Monday, 10 October 2016

Vancouver Island Art Workshops - Jane Davies - Part 2

Back to the workshop and the final three days.....

Starting day 3 we had a choice of switching to our 'good' paper  (a good printmaking paper) or doing a few more prints with the drawing paper. I choose to switch to my printmaking paper - Stonehenge. I really like the Stonehenge for this type of monoprinting. Jane wanted us to experiment with the techniques we had been using the previous two days - especially the masking of shapes and texturing. It was important not to have a plan and to work more with our intuition and notice things such as similar values, lights/darks, shape size and saturated colour versus neutrals. Once these were dry we added a background ('ground') to the print. Lots of choices to think about here. Do you leave a space between shapes and ground, how will the shapes relate to the ground and what colour for the ground. By putting in the ground it makes it easier to see what you have. We could still print and collage over the ground if we wanted. Painting the ground takes a lot of time and care. I mixed two or three colours for my grounds so I would get some variation in the colour.

There are a lot of things to think about when working on these pieces...
1. Contrast of scale
2. Variation in value
3. Transparency/Opacity
4. How much white space to leave around shapes - thickness and thinness of lines
5. Do you leave white space
6. Placement of shapes - ex. do they go off the edge, overlapping
7. How much do you enhance the shapes - a little or a lot
8. What is the 'top/bottom' of the print. Jane usually decides this earlier on - is intuitive for her.
9. Will your ground be all one colour or one side yellow the other purple

For the remainder of the workshop we worked on the following
1. Printing then collaging, painting the ground and line work
2. Printing grids and then collaging and painting
3. Printing grounds and printing, painting and collaging over them.

These are a couple of printed starts that I am looking forward to working on.

Multiple printings and masking off of parts of plate and masking 
using a shape. Lots to do
with this start!

Rolled titanium white over residue on gelli plate
and printed. You can see previous printed
shapes and colours. Looking forward to working on this one

Printed ground with printed and collaged shapes,
added paint and some line work

Printed grid with collage, added paint,
some stencilling and line work

Started with printed ground using a lot of
layering and masking of the background.
Added collaged shapes and paint

So this is a very brief description of techniques covered in this workshop. For me the gelli plate encourages experimentation and pushing limits as much as you can with this tool. Having spent 5 days 'monoprinting' has inspired me to do some printmaking at home. I am going to 'dust' off my etching press and enjoy experimenting with some monoprinting.


  1. These are so cool. Look forward to seeing the afters :)

    1. Thanks Sheila. I will look forward to seeing the 'afters' too!

  2. Like the list of questions. I need to write them down! Thank you for sharing your workshop with us.

    1. And the mono prints are beautiful.

    2. Hi Judith - always glad to share! Thanks for taking the time to have a read.