Continuing to explore soft ground etching as a way to make etchngs with a soft, charcoal-like quality, I'm also exploring layering of images with a process of etching the image, burnishing or scraping it off, then etching the same or another image over the top.
I wrecked this image from the start by putting the first soft ground on unevenly to see what would happen (and by dropping a blob of stopping out varnish on the subject's arm. In trying to get it off, I took off too much ground so now it just looks like a really bad tattoo). It came out more patchy than I thought, which the initial burnishing back and subsequent etching didn't sufficiently remove. Scraping it off is the next stage.
Having decided, in August, to hang up my printmaker's apron to concentrate on painting for the foreseeable, I made an etching this week!
Looking through my drawings from recent life sessions, there were a couple that looked like they might work well as soft ground etchings.
The above is just two states; the first on soft ground drawn through tissue paper and the second, contrast strengthened with a hard ground line etch. The etching solution was practically dead so although the first state on soft ground was in the bath for nearly an hour and a half, it came out fairly light. I mixed up a new batch straightaway though so hopefully the next one will be stronger - and quicker! I was going to tinker further with the image but actually, I decided I quite like the spareness of it and printed up a few in a warm dark brown.
It was so good to be etching again. Hang up my printmaker's apron? Who was I kidding! I am powerless to resist the lure of ink on metal.
Had a good session at the art gallery yesterday. My tutor suggested I use a limited palette of four colours: blue black, white, burnt sienna and yellow ochre. I was a bit sceptical of my ability to do anything useful with just those four colours but actually, I was really pleased with the result. It's not a good photograph - doesnt show the colours as they actually are. I also tried to work from dark to light as I tend to make my paintings very pale to start with. I faff for ages with too subtle a range of tones, then have to wallop in a load of dark tones just before time's up. not a good way to work.
How exciting! I submitted a charcoal drawing to the Art Prof September Art Dare and got an honourable mention! Art Prof sent me a t shirt as a prize, all the way from the US. It was a very bright spot in an otherwise crappy week. Have a look at the video above.
Last Saturday was monthly life drawing day at the art gallery. I tried some tinted charcoal for the first time - very different consistency, very different drawing experience. I like some of the smudgey effects but need to work with it more to bring out contrasts better. Different materials change the way you draw which can be quite interesting.
All in all, not a terribly good day though. Wasn't pleased with anything I did, particularly the painting which is a disappointment. Hoping for a better session in November.
Just started going to a new life drawing session on a Tuesday evening, as well as the monthly workshops at the Art Gallery. I feel lucky to have been able to join the Tuesday evening session as it's a group of experienced artists from whom I'm hoping to learn lots. It's good to be back to weekly life drawing as I realised recently that my drawing skills have gone down hill somewhat since the Hamble class folded and I've been concentrating on painting. It was my second week at the Tuesday group and a better week drawing-wise. My drawings from the first session last week were shocking. It's amazing how quickly you get out of practice
week, I had the pleasure of spending the whole of Monday and Tuesday at
the art gallery life drawing and painting. Two figure studies in oils
in two day - what luxury! Drawings on day two were ropey so shan't post
those but the afternoon painting wasn't too bad. I'm improving I think.
Just got to keep practising.
As I said in a previous post, no headspace or energy for etching at the moment so I've mothballed PB temporarily. This image is probably about three quarters done but will go into suspended animation for the foreseeable. PB will be back though... he has many stories left to tell. It's a bit of a relief to have made the decision actually. I realise I put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to etching and the images I make. Painting is a lot more relaxing.