"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.




Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Blencathra from Castlerigg Stone Circle

Finally finished and editioned the Blencathra mezzotint. Just in time to get it mounted and framed ready for Printfest in Ulverston on 5th and 6th May.


Blencathra from Castlerigg
200mm x 300mm
Mezzotint
Edition of 20

I have been working on this print on and off since last October and finally finished the platework and printed the edition over the last couple of days. I thought it would be interesting to know just how long it would take so I kept an accurate record of just how much time I spent working on it.

Grounding the plate with 24 passes of the rocker took 30 hours
Preliminary drawing took 3.5 hours
Drawing the design on the plate took 2.75 hours
Engraving the design on the plate took a further 160.5 hours, this time including printing a number of impressions at various stages to check progress on the platework.

Finally printing 23 impressions for the edition took 13.5 hours.

A total time of 210.25 hours, something of a surprise as the general impression that I had was that I'd spent a lot longer on it. This time was spread out over 6 months so I wasn't working continuously on just this one print. To put this in context, assuming a standard working week of 40 hours this would have taken a little over 5 weeks of continuous work.

Monday, 2 April 2018

So much for an Easter Break

Spent all weekend working on the mezzotint plate, printed two impressions and finally the end is in sight. Just a little bit of burnishing needed on the clouds to bring out the highlights and smooth out some of the abrupt tonal transitions and it will be ready to edition.


Monday, 19 March 2018

Hen Harrier - Drypoint



Hen Harrier
Drypoint
67mm x 110mm

A quick little drypoint study of the most persecuted bird in Britain. The plate was made from a piece of clear plastic which I placed over my original pen sketch and scratched through with a drypoint needle.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Some Wildlife - for a change.


Murmuration
15 colour Reduction linocut printed in 9 stages.
190mm x 170mm.
Edition of 9

I've been working on a mezzotint plate for the best part of the last three months, which is still a long way from being ready to print an edition from. So it felt good to spend two weeks making this little linocut and finally getting something completed on paper.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Castlerigg - 2

Got up early this morning and printed two impressions from the plate to get an idea of how much more work is needed.



The plate, inked, wiped and positioned on the bed of the press.



1st Impression



2nd Impression

Overall pretty much what I was expecting, still quite a lot of the plate needs to be lightened. The whole sky area needs brightening up especially the clouds above the top of the fell. The wisps of mist sweeping off the summit need to be blended back into the clouds. Although I want to keep the area in the top left quite dark to act as a foil to balance the dark line of spruce trees in the lower right. The two foreground rocks need more work to bring out the texture in the stone and I haven't yet decided what to do with the dark shadow areas running across the foreground.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Folksy Shop

I have added three new prints to my on-line shop, 2 mezzotints and a new linocut.


Gathering Storm, Linocut. £200.00. Sold Unframed.


Badger, Mezzotint. £50.00. Sold Unframed.


Blea Gill Waterfall - Nocturne. £100.00. Sold unframed.

My on-line shop can be found here

Monday, 1 January 2018

Castlerigg Mezzotint - The Begining.

The start of a new mezzotint print. From the original water colour sketch I made a tonal pencil study  which I then scanned and printed off in reverse ready for transferring to the plate. The plate had been rocked with an 84 gauge Lyons rocker in 24 directions with a 50% overlap, about 36 hours work in total. At 200mm x 300mm this is the largest mezzotint I've attempted so far.

The location for the study is the Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake District looking north towards Blencathra.


The original watercolour sketch


Tonal study in pencil and ink wash


The study scanned and printed in reverse


Transferred on to the copper plate


Starting the plate work.