Saturday, 11 February 2017

Painting a Steampunk Cat

Titfer Kitty Acrylic Painting on Canvas
I love painting my Cats in Hats acrylic paintings and they have proved very, very popular! I thought I'd show you behind the scenes of one of my most recent acrylic paintings "Titfer Kitty".

 Here is the model for this painting posing with his best friend my next door neighbour's black and white cat Billy! They are always together and follow each other everywhere. I don't know his name yet as I'm still trying to work out where he lives but he is always in my garden searching for Billy to come out and play with him and I couldn't resist painting him as he is quite scruffy but still has a lovely face.

I decided to take one of my many photos of him and messed about with him on Photoshop putting various hats on him until I decided he just looked so right in a very dapper top hat and goggles!


I hate working on a white canvas so always try to get rid of the white as soon as I can. I thought he would work well on a red background. Here it is on my easel with a very rough pencil drawing to work from.


The next step I block in as much of the image as I can, keeping it very simple. He has a very cute smile here!


A few more layers and details added and he is starting to come together. A bit more work on the hat and goggles and then always the final touch of adding the whiskers!


The finished painting. The painting is resting on our barbecue as I find it has an interesting background for these paintings and I always try to take the photos in lots of natural light for the best effect.

 He also now features on a greeting card and should be in my new calendar that I produce every year around September time.
Titfer Kitty Greeting Card


Steampunk Animal Calendar
And will be added to the hall of fame of my many other Cats in Hats paintings!


Clare xx

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Purple Hippo Collagraph Prints

Earlier this year we went on holiday to Orlando, Florida and visited Busch Gardens Zoo. I spent a very enjoyable time watching a very cute hippo and managed to fill my camera's memory card with all the videos and photos I took! Here's me posing in front of the hippo!
 
 
 
 
I decided I just had to produce some artwork based on the photos of the hippo and did a quick watercolour of him:
 
"Hippo Float" Watercolour and Ink Painting.
 And couldn't resist putting him into a top hat and goggles:
"Steampunk Hippo" Acrylic Painting.
I took lots of photos of the hippo swimming and he looked so content and happy in this one I just had to make this one into a collagraph print and decided on making some tiny prints only 10 x 10cm:

 
This is the collagraph printing plate just being covered in prussian blue ink. (The image is reversed on the printing plate).
 
The printing plate fully wiped and ready to go into the printing press.


The finished print just off the press!


I loved this one so much that I decided I must do a couple more prints of the hippo swimming. Here's three of the printing plates inked up and ready to be printed.


And the finished collagraph prints with a touch of purple watercolour paint added to bring out the hippos.

"Hippo Swim 1" Limited Edition Collagraph Print
 
"Hippo Swim 2" Limited Edition Collagraph Print
 
"Hippo Swim 3" Limited Edition Collagraph Print
 They look really good framed too!


I love these so much I might have to do a few more collagraph prints of hippos very soon!

Clare xx

 


 
 


Monday, 28 March 2016

Purple Steampunk Elephants!

Steampunk Elephant Collagraph Print
 
Today I decided to have a look at some of my older collagraph printing plates and do a bit of experimentation with them in different colourways. I really like my Steampunk Elephant printing plate with its cogs etc as it was great fun to design and make. I only ever printed it in a gunmetal grey so wondered what it would look like in my favourite printing ink purple!
 
Here is the printing plate just starting to be covered in a lovely rich purple ink!
 
 

The printing plate all covered in purpleness and being wiped to uncover the elephant beneath!
 
 
 On the etching press ready for the exciting part the printing!
 
Hot off the press - a Purple Steampunk Elephant!
 
 
Here is a sneaky peak at what is going on in the background when I am printing! My printing press is on the dining room table and even when Morpheus the cat is no where to be seen as soon as I start printing he appears to supervise and today to make a nest in my tissue paper!

 I think he liked the print although he was a bit upset I wasn't immortalising him in print like I usually do!
The finished Steampunk Elephant collagraph print looking good in purple!
 
 
Clare xx
 

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Printing a Steampunk Cat

Steampunk Cat Tote Bags
My Steampunk Cat tote bags have proved to be one of my most popular designs ever and I'd almost sold out of them so I thought I'd better get busy printing a few more this weekend! I took a few photos of the process too so that you can see how and where they are printed, the model himself was too tired to pose for any photos though and was fast asleep in his radiator bed!

This is the printing plate made from a piece of lino so that anything carved away will stay white and anything left will print black or in this case raw umber.

My ink rolled out and ready to go! I use the Caligo safewash inks as they are very good on fabric and really easy to clean away with soap and water.

My first mini tote bag hot off the printing press! The linocut printing plate is placed on the press on some waste paper and the bag is placed on top of this. The blanket covers everything and I roll the whole lot through the etching press on a light setting so that nothing moves.
A turquoise blue bag coming off the press.
And a red one!

Here's a comparison of the printing plate with the finished print on the bag. Note the image is always reversed.
This is one of the larger tote bags coming off the press. These are slightly more difficult to print as they are bigger than the actual printing press so have to folded very carefully so they don't get trapped under the rollers!

And this is where all the magic happens - the corner of my dining room table! Complete with Dalek cookie jar, bottles of wine etc!
A few of the finished tote bags all drying on my improvised drying rack otherwise known as my spare room bed!
 
A very fun afternoon of printing a Steampunk Cat!

Clare xx

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Printing a Tiger!

Tiger Tiger - Oil Painting
Just after the New Year I was feeling very sorry for myself, full of cold and didn't know what to do for my next project when one of my oil paintings from last year caught my eye. Tiger Tiger was something I painted to play around with my oil paints so was very loose and fun, I wondered if I would be able to produce a collagraph print of this image keeping some of that loose element.



Here's my collagraph printing plate made from a piece of mountboard with textures added, I wanted the image to be quite loose and painterley to keep the essence of the painting.

 The plate about to be inked in  a very tiny space cleared on my dining room table!


The inking messyness begins! I use the Caligo Safewash etching inks as I like to be able to clean everything up with water afterwards and no smelly turps!

 The printing plate completely covered in ink and just starting to wipe the ink off again to reveal the tiger.

The printing plate is all wiped and ready to print but I wanted to add a touch of colour. The areas where I don't want the colour to be are masked off. This is done with clear plastic which sadly you can't see very well in the photo. I then add the ink "a la poupee" - basically with a tightly scrunched up piece of cloth dabbed onto the plate in certain areas.


This is my very technical water soaking area - usually known as my bath!


And my paper blotting area - the bathroom floor and a towel!






The moment of truth after the dampened paper and printing plate is put through the printing press, always an exciting and tense moment!


The finished Tiger print, not 100% happy with it but I will live with it for a few days and then decide if any changes need to be made.


Clare xx