Saturday, 14 March 2009

Sketch, print, draw... and repeat...

I've been moving between drawing and printmaking back and forth rather frequently since I first sketched the pond reflections. While I find it difficult to prepare linocuts meticulously, I nonetheless find moving between different media is helping me clarify composition, marks and value.

It is something that always intrigued me since I saw Otto Mueller's and other members of the Bruecke's woodcuts done on site in 1910s Dresden - the angular shapes of his, Schmidt-Rotluff and other's figures fascinated me, and once I had realised that part of their painting form was so strongly influenced by their woodcutting practice, I was curious to examine more closely how one medium's specific qualities and limitations can inform another medium and vice versa.

A page from my printmaking notebook.

I was compiling the material for the printmaking course I'm doing, and realised that I had done precisely that - not with nudes on the lakes in the surroundings of Dresden, but with the two scenes of pond reflections.

Pond reflections in colour
Pond reflections in Colour,
Soft pastel on Arches paper, 58x39cm

While the linocuts were done soon after the original plein air sketches [see my earlier post on one of them here], I then went back to delve a bit more into Wolf Kahn's Colorist palette and work with pastel, my favourite medium, in a different way: to draw rather than paint with the pastel sticks and to work on white paper (both things I had 'left behind' rather quickly when I stumbled into working with soft pastels).

Trees on Water, Monotype 2
Trees on Water, Monotype 2
20x15cm, Tosa Shi paper

From these pastel drawings I went back to printmaking - not relief cuts this time but monotypes in colour and monochrome. In colour first, using some of Kahn's favourite hues (notably cadmiums and ultramarine), and then to try monochromatic prints with a lot of wiping away, adding again,... to develop the composition further and see what abstractions it may yield.

Trees on Water, Monotype 4
Trees on Water, Monotype 4
20x15 cm, Tosa Shi paper

I am now going back to the next relief print - it's a different scene: there's no water in there, unfortunately, but have a look here for the first round of sketches and monotypes.

If you want to read up on my exploration of Kahn's palette and drawing marks: this tag assembles my blog's posts on Kahn.


Laura Frankstone said...

I really enjoyed seeing your sketchbook page and your variations, in different mediums, on a theme.

Jeanette Jobson said...

Its wonderful to see how much you've explored this through print and pastel.

I'm enjoying reading about your discoveries and experiments. The prints and the colour pieces have a lot of appeal.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to see how interconnected everything is. The print leads to the pastel, leads to the print, leads to the...
And I still think the colours are stunning.

vivien said...

it's great to explore like this isn't it? and that page from your sketchbook is lovely

Anonymous said...

Wow, you've really dug into experimenting and exploring! It's great! I loved seeing your sketchbook pages and reading your pattern of thoughts. Nice work!

Gesa said...

Thanks everyone, and yes, Jeanette: very much ditto as with your fish prints - there's a lot in there for exploration too; I'm usually hesitant as to people and animals (the latter even more so) but I very much enjoy to see what others can do with them, and these fish with colourful washes are fantastic!

Hm, yes - I tend to work with a lot of synthesis, bringing stuff together, making connections (which often enough presents an obstacle for academic work as it isn't ANALYTICAL enough) - but for this, it's ideal; and I am greatly enjoying it.

The sketchbook page - I only recently begun using a different printing software and discovered these small prints, they are ideal to scan, print and paste across - I've order some larger sketchbooks, so it's time for a reordering of how I work with them; but the logbook for the course is a good training opportunity. I feel that is the kind of organisation and work process/practice that I'm missing (or looking for).

Sarah said...

love the sketchbook page

Lindsay said...

This is all very interesting! I love how you included a page from your sketchbook too. And I agree about the experiments.