Thursday, 29 January 2015

Printing Collagraph Ponies!

After Christmas we decided to go for a wintery walk to work off all that food and in our local nature reserve there is a herd of Exmoor ponies running wild. Sometimes you can spot them but as it is such a big place you can very often miss them. This time we were so lucky to just walk into them grazing and I managed to get quite a few photos which of course I had to use in my artwork!

I decided to work on a new pony collagraph print: Collagraph Print - created from a card plate made by adding glue, paint, enamel, collaged elements etc. This creates textures which hold the ink in varying degrees and is then printed through the intaglio process. 

This is the very start of  the process a piece of spare mount board which I have drawn the rough image onto and am starting to work into with paint.

 A few days later and the printing plate is ready to print! I love working with card as it is so easy to cut out and shape especially for my animal prints.

Heres where it starts to get messy! This is my dining room table with all my inks and my etching printing press layed out. I decided to use a sepia coloured etching ink and I am starting ro rub the ink into the printing plate to cover every part of it.
I then have to take the ink back off the printing plate usually with newspaper and tissue paper. You can see I do get very inky!
The inked up printing plate ready to be printed. The ink has been retained in the rougher areas of the printing plate and where you can see white the plate is a lot smoother so won't hold the ink.
On my etching press ready for some dampened paper to go on top and then the blanket and then the whole lot put through the press. The weight of the roller will force the ink into the paper, leaving it slightly embossed.
Hot off the press-the moment when all is revieled!
The printing plate on the right and the finished print comparison. Note the print is reversed so you always have to remember to work backwards!
A few pony prints drying on my spare room bed!
Heres the finished pony collagraph print. I should be printing it in a few different colours soon too!
Sepia Pony Collagraph Print
Clare xx

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Cat in a Hat Painting

How to turn a photo of my cat Morpheus into a finished painting! 

Its been a while since I've done a cat in hat acrylic painting so heres a little step by step behind the scenes on how I create my paintings.

After a bit of photo manipulating in Photoshop I was ready to start! I hate working on a white canvas so always paint over the white first, for my cats in hats paintings red is usually my favourite colour to use for the background as it is a good contrast for the black cat. You can just see a very rough sketch on the canvas.

 The first layer of paint. I usually start with the white and then work my way over the rest of the painting blocking in all the basic colours and covering the canvas.

A few more layers and some details are starting to emerge,

A bit more white added to the fur and to give it a bit of texture. I never worry about brush marks as I like to see them in the finished painting. Also a bit more detail in the goggles and top hat. The top hat is painted prussian blue to stand out from the black of the cat and also as I love using prussian blue!

Again more details.

Almost finished. A few highlights picked out and of course the whiskers!

My very gunky takeaway paint tray palette which keeps my paint wet and my lovely new paintbrushes which I got for Christmas!

Topper Kitty
The finished acrylic painting!

A Few Other Cats in Hats Paintings!

Clare xx

Friday, 9 January 2015

My Studio Space!

I've decided to try and write a few more Blogs this year so this will be the first of many (hopefully!)

I thought I would introduce you all to my "studio" space or spare bedroom/dining room table! This is where all the magic happens!

This is or was my dining room table! My etching press lives on here most of the time and I always have the company of a Dalek or two while I am printing! Normally the cat tries to help too so he often has inky feet!

This my desk in the spare room. Its actually an ingenious design from Ikea and when all the drawers are away it just looks like a normal piece of bedroom furniture but when the big fake top drawer is opened it makes a desk, perfect for painting cats on!

One of my recent oil paintings just waiting for him to dry.

Lots and lots of pencils and paintbrushes ready for action. Totoro and Morph often help out too! The boxes in the background are where all my greeting cards live ready to be posted out.

 A few of my cat (and a sneaky parrot) paintings waiting for new homes. The easiest place to store them is on the walls so they don't get damaged and friends that come and stay always say that sleeping in the spare room is like sleeping in an art gallery!

Clare xx