Friday 10 January 2014

Steampunk Penguin

  A little artwork project I have been working on after Christmas is dressing up animals in steampunk inspired clothes! This penguin has been in my head for a long time so it was great to find the time to finally get him out of there! 

Originally he was only going to have a hat but I couldn't resist adding a smart waistcoat and cravat.
Steampunk Penguin Acrylic Painting
 Of course I couldn't resist making him into a collagraph print (printmaking process using a card printing plate with various textures added) and he just had to have a nice coloured waistcoat and cravat. It can get quite complicated doing more than one colour in printmaking and one thing I'm not good at is registering printing plates which you have to do when printing each colour on a seperate printing plate, I just don't think I have the patience. I decided when I was designing this collagraph printing plate to keep in mind I that wanted to print all the colours in one go which if I was not careful could all end up a very muddy mess!
Printing plate
Heres the printing plate ready to print. The blue is just textured acrylic paint, if you look very closely there are some cogs embedded in the paint so these will print very subtly in the background.

 This is the first colour, a kind of blue black metallic colour which was applied all over the printing plate and then wiped off again to just leave the colour in the indentations/roughest part of the plate. (Apologies for the messy background, I always think you have must have had a very good printing session when you find you have to wipe ink off door handles, lightswitches and your face!)

 The next step I added an acetate stencil shape of the penguin to mask this out while I applied the blue background a la poupee (French for the doll), basically applying a different colour to the printing plate with a small pad of fabric rolled up tightly so that the ink stays on the surface of the plate and the black background ink still shows through.

The penguin stencil was then removed and another stencil applied which covers all the background and  only the waistcoat is then showing. I applied red ink a la poupee.
 This stencil was removed and another applied with only the cravat showing. Purple ink was applied.

Heres a close up of the finished printing plate all ready to go onto the press to be printed!

Steampunk Penguin Collagraph Print
 And the finished very dapper penguin resplendent in his red waistcoat and purple cravat!

Clare xx


  1. What a cutie! Btw, I'm stopping by from the Etsy Blog Team. ^.^

  2. Thanks for sharing your process.Clare.

  3. Very interesting Clare, thanks for sharing

  4. Wow, that was amazing! I never knew so much work went into collagraph printing. Thanks for showing the process!!

  5. Thank you for all your lovely comments!

  6. It's fascinating to see how you created this, I love seeing how such works are made, especially when they're beyond me ;)
    Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Love your penguin Clare and great to see all the stages involved