished print.

Sunday, 15 February 2015


Its about time we had some wildlife back on this blog, so here is a 3rd stage proof from the current Mezzotint I'm working on.

After 10 hours rocking the plate and around another 7 scratching, scraping and burnishing, I think I've fiddled around with this plate enough now. I just need to wait for delivery of a batch of Somerset paper, which should be arriving in the morning and then I can print the edition.

Whilst I had the inks out I ran a proof off from a drypoint plate that I also have on the go.

Another one more or less ready to edition.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Ynys Lochtyn

Ynys Lochtyn
10 colour reduction linocut
275mm x 173mm
Edition of 8.

With the addition of a couple of more colours, a dark grey and the final dark blue grey I finally finished this print.

Prints are available to purchase on my Folksy shop by following the link to the right.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Slow start.

After what seems like an age since my last post, almost a full month. It's time for a catch up with the latest linocut on the bench.

Colour 1. A pale blue grey. At this stage it's hard to judge if I've gone too pale. Hopefully not.

Colour 2. A darker warmer grey.

Colour 3. The first pale green.

Colour 4. A second darker grey.

Colour 5. The first blue. A turquoise to ultramarine blend.

Colour 6. The second darker green.

Colour 7. A second darker blue.

Two further colours should see this print finished. In between working on this I have also been preparing another Mezzotint plate and managed to draw out and print a Drypoint.

Cliffs near Llangrannog.
150mm x 200mm
Edition of 10.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Intaglio Printing

Way back in mid summer I posted a couple of images of a proof of a Mezzotint that I had been working on. Since then things had gone a bit quite on this topic, not because I had given up on it and sold the plate off for scrap. But not having anything to print it on I had worked the plate as far as I could and then put it to one side. However, having treated myself this Christmas to a small Hawthorn etching press I've spent the last few days playing around with it.

As I haven't done any intaglio printing since I was at college (around 30 years ago), and I haven't had any experience of working on a mezzotint at all. I started off with a quick drypoint to get used to the press and to try and remember how to ink and wipe a plate (You Tube came in handy for this).

Bamburgh Castle from the breakwater at Seahouses.
152mm x 203mm

It took a bit of experimenting to get the pressure right and my inking technique was a bit rusty but after a while I got the hang of it so then I inked up the Mezzotint.

Now there is a lot that is not right with this, but as a first go at a technique that I had never done before I wasn't expecting to end up with a saleable print. It is however a better print than my first reduction linocut was. I have overworked a few areas on the wall and the hillside on the right. The pressure was a bit light and parts of the foreground are a bit vague with no definition. On the positive side the black areas are ok which means that I must have rocked the plate correctly in the first place - I wasn't sure that I had done that well enough and there is a feeling of depth to the print which I was trying to get. As a trial print I was satisfied with the outcome so I inked up a second plate that I had worked on.

This first proof came out much better than I expected. The pressure on the press again was too light and the plate needed more work on it so 5 more proofs later and I ended up with something like I had intended.

This is Spurn Point Lighthouse at the mouth of the Humber.

Just need to print the edition now.

Happy New Year.