Exercise 3.4

Adding paint makes a huge difference. Using quite dry brush strokes I’ve found makes the paint look more consistent with the rest of the paint. Here, the chin and neck came out far too dark so I add some light paint.

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Adding paint to the second made a huge difference – meaning the eyes, mouth and tones have more definition. Losing the white border around the face makes the image look more real. The black paper image is the second print off the plate and I didn’t retouch it, as I quite like the negative quality of it.

The last picture is from my medical journal, and while it’s of a model, she reminds me of a case I looked after who sadly had cancer.

Again it is a hot day and the sansodor oil mix is drying quickly. I retouched small parts for the second picture and was fairly happy with the expression. Her hand might need some further definition, but I wasn’t sure how much more to do so always think it’s best to leave it there! I’ve become OK at removing paint off the plate with a sansodor soaked rag to leave a neat edge.

I decided to try the reductive technique on the image that I saw at the Maggi Hambling exhibition last weekend, and also the interesting monochrome marks that William Kentridge uses. I used a thickish layer of black paint and tried removal with lollipop sticks, a rag and hands with a little sansodor.

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This was what the plate looked like, but the print came off looking quite thin and light. I was covered in black paint and forgot to take a photo of it. I took two prints and worked into them with some thin black paint on a rag.

I was quite pleased with both of these, as they are complete experiments. Rubbing the oil paint left some interesting marks on both and I tried to stop before filling in the whole portrait, which is what I wanted to do! I was trying to leave something to the imagination.

What went well?

I think I’m getting the hang of the consistency of paint for oil printing monoprints and some confidence with the technique. Strong shapes are needed to paint quickly.Experimentation is giving me some good ideas for the assignment, particularly from looking at the reductive methods of Degas and Hambling discussed on the gallery visit.

A big change from this course I’ve noticed, is that I’m constantly looking for images to inspire me, and also that I’m looking far more at contemporary artists than ever before.

What could be improved?

I’ve been concentrating on one technique but have ordered some water based printing inks, and am thinking about Sakura oil printing colour that has been recommended. I need to experiment with other mediums and plates too. I’ve been using flexi silicone so far [Gelli plate] but have ordered some cheap plexi glass which I won’t mind ruining if say, acrylic ink dries permanently to it!

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